This a great example of great phrasing, and that TONE! I like it at this speed. Those who want to “show off” at 1.5X the printed speed can’t come up with the marvelous depth of this interpretation, which needs this tempo and much more. Zukerman gives it all here in this truly beautiful rendition of such a popular concerto.
By Rigo Murillo
General Advise On Choosing a Violin:
Young students’ sizes should be determined by the individual teacher. If you are shopping for a violin for a Suzuki student, my personal recommendation is to ALWAYS check with your teacher before you head out shopping for an instrument. Make sure the dealer will let you take it to the teacher for approval as conditional to continue your commitment to rent or buy. Show the violin to your child’s teacher to check on size and playability. Since violin makers don’t have a “standard” set of fractional sizes, there can be a 1/8 violin that is the same size, or even smaller than a 1/10 of another maker. You want your child to have the most ease of playing and a pleasant learning experience.
For the older student, the best option is to take time visiting the shops personally and try several instruments. The shop owners know it’s a crucial decision for the student and parent to get a good fit. They will let you try several models and price ranges, and usually explain the instrument’s origin, construction, and possible usability. The violins should be easy to play, have a well-round sound (they have different character), pleasant to the ear.
It may take more than one visit to a shop to come up with a satisfactory decision. Though all these shops carry good quality instruments, it will take some shopping around to get the best fit for the student.
Rigo Murillo, Suzuki Strings Specialist
Here is a list of the local violin/string shops in the Dallas/Plano/Richardson area that I personally know to have good quality instruments:
The Luthier Shop
2201 Moseley Road
Cross Roads, TX 76227-8017
SELL: YES (~$400 – $11,00)
RENT: YES ($30-40/Mo.)
This is the place I have been going for the last 9 years to have work on my violins. Stephen Cundall is a master violin maker and also works on repairs. He carries very good, professional-line instruments at reasonable prices. Highly honest and great reputation. Rentals are also available.
Rury Violin Shop
1251 S. Sherman St., Suite 105
Richardson, TX 75081
SELL: YES (~$300 – $11,00)
Jay Rury has been serving the Dallas are for quite some time. They have provided service and instruments for our school’s student families and many of the Dallas Symphony musicians. They now carry an array of good instruments in a wide price range. Very friendly and punctual work.
209A W Main Street
Richardson, TX 75081
SELL: YES (~$300 – $11,00)
RENT: YES (~$20-35/Mo.)
I have have known Rozanne, the owner of the shop for quite some time. She has a variety of student instruments. Several of my young students rent or own instruments from this shop. Rozanne usually has all small-size instruments in stock. They have a renting program, as well.
If you started music lessons in grade one, or played the recorder in kindergarten, thank your parents and teachers. Those lessons you dreaded — or loved — helped develop your brain. The younger you started music lessons, the stronger the connections in your brain.
A study published last month in the Journal of Neuroscience suggests that musical training before the age of seven has a significant effect on the development of the brain, showing that those who began early had stronger connections between motor regions — the parts of the brain that help you plan and carry out movements… READ MORE
- This Is Your Brain On Vivaldi and Beatles
- Every Musician’s Tote Bag
- Just… Keep Calm and Listen To Music
Using a combination of brain imaging and computer modeling, researchers found areas in the auditory, motor, and limbic regions to be activated during free listening to music.
Aug. 7, 2013 — Listening to music activates large networks in the brain, but different kinds of music are processed differently. A team of researchers from Finland, Denmark and the UK has developed a new method for studying music processing in the brain during a realistic listening situation. Using a combination of brain imaging and computer modeling, they found areas in the auditory, motor, and limbic regions to be activated during free listening to music. They were furthermore able to pinpoint differences in the processing between vocal and instrumental music.
The new method helps us to understand better the complex brain dynamics of brain networks and the processing of lyrics in music. The study was published in the journal NeuroImage.
Using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI), the research team, led by Dr. Vinoo Alluri from the University of Jyväskylä, Finland, recorded the brain responses of individuals while they were listening to music from different genres, including pieces by Antonio Vivaldi, Miles Davis, Booker T. & the M.G.’s, The Shadows, Astor Piazzolla, and The Beatles. Following this, they analyzed the musical content of the pieces using sophisticated computer algorithms to extract musical features related to timbre, rhythm and tonality. Using a novel cross-validation method, they subsequently located activated brain areas that were common across the different musical stimuli.
The study revealed that activations in several areas in the brain belonging to the auditory, limbic, and motor regions were activated by all musical pieces. Notable, areas in the medial orbitofrontal region and the anterior cingulate cortex, which are relevant for self-referential appraisal and aesthetic judgments, were found to be activated during the listening. A further interesting finding was that vocal and instrumental music were processed differently. In particular, the presence of lyrics was found to shift the processing of musical features towards the right auditory cortex, which suggests a left-hemispheric dominance in the processing of the lyrics. This result is in line with previous research, but now for the first time observed during continuous listening to music.
