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Vicky
What general guidelines do folks use for how "well" we should be playing the tunes in the Suzuki books (1 + 2) before we give ourselves permission move on to a new tune?  

I tend to be a bit on the obsessive side, wanting a tune to sound quite good before allowing myself to move on to the next lesson - and I never seem to move very far along  in the books.  Should I be telling myself I need to be able to play along with the "Official Suzuki CD's" before giving myself permission to move along, or is playing at 75% speed or some other speed acceptable?  Currently, I'm using the ability to play along with CD as my goal (and falling short......).

I'm currently working in Book 2.

Thank you!

Vicky
Vicky
16 Responses
Posted: March 22, 2012
Last Comment: March 27, 2012
Replies

Eileen
Posted: March 27, 2012
x-D

Vicky
Posted: March 27, 2012
Yeah, Eileen, probably the "wooblip" acronym would be appropriate - due to age factors, our "prodigy-ism" would last for only a  blip !   (-:  



Vicky

Eileen
Posted: March 26, 2012
I'm definitely a "Wanna Be Later In Life Prodigy"  !

WBLILP......wooblip ?  <:-\

Vicky
Posted: March 26, 2012
Hi folks,

I had a Scottish Fiddle Club meeting over the weekend, I posed the question to the advanced group (I only listen to them, no illusions I can play with them) and here is a suggestion offered there:  Keep moving forward in the Suzuki Books using the criteria Beth suggested,  , but use the tunes from Suzuki Book 1 to begin focusing on "getting up to speed".    I already have Book 1 tunes memorized (we do a lot of learning by ear and memorizing our tunes at Fiddle Club), so it is easier to focus on playing vs. reading music.

Personally, I really like using the Suzuki repertoire - I like the musical choices and I like having very good quality CD's to listen to.  I do supplement it, however; Beth offers lots of exercises in her videos and the Scottish music we play provides lots of diversity. 

When I get bummed that my progress is slower than I'd like, I need to keep reminding myself, I will get there when I get there, this isn't a race....but if anyone does find the proverbial shortcut to becoming a Later In Life Prodigy, please share the secret!?!

Thank you for your discussion and ideas.

Vicky

Jennifer Nankey
Posted: March 24, 2012
I agree..yes, it would definitely be good to at least learn Suzuki book 1.  It is a lot more technical than fiddle playing for the most part.  Good point!

Eileen
Posted: March 24, 2012
True Jenn,  but I think classical is a good style to begin in because you learn so much technique.   I know Lora Staples, who teaches an online fiddle class...tells her students to get through suzuki 1 book before they join her fiddle class. 

I started on the violin playing fiddle music...and since I've switched over to classical I have learned LOTS more than I ever did playing fiddle.   If you can learn much of the technique taught through the suzuki....or any other classical method series.....you can then branch out into other genres of music, whatever style suits you.   I think classical is better at teaching you "HOW" to play...form, posture, technique, etc......but that's just my take on it.  ;-) 

Jennifer Nankey
Posted: March 24, 2012
I know Suzuki is a very popular and pretty standard violin learning method but, especially for adults, there are so many simple and progressive pieces on violin sites all over the Internet.  Do not feel like you HAVE to use the Suzuki method and books, even though they are great.  If the particular pieces and style of music do not INTEREST you, for example, there are always other options.  If bluegrass or fiddle music interests you, then find some beginners fiddle violin books or websites. Just an example of an alternative.  Adult violin beginners should learn to play and enjoy the style of music that interests them, and that may or may not include classical music.   Just my two cents.

Eileen
Posted: March 24, 2012
I guess Suzanne, when you get to a place where you seem to be....where you feel frustrated and discouraged with what you're working on.....that would be the time to set that aside and move on to something else. (perhaps even before you get to that point !)   Maybe something that works on a completely different technique...something fresh and new.

