FOCUS

Ariane Todes selects her favourite stories and interviews from The Strad website and beyond

Focus Friday, 09 May 2014

What does the future hold for English fiddling?

Jon Boden explains the difficulties of finding an authentic playing style for traditional English tunes

If you are a violinist living in Scotland, Ireland or Sweden – in fact in most Western countries and a fair few Eastern ones – you’re probably aware of the role that the violin plays...

Focus Friday, 09 May 2014

Quick exercises to improve string playing technique

Teacher Talk: your string teaching questions answered by our panel of experts

What is the most powerful exercise you ever use that brings the quickest, biggest change, in any area of technique? JAKE STRAUSS, NEW YORK, US

BRUNO GIURANNA I inform...

Focus Wednesday, 07 May 2014

Violinist Hilary Hahn on practice and interpretation

In June 2012 violinist Hilary Hahn was guest editor of The Strad’s ‘Conversations’ special. The following five quotations on performance and interpretation are extracted from that issue.

Practice and performing ritualsI used to have intentional rituals, but with the travelling I do, they went by the wayside. Every day is different, but I do things habitually without...

Focus Monday, 05 May 2014

Engaging uncommitted parents with their child's music lessons

Teacher Talk: your string teaching questions answered by our panel of experts

What do you do when parents of little beginners have no interest in the lessons or supporting the child’s learning at home? I really struggle with this at the private school where I teach....

Focus Friday, 02 May 2014

How to advise a student that music is not the right career

Just like anyone in a close working relationship, teachers and students sometimes have to have difficult conversations. Vicky Hancock finds out how pedagogues handle some of the trickiest topics

The continually evolving partnership between teacher and student is complex. It requires compromise and understanding – rather like a marriage or relationship. And during their time together, ...

Focus Thursday, 01 May 2014

From the Archive: advice for second violinists

Intelligent, modest, self-controlled, sympathetic: a description of all good second violinists from The Strad's May 1914 issue

It stands to reason that not everybody can play first fiddle — not only in the orchestra but in the ordinary affairs of life — but it is a conspicuous fact there are always many more candidates...

Focus Tuesday, 29 April 2014

Ask the Experts: playing violin in the second position

Strad readers submit their problems and queries about string playing, teaching or making to a panel of experts

In the fifth of the series, five string pedagogues from a range of teaching backgrounds discuss a violinist's concerns about playing in the second position.Do you have a burning...

Focus Thursday, 24 April 2014

Double bass beginners should play in all left-hand positions

Bassist Tom Martin, who is interviewed for the May issue's Ask the Teacher, tells Pauline Harding why double bass beginners shouldn't restrict themselves to playing in the lower positions

Many students have had poor training before they come to college: perhaps they learnt with someone who doesn’t play the bass, or they taught themselves. I spent years teaching myself, and a lot...

Focus Wednesday, 23 April 2014

Where should string players look when performing from memory on stage?

Teacher Talk: your string teaching questions answered by our panel of experts

Where should violinists look when they are performing from memory on stage? DANIEL ARSHAVSKY, ATLANTA, US

GÉZA SZILVAY Performing from memory on stage...

Focus Monday, 21 April 2014

How well did Shakespeare know the violin?

The word ‘violin’ never appears in Shakespeare’s plays, but he left tantalising clues that he knew the instrument well. To mark the Bard's 450th anniversary this month, we republish an article by John Dilworth from 2009

It has to be said straight away that the connection between the Bard and the violin is tenuous. The word ‘violin’ never appears in all his work, as far as I can find out. Viols, lutes, trumpets...

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