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Yay! I passed!
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DanielB
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January 17, 2015 - 5:38 pm
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As a few people on the forum know, I have been taking some classes over on Coursera.  Only one of the classes I have taken so far is actually violin oriented and my grade (finally) came in for it.  I passed, so I figured I'd mention it here.  

Since... well, this is pretty much the only violin forum that I participate enough in to think of myself as a "real" member.

Anyway, the course was "Teaching the Violin and Viola: Creating a Healthy Foundation"

Here's the link to the description page, if anyone has an interest:

https://www.coursera.org/course/teachingstrings

According to the instructor, it will probably be offered again sometime this year and they are hoping to develop and offer a more advanced version as well.  But that is still tentative, so far as I know for sure.

I took the class mostly because as a self-taught adult beginner, I figured there were things that I would have gotten from a teacher if I had taken lessons in my first year or two.  Having taken the class, I can definitely say that I feel that was true.  I do think it was worth the time and work it took to make it through the class with a passing grade and that I did get a firmer grasp on the basics of playing.  I think it was a good class, though a lot of it was angled a bit towards the tactics to use in teaching young children more than adults.

Anyway, grades are in.  I passed.  Yay.

birthday_balloon

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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augustoad
Ponta Grossa, Paraná - Brazil
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January 17, 2015 - 6:26 pm
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Congratulations mate! :D

Skype: augustoad Email: augustoaguieiras@hotmail.com Phone number/whatsapp: +55 42 9861-4084. I'd be happy to talk anything fiddle-related to anyone! :)

 

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Schaick
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January 17, 2015 - 6:56 pm
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Congratulations!!  Very cool!!

Violinist start date -  May 2013  

Fiddler start date - May 2014

FIDDLE- Gift from a dear friend. A 1930-40 german copy, of a french copy of a Stradivarius.  BOW - $50 carbon fiber. Strings - Dominants with E Pirastro Gold string.

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mischa91
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January 17, 2015 - 8:51 pm
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That's great, congratulations!

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Uzi
Georgia
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January 17, 2015 - 11:59 pm
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That's great.  Never stop learning -- right?

A positive attitude may not solve all your problems, but it will annoy enough people to make it worth the effort. ~Herm Albright

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1stimestar
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January 18, 2015 - 2:34 am
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Congratulations!  Now, what are you doing to celebrate?

 

Opportunity is often missed because it wears suspenders and looks like hard work.

 

Alaska, the Madness; Bloggity Stories of the North Country

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DanielB
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January 18, 2015 - 4:50 am
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Thank you all!

hats_off

A good point, 1stimestar.  Since you reminded me, I ordered myself an A 440 tuning fork to keep in my violin case as a memento of the occasion. 

I'll probably also print out the pdf "Statement of Accomplishment" I got for passing the course and frame it to have a reminder that I did a bit more than "just" practice in 2014 in my efforts to learn this dang instrument.  Good way to start 2015.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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MrYikes
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January 18, 2015 - 8:16 am
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If you were close enough, I would definitely become your student.  You have a great, non-judgmental way of explaining things.  I'm happy for you.

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ElisaDalViolin
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January 18, 2015 - 7:02 pm
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Congratulations! :)

Can I ask you what kind of assignments did you have to do in this course? I'm quite interested in this concept since I'm planning to go for an art-terapy specialization. Thank you in advance :)

 
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coolpinkone
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January 18, 2015 - 9:44 pm
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Congrats Dan... I will have to log on to see if I passed!!  Woo hoo I loved the class.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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DanielB
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January 18, 2015 - 9:50 pm
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Thanks MrYikes.  But I think it will be a while before I'd be "taking on students", since I want to get my own playing down better first.  I mean, what's the point of taking lessons from anyone unless they can do *well* at the things you want to do?  LOL

My "student" at this time is me.  wink

 

Sure, ElisaDalViolin. 

Actual written assignments, there were only a couple of those and they were very short, and graded by peer review. 

There was a quiz every week, that was no problem if you actually watched the lecture videos and such. 

For me, the big time/work element was the forum participation.  Every week we had to make 5 forum posts.  That sounds easy, but I found it a bit challenging to manage because with the large number of people taking the class, it seemed like almost every pertinent post I could think of, someone else was already doing.  So it resulted in a lot of forum reading, and looking for someplace to say something worth saying, when a lot of the people taking the class were already experienced teachers and knew more than I did.

I typically put in probably 4-5 hours a week on those activities, plus a 1 hr weekly session with my "guinea pig practice students", who were one of my daughters and an old friend that played student for me so I could explain and coach them through the techniques. 

Having "practice students" was recommended, but not actually required.  I found it great for the first few weeks, but after that the material being covered went a ways past what they could do, since the material and techniques and repertoire were obviously meant to cover the first few years.  So those sessions dropped off a little before the halfway mark, but getting some practice in coaching a couple people through hold and basic moves and very easy beginner pieces was very good for my own retention. 

Another optional but encouraged activity was google hangout sessions once a week to get to ask questions from the teacher and guests.  My schedule only worked out for being able to attend "live" for a couple of those, but they were archived so if you couldn't make it, you could at least watch.

