Violin documentary follow-up

Edited: March 30, 2019, 5:32 PM · Hello! For those who have followed my previous threads on this topic, I am finally ready to move to the next phase and actually start officially interviewing violinists.

Until this point, I’ve been mainly asking local young violinists or unknown professionals/teachers around the world. It’s been quite revealing but now the next step is to interview renowned teachers / artists.

I just arrived in the Netherlands, and will be interviewing some well known teachers. Everything will be filmed so I hope to get demonstrations along with explanations. The idea is to let each artist/teacher say what they want. By collecting the thoughts of various sought-after / renowned teachers/artists around the world, I hope that viewers can see where opinions may differ, and how important it is to find what works for you , etc

Here are some of the topics that I wish to address . If you think I’m missing anything, feel free to let me know:

Violin questions

If you are a teacher, explain how u teach to students as well

Violin set-up -> chinrest / shoulder rest / thoughts on SR vs non-SR (ie when should one use or not use?) how much time did you invest in this? What did you do? With young students or any students, how do you help them with this?
Violin posture -> collarbone / shoulder / instrument angle / does left hand support violin / can violin be moved or stationary? How far under should left hand arm be?
Bowhold -> how you hold the bow, and mechanics of arm/wrist/finger flexibility -> keep hair straight? Pronation? Importance of bow hold names? What is your conception of the various bow hold names?
Tightnesss of bow / weight of bow
Left hand -> contact point : thumb/index - third position contact point. Does thumb change position ? Pressure of left hand on strings
Finger contact point -> tip? Pad? Same as for vibrato no vibrato?
Bow distribution : how much attention should be spent on inaudible bow changes or is it an illusion?
How should spiccato be played (if relevant to interviewee : taught)? Before we look at that, is there a difference between sautillé / spiccato?
How should vibrato be taught? What kind? Pinky vibrato? How early should vibrato be taught with kids? In your opinion how long does it take for a student to develop an adequate vibrato? Some say they get in weeks / others say years?
How should staccato bowing be done/taught?
How should shifting be done/taught?
Repertoire vs technical studies ? What percentage of practice time devoted to each?
Repertoire: progression of repertoire, recommended progression of etude books (schradiek, sevcik, dancla, etc), concertos
Double stops / fingered octaves
Portamento / glissando
Bow pressure during double stops.
Bariolage / wrist bowing -> for example -> bach prelude 1006
Intonation -> thoughts , how should the violin be tuned ? Tuning in general? Adjust tuning for doublestops in what way? Melodic tuning? Playing with piano ?
Special techniques -> flying staccato

Replies (5)

Edited: March 30, 2019, 5:39 PM · Here's a link to the original thread.

Adding to your list:
Bowing technique: overall movement of the arm, hand, wrist and fingers (some players use more finger flexibility than others, and I think this is really worth exploring); high vs low elbow, etc.
I don't know if this has been mentioned before, but what about the position of the left hand? Where is the thumb relative to the rest of the hand? How does a player reach for notes (especially during extensions like tenths)?
Chin rest preferences: center mount vs side mount, chin rest shape (flat vs scooped/shaped)
Position of the left hand in the high positions. There are several ways of placing the hand while playing in the high positions e.g thumb on the body of the violin, thumb on the side of the fingerboard, thumb in the curve of the neck, etc.
Is the violin relatively high or low on the shoulder?
Role of the head and neck. Does the player have a lot of freedom in these regions or are they locked up there?
PS: While you're in the Netherlands, Zlata Brouwer might be a really good person to talk to.

March 31, 2019, 10:48 AM · That's a lot of questions, you should forewarn your interviewee to expect several hours interview.
March 31, 2019, 12:29 PM · Several hours per interview may be too much. As far as I know, he's making one episode per interview, so it shouldn't be too long. I'm not sure...
April 1, 2019, 12:14 AM · I agree, but with 35 questions with a short average of 2min each, that is at least one hour. The average is likely much longer for some of the questions, and shorter for others, hard to say, but if I were doing a PowerPoint presentation with than many speaking points, it would well exceed 1hr, just saying.
April 1, 2019, 2:54 PM · Thnx Ella for the good questions!


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