How to improve violin Technique?
Seems my daughter can only play well on the level below Kreutzer, for music on difficult side of Kreutzer and above, she can't play ok and on tempo.
The private teacher sometimes points out some fix on left/right hand, and always told her to practice more. But not very helpful.
Like this year's Texas High School All State material 'Berkley De Beriot, Op. 123', she can't play ok and on tempo(I assume needs to be playing good to win All State)
I know her foundation is not very good. If the foundation is very critical on technique improvement, is that reasonable to stop playing violin and save money/time?
I guess that would depend on her and should be up to no one but her. I would suggest if she wants to continue to play violin and improve, you find her another teacher who can help with her technique. I would encourage you to encourage her to continue to play. "All State" should not be relevant to violin playing. If All State is the only reason she is playing, maybe you wasted your money for a long time.
What do you mean foundation? What can she play? Are you suggesting that the teacher is unhelpful or is it that the music is way beyond her? All state in Texas is quite competitive - for serious students who have played and practiced the violin for a long time now. Does she intend to go major in it? How much Does she practice? Does she make all region and sits high?
Texas All-State is not a good metric. I've had some excellent students who never made All-State, yet playing the violin adds joy and meaning to their lives.
My guess is that a high school student who has trouble playing Kreutzer-level material (and Jason Yu has mentioned previously that his child's intonation is quite bad) is not going to be making All-State -- not a chance. It's probably a waste of time even to bother preparing the audition repertoire.
I have no idea what "all state" is. I can only tell you, that practicing more and the right stuff will most definitely help to get to a new level. Usually that is fundamentals like scales and.... Kreutzer. If you know how to practice Kreutzer, there is not much else you will need.
Simon, in the U.S. most if not all states (I am not sure about whether it is all 50 or not) have an organization of music teachers--mostly classroom orchestra, band and choir directors, although private teachers and university faculty are also welcome. In Texas this organization is called TMEA, Texas Music Educators Association.
Mary, that is a good Don Juan! Thank you for the clarification! We have a similar orchestra in Germany, but it is basically just one for the whole country and they also play on a semi-professional, if not professional level! Congrats, that your son made it as oboist! Especially the woodwinds are usually even more highly competitive. Oboe is a great instrument as well! I also love English horn! Good choice!
If there are other good teachers in your area, then making a change is probably a good thing. I stayed too long with the same teacher in childhood and my "fundamentals" suffered badly. My suggestion is just get a few trial lessons and don't try to tell the teacher what you think your child needs. Just have your child play something they know very well and let the teacher assess what is needed. Changing teachers almost always means a step backward. But that step is often overcome very quickly and your child will again be on a good learning curve.
My daughter got into Region Orchestra each year from middle school. For out of tone, when she play easy pieces of Kreutzer, mostly in tone. If play difficult pieces of Kreutzer, then more places out of tone. For me, it looks like she reaches technique bottleneck.
"I think most students learning violin here is to win Region and All State, which will help student's college enrollment. Only very few for enjoying."
Frieda is exactly right.
100% agree with Frieda and Lydia. My goal for my students is not that they make All-State (though some do); it is that through learning to play the violin they can bring joy to themselves and others in their lives.
Also I wanted to comment on this: "Also every school orchestras here require students to do region audition, students will not feel good if she enjoy violin but fails audition."
It is true that some orchestra directors require all their students, or at least all the students in their top orchestras, to audition for all region. I don't know anyone who requires all their students to audition for all-state. Either way, I really wish the directors would not do this. The students who are forced to take this audition who do not want to be there typically show up unprepared and just slop through the material. I don't blame them.
Practically speaking, if your daughter is only a freshman or sophomore it is possible for her before she graduates to make all state in my opinion but that would require hours of practice each day and complete dedication. I don't pretend to know the scene anymore in TX so that might not be true.
"Congrats Mary to your son! That is quite an accomplishment! You should be proud. And further accolades to having your students make All State. You are doing right."
Mary Ellen, wow, such a professional sounding orchestra! Congratulations! Oboe is such a beautiful and difficult instrument to master. Sometimes I find it sounds more beautiful than violin. How's that possible?
I love the sound of the oboe. :-)
As teachers, if a student is struggling with something, it is always a good idea to suggest strategies to correct it, rather than saying things like "practice more", "control the bow", "listen to your sound", etc. If the student is not making progress, even with specific strategies, then the student isn't practicing enough (not necessarily time wise). If the teacher is not suggesting strategies to correct problems, then it's time to find a new teacher. Also keep in mind that students do not have to learn etudes (unless required for exams, auditions, etc) if the teacher assigns lots of technique-building exercises and repertoire to make up for it (my teacher, for instance, is like this, at least for me).
Yes, actually practicing is the art we all should want to learn!
Haha, Mary Ellen, that's funny! I'm so happy for you though. Your kids sound like some of those very lucky people whom I've met and play with in chamber groups (physicians, lawyers, professors, etc.) who are doing something very well in their non-music field while playing at near professional level stress-free. What more can we ask for?
I agree enjoy violin is the most important thing on learning it. But here in the city, I didn't see students pay for course and not do audition.
It's fine to attend the auditions. But just keep in mind that it might not be useful to spend much time practicing for them. That's especially true for technically deficient students, whose time is going to be more productively used elsewhere.
I would listen to Lydia on college admissions, and also please keep in mind that it's possible to have a full, happy and successful life even without an Ivy League degree. Of my children mentioned in a previous comment, my oldest son (waitlisted at Harvard) graduated from the University of Oklahoma as a Merit Scholar, Summa Cum Laude, Phi Beta Kappa, with two degrees (one in philosophy and one in mathematics). If he chooses to go to law school, I think his score on the LSAT will matter more than the fact that his degrees aren't from an Ivy League school--except maybe in the case of an Ivy League law school, but you know, lots of successful attorneys didn't go Ivy League.
Wow, Texas All-State auditions sound like a major downer. I'm trying to imagine myself in the shoes of an advanced intermediate/early advanced high school student who, by virtue of playing in the school orchestra, is required to spend gobs of time on orchestral excerpts/tricky etudes, knowing all the while that acceptance is probably not happening. And the incumbent pressure from peers/parents...and the opportunity cost that Mary Ellen so excellently describes.
I bothered with practicing for the Illinois All-State audition one year because I wanted to do the road trip / orchestra party. That consisted of actually looking at the music (audition excerpts were not announced and could be drawn from anything on the All-State concert) a week in advance, rather than the night before, like I'd done for Regionals. :-)
Occasionally we will get resumes for an opening in our orchestra in which All-State is listed...I roll my eyes SO HARD at that. All-State is completely irrelevant in the pro world.
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