best violin songs

Best Violin Songs and Tips for Wedding Performances

best violin songs

Violinists get ready because it’s wedding season! Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares the best violin songs for weddings as well as some helpful tips and tricks for preparing and performing…

Wedding season is both an exciting and stressful time for violinists. For much of the summer and fall, violinists are in high demand, as the violin is one of the most popular instruments requested for weddings.

If you’ve been asked to play solo or in a larger mixed-instrument ensemble, you might be feeling a bit stressed. After all, you want to make sure the bride and groom’s day goes off without a hitch.

To help you prepare, review this quick guide to playing the violin at weddings and list of the best violin songs.

Initial Meeting With The Couple

Typically, you’ll be asked to play the violin during the ceremony and/or the cocktail hour. Different kinds of music are appropriate for these events, and sometimes clients will even have specific requests.

When discussing the best violin songs to choose ahead of time, try to be as detailed as possible so you can get an accurate picture of what the couple wants.

It’s very helpful to have demo tracks of your violin playing to give to prospective clients. If you don’t have demo tracks, you can use YouTube clips to make sure you’re clear on the style of the music the client wants.

For example,”Signed, Sealed Delivered” by Stevie Wonder is typically played pretty funky, but maybe the client wants a version arranged for string quartet as seen in this video.

Preparation

Some couples will have no idea what violin songs they want played or when they should even be played. In this case, it is very helpful for everyone involved if you have a standard list prepared that you can show them.

For a wedding ceremony, you’re list should include the following:

  • Prelude music
  • Entrance music for the mother-of-the-bride and groom
  • Entrance music for the bridesmaids
  • Entrance music for the bride
  • Special music for the middle of the ceremony (might be hymns that are sung, music played during a unity ceremony, or during communion)
  • Recessional music for the bridal party
  • Exit music for the guests

For a cocktail hour, you are much freer to choose whatever music you like playing. Just be sure to find out what style of music the couple wants you to play. Cocktail hours can run the gamut from classical to jazz to bluegrass to pop.

Contracts

Once you’ve ironed out some of the details, it is always a good idea to prepare a contract that you can present to the couple.

Not only will having a contract make you look more professional, but it’s a great way to protect your time and make sure all parties are on the same page regarding the details of the gig.

If you’re not sure where to start in creating a contract, here’s an excellent example from Shaw Strings.

Presentation

The way you and your ensemble dress is very important. Make sure you ask about the dress code, as every wedding is different. You want to fit in and not distract from the ceremony itself.

It’s also important to have promotional materials that reflect the level of professionalism of you or your group, as well as the range of styles and settings you can play.

These materials will often be the first contact prospective clients have with you, so you want to make sure that your pictures and recordings are as appealing as possible.

Playing Outside vs. Inside

If you’re playing outdoors, heavy music stands and music fasteners are crucial. Almost every violinist has played at a wedding in which their music blew away or their stand toppled over in the wind.

Sometimes such a music fail is inevitable, but be prepared as best you can. Sometimes photocopying the music to put in a binder is best, and clips like these can be lifesavers. Since your instrument is valuable, ensure that you will not have to play in rain or direct sunlight.

Building a Repertoire List

These days, wedding music can range from traditional classical music and hymns, to pop and rock songs. For whatever instrumentation you’re playing with, it’s good to have a wide variety of repertoire prepared.

The more diverse your repertoire list, the wider the range of customers you will attract. If you’re looking to build a great repertoire list, here are 10 of the best violin songs to play.

Classical

Pachelbel’s Canon

Ave Maria, Schubert

Bridal March, Wagner

Air on the G string, Bach

Jesu Joy of Man’s Desiring, Bach

Pop

All You Need is Love, Beatles

At Last, Etta James

Can’t Help Falling in Love, Elvis Presley

What a Wonderful World, Louis Armstrong

I’m Yours, Jason Mraz

Use these tips and the list of the best violin songs to help you prepare for your first wedding gig. Remember, weddings are joyous events so sit back and enjoy your time there!

Photo by Pbkwee

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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12 Addictive Apps Every Musician Needs - top music apps

12 Addictive Apps Every Musician Needs (2015 Update)

12 Addictive Apps Every Musician Needs - top music apps

Since the invention of the app store, aspiring and experienced musicians have been finding inspiration, practicing their skills, and immersing themselves in their craft — all with the help of some of the top music apps!

There are so many noteworthy apps that can benefit all musicians, from guitarists to singers and songwriters. Whether you are looking for something educational or creative, this list will benefit your collection of apps. And best of all, they are all fun to work with… and pretty addictive, we might add!

