Need advice on my daughter (just turning 4 in Aug)'s violin lesson

Edited: June 21, 2022, 4:41 AM · Hi all,

I am an amateur violin player and I taught my daughter for a year and now she has an amazing teacher (started lesson 2 months ago).

She can play Seitz concerto No2 movement 3 and other Rieding concerton pieces.

Now the teacher gave us Sevsik 1-1 Triads and Wohlfart etude and scale exercises to practice.

The scales are ok, but Wohlfart etudes seem too difficult for my daughter.. She cannot follow notes completely. She can read notes but very slowly. But when she plays, she always plays by heart.

Now there is a limit to playing by memorization when it comes to Wohlfart etude, and I have been feeling frustrated seeing my daughter being frustrated..

I am thinking that the good option now is to stop lesson now but restart lesson when she turns 5 or 6. Until then, I can teach her fun pieces to play like Vivaldi's concerto in A minor etc.

Please give me advise.. Do you agree with stopping the lesson?

I am hoping that my daugher will be more mature enough to take the difficult etude lessons seriously at the age 5 or 6...

Replies (57)

June 19, 2022, 10:44 PM · It's really too bad she didn't start younger so that she would have a shot at Curtis!

I think that if your daughter has a real bond with the teacher, and you think that it would be disruptive for her to be switching between teachers a lot, then you could always just bring up your concern with the teacher and work out a more gradual progression. She appears pretty enthusiastic, but does she enjoy her lessons? Does she find the work tedious or enjoyable?

It's totally fine to not take lessons for a while, and you are going to be best attuned to your daughter's needs. If you think it won't be confusing for her to have a break in lessons, do you plan on taking over the learning, or do you plan on just not having any violin lessons for a year or two?

June 19, 2022, 11:04 PM · why don't you just discuss your concern with the teacher??
June 19, 2022, 11:09 PM · Your daughter is adorable! Of course she reads notes slowly, she’s 4!!! The important thing is to make playing enjoyable, something she wants to do. If it requires taking a break from the teacher, that’s fine, but talk to them first about your concerns. Good teachers should be able to tailor their lessons to meet the needs of their students, especially teachers that work with little ones like yours.
Edited: June 20, 2022, 8:01 AM · Wohlfart at 4 years old? His studies have no musical sense and are too long.

At least try to find recordings of them she can listen to.
Her teacher could record them herself!

June 20, 2022, 8:20 AM · My daughter was allways objecting when she was assigned exercises. Her teacher gave her various other small pieces that essentially trained the same technique. Maybe not as efficiently as the exercise did but she was happy and thats the whole point in my opinion.
June 20, 2022, 8:41 AM · For any kid: fun = priority #1.
Edited: June 20, 2022, 8:57 AM · Well this child is simply adorable, she's a little angel. She plays beautifully, reasonably in tune and with verve. I agree with the others that if the teacher is a reasonable person, they should be willing to at least engage in a civil conversation with you regarding the frustration your daughter is feeling about the studies. Perhaps a compromise of some shorter studies or note-reading exercises to bring her music-reading skills along, because they will be needed when she starts learning longer repertoire. If you pull her out of lessons for two years my guess is that you'll be teaching her to read -- language(s) and music -- during that period anyway. So if you can just get the teacher to provide her with a softer landing into the inexhaustible world of etudes that require reading, then you can keep going as you are. Some (most) studies have a better musical sense than Wohlfahrt. For example I bet you could teach her Kreutzer No. 2 by rote -- you play a couple of bars and she repeats it back to you -- in about an hour of total work. That's because K2 has an obvious musical contour. You could do the same with Wohlfahrt, but I predict it would take longer and be much less fun. With a child like yours, there is almost no limit to what she can absorb. She should be listening to well-played violin music all the time, or at least as much as she likes. Listening will be as important as playing or more. When the notes are in her head, her fingers will know what to do. Spotify is wonderful at "suggesting" the next thing to listen to.

