Fresh start

First, I think I should start by saying that I am no longer taking lessons from the person discussed in my last post. I got an e-mail that evening saying that he was no longer willing to teach me. I haven’t said a thing to him. I simply dropped a check in the mail. I was done. By Friday I felt like a huge weight had been lifted off my shoulders. I thought I would take the weekend off of practicing, but getting ready for a concert Saturday evening got me motivated to get up early and practice. I probably would have even practiced on Sunday, but I fell while running Sunday morning, and ended up with bruised hands.

Monday brought me back to getting ready for the next audition. I’m going back to what helped me win auditions in the past. I know how I work, and I know what I need to do to win the audition. Maybe the fact that I’m not so stressed out all of the time will help.

Here’s a little work I did on the 1st page of the Mendelssohn violin concerto. Other than 2 spots where I apparently changed the rhythm slightly it’s not bad.

2 thoughts on “Fresh start

  1. I’m sorry things didn’t work out with your last teacher/coach. I’m worried I’m going to be saying tons of stuff you may have heard from others, though, maybe even your last teacher…but as I know I’d appreciate honest feedback from others on my own playing (and have in the past) here are a few of my own honest observations/suggestions on the Mendelssohn:

    -I think from the very start, getting rid of all vibrato (not for the ultimate performance, obviously, just for practice) will expose any intonation problems you might encounter. Right off the bat, based on your recording, the 3rd note of the entrance–E–is one that needs to be nailed EVERY time, and I think slowing down, leaving out the vibrato and keeping your shifts/slides very subtle will contribute to more solid intonation and consistency.

    – Rhythm: the first area where left hand articulation needs control is m. 7 where you have the quarter note slurred to two eighths…that repeats again. I would do this part esp. with the metronome (well, obv. I’d do all of it w/ the metronome).

    -Another spot that stood out to me, because it happened both times, is in m.16 and 19 where you’re moving down a 3rd from E to C natural…it sounds more like a C#, so maybe slowing down would prevent that slip– at least that’s what I would do for myself.

    I imagine you’ve probably gone over all these things before or heard them; it’s one thing to think about and study what we’re playing, and entirely another to execute it. It can be frustrating and that frustration sometimes leads us to rush through it all so we can at least think we’ve “finished” working on it. I’m guilty of this. However, the moment I begin treating a piece or excerpt like I’m a raw beginner (no vibrato, painfully slow tempo, varied rhythmic patterns for evenness and consistency), that’s when I start honestly seeing the exposed areas and can tend to them right away.

    I’m sorry for the long windedness…and maybe the redundancy if you’ve heard it before…but IMHO, going back to basics is always ideal for me.

    I really hope you’re able to find a teacher or mentor who can be encouraging to you as well as bring out the best parts of your playing.


    • No worries Gabby! The beginning is so tricky with all of the shifts. The is to start slowly each day, and just keep reinforcing everything. Unfortunately, I had forgotten my metronome yesterday, so that’s probably part of what’s going on. That and I’m tinkering with the placement of my violin a little after orchestra playing last week.

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