I have found great encouragement in those times when I pulled out something I had put aside...for those reasons you mentioned...and gave them another go.   I'm usually surprised at how much I had progressed, even though I didn't think I had.  :-)

richard barwell
Posted: March 24, 2012
Hi Suzanne,

I got stuck in the same way before finding a teacher, and this site. Beth is usually very keen to see videos posted by 'stuck' people, maybe she could help you with specific points that you get stuck on?

I tend to practice less when I know there's a problem I can't solve. THe cycle of motivation and achievement gets broken, I don't use the time I have available even though it is available. Another problem I had was that I couldn't sight read art all; now I can, to someextent; enough to learn more tunes. I'm guessing you're well beyond that particular problem.

Good luck!


Sue D.
Posted: March 24, 2012

This is an interesting post, as I too feel as though I am not progressing and since I don't have a teacher to push me and move me ahead I am stuck in a rut I can't get out of.  I just keep playing the same things over and over and seem to be going nowhere.  I go backwards but never forward.  When I did go to a teacher, years ago, at least she kept me going forward.  Her prices have gone up and I find myself unable to afford them now that I have come back to the violin, so I am just using my books and violin lab. I guess I just don't have the discipline it takes to teach myself.  Also the discipline to make sure I practice every day.  There always seems to be something else I have to do. 

Vicky
Posted: March 24, 2012
Thank you, Beth.

 I like your perspective re: "what is this piece doing for me"?

I know I will continue trying to make any piece sound good, it is very satisfying to hear improvements in my playing, it's just hard to know how to get there. 

This is like doing an independent study class in college.   I need to find a balance between obsessively over-working one piece too long and learning to let it go "just for now", knowing I can come back to it later. 

Thank you, your comments are so helpful.

Vicky

Beth Blackerby
Posted: March 23, 2012
Hi Vicky, this is a tough one. As adults with none standing over us like a 3rd grade penmanship teacher, it's hard to know when it's time to move on. At what point do we say it's "good enough". I used to feel bad about abandoning a piece before it was at performance level, but now I don't worry much about it. The question to ask, is not "what did I do for this piece" but "what did this piece do for me"? Generally speaking I do feel that the harder and longer we work on something, the better we will get at playing those techniques, but one can certainly improve by moving on to a new piece before something is completely polished.  But what I mostly believe, is as long as you are enjoying your hobby, you're learning and improving. For some it may be woodshedding the same piece month after month, for someone else it's diving into a new piece excited about the discovery of new techniques.

Vicky
Posted: March 23, 2012
Jenn, Dick, and Richard - Thank you for sharing your thoughts!

The "boredom factor" may end up being a good guide for me, too.  Although the minute I type that statement I start feeling a bit stressed - maybe I'm having a flashback to 3rd grade penmanship class (boy, was that boring), where my teacher would constantly send me back to my seat to do it over, and over, and over....  !!  lol

I need to lighten up  and remember this is a hobby that is supposed to be relaxing and fun, setting the tune aside "for now" isn't the same as giving up.  

Thank you for your ideas. 

Vicky

richard barwell
Posted: March 23, 2012
I'm working through Suzuki Book 1 with an excellent teacher. I keep meaning to revisit some of the earlier songs, but I'm a bit bored of them... The teacher keeps the pace, and so I've gone from 'Twinkle' to Bach in a much shorter time than I thought I would. I think this has worked because I don't get stuck too far into any one piece.

My attention wanders too easily if I've played a piece too much; the newest piece is always easier to make progress with than something you're bored with.That's been my experience so far!

R


Dick Stanley
Posted: March 23, 2012
At our age there doesn't seem to be much point in playing something until you get bored with it. Maybe that's why so many kids quit. I usually skip around. It keeps my interest. I have been going back to the stuff in the S-1 book, where I usually play the scales. 

Jenn A
Posted: March 23, 2012
Just giving you a bump :)

I practice it until I feel generally satisfied or bored with the piece and move on!  That is probably NOT the best way- but with no teacher giving orders I tend to hop around too much. 

My daughter's instructor has her learn it until it is memorized, with correct intonation and bowing. It takes a long time for her to progress to the next piece. So here we have polar opposites under the same roof!