When I was a child my mother was looking for a teacher, and the man she eventually hired told her that he would not take students who could not read. Fortunately, I learned to read early because I have a brother who is 18 months older and I insisted on learning everything he was learning. I was competitive and did not want to be left behind. So I have my brother to thank for getting a head start on a lot of stuff (reading, math, piano, etc.) By the time I started violin lessons I had already had a year of piano lessons from my dad, so I could read both treble and bass clef. My dad taught me to read music from the very beginning -- using the Bartok books intended for children. Dad was an entirely self-taught pianist but he could manage easier Chopin and such.

June 20, 2022, 10:22 AM · She is so cute! I'm not sure about stopping the lessons, because I think she would definitely benefit from ongoing lessons. However, you are certainly right that the etudes are not appropriate for a child who has not learned to read music well yet. Up until about age 6, my kids were doing simple reading books like I Can Read Music and the Avsharian books. (The latter are extremely fun!) All of their music, exercises, scales, etc. was by ear until they could read more fluently.

I would talk to your teacher about shifting the focus to learning to read music first. If the teacher is unwilling or does not understand the problem, I would consider looking for a new teacher.

Edited: June 20, 2022, 10:48 AM · Supposing I were the parent, you could see us sitting together everyday on the couch learning another language, phonetically, da de di do du sa se si so su . . .

Short of that, can she read her mother tongue at her speaking level?

June 20, 2022, 11:09 AM · She is pretty amazing and definitely adorable! I agree with a lot of previous comments.

If there is no economic hardship and she gets along very well with her teacher, I think their relationship and her lessons should continue.

However, I think it would be better to anchor down her current level and get her to use her left hand more efficiently. If she were my student I would interpret what you wrote and the way she plays and uses her eyes and mind to have her learn more pieces at that level and re-calibrate every month or so before rushing ahead with advancing technique.

Definitely communicate with her teacher.

Edited: June 20, 2022, 11:21 AM · It worries me that everyone here seems to think it right and proper to be coaching a child of this age for the life of a prodigy. As if this is the only possible future for her and the opportunity shouldn't be let slip.
Edited: June 20, 2022, 12:40 PM · I'm with Steve. What does the child want to do? Does she want to spend 100% of her time doing one thing?
June 20, 2022, 1:21 PM · She's doing extremely well for a three year old (per the video title) who's been playing for a year without professional teaching.

At age four, if she's not reading words fluently yet (i.e. can read smoothly without sounding out the words, can read chapter books, etc.) she is probably not mentally or physically ready to read music yet. You may be able to get her to read really large print, which you can find in some how-to-read-music books for little kids. Or you can scan a picture of music and really enlarge it using a music-reading app like ForScore.

So right now she's learning book 4 repertoire, but I think that I'd aim for more stable intonation and better bow control before moving further along. I do think that she can benefit from structured lessons at this age, and that the Suzuki Method will probably be suitable since she can continue to play by ear for a bit (though you're rapidly reaching the point where going solely by ear is going to be challenging), and offer some play-like elements.

I also think that by this point students do need to do some pure technical work. It is not about playing through the notes of the etude, but rather, focusing on the technical drill that the etude intends to teach.

To that end, I think it's easier to teach a small non-reading munchkin Sevcik, or maybe Schradieck, than it is Wohlfahrt. Scales and arpeggios, which can easily be done by ear, are also great ideas. You can combine scales with bowing and rhythm exercises, too.

And take Susan Agrawal's good advice up above.

