Welcome!

My name is Jenny, and I'm glad you're here.

I'm guessing that you found me for one of two reasons:

  • 1 ~ You enjoy the music of my band, Circa Paleo and want to know more about it.
  • 2 ~ You have a Hot Violinist within and are seeking some tips on how to do all of this yourself.

I'm mostly focusing on the instructional stuff here, but this is also a great place to hang out if you want more behind the scenes info and unreleased previews of my music projects.

If you're just here to listen and watch, that's cool, but now a few words for you fiddlers and fiddlers to be:

I'm not claiming to be an expert of the violin, but I do know a LOT about starting violin "late" since I myself began my fiddle journey at age 18. I've also learned a lot about unique world music styles over the past several years of traveling all over the place.

Now I want to share all the quirky tips and music that I've learned. In other words…

I'm here to make YOU into a Hot Violinist.

Before we go further, lets define hot, shall we? Because the hot I’m talking about reaches far beyond smokin’ fiddle riffs and gym bodies. Check out my first blog post, "The Hot Violinist Manifesto," to read about what "hot" really means to me.

11 Hottest Gifts for Violinists and Fiddlers 2016!

Looking for gifts for violinists and fiddlers? This 2016 edition of my yearly list has some special ideas for some of the toughest-to-gift types of violinists on your list such as….

-Violinists to be
-Violinists with not enough time in the day
-Trad purists

And the previously impossible to gift…

-Violinist who has everything

I’ve gone cold turkey on the Amazon affiliate links this year. So, all of these links are sending you to small businesses that I simply like (Yay! Let’s send some Holiday cash their way!).

If you’d like to support thehotviolinist.com, you can purchase downloads of my music or tell your aspiring violinist friends about ViolinWOD 2017. Ooh look! The discounted pre-enrollment packages made it on this year’s list!!  😉

HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #1ViolinWOD

I’m proud of my 20 peeps who started violin in 2016 with me via my 5 minute a day video program. Can’t wait to see who I meet in 2017! Please send some more nice people my way for the next experience. Pre-enrollment is open with early bird discounts.

This year I’m making custom vouchers for gift giving. Just print, roll up like an ancient scroll, tie with twine, and send your loved one on an adventure.

For total beginners or anyone who wants to sound better using less practice time.

 

HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA # 2 – Headspace Guided Meditation Subscription

Here’s another way to give an experience instead of a thing!

Stress less, sleep better, love better…. practice violin better! Neuroscientists and monks agree. Practicing meditation helps everything. The Headspace program is really easy and fun and gift subscriptions start at $12.95.

HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #3 – Fizzics Portable Beer System

Bring the pub home (or anywhere) for a more authentic fiddle learning atmosphere. It’s for the violinist on your list dedicated to the art and preservation of culture!

HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA # 4 – Amazing Grace Wind Chimes

I would have thought this idea might turn out cheesy, but it’s totally not. These are beautifully tuned artisan wind chimes made by Davis Blanchard. He tunes using Just Intonation, which is what fiddlers use for the best sounding double stops.

The tuning of this set is reminiscent of the melody of Amazing Grace. You can explore the many different themes and tunings with the videos on his site to find something personal to the person you are shopping for.

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HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #5 – Fingerless Gloves

Super practical for any fiddler or violinist you know who sometimes needs to play outside in chilly temperatures. They also look really cool, so hey… I say air conditioning is reason enough to perform in these.

It’s a nice thoughtful little gift you can find in a variety of colors and price ranges. I liked the ones on this Etsy shop because they are handmade, afforable (under 10 bucks?!) and come in a bunch of different colors and styles for men and women.

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HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #6 – Swell Bottle

Hydration, hydration, hydration! Or coffee…..

A very thoughtful Santa brought me one of these for Christmas last year and it has been by my side every day since. I really like my woodgrain one, and I think a lot of fiddlers probably would too. But they have tons of color options to personalize the gift. Keeps things hot or cold and doesn’t leak. 

HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #7 – Circa Paleo Beanie

Vintage band gear is in. The more obscure the better. And the fiddlers in your life might appreciate being turned on to this band in particular, where the violin is the lead singer. The “dancing J” CP logo represents the connection between rhythm and melody. Meanwhile keeps head warm. 

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HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #8 – Productivity Planner

For the too-busy violinist in your life. (And who isn’t?) Maybe you can actually gift them with more time in the day to play.

This thing really works to get stuff done. It’s like a day planner, life coach (a good one not a woo woo one), and a time management workshop all in one little black book. It has definitely helped me to beat procrastination, but more importantly brings peace of mind.

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HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #9 – Matches in a Bottle

Combine these with a candle from your local candle maker for a unique gift that would make a nice finishing touch to a practice space. It’s nice to have a routine to begin the set aside practice time, and lighting a candle is perfect for that.

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HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #10 – The Man With the Violin

One of my violin students gave this to me, and I’ve since sent copies to two young maybe-future-fiddlers I know. It’s a children’s book based on the social experiment when world renowned Joshua Bell played his Strad in the DC Subway. Cute.

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HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #11 Bridge and Cross Bows T-Shirt

Violin maker Andrew Carruthers first created these designs in linoleum blocks cut with his violin making tools. Now the bridge and crossbows is available in a locally screen printed version to keep up with demand. Once you’re on his site, take a stroll through the many shirt designs and posters.

