Archive for the "Performance" Category

Bowing Smoothly at Every Level

Bowing smoothly and evenly is a skill students at all levels must conquer. Obviously this skill needs to be taught to beginning students, but I have also encountered intermediate and advanced students that lack the foundational knowledge of correct bow usage. I believe that tone production, specifically that of a smooth bow, is often what […]

Left Hand Pizz. and the Beginning Student

If you think back in your journey learning the violin or viola you probably were taught extended techniques at the intermediate or advanced stages of learning. There is good reason for this; many extended techniques are too difficult for beginning students and with all there is to learn as a beginner, unnecessary complication should be […]

Dependency and the Musician

In this post I would like to expand the discussion of learning by rote/ear and music reading to discuss the relationship between each and the connection to dependency. By dependency I am referring to that which we need in order to learn a piece of music. In our earliest stages of learning as a student […]

Learning by Rote or Reading Music; Which is Easier?

I recently came across a video on youtube of an intermediate/advanced violinist who has been acclaimed as a child prodigy. One commenter noted that this individual learns all their music my ear and does not know how to read. Another commenter posted that it is easier to learn music by ear than to read music. […]

The Value of Teaching Open String Songs

The Beginning Violinist: A Companion Book for Children and Adults starts out with Open String Songs. I wanted to briefly give you some of the benefits of using Open String Songs with your students!   1) Open String Songs help students more quickly understand where notes are located on the fingerboard.   Students of any […]

Playing vs. Practicing

I require my students to spend a minimum of 30min/day practicing. I write down what I want them to practice and show them how I want them to work on those goals. My students diligently go home and try to do their best to work on their assignments, but sometimes I will have a student […]

Studio Recitals and Teacher Performance

Studio Recitals are a wonderful opportunity for students to showcase for family and friends all the hard work they have done. It’s also a great benchmark for students to work toward and a time for them to realize how far they have come since their last performance. I recently got asked by a parent if I […]

The Marriage of the School and Private Instructor

Picture with me an elementary school stage,… …a full audience of parents and friends, and a procession of young violin students parading across the platform with their instruments neatly tucked under their right arms. When they reach their positions they stop and face forward, waiting for their cue, eyes on their instructor who follows the […]

Performance Anxiety

Performance anxiety and nerves come in varying degrees. They can range from a mild feeling of anticipation to a debilitating fear. Some nerves can be helpful, providing stamina and excitement for the performer. However, performance anxiety can often be crippling as it sucks the joy out of playing, and can cause the performer to be […]

Can’t I Learn to Play Without Performing?

A good question—and as someone who has battled with extreme performance anxiety I would like to say “Yes,” however personal experience as well as research shows otherwise. I recently ran across a blog post (Kavbar’s Blog: Recital Retrieval) which does a very good job of explaining why we need to perform in order to learn. […]