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Anne aMaudPowellFan
My ABRSM Grade 8 result

The results are in. I got a "merit", 126 points of 150, merit range being 120 to 129 points. To tell the truth, I am a bit disappointed, particularly with the Bach Gavotte en Rondeau. They write:

The performance had a satisfying tempo and buoyancy, though more tonal shaping and dynamic contrast would have been welcome. A good overall level of accuracy - occasional slips in focus. (24 of 30 points, at 80% that is barely at the merit level.)

Need to get feedback from my teacher about what "tonal shaping" and "slips in focus" might mean and what I can do about it.

Rachmaninoff Danses Tziganes got the highest grade, and next in line was the aural test, both at distinction level. They gave me a bummer for sight reading. Fast tempo, five flats, B flat minor, with a modulation to I don't know where in third to fifth position on the E string.

I am glad that I did the exam, because I made good progress on my pieces with a deadline looming, I improved my technique with practicing scales and arpeggios and also shifting, and I even enjoyed the ear training. I feel that they were penalizing technical slips rather heavily. I am a bit disheartened because apparently I saw more positive things in my playing than they did. Have vowed to do more consistent scale practicing.

20 Responses
Posted: December 11, 2011

Sean
Hello Beth, everyone, I seek advice. For two subjects actually:

1. I'm looking into a mute; I've done some research and decided I would like a mute to practice with, so my family does not have to hear me and complain, but is there any certain ones you suggest? Any certain brands, materials, styles? And if it mutes good, does it affect the quality sound? (not volume-wise - that's obvious. does it affect the sound of the notes, or the tone of the instrument, etc.)
It is basically for practising, so any suggestions for mutes would be greatly appreciated.

P.S. - what is the difference between this kind of mute and an orchestral mute? what does each do?

2. Do you guys ever feel like it ISN'T your bow hand that is playing your violin? it seems often like it's my 'left hand' that gets all of the attention. i know it shouldnt, but i often forget to give my bow hand more attention. but it sometimes feels like i dont have to: it's playing straight and crossing strings properly so seems all good... or is it? Does anybody else know what i mean? whenever i air violin my bow hand gets no attention hahah.

thanks for the help.

Sean

9 Responses
Posted: December 14, 2011

Joanna Vander Meer
I have two questions for you Beth:
1. In the movies on vibrato, you said you use a mix of arm and wrist vibrato...what do you mean by that?  Do you use arm vibrato on some fingers, like the first finger, because it is difficult to do wrist vibrato?  Or is the whole movement a mix of arm and wrist?
2. I am working on having efficient string crossings.  But when I use my fingers, wrist and shoulder to change back and forth between strings quickly, I have noticed that my lower arm makes a circular motion...is that ok, or am I doing it wrong?


1 Responses
Posted: December 14, 2011

jack
Hi Beth!  Hello everyone! ;-)

I'm sure this has already been asked, but with technology changing so rapidly I was wondering if there is an affordable video camera out there with external microphone input that you can recommend?

I'm seriously thinking about purchasing one so that I can record myself while playing the violin to see how I am doing.  With so many good sales going around this time of the year I'm thinking that this may be a good time to find that little gem out there that might have my name on it.  ;-p

Any input from those of you who have a video camera will be greatly appreciated.

Cheers!



3 Responses
Posted: December 9, 2011

Caroline
I can't fathom the depth of my progress yet, but in less than one year it's quite promising. So, here's a summertime request, if not too demanding: Would it be possible to add "Air on a G string" by JS Bach to the intermediate/adanced repertoire online? Each time I watch a video by Beth, I get the moves. It's like being able to do the same at the other end of the screen. Such an impressive teaching... I take weekly lessons in France & The Netherlands, but Violinlab is what makes it all click together. Air on a G string, here, that would make my day. + Thank you all for reading this!

8 Responses
Posted: July 18, 2011

KarenJ
Greensleeves (What Child is This): fingerings in measures 26 and 30, you have shifted into third position to play c with (low)third finger?

VIEW VIDEO

5 Responses
Posted: November 10, 2011

Eileen

Just wanted to share about an event that I was part of....and will be again for two more performances tomorrow.  The choir at my church performed a cantata at the local mall this afternoon.  I think it went very well and folks there really seemed to enjoy it.   I played along with 5 of the songs and I spent a lot of time worrying about how I'd get all those down in the 2 weeks I had to learn them.  I do that every time....and for all that worrying I do, I always end up doing a fair job and having a great time.  You'd think I'd learn by now just to relax and enjoy.  The bow only wobbled a little, couple of times, from nerves....and didn't jump completely off the strings quite so much as in past events.  This is actually the first time that we performed in a public place, usually they're held at our church.

I wish I could get a video to post....maybe I could get my son to take one tomorrow...just a clip of one of the songs...we'll see.



7 Responses
Posted: December 10, 2011

dennis g
Working on vibrato and being patient. My question is does the inside of the hand have space between it and the violin or is it just brushing lightly. I am trying to keep air between the neck and my hand and pay attention to the openness of the vibration and i think i just started to hear a rich more open sound. It is hard not to tense the neck and my thumb. I can hold the violin easily with just the shoulder pad but i feel like I am not supporting the violin quite right. I guess this is normal on the way to perfecting the vibrato. Yes?  Dennis

2 Responses
Posted: December 12, 2011

tomi
Hi Beth!

I tried to bump up an old thread, which I found using search....but it doesn't seem to appear on the first page.

Shouldn't a thread be "bumped up" when someone replies there, no matter how old it is?

0 Responses
Posted: December 13, 2011

Linda
Dear Beth and All. Is there some way on this site or some way to get off site that we can continue a conversion with someone privately? What I mean is, maybe if the conversation has gone off on a tangent and all of a sudden you are talking about your family cat, for example, which is no longer topic related, could you say to that person "I would like to continue talking about the family cat offsite so go to the Current Members page and find my contact details at the end of my profile blurb" (something like that). So at the end of your profile you may have an email address or a Facebook link or a website, or ??? - whatever members feel comfortable with. Addresses and links within the Current Members page are at least not available to the whole world, only to Violin Lab members. You may just want to contact a particular person on VL privately for some reason, or exchange contact details so that you can continue as fellow violin buddies, say for example, when you leave Violin Lab. For these reasons, and more, it would be nice to have the option of chatting privately. But how? Some chat rooms, I have been told, have options of public or private chatting. This would be the best scenario but this website software may not be able to do this.  

This is all just an idea and I am not very savvy with Facebook at this stage so not sure how a Facebook link would work? This would also have to be something that Beth agrees with as it is her site. What do you all think? Any thoughts, ideas or is this a dumb idea? What would be a simple solution? And be gentle with me - this is just an idea not something that has to be done! Cheers.

12 Responses
Posted: December 11, 2011

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