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14 Tips to Creating your Violin Love Affair

Heather Broadbent

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Published: February 12, 2014 at 10:17 AM [UTC]


1. Get Your Juices Flowing
After you have had your green juice in the morning or while you are making and drinking - Listen to motivational music to get you inspired on the first day of the rest of your life.  Hey if this is Mozart or Eminem - it doesn't matter - Whatever floats your boat, gets your goat and you can't stop moving literally.  Something to get your juices GUSHING!  Maybe it is a great recording of Praeludium and Allegro or Shostakovitch's eighth quartet or hey - Maybe it is Rhianna's "Shine Bright Like a Diamond"

2. Journal the Juicies
You know when you fall in love, obsess over someone, can't wait to be with someone, feeling that insane uncontrollable desire - it has to find an outlet or you will explode. You tell all your friends, family, strangers, trees, sky, pets, stuffed animals and you write.  Write down your goals and dreams with the violin.  What flicks your switch - what lights your fire - Write it down in a journal.

In the video below, I discuss the importance of keeping a practice journal and how to use on your violin journey.  Don't forget to write your triumphs - all of the amazing moments - the feelings you have when you master a shift, a bowing or that desired tempo marking. AND write down all the JUICIES!!! What music moves you, where, what specific measure number makes you lose your breath. Create your own inspirational youtube playlist of music with which you have a definite CONNECTION.

3. Plan the DATES
Yes Plan the Dates - If you don't plan or schedule the dates with the violin or your instrument of choice - it just won't happen - Like most things in life.  Don't think the violin is going to jump out of the case and hit you over the head and say hey don't forget about me - take me out on a date - it won't happen.  Maybe in your dreams....Below is my free gift to you to schedule your love affair- a little Violin Fitness road map and questions to discover more about your personal violin journey to get you started.

Road Map

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How boring are dates in the exact same place time after time after time - I already feel the spiderwebs. Don't get me wrong when you have a favorite place and nothing else compares , but it is nice to change it up a bit.

So ....Change Locations!  My creative juices flow when I am outside in nature.  I love creating outside  near a river, or abandoned buildings. Go Get it On!!
The video below is a recording of one of my outdoor inspirations.

4. Get Romantic
Flowers and a box of chocolates. With the violin you may ask?  YESSIREEE. Read on
candle-139120_150Light some candles - The greatest thing is playing music in the candlelight. Have you ever played a concert by candlelight? Amazing - the soft light of a candle is absolutely incredible.  To think that all music was once played and composed only with natural sunlight or candlelight.

Ambience!! It is a little difficult to feel romantic with a messy house.  I cannot concentrate in my practices when I know things are out of order.  When the house is a mess my brain is a mess. Keep your practice room/studio clean and organized.  A little too much work for you to do and no time? Hire someone to help you.  I know my energies are much better channeled in other areas other than cleaning. How would you feel being invited to your boyfriend or your girlfriend's house and it was a sty - hello!...big red flag!! How do you feel in a clean, simple, no clutter room with a vase of beautiful flowers?  Like, you can breathe right? Yep, CREATE that space:)


Ok .,, So you may be wondering hey what about that box of chocolates......Remember that juicy journal - set intentions and goals for yourself.  When you reach that goal go get that box of Godiva Dark chocolates.  Or better yet - buy the box, put it next to the flowers and after your amazing practice sessions by candlelight, enjoy your dark chocolate and a jammy glass of red wine. Treat yourself :)

5. Let Loose the Passion
Who wants a boring lover - NO ONE!!! Be passionate when you play.  Many violinists forget you have to Practice PASSION.  When we are passionate our breathing is different, our bodies react differently, there is TONS more excitement.  If you don't practice in this state - you may not realize, hey, I use more bow there, I need more speed to balance the weight. Oh my hair gets stuck in my lip gloss - better pull it back.  You have to practice to know what may happen when that passion bursts forth.

6. Set the Music Mood
When you have a romantic dinner with your significant other - music is a necessity. I don't know about you, but music is the mood creator and the mood changer.  First piece that comes to mind is Cesaria Evora Besame Mucho. Explore other styles of music.  This open mindedness creates an environment that only makes you a better musician and, who knows, may just IGNITE your SPARK and blow flames into your fire.

7. Infuse your Violin Journey with Love
Would you want to be with a partner that was constantly nitpicking at all your flaws? Hell No ! We want to be with someone who supports us, lifts us up, encourages us and inspires us.  So then why do we think it is ok as violinists, musicians, creatives, artist to be full of self resentment, self ridicule, self degredation etc.  There is a very fine line where perfectionism is DESCTRUCTIONISM.  Remember that juicy journal you are keeping - write in there all the amazing moments.  The moments where you set yourself all a tingle. Support yourself, Encourage yourself, Inspire yourself and eventually you will DISCOVER yourself as this amazing beautiful artist that you already are.

