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You Bought Your Fiddle on eBay?

You Bought Your Fiddle on eBay?

My main instrument is a 1924 John Reek. I know virtually nothing about Mr. Reek, apart from his Michigan residence and that he made at least eight violins. (Mine has a “#8″ penned into the label.) I purchased my instrument on a lark. Sometime around the turn of the century I developed a mild eBay addiction. One evening I found an interesting violin from an estate sale with bids starting around $90. It claimed to have a sycamore...

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Quick Poll 1: How Much Time Do You Spend Practicing Your Instrument?

Quick Poll 1: How Much Time Do You Spend Practicing Your Instrument?

Think you practice more, less or the same amount as your peers? Last week, I made some assumptions about how much time musicians need to practice based on their skill level. I posed the question to the beginning adult violin students group (bavs) on Yahoo! and got some interesting feedback. Being a lover of graphs, I decided to pose the question again – in the form of a poll. Want to find out how your practice time stacks up to other...

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Is Your Violin Case a Zen Garden or a Junk Drawer?

Is Your Violin Case a Zen Garden or a Junk Drawer?

Zen gardens, minimalist and organized, are thought to encourage contemplation and perhaps enlightenment. Junk drawers, while arguably fascinating and useful, are far from relaxing or enlightening. But couldn’t the visual stimulation and juxtaposition of objects inspire creativity? It reminds me of a plaque I read on a friend’s wall: “Dull people have immaculate houses”. What, if any, relationship does organization...

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Playing Violin as an Adult – Part 3

Playing Violin as an Adult – Part 3

As my son started working his way toward “toddlerdom”, two things happened; *he* started taking violin lessons and I started a gradual return to a practice routine of my own. It turns out that when your child can feed himself, dress himself, use the bathroom alone and play unsupervised without choking on objects or falling from dangerous heights, it frees up a lot of time… and some of that time can be used for...

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Playing Violin as an Adult – Part 2

Playing Violin as an Adult – Part 2

Somewhere between pregnancy and new motherhood, I managed to spend the years 2004 – 2007 *not* progressing past the first piece in Suzuki Book 5- the Bach Gavotte. It turns out that when 15 minutes is a “good practice day”, a sort of gradual regression in performance ability sets in. While a student in Book 1 could survive on 15 minutes of daily practice, (all the pieces in the book can be played in 20 minutes and even 5...

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Why Start Playing Violin as an Adult? Part 1

Why Start Playing Violin as an Adult? Part 1

Why did *I* start playing violin as an adult? I answered this question about six years ago back when I first attempted the art of blogging on Xanga. Rather than start from scratch, I’m going to take a short-cut an repost an entry for some background: In third grade, I played the clarinet- because our family owned one. That was the beginning and end of my desire to play that instrument. I had my heart set on the flute. Men at Work was...

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