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When Should I Learn Violin Vibrato?

The best time to start learning violin vibrato? Day one. Often vibrato is considered an “advanced” technique, which should be pursued only after the basic foundation of the left hand is securely in place. But instead, vibrato is the natural result of a healthy approach to the instrument. With that in mind, I ask my…

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Can I Clean My Bow Hair?

Many a string player has asked, “Can I clean my bow hair?” In all honesty, I’m not the best person to ask. Though some musicians clean their bow hair, in my view the process is either non necessary or non effective. Over a lifetime of playing, I’ve only felt the need to try it once…

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Please Do Not Wait

Please do not wait until you’ve learned your favorite violin piece to celebrate that within your hands is a beautiful, powerful and precious object that was crafted lovingly at great effort. Do not wait to recognize that your mindful focus during practice itself is a life affirming, positive statement. Do not wait until your have achieved…

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Music Lessons. Who Cares?

Many teachers and families use games and activities to spur on the music practice cycle in their kids. If this works for you, great. But take heed: Games, stickers and similar activities only motivate the student as far as the game itself. They won’t in themselves make students care about the music or the violin. Then, when…

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Turning Passion Inside-Out

Instead of “practicing the violin music you love” perhaps a more useful idea for students of music, beginner or expert, might be “love the music you practice.” If you can become passionate about etudes, scales, or music chosen for you by others (orchestra, or teacher for example) it’s far more likely that whatever and wherever…

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