Violin Tip of the Day
For Violin Students of All Ages
Today's Tip
Slow down!  We said that a couple days ago. One of the things I said was that we had to play slowly until we were able to play a passage acceptably, then we can speed up.

One of the bad habits that students develop once they take the "slow down" message to heart is actually following my earlier advice, and practicing the same thing over and over again because, "It's not quite perfect." Or they fall into the habit of playing what they can play acceptably over and over again.

If the first habit is developed, you never make any real progress.

When I was in eighth grade I was one of two students in a violin duet which we were going to take to competition. My partner and I decided to get the first couple dozen measures absolutely perfect before we moved on. But after two weeks we were still on the first couple dozen measures. It had been time to move on more than a week earlier. Any progress made since then was only apparent to us. Falling into the habit of having to play "absolutely perfect" had driven us into the habit of only practicing what we already knew. It's a lot easier that way, but we weren't making any progress toward our goal of having the piece ready for competition. We were "polishing shiny apples." That's not good either. There's a time when your apple is shiny enough, and it's time to move to the next apple in the basket.

It's that way with your exercises and performance pieces as well. I've never really played anything perfectly, but I have played many things well enough.
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