When you are playing by memory, where do you look? Do you look at your fingers, or bow? Do you stare off into nowhere? Do you close your eyes?
For me, I look in the general direction of the fiddle, but I'm not really in the habit of actively looking at my fingers or bow. In fact, sometimes I forget that this can be a very helpful tool; in lecture that violinist and SHAR founder Charles Avsharian gave 10 years ago at the 2009 ASTA Convention, he actually recommended practicing with one's eyes glued to the left hand, and trying this for a full month. "You are going to see things you never saw before," he said. For example: How fast are your shifts? Which fingers go down, and when? At what point to other fingers pop up? How smooth are bow crossings, how do you achieve the techniques that you achieve?
Of course, trying it for a month is different from what your normal tendency is. For you, what is the most natural thing to do with your eyes when you play? And beyond that, do you look at your fingers, as a practicing technique? Or maybe you goal is to look less and listen more. Please participate in the vote and then tell us about your thoughts and experiences about where to look while playing, and remember, we're talking about when you are practicing or performing by memory, not when you are using music or playing in orchestra or ensemble.
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