Here are our picks for top music apps…

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Songwriter’s Pad

Songwriter’s Pad is the ultimate songwriter’s tool. It contains powerful idea-generating tools to inspire creation while making lyric-writing easier than ever. Everything you need to write music is packed into this one application. Finally, an app to defeat writer’s block once and for all!

Download: iOSAndroid

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Songsterr Tabs & Chords

Songsterr Tabs & Chords was featured in the Wall Street Journal as, “one of the best apps for learning to play music.” With a huge catalog of 500,000 accurate tabs and chords, all musicians can learn something with this app. Most songs have tabs for individual instruments too, including the guitar, bass, drums, and vocals.

Download: iOS, Android

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)GarageBand

Do you need a full recording studio on the go? If so, this is the app for you. GarageBand turns your phone into a collection of instruments, including piano, organ, guitar, and drums. Guitarists can even plug their electric guitar in and play through classic amps and stompbox effects!

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)My Note Games

This is a fun music game that teaches music theory and instrument mastery, including lessons for saxophone, piano, guitar, recorder, trumpet, violin, viola, and cello, plus vocals and whistling. The app actually listens to you playing your instrument, checking your tone, pitch, and accuracy.

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Beatwave

With Beatwave, you can make unique music just by tapping on your screen! No musical skills are required, and you can create songs anywhere from your phone. In minutes, you can make complex songs with multiple layers of instruments and sounds — and then share them on social media!

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Ear Trainer

Ear Trainer is an educational application designed for beginner to advanced musicians, music students, and anyone interested in improving one’s musical ear. There are more than 260 individual exercises covering intervals, chords, scales, relative pitch, and melody.

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Sing! Karaoke by Smule

Are you ready to take karaoke to the next level? With Sing! Karaoke by Smule, you can sing your favorite karaoke songs and show them off to the world. Record yourself, add audio effects, and share with the app’s global community!

Download: iOS, Android

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Polyphonic!

Polyphonic! is a simple interface app for creating your own complex layers of music, even without any prior musical ability. Each square represents a different sound and each color represents a unique group of sounds. This app is perfect for anyone interested in music creation.

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Hum

Hum makes note-taking and audio recording of song ideas easier than ever! Every aspiring songwriter needs this tool in his or her arsenal. Hum keeps your lyrics and song ideas organized and sortable so you never lose anything again.

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Lyrics Pro

With this app, you get access to the lyrics of millions of tracks, straight from your phone. You can search by artist, song name, or the lyrics themselves. It also has a cool auto-loading feature that delivers the lyrics to any song that is currently playing!

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)Figure

You now have the ability to create awesome music in minutes! Simply open Figure and start by creating a beat, then share it with your friends. Whether you are new to music production or are a seasoned veteran, this app is super fun to use. All musicians can use it to improve their rhythm and expand creativity.

Download: iOS

 

12 Addictive Apps Musicians Will Love (2015 Update)SongPop

Do you know everything about music? Test yourself against friends with SongPop. As you play, you’ll listen to song clips from thousands of original artists in more than 300 genres, and the idea is to guess the artist or song faster than your friends.

Download: iOS, Android

 

Readers, what top music apps are missing from this list? Let us know in the comments!

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famous violin players

How Well Do You Know These Famous Violin Players? [Quiz]

From Bach to Heifetz, there are dozens of famous violin players who’ve made major impacts on the violin community. If you call yourself a violin aficionado, then test your knowledge of these famous violin players in the quiz below.

How did you do? If you’re not happy with your results, there’s no need to worry. Simply, ask your violin teacher to help you study some violin trivia or brush up on these famous violin players on your own.

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best violin songs

How to Choose the Best Violin Songs for Your Recital

best violin songs

Do you have a big recital coming up? Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some tips on how to choose the best violin songs and nail your next performance…

If you’re a beginner violinist preparing for your first big recital, you’re probably wondering how to pick the best violin songs that will showcase what you’ve learned throughout your violin lessons.

Chances are you’re also nervous about how you’ll play in front of people. While it’s good to have some butterflies in your stomach, there’s no need to be overly anxious, as your violin lessons have prepared you for this exact moment.

To ensure that you choose the best violin songs for your performance, follow the tips and tricks below. There’s also a short list of suggested violin songs for beginners.

Tips for Choosing the Best Violin Songs

Not too easy, but not too hard

You want to choose a recital piece that is difficult enough to keep you engaged in the learning process, but not so challenging that you can’t play it well.

