Violin playing is intensely personal.  It is one-on-one, the violinist and his instrument. 

Ensembles are groups of musicians who play together.  Groups can be as small as a duet of just you and one other person, or as large as you and the fifty other people in your orchestra!

Ensemble work is all about team-building.  While it is true that ensembles are made up of individuals, and that unless you are a member of the Dutton Family in Branson, Missouri you play your violin all by yourself.
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But being in an ensemble is being on a team.  It's no less a team than football, baseball, volleyball or field hockey.  You count on others, they count on you and you put together a great performance!  And the feeling you get after giving a great performance is unmatchable!

Half the fun of playing your violin is playing with other people.  The give and take that goes on between musicians is something special!

But it's not just about good feelings and having fun, you can learn a lot while you play with others.  Watch the way they handle their instruments and warm up.  Watch and listen as they play.  Watch their bowing technique.  Watch their left hand. Be like a sponge and soak in as much as you can.  You'll see good examples.  You'll see bad examples.  But you can learn from both. Imitate the good, and forget about the bad!  And listen to your teacher as she instructs the other students in your group.  You can learn from that as well!

And it's not just one-sided.  Just as you can learn from the example of others, you can be helpful to others as they learn from you!  Do your best when you play and before you know it somebody will look at you and say, "Wow!  How did you do that?"  And that'll make you feel REALLY good!

If you get the chance to play in an ensemble, say
Look Closely At Their Hands and Bows!
And Go to the Bottom of the Page to See the Video!
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High School Musical (Violin) - sheet music at
High School Musical (Violin) (for Violin Instrumental Play-Along Pack) Book and accompaniment CD for violin.
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You Saw Them on
America's Got Talent!
I had the opportunity to interview Amy (Branson's Fiddler of the Year in 2006), who you see at the beginning of the video and who yodels midway through.  The action in the picture takes place starting about 51 seconds from the end of the video.
Violin Tip of the Day - August 16
* 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.
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Violin Tip of the Day -- Violin Student Central -- February 1