This is simply for my reference. I do not wish to rehash a shoulder rest discussion.
I've ditched my shoulder rest in liu of trying a sponge (the thick, red, circular, cosmetc sponge from Shar). Attaching it with a rubberband on my violin where it will fill in the gap to my shoulder works great. I think I'll be able to make the transition fairly smoothly. It's a bit different, but it helps with my weak left shoulder so much. I only have issues playing fortissimo and long shifts. My neck tends to get tighter than it used to. I think I can train that out, though; I'm fairly confident.
I tried a couple different chinrests. However, my violin is so skinny in the ribs that standard chinrest clamps at Shar don't fit--they're too long. I'll have to head to Psarianos. Peter always has a way of making chinrests fit. =D I'm looking forward to that trip. This will put everything in place. I'm mimicing a setup like Anne-Sophie Mutter, except my neck is too long and my shoulders to sloped to go without a sponge. I'm also using a strad pad. I'm hoping to ditch that with a different chinrest.
I'm shocked. Whenever I've used a different sponge, my violin was muted. Now, my violin sounds even more Guarneri like. It's by James Brown, c. 1880, England. It's pretty small for a full size, length and rib wise, but its sound is huge. I have Tonica New Formula G,D,A with Gold Label E strings on.
I seem to be closing in my ideal setup/instrument/bow combination. Hallelujah!
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I'm very excited.
This morning, in the shower, I came up with what I considered a very clever way to earn some extra bucks, put a little more music in my home-town schools, and boost my reputation as a string teacher.
Background: I teach at a local music store, pay them $5 for the privelege of using their room for 30 minutes. They give me students, I do no recruiting. Otherwise, it's my show. The music store calls its private lessons: McCourt's School of Music (MSOM).
I taught this morning, and when I got my lunch break, I talked to Kris about really making something of MSOM. I told her I'd love to host some Beginner, Intermediate, and Advanced camps this summer. 10 kids per session max, working on technique, theory, and playing together. Kris would also do demos on stringed instrument basic repair and maintenance. 1.5 hours for the beginners/youngsters, 2 hours for the older, more advanced students. She LOVED it. They'd tried something like that once before with a different teacher a few years ago, but even though the kids loved it, the teacher wasn't willing to ever do it again. I am more than happy to do this kind of thing, and am so excited to find her receptive! Not only receptive, but she brought it up with the store owner later today...
Mr. McCourt approved it on the spot. It's official. 4 days, Mon-Thurs, 1.5 - 2 hrs., $75 charge per camper, of which I make $50. They liked the schedule I proposed, and plan to start the first session sometime in June. Yahoo!!!
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