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5 Reasons To Learn to Play the Violin

Tatiana is a classically trained violinist and instructor.  Learn to play the correct way!

1. The Violin is Important to Western Classical Music

Some of the largest classical music literature and pieces- such as those composed by Paganini, Beethoven, Tchaikovsky, and Bach- are written for solo violin, chamber music, or concerto. These are some of the most virtuosic and often recognizable works that many classical musicians know, and many famous musicians such as Itzhak Perlman and Hilary Hahn have interpreted them. All serious violinists will recognize Bach’s Chaconne in D minor or Paganini’s Caprice No.24.

As scientists from the University of Iowa have stated, “Violins did not evolve; rather, the behavior of the violin makers evolved.” The violin seemingly appeared out of nowhere in the mid-1500s in northern Italy. Unlike instruments like the modern piano, which underwent several developments, the first appearances of the violin are virtually the same as the modern-day violin. Variation in the size of sound holes and other physical attributes of the violin changed depending on the maker and their musical motivations.

Today, the violin is a major component of classical music ensembles. The concertmaster, or the leader of the violin section (and by default the rest of the orchestra), is a violinist. The violin is also a major element of chamber music literature: string trios (violin, viola, and cello), string quartets (two violins, viola, and cello), and in piano duets (in the case of sonatas or as an accompaniment). Many composers from Beethoven to Stravinsky wrote huge works for chamber music which are still played and enjoyed today.

2. Learning to Play the Violin is Good for the Ear

Unlike keyboard instruments, the string instruments require an impeccable ear to produce good intonation. This is because the pitch of the sound changes as the musician slides her fingers along the strings. Unlike the guitar, the four major orchestral string instruments do not have frets.

Sometimes when learning the instrument, beginners will place tape on the different positions of the violin to learn the distances. However, many musicians, especially those who are very young, learn to develop their ear simply with practice and learn to coordinate the pitch of the note with the placement of their fingers.

3. Violinists Learn to Coordinate their Entire Body

Playing the violin is a physically demanding feat. While different instruments come with their own challenges, the classical training of the violin requires proper instruction and body position to even produce a sound. There are several factors to keep in mind while learning how to play, including the grip of the hand on the bow, the position of the fingers on the strings, and the placement of the neck.

At least at the beginning, it can be challenging to get used to playing the violin. The hand must understand the different positions and coordinate with the ear to play in tune, producing a wholesome vibrato when needed. The neck must hold the violin firmly so it does not slip away. The bowing hand must hold the bow with proper form and adapt to the force and pressure demanded by the composer’s score. All of these feats occur while the musician maintains proper posture, breathing, and intellectual and emotional understanding of the music.  Tatiana is an excellent teacher to give you the best foundation.

4. The Violin Produces a Great Range of Sounds

The violin has interesting dimensions of sound. The musician can change the  force of the note by the tension and speed of the bow, by plucking the string (pizzicato), and also by using the body of the instrument as percussion in more modern styles.

There are also many dimensions of violin playing, including the technique used on the string. These include namely vibrato, or the wavering of pitch while holding out a long note. The motion of the bow on bowed instruments can also sustain sound for long periods of time, which is something that few other instruments outside of this category can do (the organ being a large exception).

5. The Violin is a Versatile Instrument

The violin is an instrument that can fit anywhere. You can play it in the orchestra, as a solo instrument, or for chamber music. You could also play at an old time jam or on the street. From rock concerts to indie folk to electronic music, the sound of the violin blends easily with various styles and orchestrations.

Even though the violin first arose in the West, the instrument has been welcomed into many cultures around the world including Irish music, Central Asia, the Middle East, and the Balkan. The violin has also been adapted for Indian music ensembles and South American dance music, such as Argentinian tango.

 

Question: Music Lesson Length?

If you are a new student, you may not know how to choose a lesson length.

 

If you have already taken music lessons, you may want to learn when to change your lesson length.  Shorter lessons but more frequent might mean more progress.