June 20, 2022, 1:51 PM · I'm not sure I could play that piece with better intonation -- using the violin and bow that I see in the video. It's a challenge to even *tune* one of those incredibly small fractional violins. On the other hand the fact that this girl can play that well the way her left hand is gripping the neck of the violin is itself kind of a miracle. I agree with Lydia and Andrew that the teacher should insist on proper setup and hand positions otherwise the child will either hit a brick wall at the next level (i.e., Vivaldi), or she'll contrive even stranger home-cooked technique to get the results she wants.
June 20, 2022, 2:53 PM · Thanks Ann, nice to know I'm not the only one who thinks a 4-year-old may have better things to do with her play time than Sevcik, Wohlfart or Schradieck.
June 20, 2022, 6:30 PM · The OP came to a violin forum for advice about a specific issue with her daughter's violin lessons. There's nothing intrinsically harmful about a child spending a significant amount of her available time on an entirely wholesome activity that she enjoys, especially when she shows some talent for it. The child is 4 years old and probably has a great deal of discretionary time. I don't see anything in Eriko's question or in the linked video to suggest the need for some kind of parenting intervention.
June 20, 2022, 6:46 PM · As someone who often gives parents here a hard time when they ask questions about their kids' progress, I'm not sure what you are seeing that is concerning here, Steve. It would appear that you are doing a bit of projecting. I didn't catch any red flags, in any case.
Edited: June 20, 2022, 9:31 PM · I actually thought the comments were a great encouragement for the girl to progress at a nice, age-appropriate pace and even take a break if they think best! Many/most have stressed keeping it enjoyable and musically rewarding. I don't see anyone pushing a prodigy track-- (pretty sure the Curtis comment at the beginning was tongue-in-cheek ;) )
Edited: June 21, 2022, 1:56 AM · Christian - it's the whole ethos I find disturbing. Somehow it's deemed OK for an infant's life to be steered in this particular direction, long before they're able to consider the alternatives and decide for themself. A special aura seems to be attached to violin-playing, as if that's what everyone should aspire and other activities subordinated to. A planned tuition regime is likely to become a treadmill difficult for any child to step off.
Edited: June 21, 2022, 3:27 AM · Eriko is not a Tiger Mum (or Dad)! Her daughter is a happy violinist, and her mother is even thinking of stopping the difficult lessons.
Suzuki said somewhere that if a child can run and speak Japanese, they can play the violin: it's easier!

But please, Dancla or Kaiser, rather than Wohlfart..
We have a moral obligation to nourish proper musical syntax.

June 21, 2022, 4:33 AM · I'm going to mix my metaphors. Not just a treadmill but too-young children are being squeezed into the mould of our outdated preconceptions. And to describe it as a "moral obligation" is outrageous! Of course Adrian is being facetious.
Edited: June 21, 2022, 5:02 AM · My "moral obligation" refers to the quality of the music.

However, if children can enjoy playing music at 3 or 4 years old, and we can provide it, have we the right to prevent them?...

June 21, 2022, 6:02 AM · Well, yes, parents do have a right (nay, a moral obligation) to govern how a child gets its pleasure. The child sees mummy playing her violin and wants one too, fair enough. She also sees Daddy digging the garden and is given a tiny spade, but that shouldn't automatically lead to intensive training in horticulture.
June 21, 2022, 7:15 AM · But just think of all those lovely synapses!
I started viola at nearly 15yo, but, my ear and fingers were already enriched by the Baptist Hymn Book (good harmony and intonation) and piano lessons (harmony again and a "connected" left hand) so I caught up with my peers, except for the stamina.

Two years in the Anglican choral tradition from 12 to 14 have made me an insufferable snob, for which I assume full responsibility. Hence my refusal of Fake Music..

Edited: June 22, 2022, 9:54 PM · Violin is not the only "track" in which young children might excel. What one chooses for one's kids often evolves quite smoothly from one's own experience and one's cultural background. For kids who grew up with sports, there is Little League, ice hockey (I played!), or dance & gymnastics. Where I live now, parents are keen on soccer and wrestling. Both my kids played rec-league soccer. Chess enthusiasts teach their kids chess. Other kids learn painting, drawing, origami, etc.

There is value in striving to be good -- really good -- at something. And then there is less time for other things. By trimming the waste from their children's lives, the "tiger moms" squeeze in two or three serious endeavors: violin AND piano, or violin AND a sport, AND a second language. Obviously any form of parenting can become abusive -- some kids are over-scheduled; others are entirely neglected.

What I sense has changed over my lifetime is that hobbies can't just be for fun anymore. It's not sufficient to just pick up something and enjoy it. There is the expectation that you will be good enough to compete. Your garden needs to be a Garden-Tour garden; or your stamp or coin collection needs premium (exceedingly costly) pieces to impress your friends, or your tennis game needs to have at least a USTA 5.0 rating to be taken seriously. But the same thing it true, after all, in our work lives. It's not enough to just be a solid, consistent contributor at work. You have to be a star.

It's my revulsion toward this concept that causes me to have much respect for the adult beginners who participate in this forum. I want to be a better violinist just so I can manage more interesting chamber parts and perform an occasional solo. But even with these modest goals in view, it is impossible to escape what others think of my playing.

