Monday, June 17, 2013

Strings Adjudicator Words of Wisdom

Every year I try to attend as much strings adjudication in our local music festival as possible, in addition to that of my own students.  The adjudicators are usually highly qualified teachers, and there is a lot my students and I can learn from them.  This year we had William van der Sloot at our festival.  I will share here some bits from my notes.  I have extensive notes, so I thought I would break them up into several blog posts.

Perform every chance you get.
Play WITH and listen to your accompanist.
Always be thinking and listening at least one note ahead, know where you are going.
The adjudicator's scores and comments are only an opinion of how you played THAT DAY.

"The greatest enemy of art in music is tension."  Yehudi Menuhin
Looking out at the audience can cause loss of focus.  Watching the bow is a better alternative.
Do more than just play everything in the score ("honest" playing); bring the music to life. The bow needs to reflect the music.  Find moments of tension and release.

Watch You Tube.  Have heroes.  Know the stars of the day as well as the historic ones.
Use GOOD speakers for listening to music on computer.
We can base our movement and sound on our stars.

Always sing your music.  Notice your breathing and transfer that to your playing.
Be careful to develop good vibrato habits right from the start of learning to vibrato.
Pull rather than push the sound.
Support the sound and stay strong with either more bow or more weight, even when playing more quietly.
The bow hand should be soft and like the springs (shock absorbers?) of a car.

If we play beautifully, even little accidents don't matter too much.  Beautiful is better than correct.

Part 2

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