When establishing lessons for yourself or your child, you want to choose the right lesson length to make the most progress possible.  You begin by establishing a good foundation.  If studying Violin – proper posture, holding the violin and how you draw the bow.  If you are studying Piano, you need to learn how to coordinate your left-hand movements with your right-hand movements.  Proper placement of your fingers on the keyboard is important.

Your concentration

Part of a successful music lesson is learning to play music accurately. And that requires good concentration. If your concentration breaks, you won’t be able to play accurately. If you are not playing accurately and making mistakes, then you are forming bad habits.

If you find yourself unable to concentrate for a 45 minute or 60-minute lesson, then you should consider taking a shorter lesson. Simply put, the longer you can concentrate, the longer a lesson you can benefit from.  Your ability to concentrate is affected by two other factors: your experience and ability, and your teacher.

Your goals

In order to choose the right lesson length, you should know what you want to accomplish. You should have a clear idea of what you want to learn.

Your teacher

A good teacher is an important factor in your lessons. A top rate teacher will be able to help you reach your goals no matter the lesson length.

Tatiana’s job is to give you enough information to push you, but not so much information that you are overwhelmed.  The right amount of information for you does not change based on the lesson length. It’s determined by your concentration, experience, and goals. It takes a skilled teacher, such as Tatiana. to get this right.

The main difference between lesson lengths is the amount of supervised practice time that you have. In a shorter lesson, you will have less time to repeat things with the teacher. In a longer lesson, you will have more.  The question to take a longer or shorter lesson thus becomes one of your comforts. (The exception here is for advanced students who are learning a large amount of music during a lesson. In this case, a longer lesson will be required.)  Most students find they are more comfortable with the pacing in a longer lesson.

Your practice

Without practice, you lessons will not be as effective. You can have the best teacher in the world, but if you don’t practice at home, your progress is going to be slow.  Your practice at home is a necessary component to your success.  Learning to play the violin or piano takes time and effort.  We encourage selfie videos so you can look back at the progress you have made.  Be patient, the results will be great!  You can make excellent progress no matter your age, background or ability.

Your budget

Lastly is your budget.  You can only take a lesson that you can afford. Sometimes students are unable to afford a longer lesson length and have to take a shorter lesson. Don’t be discouraged! As long as you have a solid teacher, you’ll get exactly the things you need to make the most progress. And with that information, you’ll then go home to repeat what you’ve learned and form solid habits.

Summary

Tatiana will work with you and help you establish not only a good foundation on which you will build on but help you determine the length of lessons that will help you achieve your musical goals.

Learn to Play Violin

 WHAT IS THE BEST WAY TO LEARN?

Shape Young Minds with Music

It is said that the sound of the violin is the musical instrument closest to the human voice!  Like most things you learn in life, what you get out of your lessons depends on what you invest in them.  We have students as young as 6 years old and adult students up to and including those who are retired.

Learning music can be compared to learning a language.

Music is not a language, but the learning process is quite similar. Practice and immersion in the language gives you a foundation to build upon.  It is the same in learning the violin. If you know how to read music, you already have a great head start. The first and most basic form of learning any instrument involves knowing how to read music.  If you don’t read music, learning to read music is part of the skills you will learn in your violin lessons. Tatiana will help you learn to read music and show you the proper fingering, bowing, and other mechanics involved in playing the violin. Tatiana teaches in your foundation lessons.

Will it be hard or difficult? Yes, absolutely!

Bowed instruments are difficult to learn. They are very complex and sensitive instruments, so it takes a lot of good quality lessons and good quality practice to be able to play tunes beautifully and achieve the realistic goal you should set for yourself.   This is where a good violin teacher is most important!  Getting a good foundation is essential.  A good foundation, such as posture and holding and drawing the bow properly is necessary for you to achieve eventual success.

Are you committed to doing what it takes? Is your goal realistic?