Edited: June 21, 2022, 9:18 AM · Paul, Your post is heartening to me as I struggle with disabilities caused by my illness which affect vision, coordination, and memory. I am blessed with an excellent teacher who is relaxed enough to laugh about mistakes and be joyful about the things that work. I am now starting the Bach double first violin part and at the same time "looking at" La Folia. Both should be doable but with much effort. We had to skip a couple of pieces "for later." Having a good instrument and bow really helps! My hobby is just a hobby, nothing more. It keeps me looking forward to each week's lesson and takes my mind off of feeling sick.
June 21, 2022, 9:18 AM · Paul - well said. This is both a generational thing and the difference between the US and the UK where (at present) there's little pressure to be a star. Most of us are perfectly happy that way.
Edited: June 21, 2022, 9:28 AM · Paul, on top of the two or three serious endeavors, the baseline expectation that doesn't even count towards that is serious academics...straight As and as many APs as the school offers and a nearly 1600 SAT. You have to have that, and great essays, plus the 2 or 3 serious endeavors for a top-10 school to take you.
June 21, 2022, 9:52 AM · Ann,
I'm interested in why your teacher has you starting with the Bach Double 1st violin part instead of the 2nd violin part.

In my opinion the two parts are musically equal, although the 1st part has slightly more technical "challenge."

Wonderful music to play and to listen to. I first played it with my father 74 years ago. It was also the last thing we played together, just 6 years later.

Edited: June 21, 2022, 11:23 AM · Steve, I get where you are coming from, but I also am open to a child really wanting to play violin at a young age (probably because the child saw mom play and children like to imitate), and the child also having the aptitude and the teaching being gentle, and everyone enjoying themselves.

I think that Eriko's original post is mostly concern over whether this is too much for the child, which I think is a good concern, and my thinking was that if the child is really having fun, then it may be a good thing to keep it going. There doesn't seem to be much correlation with a child starting at 3 actually having a big advantage in the long run over a child starting at 8, but some of those kids that really insisted at starting so early may have some of the factors of a precocious talent.

I guess this one still doesn't concern me, although I think the trend towards hyper-micro-specialization in our society from the youngest age leaves something to be desired.

June 21, 2022, 10:41 AM · Andrew, The second violin part is at the end of Suzuki 4, we are finishing Suzuki 5. La Folia is the first piece of Suzuki 6. We actually skipped the second violin part because the first violin part has more challenges for me in terms of position, etc. At that point we added some non-Suzuki pieces. We have only skipped one piece after 6 weeks of little to no progress and that was the ringer, Vivaldi G minor. I go back to it occasionally and see it is still not doable for me as it has too many features that require too much parallel processing.

At book 6 we will diverge more from the Suzuki curriculum in favor of some other pieces from the standard classical curriculum. I am beginning to reach a stasis point where we will have to move laterally.

Edited: June 21, 2022, 12:05 PM · I think it's a good idea to play a lot of duets. They're fun and serve a pedagogical purpose. The short duets by Bartok and Hindemith are interesting music for both student and teacher, and they provide some excellent sight-reading material with a variety of key and time signatures and accidentals (!!). Hindemith's music in particular seems to complement Bach.

In my opinion, I don't think young violin students receive enough exposure to 20th century (and 21st century) music in their course of study.

June 21, 2022, 12:30 PM · The reason you don't have 20th and 21st century repertoire in children's repertoire study books, for the most part, is that such repertoire is often still in copyright.

Suzuki would have put Kreisler works into his Method books if he could have, but the copyright prevented it.

June 21, 2022, 12:38 PM · You can't hothouse a three-year-old to do anything they don't want to do, to be frank. Any child playing at this level at this age clearly has both talent and drive. (On the other hand, it's possible that a professional violin teacher would not have moved them along the repertoire at this rate, but instead focused more on perfecting basics first.)

I agree with Paul on the societal push now to do everything at a high level, but I think when we're talking about "society" in this respect we are talking about a certain segment of the upper middle class (and it's largely applicable on a global basis).

The "top 10" universities are probably going to take the upper 1% of students, if that. So arguably we *should* expect that admissions should be for the rarified exceptionals, and not the expected course for every bright child born into the top-quintile family income bracket.

