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Timothy Smith
Choosing a Teacher
As a help to the most excellent videos here by Beth I have been looking for a teacher. This one person has been in the back of my mind as a wonderful violinist who is well trained. I met her at a session and discovered that she is classically trained and plays in the local symphony. After this I didn't see her much and decided to secure a student violin major instead of pursuing this other person as a teacher, although I remembered at the time asking her if she would consider teaching an adult and she seemed a little reserved at the thought. I decided on the other person mainly for convenience, location and cost.

The violin student has graduated and moved on, leaving me with the same dilemma . After thinking it over for a few weeks I decided to reach out to her again through email. She informed me that she was moving and would try to fit me in. She made it clear that she doesn't usually teach adults and she mainly teaches Suzuki to children.

I really wanted her because
- She is versatile in classical and Irish music. Plays regularly in an Irish band.
- She is an older more experienced teacher/player than my last teacher. Looks close to my age.
- She is left handed playing right hand violin (like me)
The cons are
- She is 15 miles away one way. I already drive 60 miles per day.
- It looks like the schedule is going to be later in the evening
- She has two lessons before me. Will she be tired and dismissive?
- Apparently this is a new thing teachers do, they like to be paid in semester increments. IOW all ahead of time. The first semester will be from Sept to Mid Jan. I can almost guarantee I'll miss a few lessons due to weather. I won't risk driving there on ice. Not sure if she will credit me for a lesson.
-It's in the city. I'm mainly a country person. I'll make it work, but it isn't in my comfort zone. Carrying a violin along the street at night might be asking for trouble. Parking could be an issue.

I think I'm still willing to give it a shot even with all of those concerns. We are supposed to meet to "discuss the possibility" . She seems as if she is willing to teach me but admits that she is sort of getting a footing when it comes to teaching adults and there might be some trial and error.

8 Responses
Posted: August 27, 2019

Gregory Gillis
Meditation before bed
I have started habit of playing something relaxing before I go to sleep.

6 Responses
Posted: August 23, 2019

Emil Yusifov
Bethīs Practice Course

I am thinking of buying Bethīs Practice Course. Has anyone purchased it already? Would you write you write your review on it? Thanks.

Emil Yusifiov

6 Responses
Posted: August 25, 2019

Beginner Posture Question
I have a question for anyone who is teaching beginners. I was working with someone and they put the violin up to the shoulder and neck at the 45 degree angle, but the shoulder rest ended up almost on their chest, with their head away from the chin rest to the right, but the violin seemed to be placed properly on the shoulder. What I couldn't figure out was how they were able to get the violin in the right spot, but the shoulder rest was too far down onto the chest and the head did not come down on the instrument in the right spot, yet the violin looked right. This was very disconcerting, as I could not troubleshoot it directly. What I ended up doing was letting the student figure it out, but telling them that the left arm deep in its socket would come up to the violin fingerboard and scroll to the right place if the violin was positioned properly (for their length arms).

My question is, has anyone else run into this problem as a teacher and what approach would you use to get the shoulder rest up onto the shoulder and the head in the chin rest? They ended up getting it because I placed the shoulder rest alone on their shoulder to show them where it should be. But they figured it out, not me. What a difficult one to figure out! 

5 Responses
Posted: August 27, 2019

My Long Struggle With Fiddle Music
I've got some fiddle music to play and my reaction was 'ugh'. Not only am I not able to play the awkward bowings and fast tempos, I don't even like them very much. To the point of tears of how was I going to get these pieces ready, I tried 'the slow practice' routine.

15 Responses
Posted: August 22, 2019

Timothy Smith
Composition-Twilight Breeze
Guitar composition called  Twilight Breeze" I added pics I took to it. The guitars are all played by me  The flutes are sampled and were played on a keyboard.I do plan more violin.
This discussion includes members-only video content

8 Responses
Posted: August 21, 2019

Building stamina by playing notes on G string and sustaining sound/vibrato

Into day 5 of practice on...

Building stamina by playing notes of G string and sustaining sound/vibrato while on higher position.

Also thank you much Barbara, Dianne, Tim, Jaime for all your kind support and encouragement.

1 Responses
Posted: August 25, 2019

James Walley
Left-Hand Conditioning Exercises
A quick question (which, hopefully, won't need a video response this time!).

When doing the open-string exercises, you proceed up to the point where you're playing E-flat with the "low 4th" finger.

When doing the "low 1st" exercises, you proceed to E-natural (the "regular" 4th finger).

For all other exercises, you proceed to the note which is alternately given as F-natural/E-sharp (the "high 4th" finger).

Is this correct?  Since the PDF has no actual finger markings (and other oddities, such as the alternation between F-natural/E-sharp and B-natural/C-flat), it can get a bit confusing to newcomers.

4 Responses
Posted: July 31, 2019

Gregory Gillis
Older guy trying to regain his mojo
Help with pizzicato, better tone when playing in high positions, over tones?, etc
Hello Beth. 

I joined your violin lab with the hope I can reinvent my violin playing to my younger skill level. I studied many years then injured myself. I stopped playing for many years. I am not able to stand & play. Post polio issues led to pain etc. Recently I began teaching a 67 year old friend, beginner. You have been great help in my teaching her. 

Iím 65 years young. Now I need to improve. I am refocusing on bowing. I also need help with left hand pizzicato. I found no lessons on left hand videos. Can you help me? Below are clips of what Iím working on now. Let me know if I need to tell you more.  

Gregory Gillis, retired with time

8 Responses
Posted: August 21, 2019

Sonia Lancaster
Grave by Benda
Iím loving working on the new piece, Grave by Benda. It has its tricky points with bowing, rhythm and dynamics.

9 Responses
Posted: July 28, 2019

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