FORUM

Please have a look at our Forum Rules. Lets keep this forum an enjoyable place to visit.

A A A
Avatar

Please consider registering
guest

sp_LogInOut Log In sp_Registration Register

Register | Lost password?
Advanced Search

— Forum Scope —






— Match —





— Forum Options —





Minimum search word length is 3 characters - maximum search word length is 84 characters

sp_Feed Topic RSS sp_TopicIcon
Question about teaching technique - student's perspective
Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 Topic Rating: 0 (0 votes) 
Avatar
ftufc
SoCal
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 8:31 pm
Member Since: February 24, 2012
Forum Posts: 727
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm an old guy and I've just started learning violin.  I've been taking lessons from an instructor for the past 7 wks and am LOVING it.  I know it may seem very odd to pickup such a time-intensive instrument at my age, but I am compelled to learn and play it.

The question I have is this; my instructor, who has been playing with orchestras for about 35 years and teaching for 8 years, has incorporated the philosophy/techniques of a violinist/music professor/author by the name of Susan Kempter, who learning premise can be summed up as playing using muscle memory, particularly in regard to the left-hand fingering activity.

A technique used in this teaching is to swing your left arm back and forth under the violin to ensure your fingering, string to string, is the same/accurate.  In my mind, and I'm really not trying to second-guess my instructor, there are so many moving parts between your left shoulder, through your elbow, forearm, wrist, and hand, that this is really not as accurate a method to play as her theory might lead one to believe.

Any thoughts from other players/teachers would be of great interest to me?  Thanks so muc for your time.

Avatar
Aleive
Northern Norway
Regular advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 8:58 pm
Member Since: January 21, 2012
Forum Posts: 121
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

The fun thing is that it actually works. It takes a long time, but it will benefit you greatly. I completely agree with that muscle memory is #1 when it comes to playing. You don't want to be staring at where you put your fingers etc. Since your fingers can easily move quicker than your eyes can keep up with. Because of this you are encouraged to practice muscle memory no matter what instrument you play.

 

Also if you get used to the movement. Everything will seem so simple, even if it is a complex maneuvre, it  will eventually be just like lifting a spoon off a table. You just do it without thinking. This is the benefit of muscle memory. The brain is interesting this way.. It does not like to juggle more than 5-7 things at once, before it shuts down completely. So the less you have to think of, the better you perform...

 

It all boils down to that it might seem silly, but it works.

A method of practicing accuracy/speed for me was that I would hit awd asd awd asd awd asd awd asd, and then the reverse as fast as I could. And even if it is nothing similar. It helps out a lot, since it is not a completely unrelated movement 🙂

"Art, as far as it is able, follows nature, as a pupil imitates his master; thus your art must be, as it were, God's grandchild."

Avatar
Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 24, 2012 - 9:28 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11702

You are right for being suspicious. Too much movement is not good and will actually slow you down. Also, not good for the shoulders as you said. However, the angle is slightly different on each string so a little arm swing is perfectly OK.

Include feeling and guides with muscle memory as well.

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

Avatar
Fiddle4Fun
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 9:42 pm
Member Since: January 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 228
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Yes, the idea of muscle memory is sound but the way of obtaining it here seems a bit off.  As you said, muscle memory relies on accurate repetition.  The more you have to move, the more likely it is that you'll introduce variations which, as FM noted, will slow down the learning process.

 

I think muscle memory in violin is a lot like muscle memory in typing.  You start from a "home" position and learn where your fingers go in relation to that position.  Thus, working on getting a consistent hand placement on your violin from which to start would be the basis for muscle memory.  Then you just have to teach your fingers where to go to hit the right notes from that position.  (That's what I like about FM's technique for holding the violin.  It's consistent.  Too bad my hand is too small to use it.)

Avatar
Late bloomer
Dallas Texas
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 10:16 pm
Member Since: October 12, 2011
Forum Posts: 563
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I'm an old guy and I've just started learning violin.  I've been taking lessons from an instructor for the past 7 wks and am LOVING it.  I know it may seem very odd to pickup such a time-intensive instrument at my age, but I am compelled to learn and play it.

 

 

I have  been intriqued by the fact there are so many old people starting to play the violin. I thought I was the only one!