Read "Infuse Your Violin Journey with Love" here

8. Feel the Tantalizing Sensations
Be self aware and discover what makes you TINGLE! What music makes you feel a certain way.  We discussed the music that sets the mood. Choose specific styles of music for your morning alarm, meditation, afternoon rock out to get through an energy slump or your jog.  Organize your playlists for your daily activities. Have you ever been inspired to make a cd or a playlist for your loved one - make a few for yourself.  Call it the Daily Tingle.

Be aware of how you feel when you play.  In my Fall in love with Scales series in the Intermediate level of Violin Secrets Academy - I ask my students to ask themselves - what, where and how do I feel the pitches? Where do you feel your music?

9. Love Yourselflove-209900_150If you have been following my holistic approach to the violin at Online Violin - you already know my infamous line - "We are the Instrument to the Instrument." That means WE have to take care of ourselves. In order to take of ourselves, we have to love ourselves and, in essence, a progressive love affair with the violin can only be a happy and healthy one when we have truly learned to love ourselves first.  We need to take care of ourselves physically, mentally, and spiritually with love to be the best violinist possible. Keep in mind - like all relationships, it is normal for the relationship to the instrument to change/evolve over the years.  I have physically been in touch with an instrument now for 34 years.  I know CRAZY!!!! It is the longest relationship I have had with anyone or anything.  I used to say that the violin and my dog Zorro were the two longest relationships in my life and now Zorro has passed so now only the violin remains.  Most relationships don't last that long except for my dear parents who have been married for 65 years this year - HOLY VIOLINADOODLES! What is important is the COMMITMENT!

10. Dress to Kill!
audrey-hepburn-154881_150Raise your hand if you are guilty of practicing in your pajamas. I know I am - I would roll right out of bed and into the studio more times than I could count. People would come to my door after lunch and I would still be in my pajamas.  Sometimes, I would change just before the first student showed up at my door.  I would share pics but it is too embarassing.  What would you think if your DATE showed up in pajamas.......uh...ok don't answer.  Anyway, the point is if you are dressed, with makeup on or gel in your hair looking all spiffy, (you don't have to get all Audrey'd up ) but I bet you will focus better.  Give it a try and let me know how it goes in the comments below. You WILL take your practice sessions more seriously I am sure. Not saying that practicing in the pajamas is bad but I wouldn't let be a daily habit. Same goes for auditions, concerts and competitions - Judges do take notice! If you care about yourself they will care about you. Believe me, even though there may be no dress code - holy jeans just ain't acceptable. (just like the word ain't written by someone with an English degree :) )

11. Create a Work of Art
CREATION is KEY!!! Have you ever made a love letter using the candy bars and candies glued on poster board? If you haven't - it is tons of fun and I would suggest doing it for your significant other.  Have you CREATED heart shaped cookies or cakes for your love - cupcakes maybe with pink frosting?  I am sure you have - Creation is love and love is creation.  I LOVE CREATION! Create with your violin. Create music in your scale practice.  Music is created from scales so get creating.  You have no excuse - you have 7 notes to get started - Ready, Set,  GO!!  :)

12. Share the Love
We all know Valentines Day is no fun alone!!! SO get out there and share your gifts people! PERFORM - Share with the world your LOVE affair with the violin! Inspire others with your PASSION!

13. Take your love to the Movies

OK maybe not literally like Steve in the Piano Guys video :) Movie Soundtracks are so inspirational. Recently I did a poll on my facebook page and these were most popular

  • Mission

  • Red Violin

  • Last of the Mohicans

  • Schindler's List

  • Anything by Hans Zimmer

14. Lose Yourself in the LOVE
When you are obsessed with LOVE - you forget about all else - eating, sleeping, you would forget to breathe if it wasn't set on automatic.

Make your Violin your Valentine :)


Please share in the comments below which of the 14 Love Affair Tips are you going to implement in your violin journey?

Yours in Love and Light


Posted on February 12, 2014 at 10:49 PM
Great post! Over the last few days, I've had some long and exhausting orchestra rehearsals for tonight's concert, so it was wonderful to sit down and read this reminder to be in /love/. Too often we musicians get lost in the technique and competition and constantly trying to improve, and we forget how much we love playing and why it /matters/. At least, I know I have at times. Then when you rekindle the passion, it's so relieving and exhilarating.

(And I have to admit, I squealed when I scrolled down and saw the Piano Guys video. I'm a bit of a fangirl over them. :) )

Posted on February 12, 2014 at 10:54 PM
Oh, and as for which ones I'd like to implement/pay more attention to... probably #2, #5, and #7. And playing by candlelight would be amazing. Definitely trying that sometime.
From Isabelle Sampaio
Posted on February 14, 2014 at 10:37 AM
Hello Heather!
That's a great post. I think it's quite easy to lose yourself on infinite etudes and scales, and lose the inspiration in this process...
I'll try to implement at least some of these tips, like playing and practicing in a different place whenever I get the chance!

Oh, I have played by candle lights... it wasn't my choice though! I had a blackout of energy for about 3 hours and I wanted to play. It ended up being a very nice experience though!

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