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Albert Justice

Albert Beuler's Days Off.

April 27, 2007 at 4:16 AM

This is the absolutely strangest feeling--no violin other than lightly working on a couple songs, now for three or four days--I think three. I needed a break. My body ached, and Anne had me spending all my time reciting original recipes from memory.

For somewhat over two years, I've never had a break other than like a day every three or four months, and then mostly mini-breaks meaning playing signficantly on those days. My left wrist and thumb joint are thanking me profusely, and in that it's only a break considering I'm finishing the Sarah McGlaughlin song "In the Arms of the Angels", and the Sarabande terrible two(or three last measures), it feels simply good to just focus liesurely on those.

I'm finding how signficant my warm up periods had become, in that when just pickin up my violin and playing it sounds like I'm not connecting with it somewhat. I wonder then, how long others just in general terms have to warm up, if at all?


Still this break thing, it does feel somewhat strange. I think I'll take just a couple/few more days to get my breath and think about the phenomonal number of hours I've put in--somewhere between 2200 and 2800 all told and said.

It's a good time to chill a few for me--I've earned it, my wrist demands it, my saturated brain appreciates it, and the neighbor's dogs brought me captured chipmunks this evening. I thought the barking meant encore!


From Karen Allendoerfer
Posted on April 27, 2007 at 11:18 AM
If your wrist and thumb are thanking you, this break sounds like a really wise move. You want to be able to play without pain for the long term, for the rest of your life.

How are you with mental practice? I bought Gerle's "The Art of Practicing the Violin" a few months ago and it has a chapter on mental practice, and the topic comes up periodically on v.com threads.

I do a little of it while listening to music--I listen to the piece and run through what my fingers should be doing in my head. I almost can't help doing it, so I can't do the control experiment where I don't mentally practice and see whether it helps me improve. But I know it helps prevent repetitive stress injuries.

From Anne Horvath
Posted on April 27, 2007 at 1:11 PM
That's "Ms. Anne".
From Anne Horvath
Posted on April 27, 2007 at 1:12 PM
Seriously, warm up times will vary. I could play full throttle first thing until I hit about 30. Now, I can't. This is how I break it down:

1) Physical warm up. Stretching, arm swings, yoga, beanstalk climbing, all sorts of things. I like to sweep off the deck, as that seems gets the right back muscles awake.

2) Mental warm up. I want my brain to be in a focus mode before I open the case. There are many things you can do. I have mine, but I am not sharing. But you can listen to a CD, watch youtube, read a piece of music with your eyes, or others. "Brain Dead" practicing is not a good thing.

3) Violin warm up. Again, this will vary. I like to do short bursts of various Sevcik, starting with slow bows and rhythms, before moving on to scales.

Also, it is never a good idea to play when you are in pain. Take some time off. It is fine.

From Albert Justice
Posted on April 28, 2007 at 12:57 AM
Not sharing eh!... LOL>.. I reserve "Ms." for those who share ;-}

I've needed the break Karen. I've been in pain since day 1, but manage very well; and, just take that as part of the program since I persisted with nearly broken fingers on my left hand from the first week. Nonetheless, you are very right, and I'm heading towards the zen of playing over the next two years.

My mental practice is so integreated because of other instruments I don't actually do the processes in my mind--whistles while he works sort of thing. I would like to get better at actually working on things technically in my mind--I use to do that alot with piano.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on April 28, 2007 at 3:52 PM
Like the blog title! : )

But, on this:
>I've needed the break Karen. I've been in pain since day 1, but manage very well; and, just take that as part of the program since I persisted with nearly broken fingers on my left hand from the first week. Nonetheless, you are very right, and I'm heading towards the zen of playing over the next two years.

Hmmm. Yes. Do consider the zen in this equation. Out of curiosity, why didn't you wait until the fingers healed before starting out? You recognize what this says about you, I'm sure. : )

Hats off to you for your stellar progress over the past two years. I've been taking just a few months short of you (I think our ages are similar too) but my progress has been far more humble. The Zen route can often be a slow one, but I suppose each person answers to his/her own inner calling.

Regardless, happy break to you!

From Albert Justice
Posted on April 29, 2007 at 1:07 AM
"Hmmm. Yes. Do consider the zen in this equation. Out of curiosity, why didn't you wait until the fingers healed before starting out? You recognize what this says about you, I'm sure. : )"

Yep--and that's one of the nicer things ;).... Have you heard what they're saying about you? ;)>...

I had an opportunity to study with somebody extremely 'uh extremely' accomplished.

From Terez Mertes
Posted on April 29, 2007 at 9:03 PM
>Have you heard what they're saying about you? ;)>...

And every last harsh, critical, head-scratching bit of it is true. : )

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