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My teachers tip of the week
advice to help me improve (and maybe you)
Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 Topic Rating: 5 (12 votes) 
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Picklefish
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July 3, 2013 - 8:38 am
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@Ferret- you are so right on.

Suzuki Method is a approach to learning which can be applied to any music you want to learn. The suzuki books provide accesible, graded repetoire that is fun to play. First you learn the songs by ear from your teacher. You listen to a recording of the song often to get the song in your head. Then you play the song in a group jam to improve and learn to play nice with others. The parent if you have one, guides your daily practice to keep you focused. And you practice often. The student often cant read music at the beginning and isnt taught to read music until much later in the program.

That is the method according to the suzuki teachers book I have. I think its pretty effective and many people may already be learning in this style without even knowing it. The rest of the method is basically suzukis tips and techniques for keeping the young child engaged and interested.
just saying.

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

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Ferret
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July 3, 2013 - 6:31 pm
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@Picklefish 

Hi Robert

As I said, I've never looked at any of the Suzuki books. I'll have to get my hands on one give it a read. I've probably been using it without knowing

Seen it all. Done it all. Can't remember most of dunno ..... What was I saying???? facepalm

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Picklefish
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July 3, 2013 - 6:44 pm
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I was just trying to illiterate that the books themselves are largely immaterial and that the "method" can be used to learn any tune or from any books. I did read earlier post where you said that you hadnt used the books in particular. :)

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

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Picklefish
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July 11, 2013 - 10:38 am
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This particuar video is 15 min long and is this weeks lesson with the 7 year old I am working with. Each week he must go through the tune he is learning and write down the fingering positions for each note. He has 8 songs pretty well memorized this way and if I play a bit of the song he can join in. You can see me cheating and reading the music in order to play along with him since I am a slacker! lol. I make many mistakes and yet he still can play the right notes. I think the value of the video is seeing how he sounds out what he wants to play to figure it out. This talent amazes me. (it is a superpower I do not posses lol) I also like when we play together in tune, he makes me sound better I think. I enjoy working with him.
http://youtu.be/jL4DnOv59YU

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

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Picklefish
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July 11, 2013 - 11:59 am
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The purpose of the vid is to highlight how this particular 7 year old is doing, not to show my "teachyness" or lack thereof. I already know of the negatives, I figured them out on my own thank you.

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

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coolpinkone
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July 11, 2013 - 12:41 pm
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He is doing great Rob!   Congratulations... That must be the best feeling ever!

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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Picklefish
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July 31, 2013 - 10:11 am
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So I just spent the last three days in the hospital. I have diabeties and wasnt taking care of it properly and like a rattler it up and bit me! My fault, lesson learned. Whilst I was convalescing my violin was brought to me. Not wanting to make a ruccus or anything I decided to go no bow. I plucked and fingered away the day. This caused me to discover something about my fingerings. My third finger isnt as strong as the rest and doesnt really come down hard enough to set any vibrations. I remember lifting and tapping exercises being recommended somewheres in my readings so thats what I began to do. I think my overall confidence in my lefthand has improved. I know my fingerstrength will as well. So, I just thought Id share that with you. As a tip it might apply to you and be helpful or not. Give it a try and see.

This is the guy, I dont recommend his site by the way, wasnt impressed by the lack of explanation. But I think the info is good.

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

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Hman
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Soooo he moves his thumb down when he uses fourth finger. Bad advice?! My old teacher would kill me if I did that. 

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Fiddlestix
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July 31, 2013 - 12:30 pm
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Finger lifting and tapping; 

That is about one annoying video with the droneing in the background. Much too loud.

I'll rate that vid an "F" for.... well never mind.  facepalm

 

Ken.

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Picklefish
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gheeze, did anyone have an opinion about the actual exercise he recommends? Just kidding, I'm only really interested if FM has any input about the exercise. It was a trick question. lol.

@Ken, sorry.....

@Matt, I will probably ask this again if we get together but, how do you reach your pinky to the G string and keep it curved without the thumb dropping? its all attached....
what is the advice you were given relating to that type of movement? thanks.

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

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Hman
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July 31, 2013 - 1:36 pm
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@Picklefish Well, first off...I'm not exactly an expert on this ol' instrument. I'm sure you are much better than I am. I'm right on the line of beginner/intermediate I'd say. However, I do put my CURVED fourth finger in the correct spot without moving my thumb down the finger board. It does get pulled UNDER the finger board just barely if I'm lazy, but it never moves downwards towards my other fingers. Does anyone have advice? Am I being too strict with my thumb? I never move it unless I move out of first position.

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Picklefish
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July 31, 2013 - 3:57 pm
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@Hman now I get what you are describing. I will have to rewatch that vid to see what the heck he is talking about then. I think what you are doing then is def in line with the norm. lol.

