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SHAR Spring 2018 Photo Contest Results

Posted by Kim Smallwood on Jul 9, 2018 11:01:00 AM

After weeks of deliberation over your photo contest entries, we have selected winner for this year’s Spring 2018 Photo Contest! We had huge number of submissions this year, which made our job even harder. Of all the wonderful photos we received, we selected a Grand Prize winner that will received a $250 SHAR gift certificate, and a few honorable mentions.

Since we received such a high volume of high quality photos, we are likely to use many of them in future SHAR catalogs, promotions and emails. For those that we end up publishing, you will receive an email offering a $25 SHAR gift certificate at the time of publication. 

Now, here is the moment we’ve all been waiting for…

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Bass, Contests, honorable mentions, photo contest, winners

Practical Passion: How an Independent Artist Took Charge of His Own Career

Posted by Jeremy Cohen on Jun 4, 2018 8:34:36 AM

Practical Passion: How an Independent Artist Took Charge of His Own Career

 

 “. . . as much as I know what lights me up inside, I also know that the future will look different from what I plan.” With these words, violinist Rebecca Fischer offered us a glimpse of the shape shifting that is an integral part of an artistic calling. Her blog article, “Courage: Starting Fresh, Again and Again”, part of “SHAR’s Lives of Artists” series, goes on to describe that new beginnings sometimes require something old to end.

 

Violinist Jeremy Cohen knows a thing or two about new beginnings. Studying with Itzhak Perlman, performing solos with symphony orchestras and extensive work with chamber ensembles provided Jeremy with the solid foundation necessary to enjoy a fruitful traditional orchestral or conservatory career. But the music of Jeremy’s childhood neighborhood – jazz, Tango, Latin music – called to him, and he just couldn’t abandon it. Fortunately, Jeremy’s skills enabled him to have plenty of work, including live performances, extensive film and television work, and touring as concertmaster with major artists. All this was to change for most independent artists upon the arrival of the internet, smartphones and Netflix, all competing with live music. For Jeremy Cohen, there was no choice except to become a champion . . .

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Topics: Violin, Composers, Ensemble Playing, Flexible Ensembes, String Quartet, The Lives of Artists... In Their Own Words, Music Careers

Violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins: Following Her Bliss

Posted by Kelly Hall-Tompkins on Jan 25, 2018 10:58:58 AM

New York City concert violinist Kelly Hall-Tompkins, by any measure, enjoys a fulfilling and rewarding career. From her busy solo touring schedule, to serving as concertmaster for some of Broadway’s biggest shows, to her recording work, including her own arrangements, to her humanitarian work, Kelly’s career as a professional musician is completely integrated into every facet of her life. But it wasn’t this way until she decided to pursue her own vision and voice. And that’s how Kelly became the artist that she is today.

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

Six Mistakes String Players Make When Changing Strings

Posted by James Engman on Jan 19, 2018 5:11:33 PM

It's a scenario every beginner or intermediate string player finds themselves in at some point: either a string broke, the metal winding is unraveling, or they've simply decided better strings will make them finally sound like Anne-Sophie Mutter. I can tune my strings by now; I'm sure changing my strings is simple enough! With headstrong independence they place an order for the set they heard are really great and wait patiently for their new strings to arrive. In a few days, they tear open the package, sit down with their instrument and get started...

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Strings, Bass, Instrument Care

German Violins, Violas, and Cellos by Rainer W. Leonhardt now For Sale at SHAR!

Posted by James Engman on Jan 9, 2018 3:32:20 PM

“. . . a master violin is an accumulation of many small steps, each carried out with painstaking care”

~ Rainer W. Leonhardt, Master Violin Maker, Mittenwald, Germany

 

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Violin Making, Fine Instruments, German Violins

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

HEAD, SHOULDERS, KNEES, AND TOES: MOVEMENT AND THE IMPORTANCE OF AN ERGONOMIC SHOULDER PAD AND CHINREST

Posted by Lynne Denig on May 25, 2017 3:47:03 PM

The children’s song “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes” has been used over the last sixty years to teach young children anatomy and to get them moving as they point to each part. The tune is actually a good advertisement for how we, as violinists and violists, should make use of our bodies as we play—from the top of our heads down to the soles of our feet. However, movement sometimes is derailed because we have
chosen non-ergonomic equipment, especially in our choice of chinrests and shoulder pads.

[This article, by Lynne Denig was originally published in American String Teacher, Vol. 67, No. 1, © 2017 by American String Teachers Association. It has been formatted for our blog page with permission. Click to read the whole article!]

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Shoulder Rests, Accessories, Health, chinrests

Think Like A Gamer: Power Up Your String Player Stats

Posted by Neil Fong Gilfillan on Apr 25, 2017 10:18:02 AM

"He was engaged, identifying where he needed to improve, and giving up the small flashy upgrades so he could be a stronger player in the long run. The rewards were clear, and he was determined to reach the next level and win. How can we use this natural ambition for games to inspire students to be passionate learners?"

Neil Fong Gilfillan is a Suzuki cello teacher in Frisco Texas. He and his wife Rachel Samson on viola/violin run Chili Dog Strings, the only string studio in Frisco named after a dog. SHAR is happy to have their permission to share two blogs originally posted on their strings studio blog pageThink Like A Gamer: Power Up Your String Player Stats, by Neil Fong Gilfillan, and High Definition for the Practicing Parent, by Rachel Samson. Both of these blogs highlight the importance of parents and teachers reaching out at the level of the student to set goals that are both manageable and motivational.

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Topics: Violin, Parents, Education, Viola, Cello, Teaching, For Fun

High Definition for the Practicing Parent

Posted by Rachel Samson on Apr 25, 2017 10:16:45 AM

Are you the parent of a young string player? This blog will really help YOU with your child's practice. Rachel Samson is a Suzuki viola/violin teacher in Frisco Texas. She and her husband Neil Fong Gilfillan (cello) run Chili Dog Strings, the only string studio in Frisco named after a dog. SHAR is happy to have their permission to share two blogs originally posted on their strings studio blog pageThink Like A Gamer: Power Up Your String Player Stats, by Neil Fong Gilfillan, and High Definition for the Practicing Parent, by Rachel Samson. Both of these blogs highlight the importance of parents and teachers reaching out at the level of the student to set goals that are both manageable and motivational.

Ever feel like you're only getting a fraction of the work done at home that your teacher outlines in the lesson? Sometimes the “How” of home practice is somewhat of a mystery, or at the very least, unclear. Let’s explore how to give your practice more clarity and definition to keep you on track with your teacher’s assignments and your child’s accomplishments. 

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Topics: Suzuki, Violin, Parents, Viola, Cello, Practice

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