Category: Features & Articles

Big Circle Exercises

'Big Circles' are simple, straightforward exercises that you can use as a warm up at the beginning of your practice. They're also useful for improving your bow control, and your feeling for the 'balance' of the bow. Before we get started playing Big Circles, we need to be clear about how the balance of the bow […]

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Long Slow Bows

Long Slow Bows are one of the best - and most straightforward! - techniques that you can use to warm up on the violin! They're also great for improving your bow technique. Practising Long Slow Bows involves playing lots of up and down bows on your violin. But even though the task isn't complicated, there […]

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From Sight to Sound... Why Sight-Read?

All about sight-reading, why it's important, and a checklist to help you get things right first time! From Sight to Sound ... 'Sight-reading' is the term used to describe the reading and performing of music without any previous preparation; to sight-read is to play, or sing, or 'hear in our heads' (audiation) the notated music […]

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Articulation

The articulation of sounds on the violin is much like the production of different consonants and vowels in speech, and the nuance in expression of tone. The many ways of articulating notes with the bow makes them speak in different ways. Articulation in violin music is created using range of bowing gestures. These can give […]

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Listening

  Listening is one of the most important skills you can have. How well you listen has a major impact on your effectiveness at work, your relationships and your musical practice. Listening enables you to learn, to obtain information, to understand and to enjoy, yet it can often feel like an abstract ability. Research suggests […]

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Tempo

One of the most crucial decisions to the performance and interpretation of any piece of music is the speed. Getting the speed right allows room for all the intricate levels of technique and expression to work; it creates the mood, tells the story and allows the music to dance. When we play in an orchestra, […]

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Violin and Age

violin and ageViolin an The beneficial effects of learning a musical instrument are well documented in young children, and the violin has seen its share of child prodigies, but how does the relationship with the instrument change as the player gets older, and is it ever too late to start learning? Even the youngest children […]

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Violin Dynamics

  The word dynamics in music refers to the volume of the sound or note. Dynamics are part of the vast array of musical expression and interpretation marks written into music. Dynamic markings do not represent specific values of volume; they are relative, depending on many factors, from the size of the room in which you […]

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Learn Violin At Home

Search “Learn Violin at Home” online, and you’ll be overwhelmed with resources; video courses, self-teaching plans, books, forums and advice. The violin is a notoriously complex instrument. Is it possible to learn it from home, essentially self-taught, or is there another aspect to learning from home which is more valuable when balanced with lessons? There […]

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Proprioception

Proprioception, Hypermobility and Violin Playing  Proprioception, from the Latin proprius meaning ‘one’s own’ and the word perception, is the sense of the relative position of the joints, and the strength or effort that is employed in their movement. Violin playing requires a highly trained, very specific level proprioception, and conditions such as Joint Hypermobility Syndrome […]

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Electric Violin

  The violin is traditionally built as an acoustic instrument. The shape of the body is designed purely to produce and amplify the sound created by the vibrations of the strings. However, since the American jazz clubs of the 1920s, modern popular music genres have created the need for violins that can be amplified beyond […]

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Using Visualisation In Violin Practice and Performance

  “To rely on muscular habit, which so many of us do in technique, is indeed fatal. A little nervousness, a muscle bewildered and unable to direct itself, and where are you? For technique is truly a matter of the brain.” Fritz Kreizler, violinist and composer 1875 -1962 Visualisation, the process of creating compelling images […]

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