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So I had a birthday and I got one single present... a clip-on tuner. It is a cool little device that apparently senses the vibrations made while playing, rather than the sound through the air for tuning. I am sure many of you are familiar with this.
I was skeptical about it, so I tuned with my phone app and it was very close to the results from the clip-on tuner.
Just thought I'd share. By the way, I LOVE getting violin stuff!
I have found a teacher locally. The good news is she charges very reasonable rates. It comes to about $14.50 per half hour. So the price is right. I do feel, for me, she does not push me at the rate that I would like. Her teaching is fairly relaxed and she is not quite as thorough with the material we go over as I would like. For example, we just began working on 3rd position... this is, by the way, only because I brought music to her that I want to play, and there is one passage that should be played in 3rd. Otherwise, I doubt we would have begun 3rd position. Like I say, she does not push me or offer challenges. I have had to introduce my own challenges. I already have the next piece to bring to her to go over... this piece has several grace notes and I want to learn that technique.
So although the lessons are extremely affordable, I have to be proactive as far as what I want to learn, the pace I want to learn it, and the level of challenges I would like to learn.
There are a couple of peculiar things with this teacher as well. She does not encourage me to use 4th finger. In fact, the way she puts it is.. if I want to play 4th finger I can but she does not usually play it. She prefers to use open string rather than playing the note stopped with 4th finger, which I find odd and also incorrect. I have never seen anyone play that way, nor have I heard that it is really acceptable to avoid 4th finger altogether. But she is fine with me opting to use 4th finger when I chose to.
She also says she "rarely plays in 4th or higher positions". She also says that she prefers playing 2nd violin parts.
So she is ok for now for me, as long as I tell her what I want to learn, when to teach it, and where I want to go with violin. I donno, I think the price is really what is keeping me with her, which I agree is not the best reason to have a teacher.
So I mentioned I am now learning 3rd position. And based on my description of my teacher, you could surmise that much of it I am teaching to myself. We very briefly went over 3rd position as far as what the notes are and what the fingering is. She has not offered much in the way of practice exercises to learn 3rd. So far I have been playing scales in 3rd and working on the fingering that way. Also, I have been using a practice technique where you play first finger, first position and then shift the same finger up to 3rd. Then do the same with second finger in 1st position, second finger in 3rd. And so on for each finger on each string, shifting up and back smoothly. This seems to be a good exercise, and it is tough to go up and back smoothly every time.
I will be starting a job mid-March which will be a long commute, and this presents a challenge for getting to my lessons, as my teacher only teaches on weekdays during the day. I have made arrangements to stop after work at her mother's home. She has been teaching for years and has agreed to teach me. It is on my way home from the job I will be starting.
So what does this have to do with orchestra? Well, I told this other teacher that her job will be to prepare me to play in an orchestra. The job is going to go until the end of July, so she has this much time to get me up to skill to play in an orchestra. She agreed and is very enthusiastic! She seems to be a driven and passionate teacher. Actually, I would like to continue lessons with her and drop her daughter who is teaching me now.
So in 4 months, probably sooner, I plan to join an orchestra.
That's whats going on right now for violin! I will post more updates.
- Pete -