Talent is…

"You are so talented!" Have you heard this before? Anyone with an outwardly apparent skill likely has, and certainly anyone in the arts. The fruits of the painter, the musician, the carpenter, the crafter, the decorator, the dancer, are always recognized as talent. A younger me would have nodded graciously in agreement at the compliment, "You're …

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When to Start Music Lessons

I am asked all the time what age is best to begin music lessons.  Parents want the best possible start for their child, and knowing the best time to begin is an important part of ensuring commitment, growth, and success in learning any instrument.  My education and experience is in teaching the violin and piano. …

Smart Practicing

I have been practicing consistently for nearly 30 years now.  Three decades!  But seven years ago, my practicing and teaching changed for the better.  My violin teacher at the time was always referring to "organic" practice--a term that seemed fuzzy to me at best.  He was urging me to feel a natural connection to the …

Nails, Fingers, Calluses

A few years ago I sat in a spa chair enjoying a much needed mani-pedi.  I rarely treat myself to a manicure because there just really isn't much there to work with.  I have small nail beds and have always kept them very short because of violin and piano.  The manicurist looked puzzled as she …

Rainy Mondays, and New Strings

It's pretty heavy outside.  Humidity and muddy puddles are thick under the gray sky.  Not the best Monday I can think of, but I have nowhere to be and that is a great thing. A very great thing.  I love stay-at-home days, where my time is my own (sort of).  My life is uncluttered, groceries ordered, …

Quavers, Crochets and a Few Travels

I was totally lost.  In the middle of a rehearsal with the Harrogate Philharmonic, the conductor abruptly stopped the Mendelssohn symphony and directed us to correct the articulation of the semiquavers in measure 99 or so.  My nose crinkled and a look of utter confusion spread across my face.  I had never heard of a …

Mother Violinist

  "How do you do it?" was the chatter back stage with the featured soloist, Judith Ingolfsson.  She had a baby of about 5 months old,  and a nanny, with her as she rehearsed with the orchestra before the concerts.  A highly unusual site in the violinist world.  The other women violinists of the orchestra …

Here

Wherever you are is called Here And you must treat it As a powerful stranger, Must ask permission to know it and be known.          --"Lost", by David Wagoner Today is hard.  I do not like where I am on this path of violin-ing.  It's painful--the callouses, long hours, trying to restore …