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Timothy Smith
Well, someone asked me to keep them updated. Maybe some of what I type will help someone else at some point.

I met with the teacher. We went over what I've been working on. I was shown what I need to do with respect to my bow and violin hold. I knew this was coming...I've been absorbed into the Borg...err Suzuki collective. I trust the teachers professional opinion on that.

Inevitably I think I already knew where it was all headed. I know many of you here have said the same thing, I need to slow down. That's what she said too. She has me beginning with some slower pieces so I can refine my technique. In some ways I feel like a whipped pony. I need to forget about the eagles and ride the turtles for awhile. If it helps I'm all reluctantly for it. Not an easy message for me to swallow. Luckily we are also working on some faster material too but playing it slower. Some violins sound great playing slow material. Mine sounds like a walrus in  heat.









Timothy Smith
8 Responses
Posted: September 6, 2019
Last Comment: September 9, 2019
Replies

Timothy Smith
Posted: September 9, 2019
Dianne, you reflected my sentiments exactly. I was crushed. Sharlene I'm glad I made you laugh. My violin now sounds a little better pulling those longer tones. More like a sedate romantic walrus. My intonation is beginning to improve. I really hate to say it, but my last teacher wasn't really training me "by the book" I think she seen me as only a fiddler, so she wasn't refining what I needed to be doing. I have seen this after only one lesson with this teacher.
I'm so fired up!!! I look forward to going to the next lesson, even though I know she is probably going to be knocking me down a few pegs again. I really think I've stumbled on one of the very best! I can't believe she is taking me on as a student. I'm sort of in shock/awe right now. 
Someone asked me if I liked my new teacher, if she was a "match". I don't have much of a reference point to anyone else. She is highly competent and I believe I can learn a lot from her.
I haven't read much about Suzuki. I'm guessing he has or had a very "earthy" simple approach. That's sort of the vibe I'm getting. Don't be complicated, be simple in your approach. Forget about the non essentials that you thought mattered. The only thing that matters is the now and what you're doing to refine each small step. She didn't say that, but it's the feel I'm getting from her approach.

Sharlene R.
Posted: September 9, 2019
Hi Timothy,
You made me laugh, "Mine sounds like a walrus in heat."  I always say, "Mine sounds like a dying moose," so I'm not sure which is worse.  Either way, hang in there, apparently, this journey is a life-long one.

Dianne
Posted: September 8, 2019
I was remembering today about your new teacher and I thought of when I went to see mine a while back. I was asked to play something at my first lesson so teacher could calculate where I was. I remember I courageously played 'Girl With The Flaxen Hair'. I hadn't gotten past just a few bars when teacher stopped me and said,. "We've got to work on your tone." Teacher then proceeded to hand me a Grade Level 2 Repertoire book and said "Lets start on some of these". I was crushed. It took me a few weeks to get over myself. And then I was glad for the new journey to learn how to really play the violin to the level I had always dreamed of.

Timothy Smith
Posted: September 8, 2019
Thanks Lesley for your comments. It sounds as if you're there too. I believe I feel held back because I can play a fair amount of material faster. Going back to SLOW for me will be a challenge.
Humility, yes....I need that sometimes. The funny thing about humility is if we say we have it, that's proof we don't. I have these great ups and downs, comes along with my personality type. I can get so low and then slowly pull out of it. When I get low it's really bad. Like a shadow is over me I can't escape..It's really a balance and I ask myself questions like why do this? When will I ever improve? How much confidence should I have without being overly confident?
The violin has really been a tool for me to look deeper inside of myself. I'm willing to do whatever it takes. 


Lesley
Posted: September 6, 2019
You are really making me laugh!! Trust your teacher: just do what she says, don't fight it, and you'll progress faster than you think.

Violin is a very unforgiving instrument: it's perfect or nothing. The "slow" part is about drumming the required precision into the (ever-rebellious, know-it-all, impatient) brain. Basically, it's about being humble! ;) You're giving yourself the chance to get all those finicky details exactly right, all at the same time: intonation, elbow, bow grip, pressure, speed, string crossings... If you're already proficient on other instruments (which I'm not but you seem to be), then I imagine going back to zero must be very frustrating. But record yourself now and in six months' time and I bet you'll be surprised.

Timothy Smith
Posted: September 6, 2019
I know you are both very right of course. I'm going through a bummed period. I'll pull out of it. My get up and go got up and went. I'm not really looking at it realistically right now. It feels like one step forward, two steps back, Like I'll never get there. I'll see you in 2025 playing my debut Mary Had A Little Lamb. At least, that's how it feels.


Lesley
Posted: September 6, 2019
LOL! Riding with the turtles. Welcome to the club! Don't feel bad. It's not so painful when you get used to it -- actually kind of gratifying. You just need to adjust your headset. It also means that when you do finally soar, you're going to go real far... :)

Dianne
Posted: September 6, 2019
New teachers always seem to bring a student way back to the beginning, and if you can get through that with enthusiasm, it will make a huge difference in your playing, almost immediately. You will sound better than you ever dreamed possible. What an exciting time for you. Yes, please keep us posted!