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Heather Broadbent

INFUSE Your Violin Journey with LOVE

October 8, 2013 at 9:22 AM

“Doing what you want to do is life; and there is no real satisfaction in living if we are compelled to be forever doing something which we do not like to do, and can never do what we want to do. And it is certain that you can do what you want to do; the desire to do it is proof that you have within you the power which can do it”

Wallace Wattles

Today, I was thinking back on the beginning of my violin journey and the emotions that I had studying the violin and you know what?

I absolutely tortured myself.

Every day... That is no lie and no joke.

Every day, I felt I wasn't good enough, my technique wasn't good enough, my intonation wasn't perfect. I would cry in lessons, I would have a feeling of dread going to lessons even when I was prepared. I would think the teacher would kick me out of his her studio – that did happen once but not because I wasn't prepared.

Absolutely horrible thoughts. I would get so nervous for performances. In high school I would be physically ill before piano competitions.

I treated myself horrifically.


I had an absolutely distorted, not true view of my playing. I did not value the talents and gifts that I had and that I was developing.

Why would anyone want to live their life that way?

Why do we do this to ourselves? This happens in all aspects of our life - we think we are not skinny enough, not pretty enough, not smart enough, not sexy enough when we need to not be thinking the word "enough" anyway. The word "enough" has limits and we are limitless - our inner power is limitless. We are all amazingly beautiful on the inside and the first step to this is realization of what happens to be inside of each and every one of us.

Back to my violin journey - I am telling you I was beyond a perfectionist – I was killing my own progress trying to progress...

And why?

I love music and the violin, it is a calling I have had since I was an itty bitty. Yes, I had other possibilities in my life. I could have easily followed many other sources of employment not in music, but my soul would die, and life would not be worth living for me.

Would my violin journey have been different if I hadn't been so hard on myself?

Who really knows - I believe I had to go through that specific journey to learn and help other violinists truly realize their full potential by guiding them away from the path of self degredation.

My self worth was tied into how good of a violinist I was, what auditions I won, what jobs I had, what orchestras I played with, my repertoire and how much money I made at each gig.

My identity was the violin and being a violinist.

As it still is, however, now in a healthy way. I do have life outside the violin believe it or not. I learned to love myself for me as Heather Broadbent who loves the violin not as Heather Broadbent - violinist. This way of thought does not make me or any other person any less of a professional violinist - in fact it opens so many more wonderful doors and truly puts us on a path of artistry and in actuality makes us even better violinists.

Over the years an evolution revolution started taking place within:

my music
my relationship with the violin
my studio
This evolution revolution is one of acceptance, love and growth and not personal degradation and pressure.

This is my personal mission and Online Violin's objective to help violinists globally love themselves as who they are, where they are, and where they are going in their violin journey enabling limitless progression through feelings of self love.

So the next time you want to hate yourself for your soggy up bow staccato - just stop. Seriously, just stop that feeling of self loathing, and LOVE the fact that a violin and bow are in your hands and you have a desire, a pull, a connection to produce beautiful music in the world and because of this it is proof that YOU CAN :)

Then practice your up bow stacatto with self love.

Wishing you many days of HAPPY PRACTICING!

Be TRUE...Be YOU... BE...
Heather Broadbent, Holistic Violinist

From jean dubuisson
Posted on October 9, 2013 at 6:57 AM
thank you Heather, very true!
From Tanyi Chan
Posted on October 10, 2013 at 8:55 AM
Thank you Heather, your post is both uplifting and inspiring!
Actually, I'd found myself in a similar predicament a few years ago, back when I was playing the Barber concerto. I got so frustrated with my intonation and tone I actually remember breaking out into tears in the MIDDLE OF THE PIECE in concert.
my teacher got so mad at me afterwards...
Man, i've come a long way, and by the sounds of it, so have you :)

From Charlie Gibbs
Posted on October 10, 2013 at 6:35 PM
I think one reason we're so hard on ourselves is that we're trying to beat others to it, as if that would somehow blunt an attack from others. Most of the time, such attacks are imaginary - but our fears are often irrational. We have to convince ourselves that others aren't nearly as critical as we think, despite the rash of so-called "reality" TV shows that glorify unrealistically aggressive behaviour.

Gotta go now - I have to work on my soggy up bow staccato in that part of Peer Gynt where we violas are exposed...

From Kimberly Simpkins
Posted on October 11, 2013 at 3:24 PM
It's funny, at no other time in my journey have I struggled with these very thoughts than when I recently started back to graduate school. I think in a way it was worse, ironically, because of all the experience I had prior to returning to school. I felt like there was so much I should already know since I'd been playing violin longer than most of my classmates have been on the planet, lol! Instead, I felt behind, rusty, and so out of shape. (Because I was, lol!) I put myself through a lot of unnecessary mental torture. But I'm finally easing up on myself and learning to just love the experience and the journey of seeing and hearing myself improving in my playing. Since I've done that, it's been MUCH better!

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