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Youth engagement
YouTube and other media: How the young see the world
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Peter
West Sussex, England UK
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March 7, 2020 - 9:25 am
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Whatever your personal opinion of the content of the TwoSetViolin YT channel, they do a fantastic job of inspiring and engaging the world's youth in violin music.

Here is a prime example of their work: Paganini Cap.24 x Jingle Bells

There are others in the sphere of promoting classical music for young people, but these two Aussies speak to the kids on their own terms.

Anyone have any thoughts on this?

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Irv
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March 7, 2020 - 10:24 am
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@Peter and others.  I like their engagement with a lutherier. I also noticed last night that they have several videos with Hilary Hahn.  I plan to view those tonight.  

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.

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Peter
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March 7, 2020 - 10:42 am
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Irv said
@Peter and others.  I like their engagement with a lutherier. I also noticed last night that they have several videos with Hilary Hahn.  I plan to view those tonight.  

  

Until I watched Brett Eddy with Hilary Hahn, I always considered her a little cold and detached. Boy, was I ever wrong. Fantastic fun.

The tame luthier, Olaf, is lovely. He took the guys through the purpose and acoustic contribution of the bridge, including packing wedges into the gaps and trying out a flat bridge. The kids get to see and hear the engineering of the violin, as well as the playing.

If Youtube was around when I was eight, my life would have been very different.

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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Irv
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March 7, 2020 - 11:25 am
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A word of caution with Olaf.  From appearances, he was removing the top plate off a violin by just using a thin spatula.  From my minor experience, the spatula needs to be heated first and worked forward slowly to avoid splintering wood.  

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.

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MoonShadows
Stroudsburg, PA
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March 7, 2020 - 11:39 am
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I liked Eddy when he flew solo and his videos tended to be more instructional.

Jim

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AndrewH
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March 7, 2020 - 4:24 pm
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I have mixed feelings on them. I like that they're engaging young people. But some of their jokes come across as mean-spirited rather than in good fun. And the viola jokes are actively harming the music community, because they're usually just put-downs rather than real jokes, and most of the young audience doesn't know the context. Several of my friends who are school music teachers report that the number of students wanting to play the viola has dropped precipitously (by more than half!) in the last five years, and they are all quite certain TwoSet is responsible.

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Peter
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March 7, 2020 - 5:16 pm
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They certainly have a dark side; their reviews of 'awkward' performances are often brutal. I suppose the violist-baiting is their version of the rock band view of drummers, but execrating an instrument for no better apparent reason than the way they are scored by composers soon becomes a very thin joke.

They have hundreds of videos, many with millions of views, punctuated with multiple advertisements. They are supplementing their orchestral stipends handsomely.

The view I take is that the balance between the two sides of their public face is loaded toward the beneficent; they encourage young musicians to practice (almost a mantra of theirs) and they raise the profile of classical music among the most important demographic (if music is to have a future).

Peter

"It is vain to do with more that which can be done with less"  - William of Ockham

"A crown is merely a hat that lets the rain in" - Frederick the Great

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AndrewH
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March 7, 2020 - 8:39 pm
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Viola jokes are similar to drummer jokes, but TwoSet often truncate them to simple insults rather than jokes, and the delivery makes them sound nasty rather than funny.

More to the point, I think they have a certain responsibility to make sure their audience understands the context. (They take time to explain many other things. They don't take time to explain the context of viola jokes.) To those who have been involved in classical music for a long time and understand that the era of violists being failed violinists ended 200 years ago, it may be fine. But when the audience is mostly young, they are actively making the shortage of violists worse, to the point where I've heard school music teachers in three different states complain about a sudden steep drop in their students' willingness to try the viola.

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Irv
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March 7, 2020 - 9:22 pm
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@AndrewH and others.  I noticed the viola jokes as well.  

Success is the progressive realisation of a worthy ideal. —Earl Nightingale.

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Jim Dunleavy
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March 8, 2020 - 10:16 am
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I quite like their videos. Today's was one the better ones I thought, so I've linked to it.

 

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ELCBK
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June 5, 2022 - 2:19 am
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@AndrewH -

I think about this all the time - and even though I enjoy watching Eddy & Brett, I completely agree with you when they talk about Violas. 

...it's such a shame that people can't see what an underrated instrument the Viola is. 

Not hard for me to step back to my oblivious teenage years - Kids need to be shown how things can relate to themselves, to believe it! 

Whatever Teenagers are into today, Pop, R&B, etc... it's all good - Rock bands were big for me.  It was ALL about the bass guitar playing!  I tuned down my C string to B earlier tonight - and had a riot playing some Led Zeppelin riffs! 

I'm really forming a strong opinion about starting Kids on a 5-string Violin - so they can more easily transition over to a 5-string VIOLA as they get older! 

Just hit my 3 year mark and when I started playing it was VERY hard for me to find Violinists on YouTube who played 5-string Violins.  Now, it's MUCH more common to see 5-string Violins, Violas & Cellos - even 6-string Violins! 

As Kids see more of what a versatile powerhouse a Viola, or 5-string Viola can actually be, maybe even with the enticing option of stringing F,C,G,D,A - I think more would consider jumping ship from Violin to Viola after learning the basics!  

https://media.istockphoto.com/vectors/girl-playing-violin-vector-id452196487?k=6&m=452196487&s=612x612&w=0&h=XPerlHbuYEW8rqUz3tElBzM_YvkVAG7jqeLBcTofRkQ=

 

Earlier issues with 5-strings seem to have been addressed - maybe because there is more of a demand, now.

I do suspect more emphasis needs to be placed on making sure that Kids learning Viola, use a firm bow that isn't too heavy for them. 

Eddy & Brett REALLY need to to do VIOLA DAMAGE CONTROL!  

- Emily

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