Let music take your worries away!

Jacques Thibaud

Jacques Thibaud (27 September 1880 – 1 September 1953 )

"For 37 years I've practised 14 hours a day, and now they call me a genius!"


Pablo De Sarasate ( March 10,1844 - September 20,1908) 

Having heard a performance of Sarasate's brilliant 'Gypsy Airs' as a three-year-old, I was determined to play it myself one day, even though it took me years to master the necessary technique. Sarasate's own compositions were, in fact, show-pieces designed to demonstrate his legendary, apparently effortless technique. Sarasate's comment was: 'For 37 years I've practised 14 hours a day,and now they call me a genius!'

Leopold Auer - Violin Playing As I Teach it

'There is no instrument whose absolute mastery at a later period presupposes such metriculous care and exactitude in the initial stages of study as does the violin'

These are one of the many wise words Leopold Auer writes in his book 'Violin Playing As I Teach It'.  I consider this book my violin Bible. Today we celebrate the birth of this great violin pedagogue whose influence continues today.

MaxTip: How to improve your focus?

MaxTip: How to improve your focus?

This week one word has been repeated over and over again at my violin lessons: Focus.

Mindless playing and practicing happens so often with all of us. Not only that you do not improve your playing but actually it has a damaging effect.

4 few tips to focus better:

1. Start with short exercises, scales, short etudes.

2. Identify why you are playing these excercises and concentrate on the technical elements you need to master.

3. Practice in short intervals

Is humour part of your music studies?

Learning the violin or any other instrument is a serious study. Mastering technical aspects of an instrument takes time, focus, patience and lots of practice. At a certain moment you tell yourself  'I've had enough, it's just too much for me. I practice but it takes me nowhere. Violin lessons are too difficult.'  Sometimes however a brief distraction can help.

Ferdinand Küchler: Concertino in D major in the style of Vivaldi Op.15

I love playing the easy violin concertino by Ferdinand Küchler. When I first started to practice it, I thought 'this is easy, I will learn to play it quickly'. Was I wrong! 

It took me time to practice the difficult passages in the 1st movment, get the 'mood' in the 2nd and play the 3rd movement as an energetic dance which doesn't leave a moment to rest! 

Violin study: A lesson of Patience and Perseverance

When you are beginner violinist, at a certain moment you encounter technical difficulties that seem to you insurmountable. 

Why play the easy violin concertos?

Let's Play Concertos - easy violin concertos

The Violin Concerto Challenge

Exactly a year ago I gave my students to study their first violin concerto. They looked at me sceptically asking 'Can I play this?' Up to that moment they were playing easy pieces up to one page long so this was now a big challenge. I told them 'Of course you can play. It will take longer to learn than the pieces you have previously played, but you will see a big improvement in your violin playing'. Hmm, was their reply.