Practicing the Violin

The Easiest Approach to the Violin

1. Consider all the new songs/pieces, the scales, the bowing exercises. Everything you’re currently working on. It can add up fast!

2. Grab a yellow pad and put it all on a list.

3. Move half the items to a new list, called “coming attractions.”

4. The remaining items: this becomes your working list. Use all your new found time to go deeper, twice as deep as you could have before. Now without the burden of a long list, notice how you can indulge your creativity, curiosity and sense of fun.

5. Then, after you’re feeling good about your working list, go back to your coming attractions list. Now repeat the process: go twice as deep with these items too, but now with the added benefit of everything you’ve learned.

Enjoy the benefits, and this radical idea: the easiest practice is also the best.


Practicing the Violin Staying Motivated to Practice Transformation through the Violin

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 that elusive goal we call “mastery” to recognize that real mastery is finding joy in your work this very moment.

Transformation through the Violin

Oprah, Bill Clinton and the Violin

It is said that in a business or sales meeting, the quality of your presentation skills will take you 95% of the way to your goal. This, regardless of the quality and nature of your content. It is a fact that typical presentations are so mediocre that even a modicum of skill on stage will place you far above the masses. This is a key ingredient that such diverse people as Oprah and Bill Clinton all share in common, the power to inspire and influence others.

You’d think that cultivating such an important skill would be at the center of every academic program, yet it is largely ignored. Except in thousands of great violin studios across the world, where even four year olds learn to mount the stage and communicate with confidence.

Beautiful violin music bears its own intrinsic and wonderful rewards. Beyond that, even if you aren’t Oprah or Bill Clinton, the violin gives you the power to change the world.

Transformation through the Violin

The Violin Teaches us That Life is Limitless

Today I said goodbye to a student of many years. My parting words to her: take what you’ve learned through the violin and use it in your life. It’s very powerful.

While everyday life can seem to leave boundaries around us, the violin teaches us that life is limitless. It shows us at a deep level that we are can (and must) transcend our perceived limitations on a lifelong journey of growth.

Seeing the mastery of others has always been an inspiration to me, it continues to teach me that mastery is not a destination but a process. That our skills are not inborn, but the fruits of a purposeful intention.

The universe is a much larger place than we can imagine or see through our very earthbound, human eyes. Still, the violin is a way to channel into something much larger and far more beautiful than words can describe.

Practical Violin Transformation through the Violin

Violin Teaches Us Project Management

I recently worked with two super enthusiastic adult violinists; in both cases their passion for the instrument was obvious. Strangely, they both suffered from a common malady, uncontrolled vibrato.

IMHO, this problem is all too common. It results from a shortcoming in violin pedagogy. Frequently the development of vibrato is left to chance, instead of being incorporated into the overall technical regimen. Drawing an analogy, it’s much like building a house, and deciding where to put the front door and windows only after the building is completely framed.

Teaching violin requires a comprehensive understanding of many moving parts; all these parts should be assembled in a fairly specific order, while keeping the whole in mind.

Your transformation: Violin teaches us project management at a very high level. It’s a skill that serves you well in any walk of life.