But teaching (of whatever) at the local large-metro areas these days is so good that kids become stellar on a routine basis. And some of those kids will truly excel, because they've found their "Thing". They essentially set the expected level to be "good at something" -- to join the team, to play in the orchestra, etc.

June 21, 2022, 1:31 PM · I agree with Lydia that children that young, if they have made this much progress, have both talent and drive, and getting there is likely more child driven than parent driven. And considering that Eriko is talking about pulling back from frustrating work until her child is ready for it, makes me think she's no Tiger Mom, pushing her kid to impossible standards of perfection.

I also wanted to address this: "...straight As and as many APs as the school offers and a nearly 1600 SAT. You have to have that, and great essays, plus the 2 or 3 serious endeavors for a top-10 school to take you."

This is the baseline for kids applying to T-20 (with exceptions for recruited athletes, legacy/major donors, and children of famous/important people). There is very little that sets apart the ones that get in, from the ones that do not; I can't remember which AO said it, but he essentially said that if you took the next set of kids, and the subsequent set of kids that would be ranked behind the ones admitted, all those kids would be equally successful at their school as the ones admitted. If you think about it, there are 27,000 high schools in the country, and about 19,000 seats at T-10 (Ivy + MIT and Stanford). There aren't even enough seats for even the valedictorian of every HS in the country at T-10.

June 22, 2022, 10:20 PM · @Ann, thanks for your kind words. The "La Folia" that you see in Suzuki Book 6 is a hard piece. But the 16-bar form is harmonically simple. It's really an eight-bar form that repeats (Bar 8 is just a turnaround). This set of chords is an improviser's dream -- this explains easily why so many sets of variations of La Folia are extant. All you need is your D-minor scale and off you go. You don't need to play 16th notes at all. The only thing you have to figure out is when to use C-sharp vs. C-natural, but this will become obvious fairly quickly.
Edited: June 23, 2022, 1:30 AM · Paul, Thank you. Yes, I told my teacher, the double stops are just like in the scale book, go figure. I'm using Barber's Scales for Advanced Violinists. This piece requires much less processing by my little pea brain than some other pieces we've covered. It will come together eventually. It's easier in some ways than the Bach double. On Virtual Sheet Music, William Fitzpatrick gives a good lesson on playing thirds.

Edit: I'm rapidly approaching a stasis point where I can't learn more difficult techniques and pieces so we will have to be creative about moving laterally. But there are lots of pieces that are accessible to me now such as a lot of George Perlman's works that I haven't even tried yet. Hebraisch is off the table forever but A Birdling Sings and some of the others from the 2 suites should be doable still.

June 23, 2022, 11:13 AM · Ann, eventually we all reach that point, I'm getting there too, although I haven't given up on technical improvement just yet. I want to be able to manage the first violin part of the No. 3 Brahms Quartet.

But that's where some improvisation can bring enjoyment because you can just use the technical tools you already have. Nobody needs to play thirds to improvise over the chord changes of La Folia. You don't have to go higher than third position either, and you don't have to play fast or fancy. That's because there are so many combinations of those notes that you cannot exhaust them. Does the mockingbird ever run out of riffs? And think how much less gray matter they have. If it would help you to have a repeating piano accompaniment for La Folia that you could jam to, I'll record one and put it on YouTube.

If you like Bach I recommend the Cello Suites. Especially the D Minor Prelude (which will be in A minor for you).

June 23, 2022, 11:40 AM · Paul, I have been using the cello suites for some time. I have a little viola that plays like a violin (only easier because of the low string tension). I have been thinking it is time to start learning how to improvise and I'm glad you suggested it. I could go out on the patio and imitate bird songs. It would entertain the neighbors anyway.

I would love the La Folia piano track if it isn't too much trouble. Thank you.

