• SHAR Blog
  • SHAR Blog
  • SHAR Blog

Why Adventures in Violinland?

Posted by Shirley Givens on Jan 19, 2015 10:48:00 AM

For many years now, SHAR has carried the much-loved method book series Adventures in Violinland by Shirley Givens. Because of the esteem we have for Shirley, it's a great honor to offer her a space on our blog to answer a question that those of you encountering her well-respected series for the first time might have: "Why should I try Adventures in Violinland?"  

In my experience, young children love the violin! It is small  and huggableand it makes sounds! How can we nurture this initial enthusiasm for the instrument and transform it into a deeper love of music? My books aim to respond, successfully, to that question.

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Topics: Education, Method Books, Adventures in Violinland

The Pros and Cons of Online Violin Lessons

Posted by Guest Blogger on Jan 16, 2015 2:20:00 PM

When I saw an email from Lee Jin Rui about writing a guest blog for SHAR, I almost deleted it. “Is this spam?” I thought. But after navigating to Jin’s violin lessons website, I thought, “Hey, online lessons are something our customers might want to think about. It’s a part of the educational landscape now.” So I invited Jin to write an honest pros and cons article about online lessons. Below you’ll find Jin’s take on the advantages and disadvantages of remote learning.

Technology has affected all aspects our lives, and music is no exception. While some may bemoan the loss of a more personal (and analog) world, there are some changes that students can benefit from. It used to be that those living in a remote area had to drive areas for violin lessons—but now, with online teaching, this is no longer the case. A broadband connection is especially helpful in this regard, as it provides people with an opportunity to get over the limitations set by their geographical locations.

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Topics: Violin, Teaching, Online Lessons

The Bow Guide: How to Select a Bow

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 14, 2015 3:29:00 PM

A new bow can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your playing for a relatively modest investment. Many players do not realize how much they are held back by a bow that no longer meets their needs and skill level. Call a SHAR Violin Shop representative today at 866.742.7270. They can play-test and assist you in selecting the right bow to help you break through to the next level of performance. And please check out our other articles in the series, "Do I Need a New Bow?" and "The Most Common Bow Materials."

The musical sounds which come out of a bowed stringed instrument result from the three-way interaction of the instrument, bow, and player. Change any one of the three and the resulting music can be noticeably different. You can easily determine a bow's compatibility with a specific instrument and player using this simple progression of tests:

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Topics: Bows, Buying Guide

The Bow Guide: The Most Common Bow Materials

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 9, 2015 11:51:00 AM

A new bow can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your playing for a relatively modest investment. Many players do not realize how much they are held back by a bow that no longer meets their needs and skill level. Call a SHAR Violin Shop representative today at 866.742.7270. They can play-test and assist you in selecting the right bow to help you break through to the next level of performance. And please check out our other articles in the series, "Do I Need a New Bow?" and "How to Select a Bow."

The Most Common Bow Materials

 

 

Brazilwood: Typically used for student level bows, this wood can come from several members of the Fabace family of trees found in South America.

 

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Topics: Bows, Buying Guide

The Bow Guide: Do I Need a New Bow?

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 6, 2015 10:55:00 AM

A new bow can have an immediate and dramatic effect on your playing for a relatively modest investment. Many players do not realize how much they are held back by a bow that no longer meets their needs and skill level. Call a SHAR Violin Shop representative today at 866.742.7270. They can play-test and assist you in selecting the right bow to help you break through to the next level of performance. And please check out our other articles in the series, "The Most Common Bow Materials" and "How to Select a Bow."

Do I Need a New Bow?

Almost all players come to realization that new bow would be beneficial to their technical and musical development. Here's a guideline to help you tell if a new bow may be right for you. The more "Yes" answers you have, the more likely a new bow will help you.

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Topics: Bows, Buying Guide

The Love Life of Giacomo Puccini

Posted by Staff Writer on Dec 8, 2014 1:21:00 PM

Amazon Prime recently released the pilot for a new series based on the book Mozart in the Jungle (watch here for free). So farit's all about the bad behavior of classical musicians in New York (well, along with a charming underdog story). It looks like it'll be a terrific series, but we at SHAR just wanted to point out that bad behavior and musicians are as old as... well, music. Here's a brief blog article on Giacomo Puccini's love life. Puccini didn’t just write opera; he lived it. 

The famed Italian composer Giacomo Puccini was known for churning out fabulous operas in the verismo style. I could go on and on about La Boheme, or wax poetic about the iconic melodies in Madama Butterfly, or give details of how his critics viewed his music . . . or I could cut to the chase and tell you what you’re obviously dying to know: the shocking details of his love life.

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Topics: 20th Century Composers, Puccini

Take Practice to the Next Level with the Cadenza App

Posted by Joseph Chapman on Nov 21, 2014 12:07:00 PM

Often, it's not enough to know a piece cold. You need to feel it, you need to interpret it. This is especially hard to do with an orchestral piece; how can you develop your own voice when you can't hear the rest of the orchestra? This is where Cadenza, a new app for the iPad, steps in. 

At SHAR, we're very excited about a new app called Cadenza. It allows you to practice with a full orchestra. And it's not just a play-along track. It's responsive. If you want to linger on a phrase, hold a fermata, or go for an exhilirating finish, it's there with you. Basically, it lets you figure out how you want to play a piece. You can explore different interpretations, all with the help of this simple app. 

Not convinced? We know, it almost sounds too good to be true. But Cadenza has a really solid video explanation of the app. The cellist Michael Dahlberg shows you what's possible with the app by doing a quick demo.

Cadenza is actually free (it comes with several pieces of music, but you'll have to purchase the pieces you want to practice). You can download it here. If you play violin, cello, viola, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, French horn, or trumpet, you can use this app

What's more, if you like Cadenza's Facebook page you'll be entered to win a $250 shopping spree at SHAR Music. Downolad the Cadenza, and get thee to a practice room!

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Topics: Practice, cadenza

The Love Life of Claude Debussy

Posted by Staff Writer on Nov 19, 2014 11:16:32 AM

Amazon Prime recently released the pilot for a new series based on the book Mozart in the Jungle (watch here for free). So far, it's all about the bad behavior of classical musicians in New York (well, along with a charming underdog story). It looks like it'll be a terrific series, but we at SHAR just wanted to point out that bad behavior and musicians are as old as... well, music. Here's a brief blog article on Claude Debussy's love life. Gossip away, readers.  

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Topics: Classical Music, Debussy

Room for All: SHAR CEO, Charles Avsharian, Weighs in on Mark O’Connor’s Anti-Suzuki Statements

Posted by Charles Avsharian on Nov 5, 2014 12:04:00 PM

Sometimes a conversation goes too far and crosses the line from spirited discussion to something potentially hurtful and damaging. In my role as CEO of SHAR, I take great pains to focus on appropriate customer and business issues and leave such conversations to others. SHAR has always sought to bring useful and innovative products and services to the attention of our customers. Censorship plays no part in our operation, since we strongly feel that our own music community (“the market”) is best equipped to make its own decisions.

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Topics: Suzuki, String Community, mark oconnor

Curious About Our Sheet Music Difficulty Ratings?

Posted by Joseph Chapman on Nov 4, 2014 12:06:00 PM

Ever wonder how we decide our sheet music difficulty ratings? Below you'll find a detailed (and hopefully sane) explanation of our difficulty ratings. Although there are overlaps with ASTA's ratings, we decided to come up with our own rating system since a good number of our sheet music titles are not rated by ASTA. Feel free to ask questions about our sheet music difficulty ratings in the comment section below!

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Topics: Sheet Music

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