Yesterday we were talking about fighting the smart fight.  We said:

1.  Slow and patient is better than quick and sloppy.
2.  Don't try to do too much at once.
3.  When you know the right method to use, stick to it.  Fingerings and bowings, once proven good should not be changed while you are still learning the piece.
4.  Your first step in correcting a mistake is to understand
why you made it, not just correct the fingering or bowing.

Today let's talk about attitude.

5.  Keep your attitude positive.  Boxing is as much mental as physical.  It's the same in violin.  You will do much better if you approach things with a positive attitude.  Frustrations will be there, but frustrations are opportunities to do better. Believing you can't do something will probably turn into just that, you won't be able to do it.

Here's a story that has nothing to do with violin, but everything to do with attitude.

We were teaching my daughter to swim when she was 3. We went on a trip and were at a motel pool.  At the shallow end of the pool Adriana would swim the width of the pool 3 or 4 times before she grabbed the side. She couldn't touch the bottom of the pool, but she was okay with that.  I carried her to the deep end and she panicked. I wanted Adriana confident enough in deep water that she could pull herself to the side if she accidentally fell in, but she had it in her mind that she could not swim in deep water.

We "fought" this through for at least an hour over a two day period.  The distance she was to swim was the same. It didn't matter which end she was at since both ends were over her head and the edge of the pool was just the stretch of an arm away at either end.  My wife and I were both trained as lifeguards and were never more than a stroke away, so Adriana was never in any danger.  But, "THIS END'S TOO DEEP, DADDY!

My wife left to go to a meeting.  Adriana and I went out to swim, and I took her to the shallow end of the pool.  We played a game where she followed me around, and I made her keep her eyes on me.  I slowly took her further and further down the pool.  And she kept swimming back and forth across the pool, laughing all the time.

After the third or fouth time she crossed the pool at the deep end, I asked Adriana what she had just done.  You should have seen her face when she realized which end of the pool she was at.  It amazed her.  She did it again, this time without my distracting her. 

Soon Adriana was swimming the width of the pool equally well at both ends.  Then we moved to swimming the length of the pool.  After 90 minutes my wife returned from her meeting. Adriana had to show Mom what she could do.

"Can you swim across the pool now?" Kathy asked.

Adriana got into the pool and swam the LENGTH of the pool 4 times.

The swimming was the same at either end.  The attitude about the deep end was the hindrance, and when that negative attitude became positive the "impossible" challenge became an accomplishment. Adriana is now a teenager, has a healthy respect for the water, and is very wise about only being in a pool when adults are present, but she's got a much more positive attitude about her ability to deal with a bit of a challenge.

Her positive attitude unleashed her ability.  Your positive attitude will let you play things you never thought possible.
Violins En Duo
Violins En Duo
Nguyen, Minh-Houng
10 in. x 12 in.
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Abstract Violin - mini
Abstract Violin - mini
Brent, Paul
12 in. x 16 in.
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Zephyr Picture
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Hernandez-Violin Serenade
Hernandez-Violin Serenade
Hernandez, Nora
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Today's Tip in a Nutshell:
When you practice, keep positive.
  You'll do more than you ever thought you would.
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Violin Tip of the Day - March 7
* 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
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