Study recommendations

March 13, 2020, 1:18 PM · Hello
Does anyone have any recommendations for any studies/etudes for someone around the Haydn g major level?
It doesn't partcularly matter, but there are a whole load of things I haven't done in terms of technique (most if not all bow strokes come to mind)
Thanks for any suggestions

Replies (19)

March 13, 2020, 1:49 PM · Your teacher should be loading you down with appropriate etudes, given your conservatory ambitions.
March 13, 2020, 1:52 PM · I've asked him, as compared to my previous teavher he seems to be a stickler for etudes just not done any yet
March 13, 2020, 2:21 PM · Kinda depends on what you've done previously as far as both etudes and repertoire go.
March 13, 2020, 2:27 PM · If you haven’t had any, ask for some. Your teachers guidance here is key, given that you’d like to aim for a conservatoire.
Edited: March 13, 2020, 2:53 PM · If you are 22 and want to make a living in music with Haydn G level, want to attend a musical school, don't do it. What is your previous university training in any other field? Listen to Lydia who has a day job and enjoys doing music as an outside pursuit and does very well with it.

I have a similar ex-student who is very active in freelancing in NYC, but makes her living doing Japanese translation.

If it makes you feel better, when I was studying with Galamian at Juilliard as an undergrad, I asked him to write a recommendation so I could enter some international violin competitions. He told me frankly, "why bother, you don't have any chance of winning anything." He did relent, and of course I didn't have any chance, but this was his approach to make me work even harder. I did work even harder and improved, but he was right all along.

Edited: March 13, 2020, 2:53 PM · I don't have a degree or anything at all. I should also clear that its music school on viola not violin (may not make a whole lot of difference, but nevermind)
Edited: March 13, 2020, 2:54 PM · Dont op. 37

That being said, please listen to Lydia and Bruce.

Editing to add that viola/violin makes no difference; the days of a not-good-enough violinist being able to succeed on viola are long gone if in fact they ever really existed. Viola is as competitive as violin.

Edited: March 13, 2020, 3:00 PM · Violin, viola it makes no difference. At the age of 22 you should be performing the Bartok or Penderecki viola concerto. If you think that a music education degree is the answer, then think again. You will just be a bad example for your students. Thanks to Mary Ellen
Edited: March 13, 2020, 3:00 PM · My teacher thinks I can do it in the time frame I suggested
March 13, 2020, 3:54 PM · Best of luck, you will need plenty of it. Just looking at your photo, I see lots of problems in your basic setup.
Dr. Bruce Berg
Professor of violin
Baylor Universiy
Edited: March 13, 2020, 4:13 PM · I agree with Dont Op. 37. Bruce Berg is one of the most level-headed guys around here, plus his experience runs very deep and his pedigree is impeccable. I would not dismiss his advice too easily.
March 13, 2020, 6:16 PM · "Dont op. 37"

So everyone's saying don't..

FWIW, you can look at the RCM syllabus for some guidance. Haydn G major is level 8, which has Dont Op. 37 8-12 at level 8. 1-7 level 7, 13-24 level 9. Nice and simple pattern, I wouldn't read too much into it though, as the level business is not consistent or reliable as such. But it is a resource for such guidance and pointers to other material, however you wish to use it or not. They also organize technique requirements. You'd want to aim past level 10, which is considered around ABRSM level 8.

Also consider that there might be further downturns in the entertainment business and upturns in the medical/scientific/cleaning/warehousing/bunkering etc..

Edited: March 14, 2020, 7:20 AM · I started viola at age 15 (but with a background of piano and singing) and made rapid begin with. But at university I was playing with folks who had simply played twice as many hours as me. This was particularly clear in subsequent orchestral auditions.

However, the late start made me analyse techniques which childhood starters (and their teachers) take for granted, and this has helped me in my teaching, which I have enjoyed immensely. My playing has thus been limited to gigs, dance music, and an orchestra accompanying big choral works on a pay per session basis, and has never assured more than half my very modest income.

So don't give up, but adjust your dreams...

March 14, 2020, 1:38 PM · We need to make the distinction between those who are able to make a living in teaching music and those we believe are effective (or even not-actively-harmful) teachers. There are far more of the former than the latter.

I was watching a professional teacher play basic pedagogical repertoire the other day and was utterly appalled by their basic left-hand set-up. It was all I could do not to writhe in my seat as I anticipated each note that was going to be visibly out of tune. But they make a healthy living teaching beginners.

(Watch Suzuki teacher training audition videos on YouTube sometime, especially the ones who choose the book 4 repertoire to audition on -- Seitz and Vivaldi. Look the players up online. It'll show you just how badly you can play and still have a thriving studio.)

Note that if you're an amateur, getting access to excellent opportunities requires that you still play at a high level. Many serious amateurs either are career-switchers post-conservatory or were serious students in high school prior to choosing some other life path.

March 14, 2020, 4:52 PM · I agree with Lydia. Responsible teaching is a vocation but also a profession.

On the subject of études, may I quote myself from a concurrent thread:
"We usually expect an étude to concentrate on one thing at a time; but unlike exercises, they are musical compositions, which should develop our sense of harmonic progression, musical sentences and cadences, and meaningful modulations. Thus, instead of "adding" some musicality to the patterns, we can "reveal" it.
I only use those rare études with real musical sense: Spohr, some Dancla and Kayser, no Wohlfart at all, Kreutzer but not Dont (!), Rode and Gaviniès but not Fiorillo. But usually, I go from basics and scales to real music, from which I "extract" study-like passages: life is too short to expend one's energy on fake music.

Need I add that any drill, scale or étude must be played absolutely perfectly before moving on, rather than grinding through pages of "filler" on principle.
But then we all know that.."

March 14, 2020, 5:03 PM · Adrian, my previous teacher had a similar mentality to you. He very rarely assigned etudes.relying on passages in "actual music".
March 14, 2020, 8:21 PM · Some teachers can be effective teaching technique only in the context of repertoire. Those teachers often have a Sevcik-like mindset, able to extract little exercises from the repertoire, extending and expanding to ensure that the repertoire-"derived" exercise covers the technique in a more general way than is presented in those couple of measures. Alternatively, those teachers make extensive use of repertoire whose focused technical challenges ensure that the student gets a pretty thorough workout on the technique that they've got a lens on. A lot of that pedagogical repertoire is scarcely more interesting than an etude, though.

An examination of Jake's current playing, however, suggests that his previous teacher was either not effective at teaching technique in that fashion, or that approach did not work very well for Jake.

March 15, 2020, 3:50 AM · Jake, your teacher should be setting studies based on a combination of your general playing level, particular technical strengths and weaknesses, forthcoming repertoire and long-term playing ambitions. Only you and your teacher can work this out.

If you're set on music college, make sure your teacher has recent experience of successful audition preparation with his/her students.

Edited: March 15, 2020, 10:57 AM · Lydia, I agree (again).
And I am an unrepentant Seitz-basher!
My teenage students would often say "but this is not even music!" about an imposed exam piece, even though they never listened to classical music on their i-pods ("aie!-peudes" in France). Their reactions are authentic; they have thankfully not yet accepted our "yes, but.." compromises.
But I have to admit that a small number (not necessarily the most musical..) benefit from the challenge of lengthy études.

I get out my Kreutzer during vacations; as you said earlier, the harmonies are good, and they avoid going stale on repertoire.

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