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

5 responses to “Christmas Crunch and listening

  1. Mr Darcy

    If you think Hillary is good, just listen to or watch Leila Josefovicz. She is passion with accuracy personified!

  2. Leila is fantastic! Is she touring now?

  3. Mr Darcy

    Yes she is, I’m seeing her play the Shostakovich on jan 12th at Birmingham, England. Its being recorded for her new live album. Can’t wait.

    Question: What is the ‘circle bow’ and how do you do it. Also what is the independent fingers (left hand) and how does one aquire it?



  4. I love Shostakovitch! Wonderful! When is her new album due?

    Leila studied Suzuki Method as a young girl from my friend Idell Low in California!

    An explanation of Circle Bows can be found here (from Dr. Suzuki). It is moving the entire bow (tip, frog and arm together) toward the string in a circular motion- approaching the string from above then sinking into the string and then exiting back out to above the string rather than moving side to side straight across the top of the string. Does that help?

    Independent fingers are walking fingers, placing 1 finger at a time, then walking to the next finger. For a moment both fingers are on the string, then the old finger lifts off as soon as the new one is in place. This is as opposed to blocked fingering where all of the fingers are placed together. For example, blocked fingering for D on the A string would be played by placing all three fingers on the string.
    Independent fingering would mean simply placing 3rd finger on the string alone, then lifting it off once the new finger for the next note is settled.

    Fingers should be placed from the center to the inside corner of the tip of the finger.

  5. Mr Darcy

    Thanks for that I like the idea of walking, its so simple and strain free. I understand Leila’s new album is out in the summer, Can’t wait! She has her own site which is found at:

    One more question if I may? This business with the upside down bow is nothing short of miraculous. Ive been doing it for 2 weeks and already feel a massive difference in tone production. But what about this horsehair only hold; am I right in saying that one simply holds the horsehair and nothing else and balances the wood with the fingers in a sort of bow hold between the horsehair and the wood? Also, what is the significance of 100,00 of these strokes? Fascinating site by the way…