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jojo
Just wanting to say 'Hi' My name is Jo, I am 40yr old single mother and a Midwife, I live in the UK near London. I started learning violin 3 and a half years ago, having not touched an instrument in my life and coming from a family where NOBODY does music. My inspiration was going to see an orchestra for the first time in my life at the age of 35, they were playing 'movie music' when the soloist did the Theme from Schindler's List that DID IT for me! I knew this piece of music already but hearing it live twiggled something inside me. From that night my desire to want to learn to play the violin and be able to play that piece of music grew and grew. Now I've been learning since January 2007 I have learnt so much I now have a million more pieces I'd love to play one day, I even have great ambitions like playing Paganini's caprices and the Carmen from Sarasate etc...(Love Sarasate). I had a teacher for the first 2 and a half years who did not teach me ANY technique or proper intonation but I started with an excellent teacher just a year ago and I am making good progress with him. I still like to hear many different people's views and approached that's why I joined this site, to 'complement' what I do with my teacher and learn everywhere else. If anyone knows the ABRSM syllabus, I have taken my grade 5 2 months ago and I have now learnt to play Meditation from Thais and the air on G string by Bach/Willemji transcription (all on g string). I have only started on vibrato 3 months ago and I really need to practice on this especially on G string in the higher positions (5th position and higher). The next piece I might learn with my teacher is the 'Schindler's List' theme :) :) :) I am happy I have joined this site, Beth seems to be a really kind altruistic person devoted to help as much as she can, thank you :) Jo
jojo
12 Responses
Posted: June 13, 2010
Last Comment: August 12, 2010
Replies

Anne
Posted: August 12, 2010
Speaking of violin dreams: I want to do the third movement of the Mendelssohn concerto and the Saint Saens Introduction & Rondo Caprice one day. I have also decided on my program for the ABRSM fellowship exam: Bach Partita E Preludio and Loure, Mendelssohn Concerto e Movements 1 and 2, Ysaye Solo Sonata No 5. I have studied all those once and am looking forward to polishing them one or more times before the exam. Is there a thing of being too serious about music? If yes, I am guilty...

jojo
Posted: August 11, 2010
Hi Anne! yes, I always get 'too serious' when I am doing something, the violin too....I want to obtain a fellowship one day and I know it's a 'high call' as you have to be able to play like a 'real concert hall soloist' but anyone who knows me and my 'stubborn head' will know I have the determination to do it and hopefully the physical ability too.... I am now also like you getting ready for grade 8 but am not in the stage to have picked any pieces yet, the new violin syllabus will come out next year in July 2011, I was going to try for grade 8 in spring 2011 like you but will wait until July, if the new syllabus has pieces I love a lot more then I will wait for spring 2012 (when the new syllabus will come into force) to take grade 8, if the new syllabus does not have anything I am 'crazy about' then I will take grade 8 in the fall (autumn for us 'english' LOL) of 2011. Funny enough, you can do the diplomas with Trinity Guildhall and you don't need grade 8 for them, you can go straight for a licentiate with no grade 8 and no theory either. The repertoire list is MUCH MORE attractive and they even give you the option to choose anything you like even if not on the list so long that 'technically' they pieces are appropriate for that level (they have to approve them before hand). So I will do my licentiate and fellowship with Trinity Guildhall. So after all I don't need grade 8 nor the theory, BUT I have started violin learning 3.5 years ago with the goal in my head to do: grade 1, 5 and 8 then fellowship and now I still 'want' to do grade 8 so I will :) after that licentiate and fellowship. Besides, I really want to learn to play the Carmen Fantasy, The Bruch concerto and Paganini caprice 24 ;) (all on the fellowship list). Oh, I am also taking theory grade 5 this fall :) on 3rd of November!!!

Anne
Posted: August 10, 2010

Hi Jo, it is so exciting for me to get to know other adult amateurs who are serious about learning and playing the violin. You are the first adult I meet who is doing ABRSM exams.

What I appreciate about ABRSM is that they go by level of competence, not by age. I learnt about them earlier this year and have been studying for Grade 8 since then. My program is going to be Bach Gavotte en Rondeau, Wieniawsky L?©gende and Rachmaninoff Danses Tziganes. I am planning on spring 2011 (have to take Grade 5 Theory first, in fall 2010). Like you, I am also interested in doing the diplomas, but Grade 8 seems to be a pre-requisite, so one step after the other.

Congratulations on your Grade 5. That is amazing after 3.5 years of lessons. Are you learning the Monti Czardas for your Grade 8?

I've been privileged to receive violin lessons as a highschool student. I took up lessons again 5.5 years ago, exactly thirty years after my last lesson as a student. (In case someone is doing the arithmetic, that adds up to me being 54 years old.)

Up to now I've been feeling pretty isolated in my pursuits. The Web and people like you, Beth, are changing the world...


jojo
Posted: June 14, 2010
hey thank you Jack! so you're a 'violin baby' only just started, how sweet :) it will be nice to see you growing and looking forward to it! as for Paganini if you are patient enough to wait another 17years or so then I'll play it for you then ;) thanks for the welcome :)

jack
Posted: June 14, 2010
Hi Jo!

