A blog about music, practice and life with the occasional dad joke thrown in…

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Wandering Mind

Last night, I was practicing and hit a rough patch. I kept stumbling over a section of a song called “Climbing and Falling.” Then it hit me: my mind wasn’t in the game. I was distracted, stewing over something annoying my mother-in-law had said. 🤯 So, I switched gears and practiced a different song that … Continued

What’s helped you the most on your fiddle journey?

When I was college orchestra I sat in the last row of the viola section. I met with a student teacher who patiently helped me fumble through difficult music that I usually wasn’t excited about. This patient graduate student taught me the principle of Chunking. It was something I’d probably done unconsciously here and there. … Continued

The Three S’s of Violin Practice: Song, Scale, Skill

Think of this 25-minute practice journey as your daily bread and butter. Utilize the Practice Pipeline to pinpoint areas for improvement and systematically elevate both your songs and skills with the following steps: 1. Scale Time | ⏱️5m: Start with the scale related to the song you’ll focus on. This primes your ears and fingers. … Continued

Setting Up Audio for Interactive Fiddlehed Lessons

Introduction Fiddlehed offers a range of live lessons and student meet-ups. The audio setup varies depending on the event. For workshops and office hours, students are not be audible. However, for Student Groups and online private lessons, you’ll want to be heard clearly. Here’s how to optimize your audio setup in three simple steps: Use … Continued

Optimism

I’ve been talking to a lot of students recently. The ones who make it have one thing in common… My mission is to teach you good practice strategies to help you succeed. I hope that if you practice well, you’ll start to see improvement which will fuel your optimism. Here’s what I’m wondering: Can you … Continued

10 Common Beginner Violin Mistakes

Do you want to successfully learn the violin? You’re bound to struggle and make mistakes along the way. That’s part of the learning process. And in a way this is what makes learning fun. But by being aware of common pitfalls, you’ll waste less time and energy. Let me help you continue the violin journey … Continued

Learn Violin With Familiar Songs

Overview An easy, familiar song like Twinkle Little Star is not only good for beginner violinists, but it’s also a good practice tool for more advanced players. In this lesson, I’ll give you some ideas for taking these timeworn songs an re-inventing them.   Beginner Practice With Familiar Songs Familiar songs are a great way … Continued

Six Secrets To Violin Success

Overview In order to succeed at learning violin or any instrument, you need to establish a good mindset. There are some simple things you can do to establish a good mindset and avoid feeling overwhelmed. These mindset hacks are not just for beginners, but for musicians working at any level. After 40+ years of learning … Continued

Get Good At Getting Good: Fiddle Practice Tips 

Are you struggling to improve your fiddle skills? If you’re always frustrated during practice, you might be training yourself to be frustrated every time you pick up your instrument. Time to change things up and get good at getting good. 🤔 Recognize Frustration & Change Your Approach Frustration is a common feeling when practicing the … Continued