There were also a few handouts on basics, and usually around three exercises or pieces a week that could be downloaded.  Over 10 weeks, that amounted to a pretty nice stack of freebie score.  thumbs-up

Now if what you were wanting to know is more about the style/methodology itself for teaching, it used a lot of hand-over-hand demonstration so the student can get the feel of how each move should feel, a good bit of fun/silly games and exercises in the early stages, different ways (clapping, stamping a foot, and playing) to work out and internalize more complex rhythms.  Not a lot of theory.  It was obviously assumed that people taking the course would know basic theory and be able to read music, but that it wouldn't be assumed with their students.  The focus was more on teaching playing techniques and some repertoire than theory.  It did depend a bit on learning to read and memorize pretty early since that would be the usual goal with typical music students, but pretty much everything could be at least adapted to by-ear learning.

So yeah, I could see where it definitely could be usable in a music therapy context.  I recall a fair number of discussions in the class forums about therapeutic applications, and I was in some discussions on how to teach students with disabilities (personal interest, since I have an autistic son and grandson).

If that doesn't cover what you're asking about, feel free to ask away.  I'll answer or give more detail where I can.

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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coolpinkone
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January 18, 2015 - 10:00 pm
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Yay.... Dan ... I passed too. I loved the course.   I learned so much.  The Masters Classes at the end were awesome.  Loved the class.

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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DanielB
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January 18, 2015 - 10:03 pm
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coolpinkone said
Congrats Dan... I will have to log on to see if I passed!!  Woo hoo I loved the class.

Thanks Toni!

Yeah, I loved that class too.  If they offer it this year, I hope to take it again.  It's probably a little different every time, and with different guest speakers and such.

I feel it did help a lot with the feeling that I didn't know what I was doing on violin/viola, and was just sort of mindlessly practising.  At least now I have some idea what I'm trying to do and what order to work on things in, and what to watch in my posture, hold and technique.

It was some work, but fun.  Who knows, if they offer it again, maybe we can get a "crew" from here for taking the class with a good moral support system!

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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DanielB
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January 18, 2015 - 10:05 pm
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coolpinkone said
Yay.... Dan ... I passed too. I loved the course.   I learned so much.  The Masters Classes at the end were awesome.  Loved the class.

 

YAY!   Congrats Toni!!!!   partyexactly1st-place

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
January 18, 2015 - 10:52 pm
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Congratulations to both of you. :) Well done!!!

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

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Fiddlestix
Michigan, USA
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January 19, 2015 - 6:34 am
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Congrats to you both, Dan and Toni.

I haven't checked out the link yet, but how long were the courses and were they free ?

roflroflroflroflrofl

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ElisaDalViolin
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January 19, 2015 - 12:34 pm
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Congratulations to you too Toni!

Thank you so much Daniel for your detailed reply! It was exactly what I was wondering about the course. I only started to hear about coursera after I joined this forum and after checking out your link I realized how good this can be (in my country there isn't these kind of platforms). I usually take little courses or workshops near my area when they show up, so this can be a good thing for me :)

Thank you again. 

 
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DanielB
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January 19, 2015 - 12:50 pm
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@Fiddlestix: It was a 10 week course, Ken.  The work was the same for the free or paid version, same class.  But if I had paid, they would have verified my ID to make sure it was actually me taking the course.  You still get a grade if you do the work either way, though.

 

@ElisaDalViolin: Glad to have helped.  It was a decent course, and about as much material and work as a 2 or 3 day a week class in a typical small college.   Plenty of "meat" in all the classes I've taken from there so far. 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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BillyG
Far North-west Scotland
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January 19, 2015 - 1:35 pm
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Just catching up on a LOT of unread posts - "real work" is somewhat "quiet" at the moment (which is kinda nice) so I tend not to be close to the computer, but nearer to my fiddles....  and I'm "missing" the forum and chat in more than one sense...  LOL

So - my belated congrats @DanielB !!!  Well done man!   Good work - I did not expect less of you !!!!

And @coolpinkone as well - GOOD ON YAH !  Well done lass !drummerclap

They are great courses though, are they not?   I've learned so much from Coursera (non musical related) in the last 4 or so years...   Only ever did two for the certificate - but even that was unimportant to me - my Astronomy and Cosmology Courses (and other similar ones), were never going to get me a job at CERN ( well, they might help, but my age would stop me ever being offered employment! ) - going for the certificates was just a "driver" to make sure I completed the course....  cool

I have my name down for a couple of (as yet not scheduled) music related courses - we'll see what comes around...  looking forward to them if/when they get scheduled..

Yup - well done both !  ^5s

I seriously recommend not copying my mistakes.  

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

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coolpinkone
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January 19, 2015 - 1:43 pm
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@DanielB 

I like your suggestion of having others that we know in the class.  I know that I started and I know that checking in with you helped me to stay focused.   

I learned so much.  If I take it again I will get the certificate.

I am in another class that started last week.  I didn't check in yet as I was busy.  I am going to see if I can check in this week and get going.

I am also registered in the Class Fundamentals of Music that will happen sometime in August.

Thanks for posting this.  COURSERA is a wonderful place to learn online, I recommend it. 

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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