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Hi Beth, I like to 'plan' for a project with plenty of time ahead, so today I asked my teacher if I could enter for an 'Advanced Music Certificate Exam' with the Trinity College in London for next year in the Summer, then realised I will be in TEXAS! so we decided I might go for it in the Autumn/Winter 2012 instead (next year) ;) so I know this is a long way away but as I said I like to work slowly with no panic and PLENTY of time ahead, plus the pieces I will have to prepare are quite challenging and I am not quite at that level 'yet' though my teacher is confident I am very nearly there and he is said he is 100% convinced I will have no problem to sit this exam for next year. So anyway, I have to choose enough pieces from their list to play for 25 to 30 minutes, in that time I have to consider any 'pauses' I might take in between pieces (though these are unlikely to be more than 30 seconds to a minute in between pieces). Also I am allowed to play up to 10 minutes of pieces of my own free choice, although they have to 'match' the level of the pieces on their list. I have included here a link to the list of pieces I can choose to play from. I am supposed to choose a range of different pieces to bring a 'varied and balanced' recital but I am unsure what to pick. I have to say half of the pieces I am not passionate about. I tell you what I thought I might like to play, I would love your opinion on what I chose and my free choices, and also if you had any suggestions on any alternate choices I'd love to hear it :) The pieces so far that I think I might like are: Biber: solo sonata XVI Brahms: Sonata in Dminor op 108 4th movement Mozart concerto n.3 in G 1st mov then either: Sarasate Playera (free choice) or: Wieniawski Mazurka-Obertass AND Dinicu-Heifetz Hora Staccato - free choice (these 2 pieces are 2:30 each) here is the link by the way: thank you

10 Responses
Posted: June 25, 2011

You are an inspiration Jojo. Some day I may want to look into those examinations. :} Which should be interesting since I hear 3/4 of the sounds most people are able to hear. Beth, I have a question about the Sad Romance, on measures 1-6 I believe you are using third position but when I read the music score I read first position for 1-6 measures. Am I missing something?

2 Responses
Posted: June 26, 2011

Hi Beth!

I was wondering if you could make a tutorial on Trills? I see markings for trills on some songs (i.e. J.S. Bach's Marche) and I am intrigued on how to play it. I believe that I understand the alternating notes to create a trill, but how many "pulses" is one to perform? Is there a set number indicated on sheet music or it's entirely up to the player to decide?

Any insight would be greatly appreciated.   8-)

2 Responses
Posted: June 24, 2011

Hi Beth!

I have recently noticed that I sometimes tend to curl my 4th finger away from the strings. Usually when 3rd finger is doing something.

Till now this has not been a problem so I haven't even really paid attention to it, but now that I'm learning that Fiocco's, 4th really needs to be ready to play and not be curled away.
I've already googled around and this seems to be quite common problem. I also found an exercise for the problem from somewhere and I'd like to ask your opinion is this a good one, or do you have better ideas to fix the problem. The exercise goes like this:

Hold 4th finger using harmonic pressure OR just hover it above the string. Then on string below play 1st finger - open string, 2nd finger - open string, 3rd finger - open string and repeat n times. And while doing this 4th should maintain harmonic pressure or the hover. Not press harder or lift up.
What do you think?

2 Responses
Posted: May 26, 2011

Hi Beth (or anyone). I was hoping that you could help me solve my problems related to mu discomfort while holding the violin. A while back I attempted to try and learn the vibrato technique, but from what I understand, total comfort and mobility of my right arm is necessary to be able to vibrate. Here is a video of me explaining and playing briefly. Any help?
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15 Responses
Posted: May 29, 2011

I've shared this vid on my facebook page a while back and I keep finding myself going back to it just to listen. It's just a simple "Happy" tune (Lover's Waltz). I love this fella's version, and he plays it so well...I just wanted to share it here, maybe spur someone on to greater efforts as I always am when I find a particular melody I like, played well by a competent musician. Enjoy !
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5 Responses
Posted: April 28, 2011

Music Theory / Music Reading resource. (Hi all!) For those who need a base in music theory or reading I highly recommend this website: You can use the content online for free and for a small fee you can actually install the whole site locally in your computer. I hope this help... Cheers, Pedro

3 Responses
Posted: June 19, 2011

Sue D.
Do you have a video for learning how to shift from 1st position to third position? I've done some searching, but can't find it if you do. Also I think it would help to have some videos on different beats (like 6/8 time, dotted quarter notes and eighth notes). Thanks.

2 Responses
Posted: June 18, 2011

Hi Beth, after a look through the Resourcs link, I'm picking up copies of: Fingerboard Geography for Violin, Progressive Scale Studies for Violin and Shifting: Thirty Studies for Young Violinists. My question is about the DVD by Simon Fischer, it costs 40 pounds, and what is your recommendation? Have you seen it? Concidering how indepth your videos are I'm wondering if Simon would be covering the same material that we are finding with you? Cheers, Ray

19 Responses
Posted: June 14, 2011

Hi Beth, regarding the gathering in July next you have any suggestions as to some reasonable/nice hotels in the area ?

I'll be pondering some ideas for activities and workshops. For one, how about a violin/bow check-up ? Also, if we could get some music beforehand to work on so that we can play some chamber pieces perhaps ! That would be fun ! I would also VERY much like a lesson from you Beth ! That would be the highlight of the week for me !

25 Responses
Posted: June 4, 2011

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