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

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Fiddlerman
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July 31, 2013 - 9:54 pm
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Glad you asked :-)
I don't like him teaching to lift and tap so high. Better to lift and tap as close to the string as possible and get use to not using excess energy and force for example, as he does when he moves all other fingers at the same time. LOL

Do what he is doing if you like but keep all fingers as close to the strings as possible and focus on intonation and minimal accurate motion and movement.

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

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Picklefish
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July 31, 2013 - 10:53 pm
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@Fiddlerman- is there any real benefit to it? Do you have any exercises that you do or are they unnecessary ultimately? I am really interested in what I should do to keep improving without wasting time unnecessarily. Like what would be the best things to do to keep improving?
(I know that sounds vague or loaded but its really not)
Like what are the things you do to keep in playing shape? Or do you have to at this point?

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

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Fiddlerman
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July 31, 2013 - 11:04 pm
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I refuse to answer on the grounds that it might incriminate me. ;-)

I used to work REAL hard but time, hard work and age has given me the confidence, or cockiness to take it completely easy.

I do a few exercises and scales maliciously from time to time as a warm up. Trills and dexterity exercises as well as some Bach and Paganini.
Regretfully not that often anymore. When I'm hired to play solo or leader I make sure to put in the hours beforehand.

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

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Picklefish
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August 1, 2013 - 11:37 am
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I understand, so what would be some "maintenance" work you do, might be an interesting video for those of us looking for the next step of what to do. (I know you are busy) Never hurts to ask. lol.

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

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Fiddlerman
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August 1, 2013 - 5:46 pm
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I'll add it to my "to do" list. I've actually thought about it before. :-)

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

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RosinedUp
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Picklefish said
This particuar video is 15 min long and is this weeks lesson with the 7 year old I am working with. Each week he must go through the tune he is learning and write down the fingering positions for each note. He has 8 songs pretty well memorized this way and if I play a bit of the song he can join in. You can see me cheating and reading the music in order to play along with him since I am a slacker! lol. I make many mistakes and yet he still can play the right notes. I think the value of the video is seeing how he sounds out what he wants to play to figure it out. This talent amazes me. (it is a superpower I do not posses lol) I also like when we play together in tune, he makes me sound better I think. I enjoy working with him.

It seems pretty clear that the boy needs a shoulder rest.  You can see his scroll going low and his wrist going bent.

Ha ha, near 20:00 he says he likes playing the open strings instead of 4th finger, like me.

You both sound good when you play separately, but something clashes seriously when you play together.  It sounds to me like you aren't tuned to each other.

IDK why you hardly ever have the boy play alone.  Clearly he learns by ear.  I would just play a phrase and have him repeat it.  Then make the phrases longer until he is playing the whole tune.  Why play on top of him?  I would assign him recordings from which to learn.  Otherwise I guess he'll be largely idle between lessons.  I wouldn't emphasize looking at the fingerboard---it seems he can figure out what to do with his fingers once he hears what to play.

Sounding out a tune is no kind of superpower.  If someone can tune their violin against another violin or against a generated tone, I don't see why they can't sound out a tune.  It basically requires being able to hear which of two tones is higher than the other.  If someone can't do it, probably it's because they haven't tried much.

 

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Picklefish
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He doesnt want a shoulder rest, says he doesnt like it. He wont even put a towel up there. He requires reminding occaisionally of his posture which he then corrects. I dont hound him about it because he gets frustrated and shuts down. This format is much more relaxed for him and he enjoys it more. In the time I have known him his attention span at the lessons has lengthened considerably. He is always prepared for the lesson and shows alot of enthusiasm. He and his family refuse or "forget" to listen to the recordings. I mix it up playing with him and letting him play alone. He can accurately play from memory the first 8 suzuki tunes in book 1. He doesnt always play them like a song though and so I play with him so he can hear how it should go as well as get used to playing with others. The vid was just a snippet of the 45 min I spend with him.
His mother says he has adhd and they do practice some, good luck getting him to have a focused practice at this age on his own. He has also started to learn how to read the sheet music. I think he is doing wonderfully.
He is the youngest I have ever worked with and I think over a short period of time he will adjust into a more traditional routine. This past Saturday I said to him he was responsible for preparing for the next lesson and I would grade him on it. Little by little they will come around. Mom doesn't want to push him too hard. First and formost this should be fun.

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

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coolpinkone
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August 2, 2013 - 1:56 am
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hey all..

I liked reading the comments.. and advice here.. keep up the good work Rob. RU..good points.  FM.. great replies.. love this thread.

:)

Vibrato Desperato.... Desperately seeking vibrato

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