Advanced Students

By Advanced Student I understand somebody that has already invested a lot of time and effort in their violin playing and is able to approach major violin concertos such as Bruch, Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, etc., Paganini Caprices, Bach Solo Sonatas, and other peaks of violin repertoire.

I find that motivation is less of a problem with Advanced Students, since they have already been able to start reaping the benefits and the satisfaction of playing the violin on a high level. Also, some of them have decided to make a career out of music and are therefore willing to invest a lot of their time and energy into it.

However, this brings about a different problem. At the highest levels of violin playing, practicing often isn’t enough. One has to start understanding the principles of violin playing himself, as well as increasing his body awareness in order to be able to control his actions to a much higher degree.

A quote from Ivan Galamian serves to illustrate this point further:“However important the individual elements in violin technique, more important still is the understanding of their interdependence in a natural, organic relationship. If, to give an example, the bow is held after one fashion, then the functioning of the hand, fingers, wrist, and arm will fall into a certain organic pattern. If the bow-grip is changed, one must permit all other parts of the hand and arms to find their corresponding organic adjustment and their balance, one with the other.”

A quote from Ivan Galamian serves to illustrate this point further:“However important the individual elements in violin technique, more important still is the understanding of their interdependence in a natural, organic relationship. If, to give an example, the bow is held after one fashion, then the functioning of the hand, fingers, wrist, and arm will fall into a certain organic pattern. If the bow-grip is changed, one must permit all other parts of the hand and arms to find their corresponding organic adjustment and their balance, one with the other.”Often, this involves seeking answers outside of the Music Field. I have found a concept called the Alexander Technique to be of great assistance to any aspiring musician, since it enables oneself to attain a better use of his body (more information available from www.alexandertechnique.com).

Furthermore, Advanced Students have to once again reexamine their playing, since it often happens that something that they find as a natural thing to do is only a product of a habit they formed in their childhood years and actually presents a disadvantage to their development.Finally, I believe that Advanced Students have to start thinking for themselves, eventually realizing that they can be their own teachers, since they are the only ones who can truly feel their body and everything that happens with it. That way, they can get along the way of developing as true artists and continue to learn and evolve throughout the course of their lives.