🎶 next friday 9/28 will kick off our monthly young artists friday night cafe!! performances start at 5pm in pequot library with a $5 entrance fee for the audience and participants.
all instrumentalists, poets, songwriters, and actors are encouraged to participate in this wonderful opportunity to get performance experience and have a good time making music with like-minded individuals.
registration is required to perform. to register, please contact misty beyer at firstname.lastname@example.org or (203) 254-0123.
The chicken or the egg? — student violinists at different points must choose whether to focus on bowing or the left hand (fingerings and pitch). quite a few teachers, artists, students, and observers consider bowing to be the primary difficulty and more important than the left hand in order to get a jumpstart on artistry.
i generally disagree, and my studies hinge on that. intonation and left hand technique are by far the most complex. at the end of the day, any passage of music can be simplified to note-by-note bowing to work on intonation and left hand speed. bowing can easily be applied second.
with music as a gestalt, however, bowing is also a crucial component. thus-far, my focus being on securing the left hand has kept bowing on the back burner. in the last few days, i have finally been working bowing studies into my practice program. a mirror is proving crucial, which i have setup in an ideal spot in my practice space.
my biggest goals coming in have included bowing in precisely one spot on the string and not “swimming” or relocating out of carelessness, keeping perpendicular to the string, relieving shoulder and arm tension while improving my posture form, and keeping my chosen bow hold consistent.
one of my greatest surprises and challenges has actually been introduced by ševčík in double stopping. it is my first real work with double stopping, which proves difficult not just with the left hand (down the road), but also with the bow arm. it's extremely difficult at first to sustain two pitches at once and requires a lot of stability in the bow.
enjoy viewing my first steps at isolating my bowing…
At first glance, one would think these exercises mostly about moving smoothly when shifting. they're so much more than that. one of the most difficult parts of the fretless nature of the violin is that the notes become closer together as you go higher. multi-string scales and exercises don't fully address this issue on all strings, and they don't address the difficulty of playing narrowing intervals higher on lower strings (what a mouthful!). when i was in undergrad, it used to carve my ears out listening to violinists and violists. even in college, the intonation was soul-scathing! coming into learning the violin, i've maintained a determination to fill whatever holes exist in violin pedagogy that prevent students from learning to play increasingly in-tune from the beginning. forgoing first-position mastery and a multi-string focus have been keys to this. by studying each string individually as prerequisite to string-crossing, i am both training my ear and body posture up and down the full length of each string. the ear training is probably the most-difficult, which is where an electric keyboard is absolutely vital.
with this exercise, i have focused mostly on the fourth string, as it is the most difficult to navigate smoothly. i've placed the first string video first in this video series in order to keep things mixed up and exciting.
hopefully seeing my humble beginnings at serious exercise book studying will be of some value to you…
Well, after about 2 weeks studying these exercises, i'm finally ready to move forward to first finger, fifth position. developing these exercises has seen installing my new whittner, center-mounted chin rest and later my new dov-music, harp-style tailpiece! i am loving both! i used my condenser mic for this, and it got a much better, acoustical sound.
it also saw me get on an ocd spell with my bow hair. i was getting a lot of benign squeaks, and my bow wasn't responding as immediately as it should have been. i had noticed some bow hairs would slacken faster than others, and others would slacked way-more-slowly. about 15 clipped hairs later, i had a clear tone. no one tells you to clip bad hairs that haven't broken yet…
anyway… my approach in not learning the entire first position first is paying huge dividends. i am excited about the progress of my bowing, progress in my tuning accuracy, progress in changing strings with the first finger on the string being changed from without chirps, progress in thumb posture, and progress in sliding without gripping or leaving the thumb behind.
Hello! it’s been a while since i’ve posted a video- in all honesty, i’ve been struggling immensely with self confidence and anxiety. so here’s a reminder in case you needed it, that you are good enough. right now, as you are. here’s some weber- it’s been a bit of a love-hate relationship with this movement.
Dear friends, the brief musicological reflection of the week 1: igor stravinsky (1882-1971) in his ‘poetics of music’, asks himself about how to deal with the vanishing of the prohibitions and barriers in the musical composition in the first half of the 20th century, something unprecedented until then. the answer he finds and which gives him comfort is perfect: there is in music solid and concrete elements - as of the seven notes - that, united to the inexhaustible possibilities driven by human creativity, make of the artistic creation an infinite world, apart of how the aesthetic frontiers are disposed in each epoch. - jean goldenbaum
stravinsky, igor. poetics of music in the form of six lessons (harvard paperbacks) (the charles eliot norton lectures). harvard university press. 1974. (chapter: 'the composition of music'). #musicology#stravinsky#music#modernmusic#classicalmusic#composer#classicalmusician