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…
Children and teens with violin cases on their backs infest the piazza like cockroaches scurrying in every direction.
She bought a decent locally made violin, and called a few teachers.
They didn’t want to take her on.
My theory is that these teachers are more interested in a child who may make a name for them by becoming the next big thing. Or maybe they just don’t know how to teach adults- I admit it is way different.
When she finally found a teacher, he loaded her up with sheet music and etudes. Barely showed her how to hold the bow.
It was frustrating, of course. She easily could have concluded she has no musical talent and deemed the whole project a huge disappointing waste of money and time.
Thankfully she did a YouTube search and found me!
I’m not trying to brag.
I want to show you by Minni’s example that there's power in seeking and trying different things when one thing isn’t working. I'm also gonna tell you in a minute where she has ended up with violin.
But meanwhile I am pretty dang proud.
She searched a bunch of videos on how to hold the bow and found mine easier to understand than the others she had seen in her native language of Italian.
Anyway that’s how we found each other and the rest is history.
I’ll never forget when she started to make her first truly beautiful sounds on the violin with long steady full resonant bow strokes. I get goose bumps every time one of my students feels that for the first time.
We were smiling at each other, big toothy ones, and she said,
“People are depressed. Because they don’t play the violin.”
I jotted that down in my notebook right when she said it.
I thought it was true. And important. Even if it’s just a metaphor and violin isn’t necessarily your thing.
So I did what every socially responsible truth seeking person would do…
And posted it as a meme on my Instagram!
I believe the ability to play music is one of the basic human functions that we all share. And that our world will change for the better if everyone who wants to play gets to, regardless of age or social background.
In certain tribes in Africa there is not even a word for musician or dancer. It’s just understood that everyone is included.
“Only relatively recently, five hundred years or so ago, did a distinction arise that cut society in two, forming separate classes of music performers and music listeners.,”
writes Daniel Levitin,
“Throughout most of the world and for most of human history, music making was as natural an activity as breathing and walking, and everyone participated.”
That's from his book, This is Your Brain on Music.
Civilization has brought about some comfortable perks, like hobbit movies and turtleneck sweaters, but we also:
-Put our musicians up on stages at a distance above us. -Put the ones still learning on reality TV to be made fun of by Howard Stern.
As a community we're breaking that pattern here at The Hot Violinist!
If you wanna start playing the instrument you’ve always dreamed of to enhance life for those around you, but have no idea where to start…
Check out this video!
Your assignment for today is…..
Create a comment below, and answer me these 3 questions from today’s class:
My top instrument I’d like to start (or explore more) in 2017 is _________.
The top three pieces or musical vibes I’d like to master are _____________.
I want to play _________________ because _________________________________.
There are a lot of things out of your control in life, but deciding to learn a musical instrument and get good at it, is in your control.
“There is only one reason that you ever fail at anything…and that is because you eventually change your mind. That's it!…anything and everything you have ever decided to do, you have succeeded, or will succeed, at doing.”
Good idea Steve! I'm always making these out of sponges and plastic bags when the humidity dips, but it would be better to have a nice one.
I might have to put one of these in my own stocking this year.
This one is cool because it's adjustable, a little higher volume (some are too small to make a difference), and comes with a built in hygrometer so you know when you're in the danger zone. Anything under 40% is not good.
This is for the violinist that has all the necessities but loves toys. I found it while searching for a metronome solution for a student named Derek who hates his electronic metronome and doesn't wanna mess with the ones on the phone.
I watched the video on Boss's website and this thing sounds really nice! I like how it has a big loud speaker so maybe there's a chance of actually hearing it over the violin blazing in your ear.
Time your practice without getting interrupted or distracted by your stinkin' phone.
The black sand is 25 minutes and the white sand is 5 minutes. I recommend using the big 25 min one for working on learning tunes and small 5 minute one for focused bursts of technique practice, for example keeping bow straight in the mirror.
(These are also great for pacing your work day with a 5 minute break for every 25 minutes of work.)
I'm repeating this from last year because I'm a fiddler, I got this as a gift two Christmases ago, and it is still practically an extension of my right arm. You can throw it in a bag with all your sheet music because it will never leak.
It helps me stay hyrdated which I think is super critical for practicing without getting hurt.
Or forget the hydration, they now have a 25 oz version that holds an entire bottle of wine.