Monthly Archives: December 2005


Here are some ideas that I have had about violin playing that are helping me while playing one or two Nutcracker Ballets almost every day this past month…

  • 2nd finger 3rd position E on the A string, go slightly lower so it won’t ring too much with the open E (the sound of the sympathetic open E when exactly in tune is too loud and overbearing) For some reason this is not such a problem in 4th, 2nd and first positions.
  • Avoid old lady bow hold syndrome! Collapse the knuckles of your right hand into your bow stick. Think about it often. Think Brian Lewis bowhold.
  • Collapsing knuckles of bowhand and holding fiddle higher helps spicatto. Open left shoulder up when raising the violin.
  • Left elbow too far under the violin hinders vibrato. Pull it back a bit to the left when on the E and A string.
  • Really it is fine if your fingers are not always on the inside corners of the finger tips. For fatter and juicier vibrato, go for the pads of the fingers. (Bill Starr said it’s okay…)
  • When you want more volume, use Panda!
  • Right wrist should always be higher than the stick. Make your wrist like a hill.

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Filed under how to use the bow, violin

Christmas Crunch and listening

All the students are getting ready for our three Christmas performances. Our first rehearsal is this Saturday and I will be driving one of my students to the rehearsal. In my car right now, I have a CD of the ballet music for the Gala which will be performing that night. We will listen to it on the way. I think it’s good for the students to know that I listen to the music I perform as well. Listening is the best way to study music.

In Nurtured By Love, Dr. Suzuki states:

Listen to the best performers in the world on records. Soon you will improve, playing more and more excellently, until a new, higher level is born. By this time it is no longer technique only but the possession of spirit and heart.

Recently I have been listening to Hilary Hahn. I believe she is one of the best performers in the world.


Filed under Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Suzuki Method, Suzuki Sensei, Teaching, violin