Pick a piece that looks about as difficult as other music you’ve played well in the past. When in doubt, err on the side of picking a piece that easy.

For your first recital experience, you want to be as comfortable and confident as possible.

Appropriate for the setting

Is your recital a formal event or more causal? Will the other performers be playing strictly classical music, or will there be a mix of musical styles like pop and rock? Are you expected to perform with piano accompaniment?

These are all questions that you should be asking yourself to determine the overall performance setting.

A song from Pirates of the Caribbean performed with CD accompaniment, for example, may be appropriate for one recital, while a more classic song will be best suited for another performance.

Enjoyable for you

Choose a song you enjoy playing. There is nothing worse than spending hours and hours learning to play a song you don’t even like.

The more you enjoy playing and listening to your recital piece, the more you will end up practicing it.

Plus, your enjoyment will radiate on stage and will put you more at ease while performing.

Your comfort level

Some students feel perfectly comfortable performing alone in front of an audience, while others are terrified of being on stage alone.

If you’re one of those people who prefer to play with someone else, here are some options you might want to consider:

  • Perform a duet with another student or your violin teacher
  • Play with accompaniment of some sort (piano, guitar, CD, etc.)

Best Violin Songs for Beginners

If you’re still not sure what recital piece you should choose, below are five of the best violin songs for beginners:

1. Twinkle Twinkle Little Star

While it’s not the most exciting song, almost any student who has been playing for a few months can pluck or bow this classic. Because students are already familiar with the tune, it will be easy for them to pick up.

2. Minuet No. 1

This song is part of the Suzuki violin repertoire. It’s a great song for showing off your bowing technique and the repeats make it sound longer and harder than it really is.

3. Ode To Joy

With its recognizable melody and limited note range, Ode To Joy is a great first recital choice. Even if you don’t read music, this song can be easily written out by letter names. What’s more, piano accompaniment is easy to add, as is a friend to play along.

4. Can Can

This upbeat tune is fun to play and listen to. Played in the key of D, this song only uses the D and A strings and is perfect for students early in their training.

5. Old Joe Clark

This American folk tune is a great intro to the world of fiddling. For a fun twist, play this song through twice during your recital; the first time at a medium tempo, and the second time at a faster tempo.

Use the following tips and list of songs to help you nail your next violin performance. Most of all, remember to have fun and enjoy your time up on stage–you deserve it after all of your hard work!                                                                                                                                                                                                                                        

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

Photo by Alden Chadwick

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apps for violinists

10 More Helpful Apps for Violinists

apps for violinists

There are mobile apps for just about everything these days–even playing the violin. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares 10 helpful apps for violinists…

The world of music apps is ever expanding. More and more apps are available to help musicians with everything from music theory to sight reading to organizing practice time.

Specifically, there are many helpful apps for violinists. Whether you’re a seasoned violin players or you’re just starting to take violin lessons, there are tons of apps that can help take your skills to the next level.

Lucky for you, we’ve rounded up some of the best apps for violinists below.

1. Violin Notes Flash Cards

Price: $0.99

The Violin Notes Flash Cards app features flash cards to help users memorize notes and beef up their reading skills.

One side of the card displays the note on the music staff, while the other side depicts what note it is and where to play it on the fingerboard.

2. Fiddle Companion

Price: Free

The perfect app for both fiddlers and violin players, the Fiddle Companion provides users with a wealth of chord charts and scale fingering.

What’s more, it comes with a variety of helpful tools, such as a metronome and a tuner.

3. iReal Pro

Price: $12.99

Don’t have a band to practice with? No problem. The iReal Pro app is like having a band with you at all times.

Download chord charts for thousands of songs or create your own chord chart for a song. Then use the playback feature to pick the style you want your “virtual” band to play and you’ll be off!

4. Voice Recorder

Price: Free

Don’t be fooled by the word “voice” in this app’s title. The Voice Recorder app is great for recording your practice sessions, violin lessons, or even performances.

Use the sophisticated folder system to keep your recordings organized, and access them anytime you want.

5. Baxters Database of Violin Makers

Price: $16.99

If you need to reference a particular violin or it’s maker, then look no further than the Baxters Database of Violin Makers app.

The app is a huge database that includes more than 21,500 violin makers with basic information about each, text from over 2,700 violin labels, and more than 865 pictures of violins.

