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Reaching your own limits and how to tunnel through the barrier
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lenasv.
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February 7, 2011 - 11:23 am
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As any passion, playing the violin and loving music, is something that can absorb your focus totally, whether you are the ultimate super professional or just an ordinary amateur musician. During the times of progress, this super focus can be lovely and bring results and joy to you. Once you know what you want to achieve and know how to achieve it, most things are doable and possible...

...but sometimes, our focus and passion can be interrupted by the feeling that we are not good enough, no matter our efforts and abilities. Imagine a hypothetical scenario: you are new on stage, and have difficulties handling your nerves. Anyway, with time and years, the audience like your performance better and better for every of your performance, and you higher and higher demands on yourself for every piece you learn. You are able to learn difficult pieces well, and you are able to push the challenges higher. And you really do your best with every piece you learn.

But still, when you hear yourself on recording, you are disturbed by what you hear. Still, nobody asks you for a gig or a concert. Still, nobody really cares about your playing, that you invest all your heart and your mind into.

Such scenarios can be potentially harming the motivation and eventuall stop you from practicing. How do you keep the motivation fluent? What can one do about the vicious circle to stay self-confident (and yet self-aware)?And what influences the way you are received as performer?

How can you know, if you have already reached the limits of your own talent, and have no way of progressing further? (Assume you have not taken classes for years or are self-taught, and have no teacher that can give you the solution.) Or should one simply accept "I am not enough talented to achieve the results I would wish to achieve.".

Or could it be simply how you present yourself on the stage and what kind of personality you have and show through your playing?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
February 7, 2011 - 2:24 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
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I guess the real question then becomes, "Am I enjoying playing enough that it is worth all this hard work?"

Fortunately there are many resources available for those who cannot afford a good teacherCool
They may need to work a little harder and be better at self-analyzing but help is available.

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

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Oliver
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March 1, 2011 - 4:44 pm
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I give up the violin at least twice a year.  After a few days I will go back for an "encore".   While organizing my new approach I always come across some of my older music and recognize that it was once the "hard" stuff  ( this silly stuff !! ).  Did I once quit over this music which is hardly a Shar level 2 ?  Is this the music I would never learn to play ?

Moral of the story ............ save your old music   Wink

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

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Oliver
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March 1, 2011 - 4:44 pm
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I give up the violin at least twice a year.  After a few days I will go back for an "encore".   While organizing my new approach I always come across some of my older music and recognize that it was once the "hard" stuff  ( this silly stuff !! ).  Did I once quit over this music which is hardly a Shar level 2 ?  Is this the music I would never learn to play ?
Moral of the story ............ save your old music   Wink

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

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nadia
Brasil
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July 6, 2011 - 1:27 pm
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I think that whatever limit someone may face, the web technology may help. Of course, some creativity may be needed too.

We can find friendly people to share are troubles and find solutions like we´re doing here... we can improve our techniques by studying the theory and the movements watching videos.

Talking to different persons all over the world and sharing experiences makes us strongers and betters: we can find motivation again to go on. clap

The most important is that we connect to each other so we can help and be helpped!  

"May the way be smooth to your feet, may the wind blow soft in your shoulders. May the sun shine warm over your face and the rains fall placid in your fields. And, till I see you again, may the Gods keep you on the palm of their hands." (Irish Blessing)


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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 6, 2011 - 6:05 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Barry said:

Your playing is a journey, not a destination.

Thanks Barry, this is also one of my motto's exactly

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

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Oliver
NC
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July 25, 2011 - 3:11 pm
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Just re-reading this thread and had a thought. 

I really believe, for adults, it becomes very important to establish goals and expectations.  What music do you want to play?  For what audience?  Where, etc.  Are expectations realistic? 

Everybody will "hit the wall" sooner or later.  That is a given but violin people tend to romanticize.  "Salvation" is always the next exercise or the next accessory.

If I were a child prodigy, I have certainly outgrown it smile

 

The really sad part is that way before "the wall" there is a repertoire of wonderful music to be had.  Just check publishers like Shar and others for "Intermediate" level publications.  Great music is not only that which is (too) difficult, it is also simple music played very well.  (Check YouTube for Yo Yo Ma playing "Songs my Mother Taught Me")

I don't think it is wise to focus on what one can NOT do but rather on what CAN be done within reasonable grasp.

coffee2

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

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 25, 2011 - 8:01 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11694

Great thought, Honorary tenured advisor Oliver. I agree.dancing

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

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Grampa Ed
Indiana-USA
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November 7, 2011 - 2:45 pm
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After read all these posts, I had to think about why I started to play again.  It certainly is not to become a professional musician.  My reasoning for playing is the personal satisfaction of knowing I accomplished it.  The reason I left playing was due to arguments with (so called smarter adults)about what to play.  I wanted to play more fiddle music, Popular music, R& B.  anything but classical. 

This time around, Classical isn't so bad after all and I can play the fiddle also, no one can tell me which I can play.   I must say that the first day I attended the rehearsal for the Chamber Orch. and realized that in 12 weeks, I had to play Mozart's "Quartet" as a second violin.  First thought was OMG. there is no way, from scratch to Mozart in that time.  More reasonable thinking brought me to realize that I asked for it and I better get it done.  Commitment to the music, hard work, lotta luck also, and the whole group made it happen.

