#13957 Reply

Dianne Adkins

WOW! Nguyenthienchan! Beautiful setting, lovely performance! You have skills far beyond this piece! I will try to provide feedback from two directions.

First, in regards to the Suzuki Book I piece, Lightly Row. What should be taught/ learned in this particular piece, besides reinforcement of hand positions, is the staccato bow stroke. For that reason, I would recommend playing this piece and all Book I pieces with this in mind. I suggest starting more toward the middle of the bow and stopping the bow more deliberately. The beginning of the stroke should have a clear, crisp ‘K’ sound. The end of the bow stroke (during the silence) should be open and ringing.

Second, in regards to technique. Your violin position and bow grip are excellent. So is your bow arm function, intonation, tone, bow control. Even the little bit of vibrato is perfect. So, I would have to give you a specific instruction that I usually would not require of a typical Lightly Row student! My suggestion is to study when to leave fingers down. It is necessary to hold fingers down that are not in the way of notes/ fingers coming after them. An example comes in this piece when you play the following in the first line:

A0, A1, A2, A3, A4, A4, A4

As you place each finger, leave it down when you play the next. It is not in the way of the next finger, so leave it down. Lightly Row is an easy piece to find and fix this technique. It will pay off later when you play Bach Double in Book IV and the notes are faster. Imagine every motion as spending precious energy. Putting down a finger is one motion. Picking up a finger, another motion. Avoid picking up motions for individual fingers. Pick up fingers in groups. Lay them down by themselves. How many extra, unnecessary motions do you spend in this piece? How many can you save?

I know that to vibrato, you may want to allow fingers to come off the string, and you do have to do so. Make sure your basic habit is to keep fingers down where possible. Here’s a spot where holding A2 would really help:

A0, A2, A4, A4, A2, A2, A2 Why should we leave A2 down while playing A4? Because you’re going to play it again right after A4.

Finally, at the very end, adding ritardando is your choice, but please try not to hyper-extend the bow arm at the end of the down bow. Keep the elbow joint unlocked. Stop the bow on the string when you have reached the end. (Your tip might not be all the way to the tip of the bow. It depends on the length of your arm.) Wait a second or two. Then remove the bow from the string.

This is such a good job and what a sweet smile at the end! I look forward to hearing you play more advanced pieces!