Music is more than simply playing the rhythms and the notes that we read or are taught.  Music has emotion, too.  Expressing and using that emotion is absolutely essential in a great performance, but it can also be a valuable tool in practicing. 

When you practice a piece, play it the way you think the composer heard it in his head.  Is the song happy or sad?  Maybe it is scary or excited.  Express the emotion in your playing.  Getting those emotions across to your listener is part of the fun of playing music.

Next, try playing it using other emotions or feelings.  How do you think you can you make Twinkle Twinkle Little Star sound happy or sad?  Play it that way!  Play like the music is angry, or like it is sneaking around. What happens if you start loud and get soft, or the other way around?  What about starting slowly and getting faster?  Or s-l-o-w-i-n-g  d-o-w-n?  If you have learned vibrato, use it.  If you always use vibrato, take it away. Try using different bowing techniques so you can change the way a song sounds.

Approaching music from a variety of perspectives helps you to see things in the music that you never, ever imagined.  And putting some fun and variety into practice can really help your attitude.  Just don't forget to practice some of what your teacher wants, too!
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Top Fiddle Solos - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Top Fiddle Solos Written by Craig Duncan. Fiddle solo book and performance CD for fiddle solo. With standard notation, chord names, introductory text and black & white photos. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc.. (MB.94095BCD)
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Fiddle Jam - sheet music at www.sheetmusicplus.com
Fiddle Jam (Finally! A Way-Cool Easy Way to Learn How to Improvise) Written by Geoffrey Fitzhugh Perry. Instructional book and examples CD for violin, fiddle, viola and cello. With introductory text, instructional text, black & white photos, instructional photos, illustrations, fingerings, standard notation and examples CD. 46 pages. See more info...
Violin Tip of the Day - April 19
* Violin Tips for Practice and Rehearsals.

* Violin Technique and Exercises.

* How to Care for Your Violin.

* Inspiration and Motivation for Violinists, Fiddlers, or
   Anyone Interested in Stringed Instruments.
Violin Tip of the Day -- Violin Student Central -- February 1
Today's Tip in a Nutshell:
  Don't Just Play the Notes, Play the Feeling!
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