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Short -Term Goals
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September 5, 2013 - 12:26 pm
Member Since: August 16, 2013
Forum Posts: 64
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I knew when I started learning that not taking lessons or having an official teacher would have its challenges, especially when it comes to staying motivated, so I've been setting some short-term goals for myself to try and stay on top of things.  I know some of you are in the same boat as me, and even those of you who are taking actual lessons probably have or could use some short-term goals to keep you moving forward, so I thought we could share them here to help keep ourselves accountable to them, and to also give each other ideas.


So I'll start.  I've set a goal for myself to be able to perform a simple piece at my extended family's Christmas party this year.  I printed out Silent Night from the sheet music archives on this site and have started practicing.  I think this is something I can manage, and I hope to get it to decent playability by Christmas, although I know it won't be very beautiful (I have no hopes of including vibrato by then).


I've also set a looser goal of mastering the song "Edelweiss" to play for my dad, who loves it.  This one makes me a little more nervous, because the version I found online is played solely on the A and E strings which are the least friendly to the unskilled. :)  


I can't wait to hear what some of your goals are!  Also, I think it would be really cool if we shared videos or recordings of where we are and to see how we've progressed.  This isn't a competition of course, and wherever we are in skill is fine.  Please don't be shy, and always be kind. :)

Merritt Island, Fla
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September 5, 2013 - 4:19 pm
Member Since: June 25, 2012
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not only is it important to have a goal for songs, but also to have development goals for right hand and left hand techniques. Such as learning a particular bowing pattern or learning the fingerings for different scales in the different keys. These all help in development and in the progression towards the song goal. I have a list of these if anyone is interested, I can email.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.


September 5, 2013 - 9:38 pm
Member Since: January 14, 2013
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Each night before I go to sleep I set goals in my head > I sleep on it. > Next day after all my crap is done > {Just crap one has to do} > after all my crap is done I play. I start out playing stuff from my goal I had set the night before. And then BANG!!! everything goes everywhere. Its not a bad thing > GOOD things happen.

After that, I eventually will retire for the night. As I lay there, I set goals for the next day. > I don't have anything structured but I set goals everyday.

Southern California

September 5, 2013 - 11:28 pm
Member Since: May 13, 2013
Forum Posts: 256
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I also have a goal to play some songs for my family at Christmas - and once I mentioned it to my folks I've been getting 'requests' for certain songs.  I've started practicing a few; they are coming along.

I've been working on getting good tone - bowing in the correction position relative to the bridge, strong bow - even pressure from tip to tip - things like that.

And I've started working on vibrato... it's not beautiful yet, but it's getting there!

@Picklefish I'd love your list of development goals.

“Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and that which cannot remain silent” 

California, the place of my heart
September 6, 2013 - 12:15 am
Member Since: January 11, 2012
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Love to hear the goals.  I hope to sharpen up my holiday Repetoire.. and make The First Noel, Silent Night, O Come all Ye Faithful, O Holy Night, and Auld Lang Syne...good enough for maybe a holiday jam session with my friends. 


Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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September 6, 2013 - 12:31 am
Member Since: September 7, 2012
Forum Posts: 985
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laserbrainz said
I've also set a looser goal of mastering the song "Edelweiss" to play for my dad, who loves it.  This one makes me a little more nervous, because the version I found online is played solely on the A and E strings which are the least friendly to the unskilled. :) 

You could just shift everything to the left one or two strings, so that you play either on the D and A strings or on the G and D strings.   The fingerings will be the same, except moved over either one or two strings.   That works because the intervals ("distances") between G and D and between D and A and between A and E are all the same.  Those intervals are all what is called a perfect fifth (seven semitones, i.e. seven half steps).


September 6, 2013 - 6:14 am
Member Since: May 4, 2012
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Vibrato shmibrato.  LOL  

Vibrato is one embellishment that we can choose to apply to some notes as a matter of taste.  Of itself, it makes nothing beautiful.

Simple can be beautiful as well, though.  Think of a small child singing "Silent Night".  It may not be the voice of an opera singer or have that sort of technique, but it can be beautiful.  

At present, on violin, you are like a small child.  Many of us are in the same boat.  Think of how that small child in my example would sing "Silent Night", and try to do that with your violin when you play that song.  Making your violin sound like an opera singer can come later, after you've had some time to grow and learn.

But beauty in your playing can happen as soon as you decide to allow it.

I forget where I heard it, but a thing I heard about violin somewhere was something like "Every time you pick up your violin, you goal should always be 'to play beautifully'.." 


The 2012 holiday season was my first with violin.  I had worked on some holiday songs from probably about this time of year, but I wasn't particularly happy with how they were coming along.  I always play some music during the holidays, I've been a musician for much of my life on assorted instruments.  I think it would be kind of weird not to, like if a baker or candy maker didn't come up with something special for their own family and friends on the holidays.  But I had kind of decided against playing violin during that time when my family was in for the holidays. 

I ended up playing violin as well, anyway, and it was good.  Not perfect, but good.

Think of it in "foodie" terms.. Does a batch of chocolate chip cookies or a platter of fudge or a bowl of fruit have to be *perfect* or even "fancy" to be part of the good things of the holiday? 

I think that working on one or more songs to be able to play during the holidays is an excellent goal.  You have a realistic amount of time to get one or maybe even a couple more well learned by then.  I do not doubt that they will have their share of beauty.

"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

September 6, 2013 - 12:58 pm
Member Since: August 16, 2013
Forum Posts: 64
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@DanielB Wow, thanks for the encouragement!  I love what you said about simple being beautiful; I may not be able to make the violin sing like the pros do yet, but I can still make music.  Sometimes I get lost in the "seriousness" of doing something, worrying about the technical parts of things, and I forget to really enjoy it, really put my heart into it and remember why I'm doing it in the first place.  Thanks for the reminder.


@RosinedUp Hey, that's a good idea!  I know enough about music theory to know about perfect fifths, but not enough to know how to transpose something without breaking it all down and making it way more complicated than it really is.  I'll try what you said.


I love hearing everyones' goals too!  And @Picklefish, I'd love your list as well.


September 6, 2013 - 6:19 pm
Member Since: August 28, 2013
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Short term goal that I am working on right now is to get the ornamentation and "fancy schmancy ending" smoother in Lover's Waltz.  I taught this song to myself so these parts are still needing some polish. 


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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