I love playing violin as a hobby, but I noticed that my musicality is easily disturbed to the point I would stop playing totally for years. There were times that I wanted to play but didn't want to at the same time, because I didn't feel like 'singing'.
For example, I've just lost my 3 rescue cats. Although I felt lost terribly and emotionally draining, it doesn't affect my emotion and how I function in life. Everything is stable and checked, it's just my mood to play music was just gone. My musicality died.
I noticed that my progress was faster when I was in the mood and felt like singing when practicing a violin, but I felt awful and had a doubt on the progress I made when I forced myself to practice when my mood was gone, because I played like a robot without phrasing and feeling. When I had this emotional swing, I tried to focus on techniques which didn't require me to sing (ex : Wohlfahrt etudes), but even Etudes require you to phrase.
Is the practice still worth it when your 'singing mood' is gone? Any suggestion to keep it alive?
Sounds like you're how I was and have a super tight cap on your emotionality. In your shoes I would think about ways to overcome that because it's no fun to live that way.
What Buri says. Plus, listen to music. Bach almost always helps.
Just try to make attractives notes, often; like the colours of a rainbow: they dont mean anything, but are still beautiful.
I think Cotton is onto something; it may be that factors that have nothing to do with violin are interfering with you wanting play, and we all have to figure out how to arrange the rest of our lives in a way that not only supports our playing, but where our playing fits in with the rest of our life. We're in a particularly difficult time, and in my case, therapy, meditation, exercise and socializing have been key to me being able to integrate my playing into my life in a balanced way.
Thank you everyone for your input.
Scales, arpeggios, and more technical practice can be very meditative, and are part of developing our singing quality too. Try to bring singing to whatever you do, and to scales too, and by practicing scales with a singing attitude whenever possible, you will find that you develop the singing more and more in every aspect of your playing.
When I don't feel like playing but know I should I go back to the music I think I "conquered" many decades ago and start my day with that. It is always a positive experience and gives me hope for whatever I try next. It also brings back some good memories of those days.
@Christian Lesniak :
After the pandemic I had a hard time getting my motivation back so I have decided to prepare a recital for the fall. Now its practice or die. :)
Kuntarini (I actually could still sing when I was 11 years old, but once my voice started to change - I no longer could, at least not so I or anyone else could stand it.)
This is one of the dividing lines between amateur and professional, however you define it. You practice because it is part of your job, not wait until you feel like it.
My sweet Tonkinese cat of 14 died after a very long illness; after losing her, I did not feel like doing anything. I had to force myself to shop for groceries. After a month or so, the only music I was interested in was resuming duets; once I found a duet I wanted to learn, I started wanting to practice again. You will get yourself back in time, once you find some music that piques your interest. Duets bring you back into friendship, which can soften grief. I am very sorry for your loss. Best wishes!
Things orchestral post-Covid are now starting to look up in my area in Bristol (UK). Next Sunday a rehearsal of Beethoven's "Egmont" Overture and Haydn's Symphony 104, followed on Tuesday 25th by a rehearsal with another orchestra - but I don't know yet what is on the menu.
Kuntarini, It sounds like you are in a bit of a slump. It's okay to feel low and numb when facing loss. It's not easy and it's only human.
A very meaningful thread. I am sure that many, maybe most, of us share some or all of Kuntarini's experiences and emotions at the moment. The encouraging suggestions in the answers above form a compendium of advice for self-help and action. Violinist.com itself has been a friend during this strange year - now 14 strange months: after the sad and bad daily news each morning, it is comforting to open Violinist.com for a dose of positive and beautiful advice and new music.
I encourage you to play music with other people as much as possible. Making music is a social activity similar to playing tennis or backgammon. You can learn a lot by playing with other people and just talking with them. And it may just encourage you to practice more.
OP, if your musicality is easily disturbed, that could be a good phenomenon to use to keep your life more on track. When you can figure out what's disturbing your musicality, you can try to avoid it or move away from it. This might keep you truer to your own inner nature. If your 'singing' is coming from someplace deep inside you, keep that wellspring open and flowing and you can practice/play almost all the time.
When you lost your "3 cats" that was time to play the Blues.
So.. for me as other said, make it an habit to spend at least 10-30 minutes per day. If I follow this, many times I end up playing for 2 hours and I forget all the other problems.
I would seriously suggest finding another cat, if possible. People who have a good rapport with cats can derive a lot of benefit from having a cat companion. Many cats are very intelligent, and can definitely affect your mood. If you find the right cat for you, of course it also benefits the cat as well. I hope your musicality will revive soon!
Damian’s comment above is excellent but I would tweak it a bit. Why not start with playing a little music just to make the emotional connection between you and the violin before doing technique. We are sometimes too locke din to the technical must precede fun stuff premise in my opinion.
The only two things I can think of are: -
Dear violinists which I can't mention one by one in this thread, I really appreciate your contribution and willingness to discuss this.
Yes I am a restarter, after 30 years! I went back to violin after finding there were 6 cellos in my community orchestra, and only one violin; I was happy to return to violin. My cello was a pain to lug around, and I was needed more as a violin than as a cello. I really enjoy playing duets and trios MUCH more than playing by myself. When I am down? After my sweet cat died, I suddenly re-discovered all my music books about jazz and blues, music that is happier for me to play than the usual classical. By the way, Kuntarini, I am curious about whether you like to write, short stories or ?? I feel you are a potential author...I have a book recommendation: Musicophilia, Tales of Music and the Brain, by Oliver Sacks.
Hello @Erin Sabrini, how do you think I am a potential author? haha... Well, actually I used to be a contributor in some national media. Yes, there are a lot of stories in my brain willing to spill out, I did also wrote fiction/stories at that time, but my ultimate goal is actually writing an Environmental Chemistry book which I am working on now.
Kuntarini, I second the advice to get another car (or cats!) But I'd also say that quitting for years is not the end of the world. Perhaps I am just a dilettante at heart, but I have given up violin for 10 years at a time, then come back to it. The same has happened with other hobbies (knitting, bicycling.) I've always come back because at my core, I think of myself as a knitter, bicyclist, and violinist. This probably isn't really what you want to hear, but go easy on yourself.
KR, see your Facebook page for message.
Pablo Casals was reportedly asked why he continued to practice at a late age, to which he replied something like "because I think I'm making progress".