Blog Archives

The metronome snake pit

Practicing with a metronome can be a journey into frustration and perhaps even hypnotic disengagement. I remind my students that a metronome should primarily be used to verify whether your tempo is steady. Parents frequently ask if I recommend students practice with a metronome. I tell them to first let

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The yes and no of dynamics

Saying yes or no. What does this have to do with dynamics? There are the composer’s printed dynamics but there are also your own dynamics. Something has been handed to you. You need to be present and engaged. Decide whether to say yes or no but absolutely follow your own

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Violinists are upper body athletes

Hands and arms are in constant motion but what about your feet? They’re important too. How you use your whole body impacts the areas that are specifically dedicated to playing your instrument. Flexibility in your feet can contribute to more efficient and comfortable mobility. Do something as simple as rolling

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Students have lives of their own

Without warning, a student who was making excellent progress says that she wants to quit. The violin isn’t for her anymore. Her teacher is dumbfounded. Things were going so well. What happened? The child may need to try many different creative pursuits to feel fulfilled. It may be that they haven’t

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Inside the Suzuki triangle

The Suzuki triangleI have always valued the Suzuki teacher training I received concerning the parent-student-teacher relationship. Other educational methods seem to leave out the role of the parent. The Suzuki method includes built in support for parents. Suzuki parents get to know one another and form their own network while

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Healthy energy in 2023

Our polluted planetThere are chemicals in the soil, air and water. The source is primarily from fossil fuel used in the production of fuel oil, petroleum gas, fertilizer, plastics and so on. As a species, homo-sapiens did not evolve to endure such an environment. Therefore, when there is dis-ease, more

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The beauty of imperfection

The egoLately I have been thinking about how ego gets in the way of creativity. Accepting both imperfection and its beauty is healing. It allows you to be present in the here and now. It opens you up to freely accepting the universal energy of “all is one.” AnxietyAnxiety is

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What is this card deck about?

Violin technique cardsThe aerodynamics of the bow, the systemic nature of intonation, dynamics and balance, the fingerprint of vibrato, using arm weight like an orangutan, force vs. release, ringtones and harmonics. Musicianship cardsHearing color, taste and aroma, bow drama, the circle game of chamber music, studying a score, legendary violinist

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Play, fun, flow

Something to look forward to. Play stimulates creativity, reduces stress, increases a sense of well-being, and provides social engagement. Step away from reality and enter into the world of your imagination. Play is another way to experience “flow.” I find that focusing on creative projects and not spending a lot

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Sing for your life and music

Prana is the energy of life force. In yoga, asana breathing generates prana. The energy of prana is life sustaining. It is the breath of life. It is your first and last action. In shamanism we learn that breath is your greatest gift. Breathe into trouble spots. Unlike playing a

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