Today in Music History
A Daily Look at Music History For Violin Students

A Look at What Happened on Today's Date
Long, Long Ago . . . Or Maybe Just Last Year
December 10
Can You Guess? Sarah Chang's father is a professional violinist. Sarah is a professional violinist.  Sarah's brother plays a musical instrument. Can You Guess what instrument he plays?

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What Else
1813 - Premiere of Beethoven's Symphony No. 7. Conducted by the nearly deaf composer, in Vienna.

1844 - Premiere of Schumann's Piano Quartet, Op 47 at the Gewandhaus. Clara Schumann was pianist

1882 - Manuel Maria Ponce, Mexican composer and conductor, was born.

1930 - Birth of composer Alain Weber.

1939 - Birth of Irish flutist James Galway in Belfast.

1947 - Gregg Allman, guitarist/vocalist (Allman Brothers Band), was born.

1966 - Sinead O'Connor, singer (Nothing Compares 2 U), was born

1967 - Beatles Magical Mystery Tour album is released in UK

1980 - Ex-Beatle John Lennon was shot and killed.

1987 - Jascha Heifetz, violinist, died.
Sarah Chang
By all accounts, Sarah Chang embodies the word prodigy.

Sarah was born in Philadelphia, December 10, 1980, to Korean parents. She began to study piano at age 3, violin at 4.  A year later Sarah was already performing concerts with orchestras in and around Philadelphia.

When she was 8, she auditioned for Zubin Mehta and Riccardo Muti.  The result was that she was booked to perform with the New York Philharmonic and the Philadelphia Orchestra.
Asked about practice, she said when she was young she practiced 15 to 30 minutes a day. Even after coming to Juilliard she thought of violin as a hobby, but began to become serious around age 8 or 9.  That started her practicing 2-3 hours per day broken into shorter segments so she could maintain concentration.  That has evolved into a 4 hour per day practice routine when time permits.

"I don't like the idea of pushing a person to practice. I really don't think that's the way to do it . . . one thing that I've always credited my parents for is that they never ever pushed me to practice . . . when I started the violin and when I started to travel, my mom said, 'Do you really want to do this?' I remember, she said, 'The day that this stops being fun for you, just let me know.'"

She says that the key to becoming really good at anything is, "giving it my all," whether that be playing the violin or tennis.
Violinist Christmas Ornaments Make Great Gifts.
Find Sarah Chang Recordings at Amazon
Sarah was mentored by Yehudi Menuhin, who said was "the most wonderful, perfect, ideal violinist I had ever heard."

Asked what she learned from Menuhin, she replied that Menuhin believed the sound of the violin was the closest thing to the human voice.  The goal of playing the violin was for everything to sound natural, like the human voice.
Lady Violinist Round Ornament
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Christmas Melodies for Violin Solo - sheet music at
Santa Fiddle Button
Heifetz Showpieces
Violin Stands Add Safety and Convenience to Your Practice.  .

Other Christmas Gift Suggestions for Your Favorite Violinist Can Be Found RIGHT HERE!
Did You Guess? A bit of a trick question. Sarah Chang's brother plays the CELLO.  She says that sometimes when he was supposed to be practicing he would attach a yoyo to the bow and try to make the yoyo go up and down.
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High School Musical (Violin) - sheet music at
High School Musical (Violin) (for Violin Instrumental Play-Along Pack) Book & CD Package for violin. Series: Hal Leonard Instrumental Folio. 24 pages. Published by Hal Leonard. (HL.842128)
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A Fiddling Christmas - sheet music at
A Fiddling Christmas Written by Craig Duncan. Violin solo book for fiddle and piano accompaniment. With solo part, standard notation, bowings, chord names and piano accompaniment. 106 pages. Published by Mel Bay Publications, Inc. (MB.96466)
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The remarkable accomplishments of Sarah's career were recognized in 1999 when she received the Avery Fisher Prize, one of the most prestigious awards given to instrumentalists.

"I try not to take my life for granted. I have friends who have tendinitis. That would kill me. A short break from the violin is fine, but if I don't touch it for three or four days, my fingers start to feel funny . . . if I couldn't play violin, I would probably be somewhere else in the music business, maybe in the recording industry. But the ultimate high for me is being onstage in front of an audience. Nothing else can compare."
Sarah's life is filled with touring and recording, Apparently  she loves it. 

She has played with many of the world's great orchestras.  As a chamber musician, Ms. Chang collaborated with such artists as Pinchas Zukerman, Wolfgang Sawallisch, Vladimir Ashkenazy, Yefim Bronfman, Martha Argerich, Leif Ove Andsnes, Stephen Kovacevich, Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell, Lars Vogt and the late Isaac Stern.
Daily Practice is a Great New Year's Resolution, and Here's a Great Visual Reminder!
Practice Magnet
Put THIS MAGNET on your refrigerator.  Each morning turn it so the little fella is frowning. "No Practice Yet"  When you have practiced, turn him over. (Move your mouse over the picture.) "Practice Done!"  Great as a gift for ANY young musician you know!