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Val Jaskiewicz

Val is SHAR's Content Manager, a product specialist, a skilled violinist, and one of the most knowledgeable people in the industry regarding the details of products used by string players, from the finest instruments to the smallest accessories.

Recent Posts

The Total Violinist

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Aug 3, 2018 11:03:22 AM

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.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Alternative Strings, Bass, Jazz, Folk, Blog, Classical, Self-Improvement, motivation, Pedagogy, Music Careers

Why We Love Barenreiter Editions

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Jun 20, 2018 10:12:56 AM

 

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.

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Topics: Barenreiter, Urtext

Introduction to Associated Chamber Music Players (ACMP)

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on May 14, 2018 11:07:59 AM

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.

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Topics: SHAR, Classical Music, Chamber music, String Community, Blog, SHAR Ann Arbor, Ensemble Playing, Flexible Ensembes

The Lives of Artists . . . In Their Own Words

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Jan 25, 2018 10:57:25 AM

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?

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Topics: The Lives of Artists... In Their Own Words, Music Careers

Cremona: The Birthplace of Today’s Violins

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Dec 4, 2017 12:14:38 PM

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.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Fine Instruments, Italian Violins

String Teachers: Business as Usual . . . or a Breakthrough Year?

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 18, 2017 11:08:22 AM

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.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Teaching, String Community, Method Books, Bass, Teaching Aids, books, Pedagogy

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 6: Good Habits Begin Early: Caring for the Instrument

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 10, 2017 2:28:41 PM

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.

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Topics: Teaching, Instrument Care, Humidity

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 5: Books That Help Focus Any Teaching Method, for Parents and You

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 4, 2017 11:10:33 AM

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!

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Topics: Parents, Practice, Teaching, Method Books, books

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 4: Breaking Through Physical and Mental Barriers

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Sep 28, 2017 11:43:56 AM

In the previous part of this blog series on teacher-made solutions to common string student obstacles, there were four books featured that are very useful for helping students feel motivated to practice well. In this part, two different kinds of books are presented which can help students who feel overwhelmed by a mental or physical barrier to their playing. 

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Topics: Practice, Teaching, Method Books, Advice, books

String Teachers: Students Need A Breakthrough? Part 3: Books for Practice and Motivation

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Sep 25, 2017 6:00:00 AM

As was mentioned in the first two parts of this series (featuring accessories for common left and right-hand problems), each student is different with different strengths and weaknesses, different commitment levels, and different motivations. For those students that need some special attention or have some challenges to overcome, where do you find the time to investigate the solution, find the right book or product, and apply it to their unique issue? At SHAR, we’ve discovered the answers from an obvious source: From other teachers! After all, teachers know best, and because they are teachers they love sharing what they know! Teachers know that most habits are learned during practice, not at the lesson, so motivating a student to practice the right way is as much a challenge as having them "get it" at the lesson. These books by other teachers can help your student make a breakthrough!

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Topics: Practice, Teaching, Teaching Aids, books, motivation

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