Welcome to ViolinLab. Great to hear about your progress and enthusiasm regarding the violin. You as well as EMG and many others are an inspiration to us beginners. I'm at level -1 (lol), perhaps level 0.5 if there is such a thing. I just started about 3-4 months ago and I am having a great time. Paganini is also a dream of mine, so you need to share your experience once you get there.

Welcome again and it is always nice to find passionate people about learning the violin.


jojo
Posted: June 14, 2010
I can sympathise with your position (not knowing anyone who plays violin), I am in the 'same boat'. Although I am in 2 community orchestras I don't talk to anyone there, we are just too busy playing!! so the only people I talk to about violin are people like you, 'virtual friends' in this wonderful space called internet :) but I doubt your family 'really' wants you to stop ;) I am sure they can see how much this is giving you and how much you must have progressed since you started, surely they enjoy your playing now? so we can be 'pitiful' together ;) LOL

Eileen
Posted: June 14, 2010
lol....I guess it's just for my own information. To know where I am compared to others. I don't run into other violinist hardly at all. I'd love to play some chamber music but no opportunities there either. Timewise I'm limited.....and homewise too. Not much encouragement there and the household would just as well like it if I stopped all together....eh....(poor poor pitiful me...lol). I'll have to check out that site and see what they have. Thanks Jo !

jojo
Posted: June 14, 2010
Emg, the ABRSM also does 'performance assessments', these are more for players like you who 'want to know what level they're at', it only lasts about 15 minutes, in this time you play pieces you choose to play and then the examiner will discuss with you what he/she thinks about how you are doing (this discussion is in the 15 minutes so one might want to play for 10 to 12 minutes, meditation is 4 1/2 mins approximately ;)). He/she then gives you a written out report too to take away. I can't remember how much it is but it's not too expensive I think, again best to look up on ABRSM website (www.abrsm.org) and also to see if they do it near where you live. But also looking at their syllabus might give you an idea, look at what pieces they suggest for each grade, if you know you can play those pieces well then you might be approximately at that level. I passed grade 5 but have learnt meditation which was on their grade 7 list, but I would not say I can easily play well all grade 7 pieces, so I put myself 'in the middle' at grade 6 approximately. At the end of the day 'it doesn't really matter' what level you are at unless you need to get into an advanced orchestra or music college, but I find it a 'quick way' to give people an idea of my skills, so when they ask me 'how well are you doing' if I say grade 6, that gives them an 'idea' of where I might be, it's a little easier/quicker than saying 'well...I've been playing 3 and a half years, I play this but can't play that, I know how to do this but not that etc etc' LOL

Eileen
Posted: June 14, 2010
Wonderful Jo ! There's a local community orchestra here too that I would LOVE to give a go at...but...there are already a few nights I'm out a week and adding one more thing to the night time list would not go well at home... :-( Maybe one of these days.....*sigh* I would be interested in finding out what my level of playing is, just out of curiosity.

jojo
Posted: June 13, 2010
Oh forgot to say: I am also learning Double bass but have only taken this up as a second instrument and for 'fun on the side' I hardly ever practice that (violin I practice every day), but on Double Bass I started last year and I am at grade 6 in ability. I am also with 2 community orchestras, one with double bass where I play in concerts and one with violin where I only go to rehearsals as they are very advanced and I can't play all that hard stuff yet!

jojo
Posted: June 13, 2010
thank you both Beth and EMG, I'll go and join the violinlab on facebook and yes EMG it would be nice to keep in touch, on facebook I am Jo Parker :) Meditation was on the ABRSM grade 7 syllabus from 1997-2000, the grades go from 1 to 8 then after these one can do the diploma/licentiate and fellowship. I did my grade 1 in 2007 5 months after starting violin and grade 5 this march just gone so to work on Meditation is good yes :) mind you although I can have a bash at it I don't think I play it too well! LOL you don't have to take any exams/grades, I have taken just grade 1 and 5 as the examiners are very experienced musicians who are professional players and it's good to have a stranger who is also an expert to 'judge' your level of playing ability. With the certificate you get comments from the examiner about what you did well and why and what you need to improve on or did not do so well with on the day. The exam consists of playing 3 pieces with a piano accompanist (live not cd), then play a selection of scales/arpeggios/dominant and diminished 7ths, play a piece at sigh you never saw before (sightreading) and do some 'aural' tests. You can go on the www.abrsm.org website, click on exams and follow links to 'graded exams' (practical) and you can view the syllabus for all grades. Thank you for the warm welcome by the way :)

Eileen
Posted: June 13, 2010
Nice to meet you Jo ! Your story sounds very much like mine. Late start...no musical background at all. I have no idea what "grade level" I am....I don't even know what that is !? Are there tests/pieces that you have to master in order to make a grade level ? Anyway ! Glad to have you join us and yeah, I JUST got the music for Meditation and have worked just a little bit on it. I've been working in the Wohlfhart books....but I'm going to check out the ABRSM studies. Would certainly like to "friend" you on facebook if your interested. :-)