I’ve talked about this for the longest time. I’ve done it off and on. But not until this became a daily practice, did I realize how much better it made my practice time.
Why journal, when you really just want to practice? In the moment it often feels like a waste of time and a distraction from the task at hand. But… when enough of these journaling moments are strung together you begin to realize the following:
I won’t belabor the reasons to journal. If the above three points aren’t compelling for you, you are just dabbling in the violin. Whether pro or amateur, a real violinist shows up regularly, and brings crystal clear focus to her work. It is the difference between a wonderful lifelong journey with our magnificent instrument and simply being the owner of a violin shaped object that will ultimately end up collecting dust in the corner of a closet.
A violin journal can/should be structured according to your particular needs. Here I will share what I keep track of in my journal:
If you have ambitious performance goals, spend more time on journaling. If you’re on a basic course of study, the journal can be quite simple.
Bottom line: if you care, keep a journal. Keep it fresh. Make it real and make it useful. And enjoy your violin journey!
Do you have a dozen half-baked projects on your music stands?
What about those violin songs or pieces you’ve been practicing for weeks, months or even years, but you still don’t have much to show for your work?
Here are a few suggestions to spur your motivation, speed your progress and get unstuck on your violin music:
1. Work with a coach, teacher or other accountability partner. During and after the move of my violin studio to Morro Bay, CA, I’ve had a bit of logistical down time. I’ve booked some lessons with a coach to get things back on track. (Yes, even seasoned players need to mentor with others from time to time). There is no way I’ll go into my coaching sessions less than prepared. And I’ll bet this will work for you too.
2. Calendar a performance date for your music. Knowing that a performance or audition is imminent will often be a powerful kick in the pants.
3. Build one or more small footholds for each practice session. Human beings generally avoid tackling large projects. But the ability to complete a series of small goals is easily available to any level of player. For example, my coach asked me to prepare a Kreutzer etude. So I’m completing a foothold or two a day on Kreutzer #12 as follows:
And so forth. Depending on the challenge in front of you, more or less structure can be added to your practice session. As I complete each foothold, my progress is constant and obvious! Each day, I ascend the mountain one step at a time, and soon it begins to look like a mole hill. The key is to plan your practice in detail, write down the steps and check them off as they are completed.
Your transformation: Working within this structure is transformative! It seems like more work, but it’s actually more fun. It works for violin practice, and equally well for just about any other large goal that you could consider.
Violin Practice Hack: The 5 Minute Bow Stroke demonstrated by Dr. David Wallace
Level: Novice to Expert
Got only 5 minutes to instantly grow your technique?
This Learn the Violin in 5 Minutes practice hack is just the ticket.
Dr. David Wallace explains this powerful practice hack as it was originally taught by the famous pedagogue and perfumer, Josef Gingold.
Bonus Benefit: Do this just before walking on stage to perform and you’ll be amazed at how it can reduce or eliminate your stage fright.
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