When I first found this site and started posting I truly thought might situation was uniqe but again and again I find folks with the same story.

Maybe us oldsters are selling ourselves short. To think its so crazy to learn something new. Afterall havent we been learning something new ever since we got our first slap on the bottom while hanging upside down by our heels.

And the things we learned through life actually had consiquinces. And we were expected to be accountable for them.

No more apologys from me for continueing to live.  No Sir.

But having said that!  Good luck to all you youngsters . I have to admit I am not sure I would want to do it again in these times.cheers

No matter where you go, there you are!

Avatar
ftufc
SoCal
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 10:30 pm
Member Since: February 24, 2012
Forum Posts: 727
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

I appreciate your insight Aleive.  I completely understand the benefits of muscle memory in regard to any physical skill.  I think I was questioning this particular technique because everything I've read about violin and fiddle technique talks about keeping your elbow directly under the instrument.

But I'm trusting my instructor and working diligently to lock it in.

Avatar
ftufc
SoCal
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 10:38 pm
Member Since: February 24, 2012
Forum Posts: 727
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Thanks FM I will keep that in mind.

4FUN - thanks for pointing that out.  I am working hard to "nail" my homebase.

LATE - you know, that's exactly my perspective; just because I'm old doesn't mean I'm going to stop learning; I just started snowboarding (with my teenage son) last spring; been a skier for 45 yrs and just needed a new challenge (I'm 56) and falling on hardpack at 25 mph kicks my ass, but I'm laughing the whole time.

Thank you all so much for feedback.  Has anybody read any of Susan Kemptor's work?  I just think she's missed a LOT of details.

Avatar
Oliver
NC
King
Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 10:42 pm
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

If muscle memory is #1, I would be interested to know what is #2 ?

(anything but fret tapes dazed)

coffee2

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Avatar
Late bloomer
Dallas Texas
Honorary tenured advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 10:50 pm
Member Since: October 12, 2011
Forum Posts: 563
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline

Sometimes a single note can convey a multitude of feeling.

So I would say mucle memory should be second to SOUL!

afro Oh yeh!

No matter where you go, there you are!

Avatar
Fiddle4Fun
Honorary advisor
Members

Regulars
February 24, 2012 - 11:05 pm
Member Since: January 28, 2012
Forum Posts: 228
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
10sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

I agree with you Late bloomer.  The muscle memory/technique is really just the means by which the music is communicated.  After you get that down then it takes back stage to the heart behind it.

 

Oh, hey!  No more math.  smile

Avatar
Oliver
NC
King
Regulars
February 25, 2012 - 8:01 am
Member Since: February 28, 2011
Forum Posts: 2439
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
11sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

USED  EQUIPMENT   Calculator for Sale.   smile

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

Avatar
TerryT
Coleshill, Warwickshire
Members

Regulars
February 25, 2012 - 9:55 am
Member Since: December 15, 2011
Forum Posts: 1698
sp_UserOfflineSmall Offline
12sp_Permalink sp_Print
0

Fiddle4Fun said

I agree with you Late bloomer.  The muscle memory/technique is really just the means by which the music is communicated.  After you get that down then it takes back stage to the heart behind it.

 

Oh, hey!  No more math.  smile

Congrats lol.
No more practice in bare feet I case the answer was >11.
duncecap

I was born with nothing,
and to my surprise I still have most of it left!

Forum Timezone: America/New_York

Most Users Ever Online: 231

Currently Online: terezka, BillyG
46 Guest(s)

Currently Browsing this Page:
1 Guest(s)

Members Birthdays
sp_BirthdayIcon
Today lakelivr
Upcoming HeadCheese, Mad_Wed, ButteryStuffs, harvestman, fiddlinmama, kit, makinnoise

Top Posters:

coolpinkone: 3755

Mad_Wed: 2849

Barry: 2661

Fiddlestix: 2637

Oliver: 2439

DanielB: 2379

Member Stats:

Guest Posters: 1

Members: 3554

Moderators: 0

Admins: 2

Forum Stats:

Groups: 16

Forums: 56

Topics: 6441

Posts: 80317

Newest Members:

Mukundan, MyMing, dbsimon, stirlingite771, mdedmon, coreshanethi

Administrators: Fiddlerman: 11702, KindaScratchy: 1651