SHAR Music is pleased to announce the visit of concert violinist Rachel Barton Pine, 2:00pm Saturday, November 10th, at the SHAR retail showroom, 2465 S. Industrial, Ann Arbor. The event is open to the public. Ms. Pine will greet guests starting at 2:00pm. Books authored by Ms. Pine will be available for purchase and autograph, including the first volume of Ms. Pine’s widely-anticipated 10-volume series, Music by Black Composers. From 3:00-4:30 pm, Ms. Pine will conduct a master class with The Brandenburg Project, a conductorless student ensemble of the Community Music School of Ann Arbor composed of advanced middle and high school musicians. The focus of the master class will be baroque performance practices in the modern ensemble, including the use of the baroque bow. As one of the world’s leading authorities on the practices and interpretation of baroque era music, Ms. Pine will bring her formidable skills and warm, dynamic personality to what will prove to be an unforgettable afternoon. Later in the evening, Ms. Pine will perform as violin soloist with the Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra, in a performance of Vivaldi’s, and Piazzola’s, Four Seasons.
Dry Air = Danger
As autumn gives way to winter, with dryer and colder air on the way, your stringed instrument may be dreading it even more than you are. Here at SHAR, we live by the old Norwegian adage (some say Finnish, others say German!): “There is no such thing as bad weather, only inadequate clothing”. So, now that you’ve bundled up, it’s time to think about your instrument!
Most of us violinists (as well as violists, cellists and bassists) are our most comfortable in an orchestra setting. Of course, the music is fantastic, and usually very challenging to learn and play. But learn and play we do, after woodshedding our parts carefully at home. Our teachers have been able to impart their technical and musical know-how to allow us to learn difficult pieces on our own. We take those skills, now finely honed, to the concert hall, where we deeply breathe in the joy of a beautiful performance, in amazing rhythm with our colleagues. If we’re lucky, our family and friends in the audience will enjoy our performance as much as we do.
Why We Love Barenreiter Editions
In the world of classical music publishing, world-renowned music publisher Barenreiter is a mere youngster, at 95 years of age. But Barenreiter’s distinctive identity as a serious publisher at the highest level of quality was forged right from the start. Based in Kassel, Germany, Barenreiter has survived the ravages of 20th century European history time and again, because of its strong foundation of scholarship, editorial commitment and unwavering focus on quality and attention to detail.
SHAR is excited to announce a new partnership with Associated Chamber Music Players, encouraging everyone to experience the joys of playing chamber music while enjoying special benefits from SHAR. The following blog describes one violinist’s experience with chamber music, his journey away from his violin, and back again.
Years of lessons. Constant practice. Starting a new etude book and moving up to the next level. Running to rehearsals. Auditions. Performing on stage. Playing with others. The sacrifice and toil of gaining mastery on your instrument can seem daunting and off-putting. Is it worth it? Where is it all going? Why do it?
The origins of the violin were likely rooted in India or the Far East. In fact, musical instruments that are played with a bow appear in centuries-old paintings and pottery from many different civilizations. But there is no doubt that the violin we recognize today originated in mid-1500 Cremona, Italy, more specifically from the hand of Andrea Amati. Andrea’s grandson, Nicola Amati, enlarged the pattern and refined the violin, passing his knowledge to Stradivari and Guarneri. In short order, other famous makers emerged in Cremona, Carlo Bergonzi being the most prominent. Cremona had quickly become famous throughout Europe and elsewhere. Indeed, this Golden Age of violin making produced the greatest violins the world has ever known.
It’s time for a new school year, an opportunity for a fresh start in your studio. A new crop of students is arriving, and many of your students are returning. And each student is different, with different strengths and weaknesses, different commitment levels, and different motivations. You’ve got lots of students to teach, and they need to cover a lot of ground quickly. Fortunately, you have your method books, your supplements, and especially your own experience and good sense, and that has always served you well. For most of your students.
In this final part of the breakthrough blog series, Val Jaskiewicz offers a reminder to teachers that a student is responsible for their instrument and that learning good habits early on will prevent them from hitting barriers later on. Caring for an instrument, after all, is an important aspect of being a string player, and one that at times requires encouragement from the teacher.
In the previous parts of this blog series, we looked at some books and methods created by string teachers, who have years of experience in helping violin, viola, cello, and bass students in overcoming difficult obstacles that would otherwise prevent them from moving on in technique and musicality. When it comes to methods and etude books, there can sometimes be gaps in content or direction that make it difficult for students to really master a foundational technique, habit, or concept. Writer, violinist, and product expert, Val Jaskiewicz, recommends some books that can add focus to any method your student is using!