June 23, 2022, 9:30 PM · Okay I actually enjoy that kind of thing because it gives me a chance to interface my digital keyboard to my computer and tinker with things. I'll see what I can do over the weekend.
Edited: June 24, 2022, 9:31 AM · Paul, At least somebody knows how to tinker! My tinkering days seem to be over. I've come far from taking mass spectrometers apart and getting them back together with no pieces left over and the filament not shorted to the source block.
June 24, 2022, 1:50 PM · Eriko, I think it's important to realize that if someone is starting at 3, violin is more of a marathon than a sprint (this is something I wish I knew back when I used to teach kids that young). I think you already know this, and your general intuition is correct: to just play fun things until she has the mental maturity to stick with trickier stuff like Etudes.

HOWEVER, it's also worth considering bribery/rewards, if you would like her to at least be dabbling in etudes/scales for the next few years.

While it's obviously not necessary to reward her for playing songs (since she's intrinsically compelled to do those) it's a different story for something that seems like work to her. If we look around in life, we see that no one likes to work for free. Right now, songs=fun and etudes=work. Thus, if you can think of a reward for her to spend time learning an etude, that may work well.

A lot of people are against bribery/rewards, but I think it's a great way of creating a positive association with some of the more difficult tasks we have to overcome.

Edited: June 24, 2022, 4:13 PM · Ann, mass specs are finicky beasts. My forte is coaxing a winter-white crystalline product out of a chemical reaction that looks like asphalt.

Erik, the problem with bribery and rewards is that it must be VERY difficult to tell a tiny child that she can't have a Popsicle because she didn't live up to her end of the deal by playing her Wohlfahrt.

June 24, 2022, 4:37 PM · White crystals from asphalt is a gift for sure. I remember running a few of your samples way back when on the MS-30 which was my machine probably because it was unbreakable.
June 25, 2022, 3:22 AM · Well, she has to learn the way the work world works at some point! I certainly don't get paid if I don't do my part in lessons.

And, that's a glass-half-full way of looking at things. Normally, she wouldn't get the popsicle at all. When she does her wohlfarht, she gets a special reward. I don't know why she'd suddenly feel like she was always entitled to the popsicle (UNLESS, of course, it was given to her on occasion even when she didn't fulfill her task...that would make for a confusing message).

Edited: June 25, 2022, 10:02 AM · Hello Ann and Paul, are we talking about the Corelli version of the La Follia? That's one of the pieces I've been hacking away at since soon after picking up the violin just over 7 years ago (Yikes! All that time and I'm still terrible!). My left hand can now approximately find the notes and double stops, though my renditions are not yet very musical.

Meanwhile my teacher keeps making me start over, further and further "back" in order to work on the most basic elements: 1) Rhythm, 2) Pitch and Intonation, 3) Bow Direction, 4) Articulation, and 5) Tone Quality. All the sheet music I've been working on for years is now forbidden.

My latest humiliation is being sent back to Suzuki Book 1 "Perpetual Motion" (without the book). It's a simple piece allowing me to focus on each element, isolated at first and then accumulating like a string of beads. She doesn't even want me reading it, she wants me to watch and listen to her doing it on a video and then imitate it. Of course the opposite of how I was doing everything before in those "self-taught" years before I found her (my only teacher so far). I can't even remember simple stuff like that!

My way was always to just keep buying new sheet music and hack it out, turn the page and plod on. Now I'm not allowed to read anything. That Suzuki-like approach (I know the kids learn to read) challenges me to find the kid's (language-learning) part of my brain that I haven't used since I was 5 years old. It's pretty hard!

PS: I'm writing this from a Celtic Dance Feish where my cousin is in the fiddle contest...she can't read but after only a year has memorized some nice dance tunes she plays with great facility. I don't know if all this encourages me or means I should give up completely. I really want to play!

Edited: June 25, 2022, 12:19 PM · Will, if you told your teacher that you want to learn Celtic fiddle, then she's right to wean you away from your sheet music. But yes, at our age, that's a LOT harder than it was when we were kids. I'm finding that I'm getting better at it gradually, you will too.

If you were self-taught for a considerable amount of time, don't feel bad about being sent back to Perpetual Motion. You probably taught yourself some colossally bad habits. The Suzuki teachers love this piece because they use it to teach bowings, so it's probably a foundation for future studies, and you'll want to have it by heart. I also recall that you imagine yourself becoming some kind of multi-instrumentalist (gambas and such), but you'll make more progress on the violin by focusing on it. I made the same mistake buying a synthesizer to expand my musical horizons, when what really needs to happen is for me to be a better keyboard player.

