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.

Happy birthday, v vs v

I suppose this post should have come yesterday, but here it is today anyway.  February 26th, 2012 – one year in and, er, no Paganini.  I guess we all knew Paganini wasn’t in the cards just yet.  That will hopefully come February 26th 2013, assuming I’m ready and the world doesn’t end in December.

Unfortunately, though, no Bach yet either.  Not to say it’s not coming, as there is progress there, but alas, not yet.  The question, of course, is when and as Danielle and I were talking about my year anniversary, she mentioned my world premiere should be at her summer camp, Center Stage Strings.  The bad (and good, depending on who you are) news here is that this is in June, several months late. This is turning into a government project, months (maybe years?) past due and over budget, as I never expected to pay another teacher when this whole thing started.  The good (and bad, depending on who you are) is that Center Stage Strings will provide a much bigger audience for this whole shebang.  Anyway, this was just an idea – nothing is set in stone.

In the meantime, I’m going to have to do a whole lot of performance first, and the most logical place will be Danielle’s studio class.  Look for me to play with Danielle and/or Evin in class soon as I get closer to getting everything all ready to go.


6 Comments on “Happy birthday, v vs v”

  1. B.Rajkumar says:

    Hi Ryan,

    Donot get disheartened. Your whole project is sort of an experiment in violin pedagogy. I think we can conclude safely from your experiment that violin is a difficult instrument and one should not expect to play paganini’s 24 th in one year. Now we will see whether it is possible to play paganini’s 24 th in two years. So I take you as a scientist trying to determine the minimum possible time required to learn paganini. The results of your experiment will be very helpful for violin students. In the mean while, wishing you my best wishes for Bach in June.


  2. Cassia says:

    Grattis! I like your blog no matter if you´re going to play Bach or Paganini or anything in June :-)))) So go on: with writing and learning.

  3. Mary says:

    Happy Birthday! You’ve come a long way. It’s all a journey that really has no end, isn’t it?

  4. Christiaan says:

    Hello Ryan!

    it’s me Christiaan (29) from the Netherlands and I just discovered your site two minutes ago. I so like your idea of learning a paganini in one year – that’s totally the spririt!!!

    I’m a long time amateur pianist and I play the violin also, for about 5 years. Actually, I recently also got the thing in my head of playing Paganini’s 24th caprice. I tried it and man, that piece is difficult. Even playing really slowly through it is quite a task.

    The point is one needs to be able to play in high positions comfortably. My problem at the moment is that I tend to forget which notes I play when it’s not the (for me quite familiar) third position. Memorization will help… but logically and in a simple manner explaining things will be the key to get it under control.

    I also convinced myself that there actually is no real barrier to playing this piece. At least when you know the bowing and the positions. It’s all psychological. Like you should not be able to do this kind of thing with little experience. But the point is, when you play for ten years the piece will still be impossible for most people. And I KNOW that these kind of things are actually not impossible, because I have played Liszt on the piano. Paganini is kind of the Liszt for violin…

    greetings and succes,

    • rrvaughn says:

      Hi Christiaan,
      Thanks for the comment! I agree completely about the barrier. In my experience with this little project, a lofty goal like this also works to motivate and keep me doing the most important thing of all: practice. This is where most adult beginners fail.
      Thanks again for the support!

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