All posts by Amy Crocker

Summertime Practice Motivation

ShadowVio

 

Maintaining a practice habit during the summer months can be a challenge. Between teacher and student vacations, limited or no school programs, and the general schedule shift of the summer months, music sometimes takes a lower priority than it does during the rest of the year. A lot of students put their instrument in a case and don’t take it out again until fall.

Here’s a few ideas for motivating your own practice this summer:

-Keep your instrument accessible. Make sure your case doesn’t get covered with the swimming gear or put in the closet behind the hiking packs. Keep your instrument in a place where you spend a lot of time so it is ready to go whenever you feel like practicing.

-Find unique ways to practice fundamentals. Grab a stick during a nature hike and practice your bow hold. Practice long, smooth bow strokes timed with the rotation of a sprinkler. Use the whir of an ice cream maker as a metronome for Schradieck finger exercises. There are fun quirky ways to incorporate music all around us!

-Learn some new summertime tunes that might be from a different type of music than you typically play. My grandparents always requested I play “Memories” from the show Cats when I traveled with them so that became my summer song one year. Pick up a fiddle song or baroque number and give yourself a new challenge.

-Bring your instrument on vacation! Family members often enjoy hearing your progress and playing for new people can be a fun change of scenery. While it can be intimidating to strike up a tune in the middle of a campground full of people, it’ll be a far more welcome sound than another motorhome generator. Music is a community event and you might attract other musicians who want to join you.

And speaking of joining other musicians…

-Follow and use a social media hashtag like #PlayHomiePlay (started by ThatViolaKid) or #100DaysofPractice (Hilary Hahn’s hashtag for motivating 100 consecutive days of practice) or #MakeShareMusic (Kennedy Violin’s hashtag for Make Music Day) to join other musicians who are sharing their practice and music. Online communities are often not our first idea for sharing practice, but they can be a valuable resource and provide awesome motivation.

Do you have other suggestions for summertime motivation?

Trading Up a Full Size Violin

While Kennedy Violins trade-in program is often used by younger students as they move through the fractional size instruments, we also encourage customers to consider trading up their full size violins.  Playing a new instrument can offer unique insights into beloved music while giving advancing musicians an instrument that will continue to inspire. We know that musicians are more motivated to practice when their instrument contributes inspiring potential.

Beginning students should consider trading up to an intermediate violin when they begin working in 3rd position and above. Some of our most popular intermediate violins are:

-The Antonio Giuliani violin – The Giuliani is known for it’s sweet, ringing tone. For students unsure of their tonal preferences on the spectrum from dark to bright, the Giuliani offers a tonal sound that sits somewhere in the middle. It balances the full lower register with a even upper register.

-The Anton Gerard violin – The Gerard is our first stop for fiddle players. While classical violinist also appreciate the rich depth of tone, fiddle players tend to be drawn to the Gerard with irresistible force. Anyone who enjoys the dark end of the tonal spectrum will enjoy playing the Gerard.

-The Nickola Zubak violin – The Zubak has a focused intensity that delights violinists who want fast finger work to shine. Each note played on the Zubak sounds crisp and brilliant. This is a bright toned instrument and challenges players to play as precisely as possible.

Intermediate students should consider trading up when they begin working in 6th and 7th positions and when they need an instrument with even more power and resonance. For these students we strongly recommend:

-The David Yale Signature Series violin – The Signature Series has a gorgeous full tone that makes the instrument itself feel alive. Each instrument is unique and we match individual violins with the tonal preferences of our unique customers. Call Kennedy Violins and request your custom Yale Signature Series match-up!

Trading up is easy! Call Kennedy Violins and speak to a customer service representative about trading up a current violin for something with more resonance, more depth of tone, and more possibilities!