There are many ways you can take music lessons.  Online, YouTube, Self-taught, as a group in school or private lessons.  Again, like most endeavors in life, you get out of it what you put in.  In my opinion and from what I have observed, private lessons with an experienced violin teacher are the best and fastest way to learn to play the violin.  We have students who become frustrated trying to learn on their own or online and come to Tatiana to learn the right way.  The problem is they already have bad habits that need to be corrected before they can begin to achieve the success they want to achieve.

Learning to play the violin takes a lot of time and energy.

Sorry, I’d like to be honest and I don’t want to make it any prettier than it is. If you like practicing, playing around with your instrument and sorting things out, then it won’t be hard or difficult. You will have fun along the way. That’s the most important thing.  Practicing is what you will do 90% or more of the time you spend with your instrument.  Even if you are a professional, you still need to maintain your skill set and still need to practice and prepare for your performances. Tatiana has taught, played and performed as a violinist for most of her adult life.  Hardly a day goes by that she doesn’t pick up her violin and practice – to keep her skill level at its highest.  Those individuals who take the time, and put in the effort to learn to play the violin can reap rich rewards by possessing this wonderful skill. The satisfaction and joy you achieve and share with others is worth the effort!

Private instruction:

If you are going to learn to play the violin with a personal tutor. The instructor you select for lessons is critical to your success.  Just because someone knows how to play violin does not mean they know how to teach effectively.  Maybe you are in school and in the orchestra. A private teacher is also a wonderful enrichment for a serious student to have in addition to group lessons offered at a school.  All of Tatiana’s students are playing in Honor Orchestra or first or second chair in their respective orchestra.

The main thing to remember: when you employ a personal violin instructor is to practice, practice, and practice! A weekly lesson and no practice will not give you the results you want.  You must take what you learned in the lesson, go home and practice to re-enforce by using your hands and muscles to help remember and retain the information.

You can call Tatiana to discuss lessons

(702) 769-7685

 

The influence of violin music on society

It is believed that the discipline of learning to play violin contributes to people’s cognitive function.  You want to improve your brain power? Learn to play violin!

The influence of music on society can be clearly seen from modern history. Music helped Thomas Jefferson write the Declaration of Independence. When he could not figure out the right wording for a certain part, he would play his violin to help him. The music helped him get the words from his brain onto the paper.

Albert Einstein is recognized as one of the smartest men who ever lived. When Einstein was young, he did extremely poorly in school. His grade school teachers told his parents to take him out of school because he was “too stupid to learn” and it would be a waste of resources for the school to invest time and energy in his education. The school suggested that his parents get Albert an easy, manual labor job as soon as they could. His mother did not think that Albert was “stupid”. Instead of following the school’s advice, Albert’s parents bought him a violin. Albert became good at the violin. Music was the key that helped Albert Einstein become one of the smartest men who has ever lived. Einstein himself says that the reason he was so smart is because he played the violin.

Spring is in the Air

We had a late winter this year but the good news is Spring is almost here.  Spring and Fall are some of the best seasons to enjoy all that Las Vegas has to offer.

Wedding season is kicking into high gear and we are excited to see how many brides want violin to be part of their wedding experience.

We would like to remind you that while violin is great for weddings, it is special for so many other occasions like a surprise party, wedding proposal, corporate event, etc!

Holiday Weddings

Well the holidays are fast approaching.  While this is a busy time of year, what better time to plan a wedding?  The weather is ideal and friends and family are in a good mood and looking for an excuse to come to Las Vegas.

There are so many great venues to choose from.  If you need help or suggestions, just call Terry.

Beautiful Indian Wedding

Happy to be part of such a beautiful wedding! 

Beautiful beginning of wedding at Green Valley Ranch


Beautiful beginning of wedding at Green Valley Ranch

 

Planning your Wedding

Spring is upon us and Wedding planning is in full swing!

Whether you are planning a simple wedding or an elegant gala affair.  Las Vegas, being the wedding capital of the world, has a package and program for whatever you are looking for.

Want Elvis…. Check   Outdoor with a horse drawn carriage… Check   Simple wedding with mountain background… Check .  If you can imagine it, Las Vegas can create it for you!