6. Sight Reader

Price: Free

Are you having trouble learning how to read music? The Sight Reader app, which includes a specialized study course for the violin, boasts several exercises to help you learn how to read music.

Violin students can strengthen your music reading through lessons, flashcards, songs, intervals, rhythms, scales and more.

7. Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer

Price: $2.99

Practice and/or test your rhythm accuracy with real time feedback using the Rhythm Sight Reading Trainer app.

The app has basic to advanced rhythms, a tempo slider, and a learning mode in which you can practice new rhythms by playing right along.

8. Music Journal

Price: Free

Whether you’re practicing with your violin teacher or on your own, the Musical Journal app is a wonderful tool to track your practice sessions and measure your results.

This app has a great folder system for organizing the songs and exercises you practice, and also keeps track of metronome tempos and other notes about your practice sessions.

9. Tempo

Price: $2.99

Tempo, featured in the App Store as a “Staff Favorite,” is a powerful app that has just about every option you could want from a metronome app

Users can create and share set lists with specific tempos for each song, and choose from over 14 sound sets.

10. PlayAlong Violin

Price: Free

The perfect app for violinists, PlayAlong Violin listens to users play and knows whether or not they’re playing the right notes. The music only advances if users play the correct notes and rhythms.

What’s more, learning features, such as fingering charts and note names, help beginners learn new songs.

These are just some of the apps for violinists available. There are a ton more apps that you can leverage to help you practice, learn, and master new violin skills.

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches violin, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

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violin playing

10 Wacky Ways to Improve Your Posture for Better Violin Playing

violin playing

Proper posture is essential for good violin playing. Standing or sitting up straight not only improves tone production and control, but it also prevents injury and discomfort.

Many violin players, however, struggle with their posture, which can lead to poor technique and cause both short and long term injuries. Not to mention you’ll end up looking like Quasimodo.

Poor posture can be a result of many things, such as sitting or standing without interruption for long periods of time, lack of muscle tone in the back and abdominal areas, or bad habits developed over time.

The good news is bad posture can easily be fixed by performing a few simple exercises a day. Below are 10 wacky, but effective, ways to improve your posture for better violin playing and overall health.

1. Swap your desk chair for an exercise ball

Sitting in an office chair or school desk for eight hours a day can wreak havoc on your posture. To prevent you from slouching, swap your desk chair for an exercise ball.

Sitting on an exercise ball strengthens your abdominal muscles, which leads to better alignment of the spine. While you might get strange looks from your colleagues, you’ll enjoy better posture, less stress, and improved violin playing.

2. Duct tape an X on your back

Using duct tape or another thick, non-stretch tape, have a friend tape a giant X on your back starting from one shoulder to the opposite hip. Make sure that you’re shoulders aren’t rounded when placing the tape.

It sounds uncomfortable, but doing this will help retrain your back. If you don’t want to walk around with duct tape on your back all day, start by taping your back during violin practice.

3. Practice yoga moves at home

Not only does yoga help relieve stress, but it can also counteract bad posture. There are many easy yoga poses—such as child’s pose and mountain pose—that will help you stretch and correct the body.

And the best part is you don’t have to attend expensive yoga classes to learn and perform these moves. You can practice yoga in the privacy of your home or practice space.

4. Post photo reminders in your practice space

Print out some pictures that show proper posture and pin them up around your practice space. These pictures will serve as mental reminders to straighten up when you’re practicing the violin.

5. Ditch your shoes

Most people stand with their weight bearing on their heels, which applies unnecessary pressure on your ankles, hips and lower back.

To strengthen your feet— which in turn helps align your body—try going barefoot while lounging around your house or practicing the violin.

6. Set a reminder to adjust your posture

Set a reminder on your phone or watch for every 20-30 minutes to correct your posture. While it may sound a little extreme, overtime you’ll start to see major improvements in your posture and overall violin playing.

7. Stop crossing your legs

Believe it or not, crossing your legs is bad for your posture. The proper way to sit in a chair is to place your feet completely flat on the ground.

Breaking the habit of crossing your legs can be difficult. However, once you practice how to properly sit in a chair, you’ll become more conscious of when you’re sitting incorrectly.

8. Place a pillow in your lap

When you’re lounging on the coach with your tablet or laptop do you ever get a burning sensation that radiates between your shoulder blades? This could signal that you’re hanging your head too low.

To fix this, sit with your back against the rear of your couch or chair. Then place a pillow in your lap to support your arms.

9. Form a posture police

Oftentimes, you don’t even realize that you’re hunching over for hours at a time. Ask your family, friends, and violin teacher to alert you when you’re slouching.

