Adult Violin Beginner - 3 years in :-)
Hi all, I started learning the violin 3 years ago. As many adult learners here I think it's a real challenge but also a wonderful experience! I've posted here before and wanted to give you an update.
I've had to learn the first 2 years and a couple of months on my own due to where I live. It was doable but not so easy... And when being on your own it's also sometimes difficult to stay motivated. That's when I heard about Artistworks where one can learn through video exchange! I signed up about 10 months ago, first with Nathan Cole and now with Richard Amoroso. And I just wanted to say to everybody out there who can't have violin lessons in person that the video exchanges are an awesome way to learn! I have a video exchange feedback almost every week and it feels like a real lesson, it's just condensed in a couple of minutes. But there is plenty of information in those minutes to keep me busy for the whole week and more. I'm so happy now that I have a teacher to ask questions and guide me in the process of learning the violin. :-)
The video below is one I also send to my teacher on Artistworks. It's a summary of what I've been doing in my first 3 years of learning the violin. And in reply to that he said that for my next year it would be great to work on my tone and vibrato. I'm so much looking forward to improve those aspects of my violin playing and with his tips it will work!
Anybody else out there learning the violin on it's own or with video exchange?
Wow. I am so impressed by how far you have come with only online instruction! You must work very hard. GOOD FOR YOU!! :-)
Good job overall. Your intonation is amazing. You play in tune almost 100% of the time. You can learn to play with more dynamics. I love that you can get a full sound. However, your sound can be more resonant. Feel free to use all parts of the bow and play around with where the bow is on the string. Your somewhat unresonant/choked sound is also due to tension in your right thumb. It needs to be relaxed, or you won't sound good. Also avoid tension in your left thumb, as it leads to challenges playing fast and even and overall it causes trouble. Your downshifts are too noticeable. Work on hiding them. Speeding them up will help. Have you started learning vibrato? I think so, but I didn't notice you use much of it, even near the end of the video. Have you already started off-the-string strokes?
Just to elaborate on what Ella said:
Thanks so much for your comments! :-)
Aah and @Ella, no I haven't really started yet with off-the-string strokes. I have tried it a little bit, but nothing seriously yet. How do you suggest getting started with that?
At this point, I don't think you're quite ready for it yet. I noticed that at the very end of the video, you were doing spiccato, so that's why I asked.
Can anyone tell me where the Veracini Gigue originates?
Hi Bill, Veracini's Gigue is in Suzuki Book 5.
Thanks. I was wondering if it was part of a larger work of his.
Lots of things that need serious improving especially the very foundation part of bow movement & grip (you need a teacher in person for this - not online or video), but I must say that is impressive by learning with just an online video!
@Bill Barber: "Thanks. I was wondering if it was part of a larger work of his."
Oops, sorry, Bill, I misunderstood your question.
Hi George, thanks so much! I do enjoy Celtic music but also lots of other styles of music. I just love the sound of the violin and good players look so elegant and relaxed when they play. That's what attracted me to start learning the violin. :-) I hope I will keep enjoying it for as long as you!
I think we should all bookmark this thread as a real living example of adult starter success. And with no teacher! OP with a live teacher would be even better, but this isn’t bad at all, all things considered.
Very well done! Inspiring to see what you’ve accomplished despite what many would condsider in a less than ideal circumstance or down right impossible.
Thanks so much for your nice comments!
Your posture at the 6 months of practice was already better than my 5 years of learning the violin lol. Good job, wow.
I'm more than impressed with your performances. Left hand control and intonation way better expected.
Hi Tom, wooow thank you so much for your encouraging comments! :-) For the vibrato I'm indeed still trying to figure out which one will work best. I'm used to doing wrist vibrato but actually arm vibrato sounds better and I feel more relaxed. It's just that I tend to go back to wrist vibrato automatically and tense up, so I'm now focusing on improving my arm vibrato.
Wow. I just read through the comments on here. No teacher, eh? That's insane. Perhaps we have the technology for that now, given youtube and internet videos. I didn't have that growing up.
Nice progress Mariko! This shows it is possible to learn using only resources found on the web.
This is a great progress video! I'm a new violin student and I'm looking at different types of violin teachers. Could you please talk more in depth about your experiences learning from an on-line teacher? Were you also self-taught, meaning from books and YouTube videos? What was that experience like?
Mariko, surprised that noone has suggested this yet, but at this point you should definitely join an amateur orchestra (second violins section). The parts will challenge you in concrete ways to improve further and you will also have A LOT of fun.
Jean's idea is good. I don't know whether you should join a full-blown orchestra, but playing with others is a good idea. It's an essential skill as a musician. Learning to cooperate and "play together" in sync. A group class or quartet are options.
Hi, thank you all so much for your comments and advice!
Mariko Barra - THANK YOU SO MUCH for sharing your experiences! I think you have a very organized and methodical way of being self-taught. Honestly, I'm going to do exactly what you are doing right now to teach myself while I look for a teacher. I've never heard of Heather Broadbent but I will definitely look her up on YouTube.
Hi Rhiannon, that's wonderful. :-) Yes I really like the ArtistWorks lesson system. Hope to see you there ;-)
Also, have you thought about playing small ensemble (aka chamber) music? Playing small ensemble/chamber music can be an extremely rewarding, educational and fun experience.
I really like the duet you played! I also bookmarked your channel because your videos are so inspiring!
About those workshops... many of them are on university campuses in the summer, where you can get affordable accommodation in student housing that is otherwise mostly empty. I'm about to start a chamber music workshop tonight, in fact. I'm just commuting because I live 20 minutes away, but most people of the people coming in from out of town stay on campus and pay something like $200 for housing for the entire week. I think the workshop basically takes over an entire floor of a dorm.
I am just so impressed by what you have accomplished. I think you should move to a place where you can get a real teacher and join some ensembles--might that be possible in the near future? :-)
ELizabeth, that might be possible, but moving is not easy and it sounds like that's out of the question for Mariko.
Agree with all the other comments. You're right on track for someone 3 years. This is where it starts to get fun. Your playing can really accelerate now I think. Whether you have a teacher, or you use Youtube and Artistworks -- everybody has to be their own teacher to a large degree anyway. The most important work you do is in your practice room with just you and the fiddle.
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