Stage Fright and the Bow Arm border=0 align=

Stage Fright and the Bow Arm

September 21, 2020, 12:30 PM · No matter whether you call it stage fright, concert nerves, the shakes, or butterflies, it is a condition shared by numerous performers. One very accomplished violinist said she was so scared that she couldn’t feel her feet touch the floor when she was performing. A cellist said that losing a lot of weight helped him deal with it.

Another violinist had a difficult time transitioning from his youth as a prodigy to his adult life on the concert stage and in recordings. He experienced something common to many violinists, a shaking bow that would disrupt any hope of control. Yet he persevered because of his deep love of music and his desire to communicate with his audience. Such stage fright is the extreme kind, and it stems from a combination of negative thinking and, in my case, insufficient understanding of how the violin and bow work. Keep reading...

Comments (3) weekend vote: Is talent or practice more crucial in acquiring musical ability?

September 19, 2020, 11:18 PM · It's the old nature vs. nurture argument -- which will get your farther, practice or talent? Can a great deal of practice overcome a lack of "talent"? Is there even such a thing as "talent," or is it all about cultivating ability? (That's the Suzuki mindset!) Or is talent actually pretty important, to be able to ever really get good at music? Please participate in the vote and then tell us your thoughts. Feel free to tell us if you've seen studies or articles about this topic, or to share personal experiences.

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For the Record, Op. 132: Mana Music Quartet's 'Music of Queen Lili'uokalani'

September 17, 2020, 3:21 PM · Welcome to "For the Record,"'s weekly roundup of new releases of recordings by violinists, violists, cellists and other classical musicians. We hope it helps you keep track of your favorite artists, as well as find some new ones to add to your listening!

Mana Music Quartet: Queen Lili'uokalani
Eric Silberger, violin
Mann-Wen Lo, violin
Duane Padilla, viola
Joshua Akira Nakazawa, cello

When violinist Mann-Wen Lo came to Honolulu in March for a performance, little did she know that a global pandemic would keep her there for the next six months, despite the fact that her home was in Los Angeles. During this time, her quartet met up to read a string quartet arrangement by violinist Duane Padilla, from a song by queen Lili‘uokalani (the last monarch of the Hawaii Kingdom) called "Ku’u Pua I Paoakalani." The song was written by the queen while she was under house arrest. "One of her followers would bring flowers to her from the estate’s garden when she was imprisoned, wrapping them in newspapers so that she could keep up with events of the day," Lo said. "Having learned the story behind the song, we all felt chills running down our spine. She was in confinement while she wrote the piece, and we were in quarantine while playing her music." The group decided to record an album of some of the queen's music, with Duane writing more arrangements. The new album includes 15 of the queen's 165 known compositions. The album also features special guests Jake Shimabukuro (ukulele superstar), Benny Rietveld (bassist for Carlos Santana), and Greg Sardinha (steel guitar legend). BELOW: Hawaiian Music Queen Lili'uokalani- "Kuu Pua i Paokalani":

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How to Make Box Violin - for Beginning Students

September 16, 2020, 9:28 PM · When famous violinists talk about their earliest music lessons, they often remember fondly, "I started out on a box violin..."

What exactly do they mean? Many very young students begin their lessons on a "box violin" - a cardboard violin. The box violin allows teachers to show students the basics of how to hold, handle and care for a violin, before they actually start working with such a delicate instrument. You can buy a box violin, but it's much more fun for students to make their own, and it's also very easy. It also makes for a fun music-related craft project, whether you ever intend to play the violin or not! Here's how to do it, with written instructions below:

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