I'm 29, started learning the violin about 2 years ago and discovered violinist.com not long after. I have been 'lurking' this forum on and off for almost that long now, and what can I say...It is one of the best online experiences I think I have ever had!
Living in San Francisco after the economy crashed, I have been on a very limited budget; While my teacher has been *extremely* flexible regarding money and schedule, sometimes, I just couldn't afford to see her for extended periods...During those periods, this site has helped me in so many ways!
Wheather I was having difficulty with something related to technique/theory or just wanted to learn something new, I was always able to find a great deal of information just by looking through the forum.
The other thing (and this is what really stood out for me) was the amount of help and support that people have to offer each other. While I have seen many clashes of opinion and many a feather get ruffled, you seem on the whole to really encourage and show appreciation to each other.
I could ramble on in this manner, but some of you would probably get bored and I'd really like to post a few questions, comments and thanks before you all stop reading this:
Alison Loram: Your comments have been so helpful! I have been reading just about every thread I can find where you are discussing the Alexander Technique...As a matter of fact, I am taking my first lesson today (with a women who also plays violin professionally!). I am really looking forward to it and, thanks to you, Brian Jennings, Susan D and Buri (and others), I feel well-prepared for the experience that awaits me. One question: You had pointed out that, there are many schools of thought for AT; paat.org.uk is obviously not in my locale, so I went to the sister site (ati-net.com), but I couldn't find a teacher close enough (I don't have a car), so I went to alexandertechnique.com ...Do you know if they have the same Physiological approach that you were advocating?
Steven Perry: Your insights in woodworking and instruments is immense! Thanks to your comments in a (long dead) thread, I found an old german 'no-name' and, with the help of my luthier, managed to get 100 times the sound out of it that I would ever dare hope for from my first violin (modern factory Czechoslovakian beast...ugh!). After reading your comments (both her and at your website) I think I'd like to buy one of yours some day (if I can ever afford it).
Mattias Eklund: You are like the human database! I can't remember a thread regarding a performer or an album where you didn't have something interesting and previously unknown to add to it. You have truely broadened my knowledge and appreciation of the history of classical music as well as my collection!
Emil Chudnovsky: Like Mattias, you have often made the history of the violin come alive in ways that one just can't get in a classroom. I have read many threads in which you have added many interesting (and some times amusing) anecdotes; What further enhances the experience for the reader (me) is that much of it is from your own experiences! It really personalizes the story, at least for me...Finally, I really wish I could have made your recital; Santa Rosa is so close yet so far...And I had to work...However I am glad to see Laurie made it to (and reported on) your Malibu recital. Cheers!
Scott68: It's your fault my bookmarks are overflowing! I need to add a section under the violin tab labeled 'Scott68'...Truely helpful for an independant study like me! Thanks, man! ...By the way, I recently got to see Joseph Gold perform (His Zigeunerweisen was absolutely Awesome!), and afterwards, I went to his site, but it is rather sparse...got any links on him?
Buri: ...Hmmm...I could waste about 20 pages describing all the ways I have benefited from your various posts...But, as I recall, you were utterly embarrassed by the fairly recent post in praise to you, so I'll try to spare you. Just let me say that you have my greatest thanks and my utmost respect! In addition the to Alexander Technique (mentioned above), the huge list of referances for technique and literature you have offered, and the relentless frequency in which you have offered them, have been utterly priceless! In addition the the (still growing) 'Buri file' on my hard drive, I am starting to look into some of the books you have mentioned (got my copy of 'Basics' last week...I should be able to get through that material in about 2 lifetimes...); In particular, your posts on the Son File (spelled right?), has helped my sloppy bow-arm immensley (still sloppy, but a better sounding sloppy!). Do you have any links that might help; Perhaps ones with diagrams? And of course, it is always helpful to read insights from the worlds leading expert on prunes!
Laurie Niles: What can I say, without you, I would never have met all these great people (in my mind's eye they I have participated an these discussions and feel I know allot of them as a result). It has truely been a blessing. In addition, I don't normally care to read other people's random commentaries, but I am utterly hooked on your 'Ad Lib' (blog)! Some of them have been informative, while others have been downright moving! I truely wish you the best of luck with your upcomming audition and hope to catch you perform some time in the future. Finally, Thanks so much for creating this wonderful space for people to teach and learn!
There are many others here I'd like to thank, but this post is getting really long, so I'll save it for some other post. Let me just say thanks to all and best of luck in your attempts to tame the devil's instrument.
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