I should have listened! (?)
My career as a self taught violinist has been pretty much the disaster I imagined. But it has been fun. In retrospect however I have a nagging question.
Is listening to (legitimate) performances a useful component of learning to play?
It’s not a disaster if you’re having fun. Listening to professionals is a great way to develop musicality.
Yes! it is very useful, if you are unsure of how to play something or to take examples from professionals on how to play, or simply just the character or style of a piece you are playing, but all that matters is how you enjoy music! It would not be good if all you did was listen to recordings and never played!
I think sometimes avoiding superb players and music when you start off might be a good idea to avoid a feeling of frustration. For some it might be an awesome motivational tool, though.
Listening to, watching and studying fine players can be an excellent way to assist one's learning process. Watching some masterclass videos can be even more helpful. For enhancing one's musicality one can even learn a great deal studying masterclasses on instruments other than violin -- even piano. Daniel Barenboim's piano masterclasses are an excellent example, his Beethoven Sonata in particular Watching him coaching Lang Lang is a wonderful experience in musicality: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=14dwegqniNg .
Barenboim for sure ! Awesome!
If you live near a conservatory, go attend a lot of student recitals - They're free.
I wish my students would listen more than they read. Even those who sing beautifully, and in tune, are too busy note-finding to hear what they are really doing.
The most important person whose playing you want to watch and listen to very carefully is your teacher.
I would add that a teacher has a great advantage. They can SEE the student. That was a major factor for me and I guess also for anyone trying to look in a mirror.
Paul, have seen the rare videos of Galamian teaching?
I can't imagine that many violin skills could be imported just by listening. On the other hand, there seem to be a small army of listeners in the regular sense. !
Adrian,I just recently discovered Joseph Hassid and his great,but sadly,few recordings.One of the best,definitely.
Indeed. My inspiration has been Yo Yo Ma playing "Songs my Mother Taught Me."
Adrian I have seen those videos. But he was not teaching with his violin. Most teachers do, at least a little, until for whatever reason (often sheer age) they cannot demonstrate effectively any more and need to rely on very sage verbal advice alone (such as Galamian). Some teachers even perform, and if you have a chance to watch your teacher in a solo or chamber performance, that's pure gold. For the beginner, I think it's a good idea for the teacher to demonstrate each new piece in its entirety.
If a teacher is possible for you financially, do it. If not, or there aren't many teachers in your area, then you have to be committed to being your own teacher.
"Is listening to (legitimate) performances a useful component of learning to play?"
Would watching someone who is good at sleeping help me to sleep better?
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