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  • #17143 Reply

    Musicloverk
    Participant

    When I played when I was young, I couldn’t even understand the concept of relaxing. I was all about trying harder to get better and rarely had mental or physical relaxation. Little was enjoyable. When I started piano almost 5 years ago I found myself doing the same thing and realized I was doing it to myself! No one was pushing me or competing with me, and I was advancing more quickly than expected. Why was I tensing up and stressing? Having to fight the same tendencies with violin, but it at least helps that I’m aware. Also helps to know that it’s counterproductive. So, I stop if I can’t relax and keep playing, then come back to it later. Try to find some small goal and be willing to wait rather than push to achieve. Being willing to move on before achieving near perfection helps, too. I like Michael’s 80% rule. I may never achieve the level of playing I love in classical music, but I can progress without stressing out and can enjoy the fiddling I can already do and improve that. Maybe I’m not totally unique in this and someone else can benefit from my experience.

    #17478 Reply

    Suzanne Cox
    Moderator

    Thank you for sharing Musicloverk. Those are some very helpful thoughts. Yes! May we all enjoy the music we can play now as we continue working to get better. I tend to push myself pretty hard as well. Sometimes it can be a good thing, but we have to learn how to use that drive in a positive way.

    Suzanne from Violin Tutor Pro

    #17504 Reply

    MaryKateW
    Participant

    Relaxing is my biggest bugaboo. I haven’t figured out how to do it yet.

    #17563 Reply

    Suzanne Cox
    Moderator

    MaryKateW, it is a challenge to learn to play the violin with relaxed posture. Try practicing in front of the mirror a lot. Take note of any areas that look tense. See if you can mentally think through each muscle from your head to your toes, telling each of them to relax. I’d stop and do this little exercise frequently during my practice. After a couple weeks of focusing on relaxation, you will notice considerable improvement in your sound production and your playing posture.

    Happy Practicing!
    Suzanne from Violin Tutor Pro

    #17568 Reply

    HDuaneaz
    Participant

    My violin teacher, Jack Herriman who is the main conductor of Chandler Symphony orchestra and who I highly respect, would tell me to relax my hands, but I didn’t have a clue how to make it happen. Mike’s drills have really helped a lot.

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