What level am I at on Violin? Where do you think I can end up soon

September 14, 2015 at 12:08 PM · Hi everyone,

So I posted a few months ago and started a huge discussion over a previous matter and got a lot of good insight and feedback which I am grateful for.

Now here is my question,

How quick have I progressed? I have been playing violin for almost 2 years (will be 2 in November) and I am starting on the Mozart Violin Concerto (no.3) and I'm playing the final pieces in Mazas (my teacher skipped around to the harder pieces) no.23, 18, 30, etc. I would really like to play the Mendelsson or Bruch really soon. However, my teacher says i'm progressing really quick I'm not sure how quick it is to get to Mozart in a little under two years. Now, I'm not rushing through or trying to skip things to play the harder concerti (my teacher would never let me) I have really developed my intonation and tone and have made sure almost all of my notes are in tune everytime I play, and I'm picking up new literature every single chance I get (playing in several small ensembles, two youth orchestras, solo violin pieces) and I have been working out of Flesch scales, mazas, Sevcik book 1-4, Sevcik op 8, and of the like and have i have been work really hard to progress even faster.

My question is, where do you guys believe I am technique/progression wise? Within a year or two where you do believe I can end up playing (Concerti, Etude books, etc.) If i really keep at?

Any suggestions help!

Replies

September 14, 2015 at 11:49 AM · Anything helps!

September 14, 2015 at 12:21 PM · That is a pretty quick pace. Are you working at a good technical level or are you squeaking by? Without hearing you it is hard to judge but I assume that you would be working on the Kreutzer etudes rather soon if you haven't begun them already.

September 14, 2015 at 01:11 PM · As you will read often on this site, how you play is much more important than what you play. If you are not playing what you are playing in tune ('almost all' does not suffice if you are dealing with intonation) then you are likely going too quickly.

September 14, 2015 at 03:17 PM · I think it is excellent progress. Let us know how it goes - that will tell more.

How are your sight reading skills? At what level can you sight read new music?

Andy

September 14, 2015 at 03:21 PM · I was speaking generally, no matter the context in which you are playing, you need good intonation, relative to the stage of development you are at the moment. Of course it is something you keep working on; each type of literature has its own challenges.

September 14, 2015 at 03:40 PM · Mozart in two years is fast. Something you could do is hire a lesson from another teacher and ask whether your fundamentals are tracking with your apparent meteoric rise through the repertoire.

September 14, 2015 at 05:16 PM · if no one here has heard you play, you are asking the unanswerable.

September 14, 2015 at 05:31 PM · You answered your own question in your original post:

"I have been playing violin for almost 2 years (will be 2 in November) and I am starting on the Mozart Violin Concerto (no.3)"

So, what answer exactly are you looking for here?

That you are a level 7.3?

That you are a Suzuki Book 4? Etc?

September 14, 2015 at 06:10 PM · I'm just trying to see what direction my progression will eventually take me, like what type of concerto's do you think I can possibly see really soon if I keep at this and I pay special attention to detail always when i practice or play so I can guarantee this Concerto won't sound rushed or barely passable but very well played. I sight ok, I would give it a 7.5/10. I actually have a second teacher I go to a few times every couple months and he had me on the exact same track so I doubt my teacher is trying to rush me through Concerti but seriously bringing new material that he feels I'm very well prepared/ready to tackle. Within a year or so, could I possibly be playing the Mendelssohn or Khachaturian or something along those lines? How possible is it for me to make it into Curtis or Julliard, or some other good music school?

September 14, 2015 at 06:13 PM · As has already been noted, what you are playing is nowhere near as important as how you are playing it. Mozart 3 in two years is extremely fast, and it's usually done at the time when a student has already started Kreutzer. That suggests potentially significant technical gaps and possibly inadequate basics.

Post a video of your playing. That should get you much better assessments.

September 14, 2015 at 08:38 PM · Let the video that you post be of you playing the Accolay A Minor Concerto, or the first movement of the Haydn G Major Concerto, or the Sarabande and Gigue from the D Minor Partita. If you are ready for Mozart 3, those should be fairly well-prepared already, I would think.

September 15, 2015 at 01:14 AM · It really doesn't matter what he plays on the video. The experienced players here can probably assess his current level from just about anything.

OP: Whatever piece you've just finished learning is probably fine. Just snap a video with your phone (the sound will be plenty fine), making sure that the picture shows your whole upper body, and share it to YouTube or Facebook and post the link. Don't do multiple takes trying to get a "good" take; your playing level will be apparent regardless.

September 15, 2015 at 02:09 AM · Just listen to your teacher and they'll tell you what you want and do not want to hear. If they say you're progressing fine, then you're probably progressing fine.

Nobody here knows how you play, so posting a vid as requested does actually help with your question.

September 16, 2015 at 06:08 PM · I'm not entirely in agreement with John A in this case. I think that a teacher may have reasons to reassure a student that they're doing just fine, when in fact they're not -- or at least, they are not doing as well as that student believes they're doing, or not doing well enough to accomplish the goals that student has in mind within the timeframe necessary.

When I hear of someone skyrocketing through repertoire without the expected foundation of etudes, I suspect the high likelihood that overly-advanced repertoire is being taught for the student's actual technical level. Some teachers are perfectly happy with that kind of progress, pushing students into repertoire that they aren't fully ready for.

September 16, 2015 at 06:54 PM · There are plenty of karate schools that "guarantee" you a black belt in 6 months or less....

September 16, 2015 at 07:59 PM ·

September 16, 2015 at 10:12 PM · "I'm not entirely in agreement with John A in this case. I think that a teacher may have reasons to reassure a student that they're doing just fine, when in fact they're not -- or at least, they are not doing as well as that student believes they're doing, or not doing well enough to accomplish the goals that student has in mind within the timeframe necessary.

When I hear of someone skyrocketing through repertoire without the expected foundation of etudes, I suspect the high likelihood that overly-advanced repertoire is being taught for the student's actual technical level. Some teachers are perfectly happy with that kind of progress, pushing students into repertoire that they aren't fully ready for."

Don't get me wrong, I never once said they're learning properly or even on point but after the last blown out topic by the OP, if you say otherwise then it'll just end in a pointless nonstop debate. Hence why I said post a vid for a change since not a single person here knows how they're playing. That's the only way of expecting an answer to the question.

Personally I highly doubt they are ready for Mozart after two years but it'll be up to them to prove anybody wrong otherwise.

September 17, 2015 at 12:33 AM · Part of the reason I suggested specific pieces in my previous post was because if the student is doing mozart but hasn't played Accolay or Haydn or Viotti any solo Bach then they're very likely in a hot-housing type situation.

September 17, 2015 at 12:58 AM · Paul, many students play the Mozart without any of the other pieces you mentioned if they're in a strict (or even not so strict!) Suzuki program. It doesn't necessarily mean they're "hothoused" or lacking technical foundation.

I played the Mozart before any of the others you mentioned (and my first Bach was from the E major partita, not d minor), and somehow it all turned out okay.

September 17, 2015 at 01:25 AM · Yes, I did a by-the-book Suzuki repertoire until I finished book 10 at age 10, so Mozart 5 came before all those others. Best way? Maybe not. But with good training it can work out.

September 17, 2015 at 03:35 AM · There's plenty of alternative repertoire, and not everyone studies the same pieces in the same approximate order. I never played the Accolay at all, for instance, and I did Viotti after Mozart 3, and ditto solo Bach.

I'm waiting for the OP to come back with a video of anything. Even a scale will do.

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