#4493 Reply

William Bickerstaff

I’ve never had a teacher. I am a victim (joking) of the public school instrumental program which gave no personal input.
I have submitted a few videos here at VTP, two I recorded before I started taking lessons here (Ashokan Farewell and Summertime) and two I recorded in the last week after having started lessons here at VTP (Gavotte from Suzuki 1 and a few major scales).

I practice daily (us retired/disabled folks have more time for it) and I think I am doing it intelligently. I start my day with some flexibility and stretching exercises on my hands, wrists, fingers and arms before I open the violin case. Then I will tune the fiddle (her name is Caroline) and do some scales and arpeggios. Later I will work from the Wohlfahrt Op. 45 book for a while. Finally, I work on some kind of repertoire, even if it is just something from the Suzuki books.

I never practice more than 15 minutes at a time, taking breaks during the day with stretching, shaking and flexing my arms, hands and fingers between my practice sessions. I get at least 2 hours of practice per day, just not all at one time.

I am serious (unlike when I was in school) about improving my violinmanship (did I just invent a new word). I have a bucket list of repertoire that I want to perfect as near as possible… including Paganini’s 24 Caprices, but I know I need feedback and constructive criticism on what I submit here in order to fulfill my bucket list. (I will never fulfill it…. there is just too much good music out there).