The real message I am trying to convey is that your limits are where you set them, when you believe in yourself and make the effort believing that you can get past the problem you will . 

Physical limitations such as I have just encountered make it much harder to keep going.  I have developed Biceptual Tendonitis in my right arm & shoulder to the point of not being able to lift the arm.  It is not going to stop me, but it does cause a slowdown.  I am at the cortisone shot point now, I feel I have to get back to the practice and rehearsals.  This is the fastest way, the Dr's said.

Time will tell.    Keep a positive, "Can Do" attitude, good work ethic, a smile

on your face and you will accomplish your task.

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pky
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November 7, 2011 - 6:00 pm
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Fiddlerman said:

I guess the real question then becomes, "Am I enjoying playing enough that it is worth all this hard work?"

Fortunately there are many resources available for those who cannot afford a good teacherCool
They may need to work a little harder and be better at self-analyzing but help is available.

Barry said:

Dont ever tell yourself this is good as I can get. Your playing is a journey, not a destination.


Grampa Ed said:

The real message I am trying to convey is that your limits are where you set them, when you believe in yourself and make the effort believing that you can get past the problem you will . 

I strongly agree with all three of you.

I started to learn to play violin this August but I have already faced my own limits.  Once I almost stopped playing-- I wanted to fly too soon when I haven't had my bowing skills down. When my A string trembled crazily, i didn't know what happened and how to deal with it. About a month, I could not enjoy practicing violin because of the sound quality of my A string. Thanks to FM and MGN who helped me to figure out what happened to my A string and supported me so I could enjoy playing violin again.

in the mean time, I face another limit: My learning style. There's a lot of free sheet music and etudes, exercises on this website, but i don't know which one to begin with. I simply picked up songs that i like and go on practice and jumped into Christmas Project. Later, I found that i like to learn things in order, not hopping around. I have been practicing along with my daughter on Suzuki book one, but that is not enough for me; so, i picked up the Melbay violin book and begin from there and since then it seemed I have tunneled through one of my barriers and am able to enjoy playing again. However, I still have to tunnel through my other barrier -- practicing on basics -- etudes, finger excercises, etc.

I think with this barrier, i will try to assemble all the exercises that FM has provided on this website into a "book" so I could focus on them and practice them in "order." I have also considered to look for a teacher to work with me.

I believe there are talented people out there like FM and my nephew, but i'm definitely not talented in music. however, I believe if i am persistent enough I could do things well -- like grandpa Ed said, you set your own limit.

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Huey142
Melaka,Malaysia
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November 8, 2011 - 8:59 am
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In my opinion, I don't think there are limits to one's talents. Anyone can be better through hard work and perseverance. One will limit oneself when they start having doubts about themselves. Psychology plays an important role. Although it is good to have goals but too much pressure will not help, one needs to be happy in what ever they are doing to excel in it. As for staying motivated, I think that playing a song that gives you the best memories of playing the violin will do. A song that gives you a reason to play the violin. smile  

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Late bloomer
Dallas Texas
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November 8, 2011 - 2:35 pm
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Its probably different for everyone , depends on whats motivating you. 

I play for fun, and whats fun to me is trying to make the violin sound better.

 I will probably never play professionally  So what motivates me is the joy of accomplishing something that makes me happy.

Will I ever reach a point that I am satisfied?  Who knows? I doubt it. I never have with anything else in life. 

So if striving to be better is what makes my life interesting, then so be it.

And if I ever get good enough for someone else to enjoy it . Well that's icing on the cake.done

No matter where you go, there you are!

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Oliver
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November 8, 2011 - 4:32 pm
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I'm sure I will hit the three big walls but I knew that when I started so it is no surprise or regret.

As an adult beginner, I never figured that I was a child prodigy and simply outgrew it.

All of that reality does not negate my enjoyment however.

dazed

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

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Paul
Indiana
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November 8, 2011 - 10:57 pm
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I have gone though years of starting and stopping the violin. Stopping because I told myself I would never be any good because there are too many things that get in the way of practice time. I finally realized I love to play and as long as I'm having fun playing it doesn't matter how many tunes I learn or if I will ever be able to play in public.
The thing that is important to me is doing something I love and if someone hears me play and they like it, that's awesome (my wife mainly she's my best critic). If they don't, well sorry, I still love to play.

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Paul
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November 8, 2011 - 10:57 pm
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I have gone though years of starting and stopping the violin. Stopping because I told myself I would never be any good because there are too many things that get in the way of practice time. I finally realized I love to play and as long as I'm having fun playing it doesn't matter how many tunes I learn or if I will ever be able to play in public.
The thing that is important to me is doing something I love and if someone hears me play and they like it, that's awesome (my wife mainly she's my best critic). If they don't, well sorry, I still love to play.

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LisaLoo
San Antonio, Texas
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November 9, 2011 - 1:15 am
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 I think your only limit is the limit in your own mind. Which, unfortunately, can be a huge barrier. frown We are conditioned from a very early age that we have many limits... like the two year old who knows that she can pour the gallon of milk into a small plastic cup all by herself... When she spills it and makes a mess, the adult tells her that she can't pour it and she learns that she is limited. But, if there's not a negative consequence... like spilled milk making a mess... than who cares? Playing the violin less than perfectly will not kill anyone... as long as you are enjoying it, right? 1st-place

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