If you want to add something special to your wedding, consider adding Tatiana as a violinist to help create the perfect wedding moment.  Tatiana plays as guests arrive to be seated, as the wedding party and officiant take their places and the various parts of the ceremony as well as when the bride and groom and wedding party depart.

Surprisingly affordable yet very magical,  Call for quote today!  It is never too early to book as the busy wedding season is upon us.  702.682.5202

Someone Very Special

Do you have someone special in your life!

This someone “Special” can be anyone you love and admire and someone who makes you happy that this person is in your life.  It can be a sibling, a parent, a boyfriend, girlfriend. secret friend.  It may be your wife or husband.  No matter who it is, this is the time of year when you have a chance to acknowledge how special they are to you!

In my early days of growing up, it was my grandmother that I usually honored on Valentines Day.  She sacrificed to put a roof over my head and to be sure there was enough food of the table.  As I got older, other people came into my life to influence my thinking.

I think Valentines Day is more than just flowers and candy.  I think it should be a time of reflection to acknowledge all the love others have shown you and a chance for you to review how other people have come into your life to impact it in a meaningful way!

Happy Valentines day

 

 

 

Selecting music for wedding ceremony

 

Selecting music for your wedding ceremony

It is one of the most important days of your life.  You are getting married!  There is a lot of planning to do.  One of the important factors to consider is music for your wedding ceremony.

Your wedding ceremony music helps set the tone for your entire event.  Are you going to have a traditional wedding or go for something more contemporary?  The wedding ceremony music creates the mood, evokes emotion and serves as a guide to the progression of the ceremony.

There are a variety of musical instruments to choose from.  The church organ is the most traditional instrument but other popular instruments include the violin, guitar, flute, harp and piano.  You may want to consider hiring a duet, trio or quartet.  You may also want a vocalist to sing a song during the ceremony.

Hiring for ceremony and cocktail hour.  Often when you hire a musician to perform at your ceremony, you can ask them to stay and play at your cocktail hour or reception as well.  You should be able to negotiate the fee for both aspects up front.  Keep in mind that along with the actual playing time, your fee also includes the musician’s practice and preparation of music before the event, travel, set-up , hold time, playing as guests arrive to be seated, the ceremony, and as wedding party and guests depart.

What can you expect to spend?   Ceremony music can span a wide range depending on the type of instruments, the number of musicians and quality of artists.  Las Vegas has a lot of outdoor weddings. How suitable are the instruments for your venue?  Is power needed?  You can expect to pay between $150-$300 for a solo artist to more than $1,200 for a string quartet.  If you have a special song request that the artist must buy and learn, expect to pay between $50 and $100 dollars

The magic moment is here!  The wedding couple and bridal party are about to make their grand entrance and walk down the aisle. What wedding ceremony music did you select?  You may consider the traditional Wagner’s “Here Comes the Bride” and Pachelbel’s “Canon in D”.  Or are you more contemporary, looking for a song that captures your spirit like “Marry Me” by Train.  Many of these songs are also used for processionals and recessionals and/or serve as prelude music or postlude music.

Here are some steps to help you make the right musical decisions:

  1. Decide what type of wedding ceremony suits you best as a couple? Classical or Contemporary.
  2. Consider the setting of your nuptials? Church, Wedding Chapel, Outdoor Wedding?
  3. Evaluate the religious or non-religious undertones such as candle lighting or rose ceremony or any other special moments that music can underscore.
  4. Decide on the main instrument. Violin is a beautiful accompaniment as well as flute, guitar or organ. String duet or trios are popular and can be paired with other instruments.
  5. Allow music professionals that play wedding venues to help you make the right musical decisions and book well in advance to secure your date and time and to allow adequate preparation.
  6. Ask for musical samples including videos and/or audio and also ask for sample of musician’s repertoire.

If you are considering a solo, duet or string trio, The Las Vegas Violinist (www.LasVegasViolinist.com) Tatiana Barone, brings romantic charm to every wedding.

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