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New violin player with a 2016 challenge
Looking for believers
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Meadowinds
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February 9, 2016 - 3:34 pm
Member Since: February 9, 2016
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I am an older than average lady, not quite yet a senior, and new to violin, with a great challenge: Learning to play Lindsey Stirling's rendition of Hallelujah by December 2016.  I took a fall backwards over the Labor Day holiday 2015 and broke my right wrist in 3 places, and shattered my arm in 5 pieces. It was a terrible break.  I was right hand dominate, and after the cast was off and 4 sessions of PT, my right hand is at 60% with no use of my ring and pinky finger. The doctors stated this is as good as it will be - sorry, that's just not good enough for me, so thought as my own therapy, I'd get out my grandmother's violin and teach myself to play Hallelujah, and play it for the 2016 Christmas holiday.  I am taking time-lapse photos of each day from the day I began to almost the day I play this, to visually document my progress and journey through the year. The past month I have memorized the notes by ear and am just beginning to find the notes on the violin, and pulling the bow is my therapy challenge to coax my fingers to work.  I have not been able to locate her version of sheet music for this, so am working on it by ear.  I know it will not be easy, but it WILL be worth it.  Only one person believes I can do this - the person who will record me playing it in 10 months, and I believe I can.  No adult teachers in my area, and certainly no one that wants to teach me THIS song.  I played for two years in jr hi orchestra the Viola, many years ago.  I could sure use some help from a group of believers, and how to go about doing this.  I hope to play in a beautiful atrium at sunrise in December.  It will be amazing and oh my!  just think how big my smile will be when I accomplish this!  I may be regarded as silly in challenging myself, but I have motivation, determination, and a deadline.  Anyone out there want to join me on this journey and help me build my confidence and learning along the way?  Any words of wisdom would be wonderful. I can't wait to see where this path will take me!  Thanks for letting me share my story to this great beginning.  

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Dom
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February 9, 2016 - 6:16 pm
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Welcome to the forums!

 

I have to say you chose an excellent piece to learn how to play. I loved Lindsey's take on Hallelujah. Well I love most of Lindsey's music. I don't think it's silly to set a goal for yourself. I think because you set a goal you'll learn a little bit faster because you know what you're working for.

 

I'll gladly help you, and I'm sure the other members here will love to help you as well. 

 

Good luck, and welcome to the world of the violin!violin-1267

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Daniel_Shaped_Object
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February 9, 2016 - 8:07 pm
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Good for you, Meadowinds! You're a woman with a MISSION!

I wasn't familiar with Lindsey Stirling's version of Hallelujah, but I just took a little trip to the YouTubes and looked it up. Very pretty! 

I wish I was good enough on the violin to impart any actual words of wisdom. Unfortunately, my own progress has been stalled for quite some time, but reading about your determination after such an awful injury helps put some things in perspective for me. I suppose it's time to pick up my violin and get back to work!

In any case, I love your post, and the spirit and enthusiasm behind it! Please keep us posted on your progress, and let us know if we can do anything to help. 

Oh, and add me to the list of people who believe you can do this!  🙂

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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February 10, 2016 - 4:51 am
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Welcome @Meadowinds !

I'm a believer !   Go for it !

BillyG

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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mischa91
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February 10, 2016 - 7:13 am
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Welcome to the forum.  Sorry about your accident, that can't have been easy.

 

you have a fun goal to work towards, make sure you incorporate scales into your practice.  can you read music?  I'm assuming so since you're looking for Lindsey's sheet music, maybe find an easy scale book with different bowing to work your right hand at a steady pace.

 

i believe you can do it and you'll have fun along the way!  Oh and an intro post isn't complete without a photo of your violin, we like to see violins here.

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Meadowinds
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February 10, 2016 - 1:05 pm
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Thank you all, I was prepared to get hammered with negative responses by wanting to play this song.  I can read music, and am pretty good at picking up things by ear.  But I have a lot to do!   Besides teaching myself this tune, what other things could I also be working on to get me there?  This is such a great site, I am so happy to be here! Will post a pic of my violin soon, and, if anyone finds the sheet music to this Hallelujah arrangement (I am thinking it is done n the key of D) let me know how to get it!  That would teach me so much. I am smiling, I can't wait to see how far I can go!   Thanks for everyone's encouraging words, you have no idea how much that means to me.  I won't let you down. 

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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February 11, 2016 - 11:35 am
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Meadowinds said
Thank you all, I was prepared to get hammered with negative responses by wanting to play this song.  I can read music, and am pretty good at picking up things by ear.  .....

  The only thing you will get from this site is support, often times from experienced players much better than I, often times from "general members" like myself fairly new to the instrument.   "negative responses" - that is not in our language, we're all here to share and learn.

  Initially, my only comment is probably something you appreciate already, having had earlier experience - work on scales ( your chosen one, if it is D for example ), until your intonation is perfect (well, technically, it is rarely going to be pitch-perfect, but you know what I mean - within the few necessary cents that it doesn't matter to the listener).    I would also expect you'll want to do a bit of shifting - so play these scales all the way up through different positions....

I take it, this at the moment is your "single and solitary goal" - if so - to avoid mental set-backs which can be disheartening - I would advocate working on a few fall-back tunes in the same key - just to give yourself a break when things get "difficult" and you feel like giving-up.  [ I do that ALL the time !!!!   I now have a HUGE repertoire of parts-of-tunes that I just recall by ear - over time they eventually evolve into the complete thing - which in itself although un-planned is quite satisfying ! ]

 I had often thought about Hallelujah ( my fave version is Geoff Buckley - but - I love Lindsey Stirling's version as well) , and, on occasion it (the song) has come to mind in one of these moments-of-sheer-desperation when working on something that just-doesn't want to be worked on right now....  and I'll just pick out the melody.  It's nowhere near any sort of level for performance, and probably nowhere really near what the sheet would tell us - just how I hear it in my head - but it calms me down, and I get back to what I was working on !!!!!

