5 Myths Violin Teachers Tell You | Violin Lounge TV #310
Dear violin teachers, I love you and am one of you, but there are some myths circling around amongst students that NEED to be busted:
Watch the video and learn which myth is holding YOU back in your progress!
Myth #1: Hold the violin between your chin and shoulder, letting it float in the air
You might have been told that your violin should be completely ‘weightless’ on your shoulder and that you shouldn’t do any effort at all to hold your violin. But everywhere we have gravity we must hold our violin. This allows for better balance it between your collar bone and your left hands which can help you avoid some nasty neck and shoulder pain. Research has even discovered that your intonation or playing in tune can improve when you have more contact with the violin with your left hand and if the violin rests more in your left hand a little bit.
All great violinists who played without shoulder rest had to hold their violin and had to have an active left arm while playing. But of course, it’s important to find an effortless and balance of violin hold that is 80% technique and 20% your chin rest and shoulder rest.
Myth #2: Left hand should be independent, not supporting the violin for position shifts and vibrato
As I mentioned that your intonation can improve when you hold contact with the violin, this is true with position play as well. You can easily move up the positions by holding the violin as shown in this video. You’ll have more reference points so your intonation is better and you are more secure hitting that high note.
Myth #3: Putting your fingers on the string as softly as possible
First of all, your intonation becomes very insecure and it also doesn’t improve your articulation.
Listen to an example of this in the video to hear the difference.
Instead, you should place your fingers firmly on the strings like little hammers. Of course, you shouldn’t squeeze the neck of the violin and your left hand must remain relaxed, but you can place your fingers in a way that you can hear it.
Myth #4: Silent bow change
It’s never really silent because in the motion that your string makes, the string is vibrating in a different direction in down bow and up bow.
So when you go from down bow to up bow you must stop the motion of your string and let it vibrate in a different direction. However, we can create the illusion of a silent bow and that’s what we want to strive for.
Myth #5: You can’t play the violin sitting down
Look at the top 10 orchestras in the world … do they all stand? No, they sit. If it was better to stand then they would. It’s for practical reasons because they have to play for a long time but if it was really better to stand, would they really sit down? Of course, the soloist is standing because they need a lot of freedom of movement and being alone they still need to play the solo over the top of the orchestra.
The reason why violin teachers tell you to stand up is that when practicing you are more active, more concentrated. Most people also find it easier to have good posture when they are standing up straight rather than when they are sitting down.
It’s important that you can play standing and as well as sitting down.
When I practice myself, most of the time I am standing because I like freedom of movement and expression. It also keeps me more active. Today, even managers in board meetings are standing up because it is better for your concentration.
The purpose of this video is not to criticize violin teachers but to simply bust some myths. I love violin teachers all over the world, and I respect you even if you teach in a different way than I do because there are several ways that lead to Rome. I think it is AMAZING what you all do for your students!