You can find a piano accompaniment for Perpetual Motion on YouTube. Many of them, actually. There are accompaniments available for La Folia, too, but they are designed to go with the Corelli/Suzuki piece, whereas I think Ann needs something that will provide more of an even rhythmic pulse throughout the track so that she can improvise over it. My plan was to work on that some this afternoon. :)

June 25, 2022, 12:37 PM · Paul, you never know what might be...

June 25, 2022, 2:51 PM · Oh my!

Yes, it's the Corelli version from Suzuki 6. My only problem with it will be the amount of parallel processing involved which with the mild steroid dementia sometimes just causes me to shut down and I stop and stare at the music. My teacher and I sigh and then chuckle.

I'm trying to find somebody who can play with me every week or so. My teacher is injured and can't play without causing more damage. It would help my intonation as well as my musicality. Now that I'm intermediate I'm allowed to use that word!

June 25, 2022, 9:46 PM · My daughter's violin teacher was all about musicality from day one.

Here's your accompaniment. Let me know how it goes. Now that I have the basic track there is a lot I can do with it pretty quickly (like changing the tempo or the number of times the tune repeats).

It's fairly utilitarian. Believe it or not, the content was flagged for copyright infringement but I have challenged that. LOL

Edited: June 25, 2022, 11:51 PM · Paul, Thank you. I know what I will be doing tomorrow! Utilitarian is good. I can't do fancy any more.

My teacher teaches musicality constantly, problem is it doesn't sink into this little pea brain.

Now if I could just find that out of print Perlman work I posted about. Sad how things can disappear.

Edit: Today happened to be my birthday so this was a good birthday present!

June 26, 2022, 12:33 AM · Happy Birthday, Ann.
June 26, 2022, 7:47 AM · Thank you, Kiki.
June 27, 2022, 12:56 AM · Thinking about expectations again, Paul, I think that the democratization of content production has allowed "hard chargers" to share their efforts and accomplishments with the world, globalizing a set of expectations that aren't reflective of the average hobbyist.

The Type A personalities that are both talented and hard-working (and who genuinely have fun working really, really hard) have no intention of raising the bar for everyone else, but end up having outsized influence.

True probably both for children and adults. Paradoxically probably less obvious at the professional level (but still present).

June 27, 2022, 3:13 AM · Sounds like the Pareto Effect in action.
June 27, 2022, 8:53 AM · Ann and Paul, between the two of you (and my perfect violin teacher), I stay encouraged (and sometimes even inspired) enough to persist. Thanks for being here!

Paul, oh no, fiddling is not my ambition, I remain committed to early music (loving these Biber sonatas playing on CD right now --my favorite violin music!). I went to the feish to get to know my cousin who I recently learned has taken up the fiddle. It was only a few days ago when I "asked permission" of my teacher to try playing fiddle music with my cousin when I was visiting this past weekend. I think my teacher prohibited my sheet music some months ago to interrupt my failing habits and open up my ears and dormant parts of my brain.

June 27, 2022, 9:10 AM · Will, I enjoy your posts which are always introspective and never egotistical. Honesty is always the best policy.

I like this website because it, along with my teacher, keeps me focused. As my illness progresses and new impairments appear it also helps that most of the people here have good humor. Humor is also a key to good living.

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Shar Music

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Los Angeles Philharmonic
Los Angeles Philharmonic

International Violin Competition of Indianapolis
International Violin Competition of Indianapolis

Interlochen Center for the Arts
Interlochen Center for the Arts

Virtual Sejong Music Competition
Virtual Sejong Music Competition

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

Metzler Violin Shop

Bein & Company

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Leatherwood Bespoke Rosin

Annapolis Bows & Violins

Los Angeles Violin Shop

String Masters

Bobelock Cases

Things 4 Strings LLC



Sleepy Puppy Press

Jargar Strings

J.R. Judd Violins, LLC

Southwest Strings

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Laurie's Books

Discover the best of in these collections of editor Laurie Niles' exclusive interviews. Interviews Volume 1 Interviews Volume 1, with introduction by Hilary Hahn Interviews Volume 2 Interviews Volume 2, with introduction by Rachel Barton Pine