HOT VIOLINIST GIFTS: IDEA #12 – Life Sized Chocolate Violin

WHAT?! Yes, this is a whimsical memorable treat to put a smile on the face of the violinist who already has everything else. Because I really don’t think they have one of these. Made fresh to order in white, dark, or milk chocolate.

And since this is one of the best ideas I’ve ever heard of, it made it in as number 12 on my list of 11.

Did I mention it is life sized?

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So that’s my list for 2016! Please let me know the reaction if you end up getting any of these for your friends and loved ones.

And do you have any ideas of gifts for violinists and fiddlers? Lemme know in the comments below!

Learn a Cool Fiddle Tune by _(insert winter holiday of choice)_.

Wanna learn some new music to share with family and friends for the holidays, but already feeling the time crunch?

This group is full but stay tuned for the next one.

You can still check out my version of King of the Faeries and read a bit about my group teaching style if you’re interested.

Clicking the vid thumbnail will open another tab and take you to YouTube. After you give it a listen, you can come back to this tab and read on.

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Took me 15 years to figure this out, but the basic formula to tackle violin as an adult is really simple actually:

Bite sized videos + Community + Live Q&As with me 🙂

Ok, yeah, there’s a bit more to it than that. You know, other violin teacher essentials like…

COSTUMES!

and…

SHEET MUSIC! (I’m hearing your requests for this)

I had a chance to test this out with 20 adult violin beginners and my ViolinWOD program I hosted earlier this year.

Here’s what a few ViolinWOD members had to say:

“This is important: it wasn’t overwhelming.” -Ken, Japan

“Jenny’s program was so well suited to my busy and hectic schedule!” -John, Texas

“Violin experience before Jenny = a nightmare, with Jenny = a lovely dream.-Minni, Italy

In the meantime, we’ve created a nice little community of cool people who support each other as friends and fiddle players.

Now they are ready to learn songs. And I know you guys are too because you are asking for them!

Now is your chance to learn King of The Faeries using the same tools that worked so well in ViolinWOD, and play this lovely tune for your favorite people around the holidays. 

Here’s what you’ll receive:

  • Bite-sized videos sent straight to your email inbox

I’ll be sending short, bite-sized videos over the course of four (4) weeks directly to your inbox. Each video will teach you a technique, drill, or portion of the song.

  • Invite to a PRIVATE Facebook group for support and questions

You don’t have to go it alone anymore! Post questions and videos of your progress knowing it’s for us, not the whole web. Get feedback from the group, and I’ll be jumping in to comment on videos and questions to help you all through the learning process.

  • Live Q&A with me!

We will all get together via web conference on a Saturday morning in December and talk about all the finishing touches, ornamentation and variations. Ask me questions about the song, or anything else you’re working on (Lingering questions about Last of the Mohicans anyone??).

I’ll give you A TON of advanced notice in hopes that everyone can make plans to come, but it’s OK if you can’t make it. I will be recording the Q&A so you’ll have access to watch anytime you need it.

And one more thing…

Just to sweeten the deal for you ambitious fiddlers out there, I’m going to be running a little contest.

One lucky fiddler will receive a free private lesson with me! (via Skype)

To enter…

Post a video of you playing King of the Faeries at the end of the program. You can share your awesome version on YouTube (encouraged!) or just share to our private group.

This brave act will put your name in the hat to be drawn for a free lesson!

I can’t wait to start this party!

This group is full but stay tuned for the next one.

🙂 Jenny

Princess Leia Teaches The Star Wars Main Theme

So… here’s an example of something that started as a joke and has become a reality.

Ha! Actually, I can think of multiple examples of that right here, now that I mention it…

(After the original “Hot Violinist” vid filmed by Paul Michaels went viral, my comedian friend noticed and started the whole idea of having a website called thehotviolinist.com. His name is Kyle Cease. Blame him!)

I don’t remember how it came up, but several months back my Pilates teacher (highly recommend Pilates for fiddlers btw!) told me that she had in her possession a film-set grade Princess Leia costume from Return of the Jedi.

Yeah- the gold bikini.

I guess the story goes that Carrie Fisher had been complaining about her original Princess Leia costume.

I mean- it’s true… She was basically wearing a head-to-toe bed-sheet for the entire first two movies of the trilogy.

When Groupees.com approached me about doing a “Hot Violinist” bundle deal to spread the word and raise some money for Girls Not Brides Charity, I promised to film a tutorial of the Star Wars Main Theme WHILE WEARING Leia’s gold bikini.

This was IF the contributors to the bundle could reach a lofty goal of $5,000.

I didn’t think it would happen!

It did…..

 

The Star Wars Theme is super fun to play.

When you’re first learning violin, it’s tricky to get the notes right because there are no frets. It helps a lot to work on songs that you’ve heard a bunch so you can have each note in your head and kinda know what it’s supposed to sound like before you play it.

Scales don’t help if you don’t know what the scale is supposed to sound like. That’s just one of the many catch 22s about starting violin.

I got an email this week from someone who requested that I play Transylvanian Lullaby from Young Frankenstein while dressed as Elvira…

Please post me a comment below to let me know what songs are super iconic and recognizable to you. Bonus if there’s a costume suggestion to match…. 🙂

I want to teach you guys more songs and I have an idea that I think will be even more effective, time saving, and fun than traditional song tutorials like this one.

(Note: I live in a world where I was just able to teach violin dressed as Slave Leia and then actually call it “traditional” with a completely straight face.)

I’ll be sending some news about that to the email list only.

If you’ve found this blog post without being on the email list, please sign up now so you can be among the first to know when I host something exclusive!