Let’s start at the very beginning

A very good place to start.  Are you hearing Julie Andrews singing in your head yet?  I'm wrapping my head around this new year and who I want to be, what I am going to do to get there and taking a lot of my own advice that I am constantly giving to students. Practice …

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Where do you put the fear?

I've been sitting on a looonnnggg list of post drafts.  Incomplete paths of thought that just sit, waiting.  And I'm not really sure why they are incomplete, or waiting.  It's just that I never quite feel they are finished, up to par, or worthy of sharing.  It's something--another thing--on my list of parts of my …

More Than I Could Have Hoped For

I picked a word at the beginning of the year.  You know, a word that would be the theme of my year.  Maybe it was a trendy thing, or I saw an inspired instagrammer who shared how their one word had helped them.  Maybe I read a book about choosing a word, I can't know.  But …

Violinists don’t get manicures…

In my whole lifetime, I have probably been to the nail salon less times than I can count on one hand. Not for my wedding. Maybe two times visiting my sister in LA because her nail lady was so cheap and "amazing". Once with my daughter when we moved away from England. I think that's …

Learning from Violinist, Vilde Frang

I am always delighted with the highlights of classical musicians from Strings Magazine.   From a recent article on the rising fame of violinist, Vilde Frang, I was happy reading about her upbringing, mentors, and education.  She, too, loves Ann-Sophie Mutter, as I do, but her intense preparation and devotion to her instrument from an …

Paganini, Part 3 of 4

From 1810 on, Paganini worked as a free agent of sorts, travelling across Europe and gaining superstar status among concert-goers and the general public alike.  After a debut concert at La Scala, Milan, a music critic recorded: He is without question the foremost and greatest violinist in the world. His playing is truly inconceivable.  He …

I am a Magpie

"I am such a magpie", my British friend always says.  She isn't an obnoxious talker, as the phrase sometimes implies.  She is refined and careful in speech, but she does embody another definition of the phrase--one who collects indiscriminately.  She loves beautiful things: clothes, jewelry, flowers, scents, bags, decorating... She notices beauty and is quick to inquire about …

Paganini Tabloid Fodder

No doubt Paganini's astronomical fame spread like wildfire across Europe, fueled by outrageous suppositions and the eccentric and bizarre character that Paganini embodied.  It's the "fodder" that really drew the crowds, and the serious music critics, musicians, and composers followed in curiosity, and then fascination.  He inspired all to explore the limits of their instruments …

Paganini, Part 1

I was fascinated by Paganini, to say the least, as I delved into my Master of Music degree research.  He is a household name for any violinist, indeed any musician.  One look at his list of compositions and their frequency of performance is impressive enough.  And to look at the individual compositions provides a sense …

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 …