“The new method provides a powerful means to predict brain responses to music, speech, and soundscapes across a variety of contexts,” says Dr. Vinoo Alluri.
The above story is based on materials provided by Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland), via AlphaGalileo.
Journal Reference: Vinoo Alluri, Petri Toiviainen, Torben E. Lund, Mikkel Wallentin, Peter Vuust, Asoke K. Nandi, Tapani Ristaniemi, Elvira Brattico. From Vivaldi to Beatles and back: Predicting lateralized brain responses to music. NeuroImage, 2013; 83: 627 DOI: 10.1016/j.neuroimage.2013.06.064
Credit: Image courtesy of Suomen Akatemia (Academy of Finland)
By Rigo Murillo
I often see that successful music students and parents always manage to be well prepared for performances, auditions, and weekly lessons. They always have what they need when it comes to books, accessories, and all that’s needed to have a nice lesson time. But even the best well-intentioned student and parent may forget a thing or two that should be in their music tote bag. Even Yehudi Menuhin, the famous violinist of the twentieth century wrote in one of his books about what every violinist should have in his/her violin case.
For starters, here is a “musician’s tote bag kit” for you to think about:
- All music books needed, including Suzuki repertoire, etudes, scales, sight reading, music theory
- A metronome (or two) and extra replacement batteries if it’s electronic
- Pencil (to write notes on music)
- Pen (to take notes during lesson)
- Practice notebook
- Nail Clipper
- Music to listen to (iPod, CD player, etc.) – There will be time riding/waiting… why waste it?
String players, please add these:
- Extra Strings – I cannot over emphasize this. GET EXTRA STRINGS, They WILL brake some day!
- Shoulder rest (if applicable). Again… I have seen too many violin and viola players forgetting their shoulder rest that I have to write it again: Shoulder rest!
- Cleaning cloth
- Nail Clipper (yes, again, I know)
- Cello Pin Stop/Strap (if applicable)
- Cello Chair/Bench (if applicable)
- Peg compound
I am sure that getting all these applicable accessories and necessities will make your practicing more consistent, successful and pleasant. It will at least impless your music teacher when an emergency comes up.
Cut all the DRAMA! Just STOP what you’re doing, KEEP CALM and LISTEN! Also, KEEP CALM AND PRACTICE YOUR SUZUKI MUSIC WITH A PURPOSE.
Keep Calm and Listen To Music
Back in the days when I was younger, a budding violinist, touring across Mexico playing concerts and recitals, here is a picture that my parents have in what used to be my home. I had forgotten about it. This time in my trip to visit my family, I “snatched” it and… here it is:
My mother used to put this picture on an easel at the front of the venue where I was performing, when concert attendees were walking into the concert hall. Not much of a smiling picture, but I certainly was happy playing my violin!
Now, I am trying to give my students the best experience so that they, too can enjoy playing the violin and succeed. No, I’m not saying that I want ALL my students to be professional musicians. Whether they decide to be musicians, my goal for them is that they can rip the benefits and enjoyment of playing music, as well as a great work ethic and perseverance toward a task that many consider difficult. Every child can play!, as Shinichi Suzuki said.
Until next time!
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki realized two main facts about the natural development of language, which he realized could also be applied to musical education. This influenced his creation and implementation of the Suzuki Method:
- Children learn to speak naturally by being immersed in the language-filled environment around them.
- By receiving the proper encouragement and nurturing, children imitate what they hear.
For young children, The Suzuki approach is the most natural and simplest method to learn music.
It extends from ear training, and goes beyond the basics to the most intricate aspects of musical expression.
Regardless of your child’s performance level, the principles of the Suzuki Method can bring excitement and progress toward musical excellence.
The highest standards of music teaching, violin technique, performance, musicality, and enjoyment.
The Love Nurtured Music Program holds a great commitment to the Suzuki Method philosophy, quality of instruction, and the highest standards of professionalism, with more than 25 years of experience and proven success in music performance and teaching young children.
PRACTICE EVERY DAY and record each day’s practice time.
DON’T MISS EVEN ONE DAY, or you will have to start over. If you only have little time, at least listen to your Suzuki recording and practice something that day (like review pieces).
Bring your completed practice chart to your lesson.
GET your Practice Champion T-shirt FREE!
The Love Nurtured Music program embraces the ideals and philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, founder of the Suzuki Method. The student, teacher and parent are the solid foundation of a learning triangle. The parent attends the lessons, creates a positive home learning environment, and organizes the daily listening and practice sessions.
No previous music or teaching experience is necessary.
The Suzuki Philosophy
More than forty years ago, Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by othe rs. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.
As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.
Learning with Other Children
In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performance at which they learn from an are motivated by each other.
Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.
Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. in the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.
How do I get my child started on Suzuki Violin?