This page will be dedicated to anything and everything having to do with teaching and learning the violin. I care deeply about my students and initially wanted this to be a forum for them, which it is. As much as possible I will highlight the successes of students from my teaching studio. It will also be a resource for anybody interested in this incredible instrument, consisting of short articles I have written on various technical aspects of violin playing. The feed below comes directly from the teaching section on my blog — you will be directed there when clicking on “More.” Please check by here weekly for new posts. Enjoy and feel free to leave comments and ideas!
Practice makes perfect - boy, is this the truth! The time you put in is important, but the quality of practicing is crucial. I love making lists (ask my students) so here are some of my favorite practicing tips. This is certainly a list that will be added to in months to come!
1) Sound is Everything
Don’t bother practicing for technique if you are playing with a floaty sound that has no core or focus. Intonation practiced slowly is good, but without a disciplined sustained sound it will not work at 100% in performance.
2) Break it Up
Don’t always just play difficult passages from beginning to end and hope for the best. For example, a fast arpeggio or scale should be practiced starting from different anchor points within. Start in the middle, start on an offbeat, start in a seemingly strange position. The ability to nail a passage from all angles will solidify it that much more in your hands and in your memory as well.
3) Balanced Practicing
My teacher, Robert Lipsett, always told me that it was important to have balance in my practicing. There are two general types of practicing – Slow, methodical work: One is very organized and covers all the technical and musical aspects of a piece. Intonation, vibrato control, bow division, metronome work, etc. The other type of practicing is full fledged performance practice – that is, running through your piece in it’s entirety with all the passion and energy that you would have in a true live performance. It is so important to have a good amount of both types of practicing. Some people do all of one and nearly none of the other. A combination makes for the strongest players.