Posted: February 26, 2012
Thanks for all of the positive feedback.
I'll try to reply to all of the comments, forgive me if I miss any.
I agree, the first couple songs are not so great. I have to admit, I haven't really practiced the first few songs (I don't really care for "Come, Little Children," so it's been neglected and as a result I had to read it while playing for the video).
I have had five or six, half hour private lessons, once per week. I practice daily on my own, for about an hour (more on the weekends).
Right now, I'm planning to not go any further into Suzuki vol. 1 for at least a week, but work on what I have covered so far. I am however also working on some of the first songs in "Fiddle Works vol.1". I find the Fiddle Works a bit more challenging.
I will be returning to revisit the videos everyone has suggested. Making these videos to record my progress is a very good tool for my own progress, because it allows me to see for myself what I'm doing. I never realized that my bow arm was moving so much, although I think that I can feel in my wrist when I'm bowing properly. I do also need to work at making longer bows, towards the frog. There is a song in Fiddle Works, called "Rubber Dolly," which has two upbows one after the other in several places throughout the song. I struggle with it because of the length of my bows.
I will also have to work on my bow hand tension. Truthfully I don't feel it, but that's not to say it doesn't exist. I'll put some attention on it.
I film my videos on a small video camera (Canon FS100) and an external microphone (Rode VideoMic) mounted with the camera to a tripod. Then edited with Windows Live MovieMaker (that came installed on my computer). I wish I had better lighting, but that will have to wait.
The only music experience I have had is learning the Trombone in grade 8, twenty+ years ago. I'm a bit afraid to actually count how many years it actually has been. :)
I'm planning to record myself monthly now to review my progress and to see a third person perspective of how I'm doing. I recommend it.
Thanks again for all of the positive feedback.
During this first two month period I was having a real problem with my A string. It sounded horrible, screechy and crackly. I wasn't sure if it was me, and as a beginner didn't want to blame the strings. It was a real pain, because as I was trying to learn a song, every time I played on the A string it would sound bad and I would hesitate or try to correct the problem. The problem wouldn't go away. I figured that perhaps the beginner violin had cheap stings. A week ago I bought new strings and replaced them all. Since then it has been easier.