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Barbara Habel
This discussion includes members-only video content

We are not alone !!!!

This young lady can express her emotions so well.

And goes through the same insecurities we do.

That did surprise me. I always thought that our insecurities stem from the "difficult" instrument - but not so :-)
Barbara Habel
10 Responses
Posted: January 9, 2020
Last Comment: January 13, 2020

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 13, 2020
Dear Timothy

I am sorry to hear about your tinnitus. Glad you spoke to that person. Must be a weight off your shoulders since it did bother you a lot. You did well to face your demons. And am glad you can still make music despite of your tinnitus.

Timothy Smith
Posted: January 12, 2020
Thank you Barbara for your comments. Much appreciated!

Especially helpful things I didn't know about those who wear hearing aids. All of us loose some of that ability as we get older. I do not have really good hearing either. I live with constant tinnitus in the 9K frequency ranges. Luckily it doesn't affect my hearing in most musical frequencies since 9000 hz is pretty high above most music. It is annoying though for sure.It gets worse when I'm more tired.

I spoke to the person today and they were excited about using Intonia!!! I think this will really help them to get a better grasp of their playing.

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 11, 2020
Dear Timothy

And why not give that person "training" time in the ensemble but just "not performing" time. - Since this person does not seem to have a music teacher who would do all this.

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 11, 2020
Dear Timothy

Do not feel bad about the comment with the hearing aid. It is a limitation I am aware of especially through my sister who has excellent musical hearing and does not like high pitched tones such as a violin does give off. The day my sister praises my playing I will know I have achieved something :-) This is something I am striving for.

I feel for you. You want to be kind and understanding yet are in a position of power / responsibility with others breathing down your neck.

I have an excellent hearing aid with different programmes to choose from for different hearing situations. One of it is for music. Which means the full spectrum of "noise" in comparision to 2 other programmes for "normal" situations and for "difficult" situations with lots of background noises.

If I was to use the "difficult" situations hearing aid programme in a musical setting - I would not get the full spectrum of sound and therefore could not make "judgements" about what I would not hear.

This is what you need to make that person aware off. That there is something beyond what they can "discern". That is really the problem.

Surely you do not want complaints by the others. As this would then sooner or later reach that person also - it is more humane to say something before it can come to it.

You may confuse "honesty" with "cruelty" and that compromises you as a leader.

I do not doubt your musical ability since you can compose such beautiful melodical music. You surely understand about music and obviously have good hearing.

You are in a difficult situation where you can not please all persons. You got to die one death or another - you can choose.

Loose faith with the well hearing people and "hurt" the person with the hearing aid   "or"   praise the person for his / her achievements to make him / her feel better. But once the others start talking to that person he / she will find out that you lied to him / her and thus you will loose face in the eyes of that person.   -   Honesty wins !!!!   (God had intended the 10 commandments as an aid and not to be cumbersome)

Timothy Smith
Posted: January 11, 2020
Barbara, I feel bad that I implied all people wearing hearing aids might have more trouble.
In this case I believe that it was a major factor because they admitted to me that the hearing aids were not working well and needed to be replaced.
Thank you for the suggestions to use Intonia for this. I had not thought about suggesting that. The person I am talking about isn't very technology literate.........and I'm feeling guilty even mentioning this , even though I didn't bring up names. My main intent was to see how you might deal with the situation if you were in the same circumstance.
On one hand you have someone who is willing to play and wants to share it with others. On the other hand they just really need about another year to grow as a player....so it's a tough call and I'm not very good at dealing with that sort of thing. For one thing I don't feel it's my "job" to be doing it since I'm not a wonderful player myself, yet as the music leader I guess it really IS my job.
I tend to let the spirit and intent of the thing be more important than the actual quality of playing unless it's really bad. When that happens I get the complaints behind the scenes.

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 11, 2020
Dear Timothy

Yes I am one of those people with hearing aid too :-) :-) No offense taken :-) :-)

I love the objective corrective tool of    Intonia.com     For the US $ 25 or so it is excellent value.

Does your friend know about     Intonia.com ?

And yes do keep the tape when recording them again and give it to them to take home.

Technology does not lie and is not a person that means harm and the person realises that - so we tend to be more able to take critique from technology.

And the person can watch it quietly in the comfort of their home and come to terms with it without loosing face in front of others. And can take all the time it takes to accept the reality. And this will not happen immediately - so I think.

You seem to be a very thoughtful and considerate person. You will manage the situation well I am sure of !!!!

Timothy Smith
Posted: January 11, 2020
Thank you Bardara for your advice.  We actually did tape the individual and the video was so bad we decided not to keep it. In hindsight, maybe keeping it would have been the most helpful. If they play again I will keep the video and show them.
I don't mean to confuse this with the types of videos we see here on VL where people are learning and we expect mistakes to happen....this is the purpose of VL to pin down the things we need to correct. This was much worse. The person wears hearing aids and doesn't appear to have the ability to tell when things are WAY off.

Barbara Habel
Posted: January 10, 2020
Dear Elke

I just watched the switched instrument video. It goes to show that we are always wanting to run ahead and the teacher wants us to slow down..... They are very tender with each other

Dear Timothy

The best impartial advice is to tell your friend to video themselves and watch it for the first time a week later when they canīt remember their playing and thus hear it like it was for the first time. Recordings are very honest. And even then - our hearing can play trickery on us. - It takes a while to develop musical hearing on the violin......

You did your best....... and when talking with someone even the best wishes can be a desater....... And what you think to be a desater can be a blessing. One never knows.......

Timothy Smith
Posted: January 10, 2020
Thank you for sharing this Barbara. I think flute is a pretty difficult instrument to play too :)  Maybe not quite as hard as violin?

I think it is better to have an under rating of one's abilities and play better than you think than to have too high an opinion of one's abilities. I believe in most cases musicians are in that first category or they are realistic about it. I'm realistically still learning the basic stuff :). I try to project confidence when I play out even when I don't exactly have it. In many cases people who wait until they are "good enough" to play will never play. You just have to get out there. I see that you do this successfully:)

I had a recent instance where a person played and asked me for advice. I painted a much better picture than the reality of it. This was no one on violin Lab... I just didn't have the heart to tell them that they were not playing well enough to go out in public in my opinion. I did attempt to suggest they pull a note up here and there playing along with them on piano to see if we could get in tune. I knew this person was determined to play in public. The performance was no better and I felt my suggestions didn't help at all. I feel I probably did them no favors in not being more firm in my opinions.

 In this case the person didn't know how they really sounded. Should I have been more firm? Or allow them some joy to play and feel confident enough to do it? In those types of situations I feel caught between a rock and a hard place. How does one approach this in a way that allows me to still have a friend after it's all over?
In most cases I notice, especially on Violin Lab, that players practice hard and are probably more critical of themselves than anyone else is of them. You must practice hard to improve on the violin. I think we all recognize the struggles most adults go through to take small steps in playing, myself included. What someone on the outside thinks was easily done took months of practice.

Elke Meier
Posted: January 10, 2020
Have you seen her Youtube video when she switches instruments with her violinist boyfriend? They wanted to find out how long it would take for them to play a duet on the other's instrument. It is hilarious :)