Gone in a Blink
Another Sunday come and gone in a blink! I know I have an entry to fill in for last week, but I’m going to have to fill in the one for this week as well. Here’s hoping I can squeeze in a moment later this week for a blog-worthy literary effort. I did have an inspiration for a poem earlier in the week, but I’ve been helping my son learn as much Tagalog as possible, preparing to leave for a two-year mission to the Philippines on Tuesday. This is me making peace with the crazy life, trying to fit a moment in for things I’ve committed to doing. It’s not always pretty, but I tend to be a pretty committed individual … I said I would and here I am.
I spent all day yesterday filming an addendum video with warm-ups and advice on making a comeback to music to add to an interview I did for a String Summit. After making the video, I watched a bunch of adult beginner videos and realized all my examples were way too fast and way too advanced to help most of them, so I will have to revisit it tomorrow with demonstrations for beginning, intermediate and advanced. I look at violin playing as largely an athletic activity, and many of our warm-ups can be viewed in this way, with everyone performing them to a lesser or greater extent depending on skill level and strength. Everything comes gradually over time and it’s a matter of consistent effort to build the specialized muscles we need … I do find, all string players are facing the same requirements at base (i.e. strong fingers, flexibility) and targeting those specific muscle groups within the skill level of the individual and suggesting exercises to continue the process of expanding and growing those skills is the job of a good teacher. That’s what I think of as great training, and why I think performers often make the best teachers—experience.
It was a major reason I began my study in earnest once again. At one critical juncture, I was being pushed the pedagogy route. I do love teaching, but things lined up a different way. I guess I couldn’t shake the feeling that to be able to teach my own students how to perform or manage competitions, I would be better prepared to give them more if I had done it myself. Now that I’m here I find myself floundering to remember to take things a little slower and invest myself in the level of those who need me most (who may never enter a competition and do this for love), but that’s another story and this is my last minute of the day. Posting now!