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Meditation from Thais: Phrase 1 performance

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Posted: September 14, 2010


Controlling the Bow in High Positions

1 Responses
Posted: May 7, 2010


Lesson 25: Bow Retakes

1 Responses
Posted: January 19, 2010


Scale Study #3 (hooked bowing/re-articulations)

1 Responses
Posted: May 21, 2010


Vibrato: part 7 Adding Pitch

3 Responses
Posted: June 3, 2010


Lesson 30: Guided Practice 7: Skips,pt.2

2 Responses
Posted: January 19, 2010


Left Hand Squeezing; part 1 - Why We Do It

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Posted: May 7, 2010


Violin Hold Lesson

2 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2010

Kimber
Hi everyone! I'm new here and thought I'd submit a video of my playing. I'd love to know your thoughts. This was filmed in June, and was my first ever violin recital. I had been studying violin for less than 5 months at the time... I study with Krista Broadway Swider, one of Beth's former students! Thanks for watching, and enjoy! (Also special thanks to Rosa, the wonderful cellist who accompanied me!)
This discussion includes members-only video content


10 Responses
Posted: August 24, 2010

Anne

The other day, I discovered page markers (similar to post-it notes) at the stationary's that I find very helpful in practicing. They are slim (3 mm, barely covering the staff), a good inch long, colored, transparent and, of course, sticky, but removable. Probably you have seen them before, but these are particularly useful because of their shape.

Beth has this neat practice tip on her blog of making a photocopy of the music and marking troublesome spots that need extra attention (or even cutting them out and pasting them on a separate sheet of paper). It is quite a lot of work, though, and not very flexible if you have solved some problems and need to focus on others. So I am using those markers now directly on my sheet music. It's like marking the music with ink markers, but reversible!

Here are some practice tips that I have found useful:

  1. Limit the number of markers to three to five per page; that is, mark only the most troublesome spots.
  2. Take notice of the exact nature of the problem. One might use different colours for different types of problems, but that is presumably taking it too far. We don't want to become obsessive...
  3. When you start to practice the piece, start with the troublesome spots. Apply problem solving techniques.
  4. Based on a final run-through of a complete section, one can decide if the marker should stay on for a few more practice sessions, if it should move somewhere else or if it can be removed completely.

These markers are like a complex bookmark that records where you have left off in practice. Colourful as they are, they are hard to ignore and, hence, help to focus a practice session on the things that need to be practiced.

If I feel courageous, I'll even leave the markers in for lesson. It'll be interesting to see if my teacher and I agree on what constitutes a troublesome spot, or where he sets priorities differently.

These markers are also very helpful for analysis. I've colour-coded the different thematic snippets in a movement of Bach's "Musical Offering" in the complete score. So now we can see at a glance, which voice is leading where, or where two voices form a duett. I'd felt quite overwhelmed by the complexity of this piece, but now I have a "handle" on it.

Thought I'd share this exciting discovery. Have a good practice!


3 Responses
Posted: August 28, 2010

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