Today, before I take my violin out of its case, I make a choice to redirect my practice routine.
I have been overly ambitious with Suzuki book 1, attempting to learn a new song every week, or even every 2-3 days! Yes I have been able to play them, but not to the standard that they should be before I should be moving on to the next song. at this time, I can now play up to Perpetual Motion in A Major, the 9th song in the book. I have been impatiently counting down in my head when I would get to last song.
And did I mention I that I seem to be working more on vibrato than the actual songs at hand? again a major no-no by majority of the violin world at this stage in my very early journey. That adds an extra dimension of complication to my already thinly stretched practice routine.
So today, I decide to start going about it right. Or a bit more right-ly , anyway if that makes sense. I have decided to:
1.) go back to beautiful tone production and proper bowing to kill those scratchy and squeaky sounds before I move on any further and bring them to all the new songs I might learn. My left pinky isn’t so bad and weak from doing touch typing and piano when I was younger. my fingerings can be better, but what really impedes my playing at the moment is my bow hand. Gotta conquer and discipline this beast!
2.) go slowly on vibrato. since I have already started it and can do the basic motion, I might as well continue developing it. I just might not plug it into the songs (all the time). I can start by just playing it on the end of every phrase so that I won’t have to worry about my next fingering being out of tune and by bow not being in the correct soundpoint as what usually happens when my fifty percent of focus is elsewhere rather than my right hand.
3.) watch – and actually practice – my purchased courses. Because I am completely self teaching, I am currently subscribed to Red Desert Violin for Suzuki book 1, 52 Violin Proficiency Exercises for technique development, and Laurel Thomsen’s Complete Vibrato Mastery and bowing courses. One thing from each course each day, and not moving on until I am up to standard on the lesson at hand! I have to literally hold my horses (I mean, my violin bow) from doing otherwise.
4.) finally, I have to indulge my fun side in all of this. After I have paid my dues doing the above, I can work on an actual SONG, but it will either be the next song in Suzuki, or a fun contemporary song, like Silent Night, my goal for December. And not both! Like what I have been doing up to this point. By just focusing on one song every 2 weeks (or a month if it’s harder for me) I can incorporate any new skills I will have developed by paying my dues, so to speak.
And that’s it, the new changes to my practice routine starting from today. The calendar approach works best for me. that was how I finished reading my Bible this year time to take this approach to my violin journey! I am so excited 😁 More about this in the next post. Ciao, time to put in some quality practice time while my baby is still asleep, as my free time won’t last long.😂
This was where I was at two weeks ago anyway. Will post another progress video next month.