Keeping Your Violin Practice Private
I often hear from violinists who aren’t interested in public performance or taking live violin lessons. And that’s OK.
Not every violin journey needs to be public. For many violinists, the practice will be purely personal. There is no unwritten rule that you must share your violin playing with family, friends or anyone at all.
If this feels like you, there’s nothing to be ashamed of. This particular path is just right for your life at this point in time. It is equally powerful, perhaps more so, than a similar journey traveled in public.
True, for some, conquering your personal demons is a path to personal growth, but for others public performance is nothing more than an ego building device.
The art of violin practice is more than just musical. It’s all about being in touch with your deepest motivations, fears and aspirations.
Everyone’s violin journey looks similar from the outside. When you go a little deeper and you’ll find that we all have a unique, personal relationship with our practice. Like snowflakes, no two practices are alike.
The most important thing is to really feel deeply what the violin brings to your life. This feeling doesn’t require words, but it does require that you are fully present for your practice.
Before you grab your violin to play, sit and take a quiet moment to notice the underlying emotion behind your violin practice. What is the dominant feeling in this moment? No need to analyze or think it through. Just breathe smoothly and stay with it for a few minutes; give the underlying emotion enough time to process. Stay aware and you’ll get a signal when it’s time to start.
Making this a daily part of your violin practice will improve the quality of your work, perhaps far more than volumes of scales and etudes.
Eventually you’ll realize that this short “meditation” is perhaps the most useful and and enjoyable part of your practice routine. This is why I’ve included meditations in my online training programs, including the Ultimate Violin Vibrato Workshop. I’ve had several students tell me they love this part of the program!
Whether your violin journey is in public, or fully private, a beautiful vibrato will enhance your enjoyment and will promote relaxation in your hands.
You can experience this for yourself:
Whether you play for one or a million, your violin practice is yours alone. Savor the journey!
~Bill (sitting-on-a-yoga-mat-and-burning-incense) Alpert
About the Author
Bill Alpert is a performer, teacher and author with a unique focus on personal development and mindfulness viewed through the lens of violin study. Mr. Alpert's resume includes recordings, performances and film scores with artists such as The Moody Blues, Pepe Romero, Tina Turner and Johnny Mathis. The co-founder of the award winning Alpert Studio of Voice and Violin in California, he is professionally active in the American String Teachers Association and the Suzuki Association of America.