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Just wanted to check in here. I've finished my pieces preparation and start next week with my new group. That was so much work! But everything I learned maps into many areas- shifting etc. Today, I focused on my left arm- not my left hand- but my arm. I have a stationary left arm, and worked on building in some looseness, so that when playing on the E and A strings, it hangs loosely and allows for movement, so that the hand doesn't scrunch. That is literally all I had time to work on today. I am not able to play any Wohlfahrt unless I have that looseness built in- Wohlfahrt simply does not allow any tension in the left hand or arm. So I was working on Wohlfahrt and came to a halt with this tension problem, and worked on it. After much time filming and study, going over the videos here, and remembering what my most recent teacher had told me, it clicked for me. Then I finally experienced what the feeling of looseness is like. Once I experience it, then I know I can integrate it. Lastly, I just printed out Beth's vibrato integration exercises. It's time I add this to my daily routine. These exercises are the best! I have done these before many, many months ago, but then I got really ambitious and went to Twinkle variations for vibrato, and got into real trouble! That is a real workout! Too hard to tackle before these exercises have been done a long time. So back to these exercises, and take my time with them. For these exercises, a looseness in the base of the thumb will be key. Thanks, Beth for that information!

What are you working on this season?
3 Responses
Posted: October 11, 2017
Last Comment: October 12, 2017

Barb Wimmer
Posted: October 12, 2017
Sounds great working on looseness Dianne and vibrato is so much better when relaxed. I think I will get back into practicing vibrato too. I try to play something easy, then always have a goal of a hard song. And I am mostly working on figuring out each song I play now is not a song to just listen to and play by ear, but now I am taking each song that I really want to perfect and learning absolutely everything I can about that song-rhythm, each line, figuring out how many measures it has, what time signature it is in and playing it in notes not numbers.

Posted: October 11, 2017
Hi Sonia, That is an amazing collection of pieces and exercises you are preparing. I wish you the very best of luck on your exam!

Sonia Lancaster
Posted: October 11, 2017
Hi Diane,
37 years after I took my last violin exam, I've decided to put myself through all the work of doing another one. I'm not sure whether I'll live to regret it as I hate exams. I last did grade 5 in the UK (ABRSM). I didn't go any further as I needed grade 5 theory which I didn't have. Roll the clock  forwards in time and to the other side of the planet in Australia. I have now done the theory I need for grade 6 (AMEB). I have to prepare 6 pieces and have decided on Kreutzer no 10, Massenet's Meditation, Handel's Sonata in F major (3rd and 4th movements), Monte's Czardas, Tchaikovsky's Canzonetta and John Williams Rembrances. I also have scales and technical work to prepare, plus aural, sightreading and general knowledge. The hardest scales I think are the double stopped scales. Anyway, even if I don't pass it's certainly made me practice, focussed my mind and improved my playing.