Studio Class!

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A few hours from now, a group of hard-working, motivated students will perform their solo repertoire for each other in preparation for their formal recital two weeks from now.

Incidentally – all are welcome to attend that recital!  It’s free and open to the public, and it’s always a pleasure to hear beautiful music played by dedicated students.  Saturday, June 17, 3:00 PM, at the First Parish Church in Arlington Center, 630 Mass Ave.

Playing in studio class is one of the rare treats (and pressures!) of being a serious classical violin student.  Anyone who has gone through conservatory training is familiar with the ritual, but outside of that small niche, few usually are.  It is a safe place to try out Continue reading

Let’s Get to Work

For all the good advice about musicianship and technique available today, one of the most powerful lessons a student can learn is how to train his or her own mind – in other words, how to practice.

There is little mystery in the process of developing a solid violin technique.  Famous pedagogue Ivan Galamian referred to the training of a young violinist as being a “scientific” process, meaning the fundamental skills could be analyzed and broken down into teachable elements.  My own teacher, Michael Frischenschlager, noted in his treatise that the countless young virtuosi at today’s international violin competitions stand as evidence that an astonishing technique can be deliberately and systematically trained by anyone willing to undergo such deliberate and systematic training!

It is a teacher’s job to share correct techniques of playing – a map and path up the mountain – but it is the student’s job to summon the mental will and vigor to complete the training.

It is not necessarily in our nature Continue reading