Tag Archives: violin teacher

Switching from violin to viola

violin to violaLearn­ing to play vio­lin or vio­la can be very reward­ing. Once you learn to play one it is actu­al­ly sim­ple to become pro­fi­cient on the oth­er instru­ment as well. There are just a few minor dif­fer­ences one should know when switch­ing from vio­lin to vio­la.

The vio­la is just a bit larg­er than the vio­lin; the notes are a lit­tle far­ther apart on the fin­ger­board, so one has to stretch the hand a tad more. How­ev­er, the fin­ger pat­tern and posi­tions are the same. The bow is slight­ly heav­ier for the vio­la but you still use the same bow hold.

Per­haps the biggest obsta­cle one might face when switch­ing from vio­lin to vio­la is chang­ing the clef. Most peo­ple have some famil­iar­i­ty with the tre­ble (or G) clef, which the vio­lin uses, while the vio­la uses the alto (or C) clef. Some peo­ple claim the alto clef is hard to read; actu­al­ly it is no more dif­fi­cult to read then the G clef. Like any­thing in music, you have to prac­tice to mas­ter it.

I high­ly rec­om­mend that what­ev­er instru­ment you decide to play you learn aspects of the oth­er and become a “switch hit­ter”. The big ben­e­fit is you will always be in demand, espe­cial­ly on the vio­la. Orches­tras and cham­ber ensem­bles always need vio­la play­ers, while find­ing a gig as a vio­lin­ist may be dif­fi­cult from time to time, as there always seems to be a glut of vio­lin play­ers, so if you can play both you will always have a place to play.

Both instru­ments have a rich reper­toire. While there is less vio­la music if you like to play Baroque and Clas­si­cal Peri­od works, the com­posers of the Roman­tic peri­od, such as Berlioz, Dvo­rak, Brahms, Wag­n­er, Mahler, and Richard Strauss wrote won­der­ful parts for the vio­la. Dur­ing the 20th Cen­tu­ry up to the present such com­posers such as Hin­demith, Elgar, Wal­ton, Bar­tok and Pen­derec­ki wrote many beau­ti­ful works for the vio­la. One of the great­est musi­cians today, Pin­chas Zuk­er­man, switch­es back and forth from both instru­ments on a reg­u­lar basis. What­ev­er instru­ment you pick to learn, you will gain years of enjoy­ment, but if you learn both you will more than dou­ble your plea­sure.

What player or parent should know to buy the right Violin

violin- tips on buying a violin

9 Tips for a player or parent to buy the right Violin.

1) Determine the appropriate quality and the budget range for the instrument.

Dis­cuss with the teacher about what lev­el of instru­ment would be appro­pri­ate for the musi­cal and tech­ni­cal lev­el and the progress-pace of your child. Note that a good or bad instru­ment can cer­tain­ly have pos­i­tive or neg­a­tive effect on the learn­ing process. The teacher may also be aware about what lev­el of qual­i­ty cor­re­sponds to cer­tain price range

 2) Plan ahead

Have a cer­tain price range in mind when you go to any shop so that they can pro­vide you instru­ments in that spe­cif­ic range from which you can choose the right one for you. Try­ing instru­ments from dif­fer­ent price ranges can be dis­ori­en­tat­ing and time con­sum­ing

3) Spend some time for research

Allow 1 or 2 hours in a week for the process of look­ing at instru­ments and/or bows. The process will be more enjoy­able and edu­ca­tion­al with­out time pres­sure. The process has three ele­ments: 1) Dis­cov­ery — involves learn­ing how a bet­ter vio­lin can enable you to devel­op your sound — its qual­i­ty, tone colours, expres­sion and response; 2) Defin­ing your taste and needs — requires you to ask your­self sev­er­al ques­tions: what kind of instru­ment suits your needs best, whether it be for play­ing in orches­tra, doing solos or play­ing for your own enjoy­ment? 3) Learn­ing to com­mu­ni­cate what you hear to the pro­fes­sion­als so they can deter­mine whether changes can be made that will help in find­ing the “right” vio­lin. Sound will be affect­ed by a change in strings or bridge and a sound­post adjust­ment. If you like cer­tain things about an instru­ment or bow, but not oth­ers, talk about this with whomev­er is help­ing you. It will help you get what you want in the most effi­cient way.

4) Verify and compare prices.

When buy­ing vio­lins which are made in com­mer­cial mod­el ( in large num­bers hav­ing a spe­cif­ic brand) you can always com­pare their prices with those of for­eign or online shops. Being aware of the diver­gence you can always ask for the rea­sons or even bar­gain for a price reduc­tion. With­out of course exclud­ing the pos­si­bil­i­ty of order­ing it from abroad since you have tried it and match­es your needs.

