I’ve given myself one year to master the violin.

As an adult beginner, I should be playing Twinkle Twinkle; instead, I'm playing Paganini's 24th caprice.

A lesson with Anna

This has been quite a week.  We started our yearly RA training/year preparation on Wednesday to get ready for the incoming students who began rolling in yesterday.  They’ll continue to trickle in for a week or so as summer camps and festivals finish up.  Last year, Colburn training was no big deal.  I only had one class to teach, and I had already taught it so I wasn’t too worried, but now I have three classes to teach and prepare for, violin to practice (and write about), and classes start tomorrow!  It was a bit stressful fitting everything in, but I think I survived.

This afternoon I got around to editing that lesson with Danielle’s student Anna that I had a couple of weeks ago.  The first thing I want you to notice is how long Anna’s fingers are.  They remind me of a daddy long legs.  I think they’re even longer than mine.  It’s probably pretty obvious how much of an advantage having long fingers can be when playing violin and having them be thin enough not to hit the wrong string like I do.  If you hear a third voice at the end of the lesson, it’s Elbert who wandered by because he wanted to play catch in preparation for the annual Luzerne Music Center vs Philadelphia Orchestra softball game (which Luzerne won 20-4 or something like that.  Unfortunately I wasn’t there because I had to leave the morning of the game).

When I was in this lesson, it felt sort of like a King’s Speech moment when I did something as simple as walking and it changed my playing dramatically.  I’m not sure how dramatic it seems in the video, but when I was playing at the time (I cut out a lot of my BAD playing by the way) it felt a little bit like magic.  As you can see, Anna didn’t let me get away with much when I messed up, but she also picked and prodded, trying various techniques and we finally hit one that really worked.

Needless to say, I walk much more while practicing these days.

2 Comments on “A lesson with Anna”

  1. Vikki says:

    You’re making lots of progress! We’re looking forward to hearing you play in studio class again soon. By the way, Anna walks in laps around our entry way while she practices. I have to open the front door slowly since I’m afraid of crashing into her bow. ~ V

    • rrvaughn says:

      Hey Vikki,
      Yeah, walking helps quite a bit as I’ve learned; I feel lucky Anna introduced me to that. I’m going to have to play in Danielle’s class soon, although I feel so unready. Hopefully I’m my own worst critic but sometimes I wonder.

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