How to actively listen to more violin music?
I listen to a lot of violin music but I can never seem to be able to listen until the end of a concerto or piece( I always skip to my favorite parts:)) Does anybody have any tips for focusing and concentrating on the music?
Also, how can I learn from violin music recordings and apply things to my own playing?
Thanks so much! Yes, I mostly watch the YouTube videos but am a bit confused as to what I should what out for: (phrasing, bowing etc) and how watch out for them..!
I find YouTube videos are a great resource, but I wonder how much the sound quality there affects what I hear; what is the difference in bit rates and sound range between listening to a CD and to YouTube (given that speakers are a factor)?
Build a library of your own. Select pieces you like you already now, and new ones you have not. Collect recordings. Learn from the old masters and the "best" players of today (sometimes these are not very well known vs the bigger names.)
I sometimes find that listening with a score (or even just the solo part) is a good aid to concentration.
My favorite way to listen is on long walks where I can allow the music to carry me to different worlds. Sometimes I'll listen and read the score along with, and make notations for myself (if it is a piece that I am learning, for example), but mostly I like to listen and pay attention to what comes up for me so that I can maybe, possibly, try to translate that into my own playing. Still working on that last bit, seems it will always be a challenge for me.
The real problem is that if you are not interested in hearing, there is little point in finding a way to listen. All that will happen is that even if the music is on and you are 'listening' your mind will be somewhere else (I'm just the same!).
I struggle with this as well. I piece jump. There are few times where I will listen from beginning to end of a piece or movement
Remember when your teacher said, "play it again, this time for bowing" or "play it again, this time for intonation" when you were a child? It's like that with listening. Listen for one or two things at a time.
No, Henry. But that doesn't mean one is "actively listening" the whole time either. Take a little break while some less interesting music is blowing by, read the program, daydream, people-watch, etc. I'm sure you've never done any of those things though.
"Active listening" is one thing -- the ears are hearing and the brain is processing even when we're not actively listening. Surround yourself with violin music and don't allow yourself to stop the music until the end of the whole work. It won't matter so much that you're "actively listening" as it will matter that the music is playing. Just because we don't think of it consciously doesn't mean it's not happening.
I would just handcuff myself to some pipe in the room and throw the key out of reach. Leopold Mozart recommends swallowing the key, but Flesch thinks that it isn't quite so simple.
I agree with some posters above about just listening over and over helping the brain on a subconscious level. Listening with a score is good too, but I would argue not as the "only" way to solve this situation-plus there are tons of rare pieces that need not wait until you find a proper score to sit down (or ride the aubway, etc.) to listen to them. There are so many things performances can teach that no teaching can; perhaps things to avoid, or understanding about the many ways technical and musical problems can be dealt with. As you keep listening, you will notice things you never did before.
Just saying that if you can't "actively" listen to 2 hours of music right now, you don't need to feel inferior to Henry Butcher, who has never even read the program while the music was playing, not once (chortle). Everyone has a different skill set at any point in their lives. You can work at it and build up to it, just as you can with any other kind of mental stamina. Meditation? Sure! Prepare yourself mentally for other mental tasks, that's totally reasonable. But again, if you don't already have that preparation, then you needn't throw in the towel, and you also don't need to spend 10 years in a cave in the Himalayas eating nothing but turnips before you can try building your active-listening skills.
Even if I remembered to bring my glasses I still would not be able to read the programme due to the lights being down not to mention the illegable small print. And as for 'people watching', I would become very disinterested in the backs of thier heads very quickly. If you paid for your concert ticket why then would you not commit 100% focus on what you came to hear.? Do you go to a movie to 'daydream' and 'people watch'..? Most people don't because they want to follow the plot so they 'listen' to every word. Just like going to a concert, most people want to asorb every sound that is played, so they 'listen' intently. And, when you buy a new CD, do you put it on and then do the vacuum cleaning..? I would think that you would 'listen' from begining to end hopefully without any interuptions. There may always be some distractions that entre the mind, but thats ok, this happens to everyone. Complete focus can be resumed immediatly by just being aware of any wondering thoughts, then remind yourself......" Hey Monkey Mind, I'm listening to this music....."
All I'm saying is that one doesn't need to feel bad if one can't focus his or her mind on a single thing for two hours on the very first try. Concentration and mental stamina is something one can build.
And, all I am saying is how simple it is to focus the mind. Most people can focus thier complete attention on watching a movie for 2 or more hours, a CD would run for less than a quarter of that time. Of course listening doesnt require the visual sense, then close your eyes and allow the hearing sense 100% engagement. Thoughts will entre the mind, this is normal for everyone so no one should feel bad about that. The skill is not to dwell on the thoughts but to be aware of them then re-focus on the task at hand. This skill can be practiced doing any task like washing the dishes, be aware of the thoughts then immediately re-focus the attention on washing dishes. That process will happen many times and it is the same skill that is required for 'actively listening' to music, and playing music. But, as stated previously... '"if you are not interested in hearing, there is little point in finding a way to listen..." However, one maybe interested in being mindfull of the present moment.
"The skill is not to dwell on the thoughts but to be aware of them then re-focus on the task at hand. This skill can be practiced..."
"The reason I'm so sensitive to this issue is because I'm someone who struggled mightily with that difficulty well into my adulthood. It's almost like a learning disability:..."
It's really the *way* you advocated "mindfulness." It kind of came across like, "If you lose concentration just immediately refocus your mind -- any moron can do it."
…...any moron can do it....
Nice try Henry.
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