How can i be professional?

Edited: October 1, 2019, 4:34 PM · (Sorry for my english, english is not my first language)

"Life story"

Hello,
I've started playing violin when i was 8 and i can say it- i didn't practise. I practised like 30 minutes- 3 times a week but i hated classical music. I've started playing folk music you know iam from Slovakia and here is more folk musicians than classic musicians. And we had reheresals 3 times a week 2 hours long. And i didn't improving so much. Years passed and i was still playing folk music. I was the "violin conductor" in our folk group. We played concerts every week. And then something happened before 3 months. I was just talking to my friend and i asked if i'am playing well on my age (grade) and he told me: "I dont think is bad, but why you didn't practising? And i just realized nobody just told me this ever. My teacher knew I did not practice.
You will not believe it but i ended playing folk (i didnt like it so much) and i started to play, hear and love classical music (before 3 months) in 8th grade (16years old). I started practising for 3 hours per day on school days and for 5-7hours in weekend. I started to watch videos about how to practise, how to hold violin bow correctly and this technical things.
And now I'am asking:

How should i practise correctly? (I have 3 hours per shool day, and 5-7 hours on weekend) i just love classical music

Now my practising routine is: Open strings-Scales-Etudes-Classical pieces
Is it correct?

Do i have chance to be proffesional when i started improving in my 16 years?

And can i go to the conservatory (i will have second high school) and then to musical university?

How can i catch up this wasted 7 years?

Thanks for your time.

Replies (11)

October 1, 2019, 3:56 PM · Do you have a teacher? You really seem to need one to evaluate your possibilities and help you get your classical technique to the best point possible. We cannot really evaluate your prospects based on what you have told us. In addition, we do not know what you mean by whether you can become a professional; there are many different types of "professionals" in music. However, a teacher can listen to you, examine your technique, and give you some sense of what sort of a future in music is realistic for you.
October 1, 2019, 3:57 PM · Do you have a teacher? You really seem to need one to evaluate your possibilities and help you get your classical technique to the best point possible. We cannot really evaluate your prospects based on what you have told us. In addition, we do not know what you mean by whether you can become a professional; there are many different types of "professionals" in music. However, a teacher can listen to you, examine your technique, and give you some sense of what sort of a future in music is realistic for you.
October 1, 2019, 4:15 PM · Thanks Tom Holzman
Yes i have teacher I'am in 8th grade.
Iam improving but i wasted 7 years not practising and now how can i catch up?
October 1, 2019, 4:46 PM · Daniel - I think you know the answer; the only way to 'catch up' is to buckle down and work. However, you probably also know that since your peers didn't stop practicing they are far beyond you now and that may limit how far you can take your talent.

That's not to say you should not try - its up to you to follow your dreams but it would be wise to also have an alternative career goal.

October 1, 2019, 7:58 PM · I think Elise's words are wise
October 2, 2019, 3:04 AM · Daniel, there should be a nearby conservatory or music school with serious violin students of your age who have practiced seriously since they were a child. Probably they sometimes do "open class" or class recital, or open exam (although this is not the time of the year for exams). Search for and visit such events so that you can better compare yourself to your "competitors".

How to practice, you ask? Indeed you find a lot on the internet and most of that is correct. So don't be too afraid of practicing wrongly. Scale systems (first Hrimaly, then Flesch) are crucial, and Kreutzer. You may also want to switch teacher, as your current teacher is so used to you not being serious, that it is not so easy for him to switch gears with you, so to speak.

October 2, 2019, 11:24 AM · Thanks all for answers!
October 2, 2019, 12:40 PM · It is not impossible. 46 years ago I encountered a small 18 year old young woman (with small, thin hands) who at the time was enrolled in the Heifetz Masterclass at USC. I heard her run through the "Heifetz warmup" of 3-octave scales, scales in octaves, tenths and fingered octaves, a Paganini Caprice and then a flawless and gorgeous rendition of the Bruch Concerto (with piano accompaniment). She said she had started violin when she was 13 years old.
October 2, 2019, 1:24 PM · Your experience doing the folk fiddle tradition of your country is Not wasted time. It maybe too late to be competitive in the main-stream classical world and eventually win an audition to a fully professional orchestra. But it is not too late to improve your technique and become a professional musician in another genre. There is a rich variety of fiddle styles from where you are--East Europe.
Only two names of highly skilled fiddlers: Stephanie Grappelli-French Jazz violinist, Mark O'Connor - American styles.
What is a professional musician? In my country, USA, there are basically three ranges; 1) if you make more than $600 per year the IRS calls you professional, you submit an extra form, and pay taxes on it. level 3) only a small minority make it; touring soloists, full professors, members of full-time, unionized orchestras, with benefits. level 2) the majority (including me); the music earnings are not enough to pay for a quality life, so it is supplemental income to another "day" job.
Then there is the Professional Attitude, which is very important; be reliable, honor all your commitments and contracts, written or verbal, show up on time, prepare your part before the first rehearsal. A positive reputation is a big help to anyone's career, music or otherwise.
October 2, 2019, 4:13 PM · Daniel,

How do you define "professional?" If you mean, can you eventually earn a living through music, that is possible but the market is small, even for teachers of music.

If your definition is of a touring soloist, that is much more difficult because you have to compete with people who were playing the solo works before audiences in their early teens if not younger. They have teachers and coaches, some even have managers. Their life is all about music and little else.

If you are thinking about having a role in the musical community where you live, the prospects are greater. People with day-jobs who rehearse, and perform with fellow amateurs and live a fulfilling life, some who teach as an avocation.

It all depends on how you define "Professional" and what your vision of that future contains. To be sure, there are late-starters in all professions and they do share one common trait: they cannot have a day when they do not pursue their calling (vocation). Hence, practice, study, and work are central to their being.

Edited: October 4, 2019, 10:00 AM · Good example of another violinist who split genres (fiddle and classical) is Mia Orosco. She's an extraordinary young woman, no doubt about it, but note: Even she, with her Masters degree from Jacobs, is teaching in a private music school (probably a fleet of Suzuki kids) and performing with a freeway phil. Those are perfectly respectable endeavors, mind you, but it shows you that the pathway to a salaried orchestral position or a solo-performing career is long, narrow, arduous, and mercilessly competitive. Maybe that's just not what she wanted. I bet there are plenty of salaried orchestral players that would gladly trade lives with her. One thing you can see from her abundant youtube videos is that she definitely takes advantage of her top-notch classical training while playing fiddle.


Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email

Violinist.com is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Violin Finder
Yamaha Violin Finder

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Joshua Bell and the Los Angeles Philharmonic
Joshua Bell and the Los Angeles Philharmonic

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition
Shanghai Isaac Stern International Violin Competition

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases

Fiddlerman.com

Fiddlershop

Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Violin Lab

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop

Subscribe