Monthly Archives: October 2013

Multiple Instruments

As a flute teacher I love when my new students have several years of piano lessons. It makes learning flute much easier.

I found as a beginning violin student in my mid-thirties, that while technique is totally different than flute, my years of sight-reading skills are very helpful. I pick up new techniques much faster than I did as a beginning flute student (20+ years ago).

Violin Lesson Update

I’ve now been playing violin for two years and four months. It feels much longer. I’m on Gavotte from “Mignon” which is in the last third of book 2.

My teacher started me in Double-stops by Trott. It’s a challenge. It’s like playing two note-chords on the piano combined with the fingering of violin. I have to warm up a little and if I’m tired it becomes exponentially harder to concentrate enough to play the exercises well.

I’m about half-way in my shifting book. I’m learning a violin duet arrangement of Pachabel’s Canon in D for the Christmas recital. My teacher is also having me play violin with my youngest daughter’s violin group and guitar with my middle daughter’s guitar group.

I started fixing a bad habit today that I noticed last week. I’ve been using my index finger to support the violin neck, like I would use it as a chair for flute playing. Changing my violin hand more into the backwards “C” shape it’s supposed to be stretches my thumb. I have more flexibility and movement in my fingers, but I also have the sense that I don’t know where I am on the fingerboard because I was using my index finger as a reference. Bad habits are so hard to fix!

Beginning Band Elem – Day 1

I got to substitute for the after-school band program. I was excited. Only three students showed up and only one of them brought an instrument. Usually on the first day you’d talk about rules and how to rent an instrument, how to care for your instrument, what music book to buy etc, but I’m not the regular teacher so I dived into the music first. We talked about rhythms, wrote them and clapped them as a group. We covered some vocabulary like staff, treble clef, bass clef, and time signature.

“You remind me of my fourth grade music teacher.” One of the girls said. “You use the same words.”