April 2009

PRACTICE!

April 25, 2009 01:01

(The following message is a paid advertisement.)

Tired of hearing the same wrong notes?  Sick of screeching and scratching away during your lesson?  Is your violin teacher beginning to sound like a broken record, handing out the same advice and assignments over and over again?

Now there's practice!  Just a few minutes a day produces amazing results!  All you need is fingers and a place to sit or stand.  Practicing is cleared by the FDA.  You'll work your abs, lower back, and shoulders, all while improving concentration.  It's so easy!  Safe to use, no messy clean up, ideal for all your studio recitals.  Why waste hundreds of dollars on lessons when practicing will produce stunning changes at no additional cost?  Just ask these students:

"I couldn't be happier!"

"I went from a level two student to a level three student in just six weeks!"

"I'll never waste money on unprepared lessons again!"

Practice!  Try it risk free for thirty days.  If you don't love it, you can quit!

 

23 replies | Archive link


Bills, Taxes, Teaching

April 11, 2009 00:51

Was I dreading teaching, too?  If so, why?  Certainly, it wasn't the children.  Sometimes I worry whether they like me or not, but when I think about them, they still make me smile.  Still, every time the phone rings and a parent leaves a message, I cringe.  Cancellation?  Quitting?  Did I hurt someone's feelings?  Begin a lesson too late?  Forget to inspire someone's budding passion for music?  What is it this time?  So, I get done teaching, eat dinner, go to the gym, and then settle into the computer, paying bills and procrastinating my way out of practicing for another evening.  Then it occurs to me: 

When did the violin become such a paycheck?  Is this what it means to be a professional?  To book lessons in order to pay bills, to book gigs to pay bills, to log practice hours to pay bills?  To resent all the countless volunteer requests and empty tip jars that keep me from paying bills?  Yes, things can be tight when various unexpected expenses add up, and of course, the future is never certain, but this is the way it's always been.  What's different now is, I have no real goals for myself as a musician and artist.  I already obtained the ones I saw in front of me, and the ones that haven't materialized are beyond my control anyway.  How can I be excited about teaching when I have nothing new to share?

Back in the practice room, I dig through the file cabinet in search of a juicy bone to stew, perhaps some iconic piece I've been waiting to wrap my fingers around.  Nothing strikes me.  Of course, Bach is always on the horizon, ever receding as I approach.  Since it's good to keep your eyes pinned to the horizon, Bach will always have a use in my repertoire, elusive as he may be.  Then there's a decent concerto or two, but I've recently come to the conclusion that concertos are pointless with no orchestra to back you up.  The piano reductions they make for those things taste a lot like karaoke chicken. 

By default, I'm stuck with the caps lock on D major; long loud droning scales emit from my fiddle while I think of something better to do.  Now, with half an hour of D Major under my belt and my feet firmly planted on the ground, I'm all ready to take off into something.  But what?  Tell me, O Muse.  What should I play?  More importantly, why should I play it?  Who cares?  If not I, then who?  If nothing else, I will pick something to play that I don't have to care about.  Like hold music. 

Kreutzer Etude #2 plays in my ears as I wait for something to pick up.  With 40 more to go, I could be on hold all night.

 

10 replies | Archive link


Mount Redoubt Eruption, April 4th, 2009

April 5, 2009 03:08

3 replies | Archive link


Hawai'i

April 4, 2009 04:11

Hawai'i really is a worthwhile diversion, especially after six months of snow.  We really liked the warm sand.

 

The warm pavement was nice, too. 

 Imagine, a land where coffee beans and guava grow on trees...

...and my, are the trees big!

 

So are the house plants.

What a nice vacation we had, the first 100% real, married-couple vacation we've taken the ten years we've known each other.  No special occasion, no reason except that we wanted to. 

Who wouldn't?

7 replies | Archive link


More entries: March 2009

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Silent Violin
Yamaha Silent Violin

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Virtual Sejong Music Competition
Virtual Sejong Music Competition

Violinist.com Business Directory
Violinist.com Business Directory

Antonio Strad Violin

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Violin-Strings.com

Metzler Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Warchal

Barenreiter

Johnson String Instrument and Carriage House Violins

Potter Violins

String Masters

Bein & Company

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of Violinist.com in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews.

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn

Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2
Violinist.com Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine

Subscribe