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Staff Writer

Recent Posts

A Violin Teaching Method Alone Is Not Enough

Posted by Staff Writer on Feb 1, 2017 2:09:04 PM

The ability to explain complex and difficult concepts in a way that can be clearly understood and successfully acted on is the hallmark of great teaching. Combined with motivation, student success is assured!

Every teaching method has its merits, whether it’s Suzuki, O’Connor, Sassmannshaus, Essential Elements, Maia Bang, ABC’s, All for Strings, Whistler, or others. As a teacher, you know that regardless of what teaching method you employ, without a teacher guiding the student, the student is not likely to succeed. And because each student is unique, only the teacher is able to determine if supplemental materials may be required, to focus on specific areas of need.

 

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Topics: Suzuki, Violin Method, Teaching, Method Books, Advice

Q&A: With SHAR CEO, Charles Avsharian - Violin E Strings

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 18, 2017 11:04:55 AM

The advent, or rather the evolution of the steel violin e-string over a century ago brought violinists to new heights in their playing. The stablity and thinness of a steel wire allowed for greater brilliance, intonation, and speed. However, with the loss of gut's sweetness and warmth, further refining and improving the capabilities and characteristics of steel E strings is still an endless pursuit of string makers today. More than just a simple steel wire, the full composition and manufacturing method of steel strings involves trade secrets, precious metals, and very high tolerances! The nuances of response, feel, tension, and volume make choosing the right E-string an adventageous feat for musicians today. We sat down with SHAR CEO, Charles Avsharian, to discuss E-Strings for violinists.

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Topics: Violin, SHAR, Strings, Charles Avsharian

Why a Violin Case or Viola Case (Sometimes) Isn’t Enough

Posted by Staff Writer on Jan 9, 2017 3:09:24 PM

There are days when I look over my monthly budget and just shake my head at just how much I spend on various kinds of insurance: Instrument insurance, car insurance, health insurance, life insurance, homeowners insurance. It’s a never ending list! As much as I groan and complain about having to pay those monthly premiums, I know that they exist for a good reason. Insurance coverage is important, especially insurance that covers you where you need it most. If you think this blog is starting to sound like an insurance commercial, you’re right. I watched an ad on TV just the other day, and their slogan was “Know the gaps.” Meaning if there are gaps in your coverage, you should investigate that and fix it. Being a musician, I obviously thought about my instrument: do I know the gaps?

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cases, Instrument Care, Cushy

Why You Should Start Your Child on a Franz Hoffmann

Posted by Staff Writer on Sep 26, 2016 9:26:31 AM

Beginnings are critical, right? If you’ve ever grown a vegetable garden before, you know what I mean by this: starting right mean your garden will yield better results later on. You have to sow your seeds at the perfect time, with the right amount of sunlight and heat. You’ll want to prepare your soil ahead of time, enriching it with whichever nutrients it needs. You’ll care for the plants as they grow, making sure to train them up a trellis if necessary, or taking care to pull any pesky weeds. With enough care and patience, you’re sure to have a good harvest.

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Topics: Violin, Parents, Student Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Franz Hoffmann, Koe

You Know You're a Busy String Musician When...

Posted by Staff Writer on Jul 29, 2016 4:39:14 PM

 

This is to all those who gig, teach, travel, and play - who have changed a tire in a dress or tux, who know no distance too far, no venue too unusual, and no coffee unwelcome. If you've ever glanced in the backseat to make sure you instrument and music were still there, then this list is for you.

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Topics: For Fun, Performance, Travel

How the Finissima Violin mute Can Help You Finesse Your Tone Color

Posted by Staff Writer on Jun 30, 2016 4:50:56 PM

We live in a fast-paced society these days. Gone are the days where children would play outside until being called in for dinnertime. Few people make elaborate dinners each day from scratch, complete with a homemade dessert. We’re all a little overscheduled and harried, it seems.

The reality of our modern society is that smartphones and tablets are the go-to solutions for our overscheduled lives. Anything that makes your life just a little bit easier is sure to be a big hit these days. Remember when the pre-washed, bagged salad first hit the market? Nobody was sure if it would take off or not, because it’s pretty simple to buy lettuce and wash it, but it turns out that a lot of people liked the convenience. Or when the Keurig coffee makers hit the market? Who would forgo a traditional coffee maker for one of these expensive gadgets, we wondered? Turns out a lot of people found it too be too cumbersome to fix coffee in a traditional coffee pot, and appreciated the no cleanup, quick convenience of the K-cups. Now you can buy them everywhere. I think it’s because we’re all just trying to claim a little bit more sanity every day in our fast-paced world. Anything to not have to take an extra step, clean up an extra mess, or remember one extra thing.

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Topics: Violin, Accessories, Mutes, Tchaikovsky, Advice, Classical

Looking to buy a new set of strings?

Posted by Staff Writer on Apr 12, 2016 1:37:40 PM

Sometimes buying strings for your violin, viola, cello, or bass, is just a matter of reordering the same strings that you've loved for ages. The reliable set that has always sounded great on your instrument might be all you need for the rest of your life. However, sometimes a new instrument, or just curiosity will lead you on a search for the new perfect set of strings. Or, perhaps a change in playing ability or budget will lead you to look for a new sound. There are a lot of different brands and types of strings to choose from, so find a good source to start from can be time-saving first step. With so many new brands on the market, it's hard to just stumble upon the right one by chance or by word of mouth.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Strings, Bass

Remembering Evelyn Avsharian

Posted by Staff Writer on Aug 5, 2015 9:55:00 AM

We’ve always loved the Children’s Music Series here at SHAR, but we recently realized that very few people outside of SHAR know much about the author of this excellent series. We came across this thread on Violinist.com about the author, Evelyn Bedient Avsharian. In the thread, the person posted the question: “Does anyone know exactly who Evelyn Avsharian is? I have used many of her books but I can't find any information about her!” We thought it was time that the violin community knew more about this remarkable person who was a violinist, teacher, wife and mother. We sat down with Evelyn Bedient Avsharian’s widower, Michael Avsharian, Jr. to ask him more about his late wife. The following blog in her memory is based on an interview we had with him.

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Topics: SHAR, Evelyn Avsharian, Children's Music Series

There’s a Teaching Aid for That

Posted by Staff Writer on Jul 31, 2015 2:12:00 PM

Most of us remember how tricky it was to learn to ride a bicycle. Falling down, scraping our knees, running into trees, or even the neighbor’s carefully trimmed hedges. Or maybe that memory is too far in the past for you, but you do remember teaching your son or daughter how to ride a bicycle. After privately chuckling to yourself the first few times they wobble and stutter, you probably encouraged them to try again. And if they were still having a really hard time, you probably suggested, “Let’s install some training wheels for you.” Sometimes a little extra help from training wheels makes things a lot easier. Similarly, it makes sense to use “training wheels” to help us learn to play an instrument, something that’s arguably far more difficult than learning to ride a bike.

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Topics: Teaching, BowStopper, Wrist Rascal, Teaching Aids

Finding Your Voice: The Franz Hoffmann Koe Violin

Posted by Staff Writer on Jul 29, 2015 10:37:00 AM

Sometimes, a name is just a name. But with our new Franz Hoffman Koe violin, we wanted a name that would capture the feeling of first learning to play—really play—the violin. “Koe” means “voice” in Japanese. Its Japanese character can also be interpreted as a cry, or a note. Along with its craftsmanship, this violin’s name was carefully and thoughtfully considered—we at SHAR definitely took a long time to decide on it! We decided on Koe with this question in mind: What does it mean to have a voice in music?

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Topics: Violin, Beginner Violin, Franz Hoffmann, Koe

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