  Take my comments as "observations" - I have only been playing a couple of years, can just about work between 1st and 3rd, and I can do sustained vibrato for about two seconds, with a look of utter and painful desperation on my face.... LOLOL....

In closing - 

(1) There ain't NOTHING wrong with Hallelujah

(2) There ain't nothing wrong with taking technique and inspiration from Lindsey Stirling.

   Go for it !

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Jols
Atlanta, GA
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February 11, 2016 - 2:20 pm
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Welcome, Meadowinds!

I loved reading about your story (not your unfortunate accident, but your determination to turn it into something wonderful).  I'm a newbie myself, so I can't give you any practice / playing advice. But I would like to read more about your progress in the next few months..and hopefully see the actual performance video in December 🙂

Good luck and have lots of fun! Sending over lots of positive vibes 🙂

- Jols

My neighbors probably want to strangle me for all the noise I've been making.  But hey, "no pain, no gain" right? Except, they feel the pain and I get the gain (I'm really sorry, neighbors :-S)

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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February 11, 2016 - 2:34 pm
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jols_navarra - LMAO at signature - My neighbors probably want to strangle me for all the noise I've been making.  But hey, "no pain, no gain" right? Except, they feel the pain and I get the gain (I'm really sorry, neighbors :-S)

Right on !!!!

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

Please make your own, different mistakes, and help us all learn :-)

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Jols
Atlanta, GA
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February 11, 2016 - 2:56 pm
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BillyG said
jols_navarra - LMAO at signature - My neighbors probably want to strangle me for all the noise I've been making.  But hey, "no pain, no gain" right? Except, they feel the pain and I get the gain (I'm really sorry, neighbors :-S)

Right on !!!!

LOL. I hope to pay them back someday by playing something more pleasing to their ears!

My neighbors probably want to strangle me for all the noise I've been making.  But hey, "no pain, no gain" right? Except, they feel the pain and I get the gain (I'm really sorry, neighbors :-S)

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Meadowinds
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February 11, 2016 - 3:13 pm
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Thanks for your inspiration, and the suggestion to learn other tunes to play for a break. Super idea!  Though I am not yet able to fully bend my bow wrist, I can definitely tell the muscles are trying, so my plan looks to be working so far!  

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coolpinkone
California, the place of my heart
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February 11, 2016 - 4:49 pm
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I believe!

I really do.  I had a goal my first year.  I achieved it... I have the faith in you that you will also.

What a horrible accident.  🙁  Glad you are on the mend.

I am playing Hallelujah now.. I learned it in December.  Not quite Lindsey's version... I truely enjoy the song.  

Happy Violin-ing and welcome to the forum.

Cheers,

Toni

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Fidelestre
Texas
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February 12, 2016 - 7:22 am
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meadowinds ,

It's great you have a goat to work for, and I am sure you will accomplish it!

My advice would be to work not just on the specific piece you want to play, but also spend a lot of time on basic violin skills. Get a teacher if you can, even if they don't want to teach you this particular song right away. Work through a good violin method book, and do lots of scales and arpeggios. At this time, I would spend most of your practice time on developing good technique, even if you are playing pieces like Twinkle, twinkle little star. Work on Hallelujah every day too, and with your primary attention on developing general violin skills, you will find that Hallelujah gets better each week.

When I first learned some violin many years ago, I stuck with the method book about as far as "Twinkle" and then moved on to playing the pieces I wanted to play, which were some specific fiddle tunes. Well, I learned those tunes, but I didn't learn the skills that would allow me to play much else. I picked up a lot of bad habits, from holding the violin incorrectly to very poor bowing technique. After re-starting to learn violin almost a year ago, I am having to un-learn these bad habits. It would have been much better to take the time to learn the fundamental skills correctly the first time!

I look forward to hearing more about how your challenge is coming along over time. It would be great if you could post videos from time to time - that will really help document your progress!

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 25, 2016 - 6:26 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Welcome to the forum Meadowinds,
You now have way more than 1 person plus yourself who think that you can achieve your goal.

I LOVE the fact that you refuse accepting what your doctors have said. Sometimes they think they are fortune tellers or god or something. I've witnessed doctors making poor predictions with friends enough that I lost faith in most of them. I haven't been through much bad fortune with my own health but I cut my thumb pretty badly and lost feelings for over a year in that thumb. It was numb and the doctor told me that if I haven't regained feelings within 6 months that I would never get them back. I now have pretty much the same amount of feeling in my left thumb as my right but was a little bit down about it and lost hope after speaking to the doctor.

Anyway, we'll do everything we can to motivate you. To begin with, I think you should have other goals (stepping stones) between. Also, perhaps set a practice goal and or do the 35 Day Practice Challenge that we have on this site.

As a older than average but not yet senior dude I can say that recovering from injuries takes longer for me than it used to. I would advise that you approach your pain carefully and strategically so as not to cause any greater damage. You can share that with us also so we may advise you on how to avoid or correct unnecessary tension or stiffness and pain.

I look forward to watching you achieve your first violin playing goal. 🙂

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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Ripton
Vermont, Massachusetts or somewhere in between
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February 25, 2016 - 5:16 pm
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meadowinds What a great idea for therapy. Both in mind/ spirt and body. Love that song. Katha Elaine (my daughter) has been playing that on guitar and I am also determined to pick it up so we can jam together. While I started with violin in grade school many decades ago, I picked up the viola a few years back and continue to work out the kinks and scare the neighborhood cats. 

 

Keep us posted on your progress, send us a video from time to time. It's amazing to see how each and every one of us has progressed and improved. 

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