Blog Archives

A musical spring cleaning

The rite of springtimeHere we are – Printemps finally here! To me, springtime means more daylight, less bulky clothing and an abundance of pastels. There are lots of new sounds – birds singing, children playing, baby animals scurrying and the sweet scent of flowers blooming. Like pairing a fine wine

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Praise for Perlman

A lovely programLast night I had the pleasure of attending a recital performed by violinist Itzhak Perlman at the The Bushnell Performing Arts Center in Hartford, CT. It was a program of  LeClair, Beethoven, Schumann, Smetana, Kreisler as well as other show pieces for the encore. Perlman played to a

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Dear new orchestra member

So thrilled you’re hereYou not only contribute your beautiful music but also inspire us with your musicianship. Many of us have been playing in this ensemble since before you were born. We marvel at your level of excitement, especially when you get to perform a masterwork for the first time. Regretful

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Return to mindfulness

I left my body!One of the primary symptoms of anxiety is a sense of having left your body. Your heart races, breathing becomes fast and shallow, palms are sweaty, you might feel like you have to go to the bathroom, rational thought seems impossible. It starts with a trigger to

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Healthy playing, healthy body, healthy music

Healthy playingHealthy playing for me means warming up before practicing, starting off with slow scales and taking frequent breaks. It also means making sure that my instrument, chin rest and shoulder rest are comfortable, my bow is rehaired on a regular basis, and my practice space is a comfortable temperature.

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Tuning into the love of music

As a child I loved the violinI wanted to play all the time. I loved the way it sounded. I loved the physical act of playing it. Then I hit my teenage years and everything changed. Suddenly “violin” became a competitive sport. I was measured against other violin players. It

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Interpretation begins with choices

Enthusiasm ignites with their personal stamp Even young violin students can experience their own interpretation in a relatively simple piece if choices are presented to them along the way. Students learn that their opinion and natural musical impulses matter. They also learn that interpretive abilities grow from learning more about

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Your musical North Star

The beat starts with your heart.It is the starting point for everything you wish to accomplish in your music. To musicians, “the beat” is felt as tempo or groove. I tell my students that as musicians, beyond playing in tune, with beautiful tone, and being able to play technically difficult

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Letter to a young violin teacher

Inspire students with your teaching practiceThe breadth and creativity of your practice acts as a mirror for your students’ growth as musicians. Share the wisdom of your life both musical and non-musical with them. Be authentic. It’s your teaching practice. It is the grand sum total of all your life

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Healing anxiety by playing music

Dynamics tell the storyA student may play a piece technically beautifully, but with no affect. After the play through, when asked about the lack of dynamic contrast, the student may say that they did play the dynamics. The teacher tells them that they didn’t hear the dynamics. This scenario presents

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