5) Ask about trade-in Policy of the shop.

Make also sure that you ask about the trade in pol­i­cy of the shop. If your child should by a bet­ter or larg­er vio­lin (click here for use­ful guide for find­ing the appro­pri­ate size) then you should know from the begin­ning, what val­ue will your present pur­chase be giv­en in a trade sit­u­a­tion? Also try to deter­mine what selec­tion the shop has avail­able in the range or size that might be the next step-up if trad­ing is impor­tant to you.

6) Build a long-term relationship with the seller.

Buy­ing a vio­lin is not like buy­ing a pair of shoes. You don’t make your pur­chase, use it until it wears out and then get a new one. Fine stringed instru­ments are designed to last hun­dreds of years and, in a sense, you are just a cus­to­di­an of that instru­ment for a num­ber of years. Dur­ing that time, you will need a repair­per­son to make cer­tain your instru­ment is healthy and sound­ing its best. It is in your best inter­est if the sell­er pro­vides this ser­vice, espe­cial­ly if the sell­er offers 100% trade in val­ue. In that way the sell­er will have an inter­est in the upkeep of your instru­ment and will keep you advised of what­ev­er is nec­es­sary to main­tain its val­ue.

7) Buy a good Value.

Buy a fine vio­lin from some­one who has some­thing at stake in being hon­est and pro­vid­ing good val­ue, such as a good rep­u­ta­tion in the com­mu­ni­ty, a busi­ness rela­tion­ship with your teacher or a per­son­al rela­tion­ship. Val­ue of fine instru­ments is based on four things: ori­gin, qual­i­ty of crafts­man­ship, con­di­tion and sound. In most instances, the buy­er is quite depen­dent on the seller’s exper­tise and per­spec­tive on the mar­ket place to price instru­ments and bows accord­ing­ly. Unfor­tu­nate­ly, there is no Blue Book or Consumer’s Report for vio­lin val­ues.

8) Take advice from different person who may give an opinion.

Dis­cuss with the sell­er the pos­si­bil­i­ty of bor­row­ing the instru­ment. If you can do so play your­self the vio­lin for a week, bring oth­er vio­lin­ists to play on it. Lis­ten to it from a cer­tain dis­tance; at best in a large hall the good instru­ments are usu­al­ly man­i­fest­ed. And trust your intu­ition. If it feels good play­ing it most prob­a­bly sounds also good

9) Expensive doesn’t mean necessarily good.

Expen­sive instru­ments are not nec­es­sar­i­ly bet­ter than inex­pen­sive. The price of instru­ments in many instances is inde­pen­dent of the qual­i­ty due sev­er­al fac­tors (brand, age,country, his­to­ry etc.).

Practise Tips for violin

Prac­tice on the vio­lin can get eas­i­er by fol­low­ing few of the prac­tice tips in this arti­cle.

Practice tips for Violin beginners

Prac­tice makes per­fect…” How suit­able is this for the case of vio­lin where the way you are prac­tic­ing real­ly makes the dif­fer­ence. So try from the very begin­ning to estab­lish the right habits by fol­low­ing some of the sim­ple prac­tice tips for vio­lin that you will read below:

- It is always bet­ter to prac­tice every­day in short­er ses­sions instead of once a week (before the les­son) sum­ming up the time for the whole week.
— Make fre­quent breaks. It is sci­en­tif­i­cal­ly proven that we can be in aver­age 25 min­utes absolute­ly con­cen­trat­ed. So be effi­cient for 25 min­utes and then take a 10 minute break.
— Always try to analyse your prac­tice goal in small­er sep­a­rate tasks. I n oth­er words, focus on one ele­ment at a time either it is the left hand posi­tion, cor­rect bow­ing, vibra­to, into­na­tion etc.
— Always make a nice warm up. This could be prac­tic­ing scales, or some of the tech­ni­cal exer­cis­es sug­gest­ed by your teacher, or some of your own exer­cise (be inven­tive) or just lis­ten to some of your favorite music and try to repro­duce it on you vio­lin.
— Always learn from your mis­takes. Iso­late them and cor­rect them in slow­er tem­po being aware of the slight­est detail. Avoid to repeat mis­takes. “Prac­tice is about rep­e­ti­tion and if you repeat wrong…” I.Perlman
— Always try to get some­body lis­ten to the piece you have worked on at the end of your prac­tice ses­sion. If not just make a record­ing and lis­ten to your prac­tice results.
— Play in front of the mir­ror. “What looks nice is usu­al­ly also cor­rect…” I. Galami­an
— “ rep­e­ti­tio est mater stu­dio­rum”. At the end or begin­ning of you prac­tice always play one of your old­er pieces.