Not only will this help alert you when you don’t notice that you’re hunching over, but it will also help hold you accountable.

10. Go hands free with your smartphone

Your smartphone addiction could be contributing to your bad posture. Most people tilt their head to one side while talking on the phone or slouch forward while texting—all of which leads to bad posture.

To avoid straining your neck while talking on the phone, go hands free with a Bluetooth or earplugs. If you’re texting, bring the phone level with your eyes so you aren’t learning forward.

Whether you’re an advanced or beginner violin player, there’s always room for improvement when it comes to your posture. Use the exercises above to help improve your posture for better violin playing or ask your violin teacher for alternative ways.

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photo by Pawel Loj

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how to hold a violin bow

How to Hold a Violin Bow: Step-by-Step Guide [Pictures]

how to hold a violin bow

Learning how to hold a violin bow is vital skill. Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares some tips and tricks on how to master this important violin technique…

Oftentimes, the most difficult part of learning how to play the violin is mastering proper bow technique, as it can feel very unnatural for beginner and intermediate students.

While it can be frustrating, learning how to hold a violin bow is extremely important–especially for those who are just starting violin lessons. After all, the movement of the bow is what creates the sound of the violin.

With proper bow technique, you can essentially produce whatever tones, strokes, and dynamics you want. However, if you have trouble controlling the bow, you’ll end up making a squeaky or unsavory sound.

The foundation of a great bow technique is all about how you hold the violin bow. The correct bow grip will give your right hand and arm flexibility, power, and control, all while eliminating tension.

So what’s the secret to gaining the proper bow grip? Below is a step-by-step guide on how to hold a violin bow the right way.

Step One: Make a Bunny

To get an idea of how to hold a violin bow, practice making a bunny with your right hand.

  • Start by making the shape of the letter C, with your fingers and thumb curved.
  • Then, touch your thumb to your middle finger and ring finger to create the chin and nose of the bunny.
  • Next, raise your pointer finger and pinky (keep them curved) to create the bunny ears.

This is the basic shape of the bow grip. Practice making this hand formation until it becomes second nature.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Two: Place Your Thumb

When learning to properly place your right hand, it’s helpful to hold the bow stick with your left hand. Be careful to not touch the bow hair with your fingers.

First, place your thumb on the underside of the bow stick, next to where the frog ends. Usually, there will be a small space between the frog and the leather or wire finger grip. That’s the spot where you want to place your thumb.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Three: Place Your Middle Finger

Next, the middle finger is placed opposite the thumb on the bow stick, with the ring finger placed right next to it.

Let your middle and ring finger relax so that they curve over the top of the bow and rest on the frog. The placement should feel similar to when you made the bunny.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Four: Place Your Pinky Finger

Then, place the tip of your pinky on top of the bow stick, slightly away from the ring finger. It’s very important that the pinky is curved so that it points down onto the top of the bow stick.

Otherwise, if the pinky is held straight, you’ll lose a lot of control of the bow.

how to hold a violin bow

Step Five: Place Your Pointer Finger

Finally, place your pointer finger on the finger grip, contacting the bow close to the middle knuckle. Keep the pointer finger curved and pointing slightly back toward the other fingers on the bow.

If all your fingers are placed properly, you should be able to press down through the tip of your pinky and make the bow go up. This hand position may feel unnatural to you at first, but over time it will become automatic.

how to hold a violin bow

Exercises for Strengthening Your Bowing Hand

When you’re first learning how to hold a violin bow, your wrist and fingers might become sore or tired, as you’re not used to using these particular muscles.

Implement the following exercises into your existing practice routine to help strengthen your bow hand and improve your overall violin playing.

  • Repetition: Repeating a certain motor task helps with muscle memory. Try making 10 bow grips in a row, going through all the steps at once. By the fifth or sixth repetition, chances are you will no longer need the pictures or explanation to guide you.
  • Crawling: Holding the violin bow vertically in your right hand, start to crawl or inch your fingers up to the tip of the bow and back down without the help of your left hand. This exercise will help strengthen and improve flexibility in your fingers.

Having a good bow grip is an excellent step toward becoming a better violinist, so keep working with your violin teacher on your bow grip until you master it.

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches violin, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                             Photo by Luis Hernandez

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You Know You're a Violin Player When...

You Know You’re a Violin Player When…

You Know You're a Violin Player When...

Let’s face it; not everyone can be a violin player. It takes a certain individual to master such a complex instrument that requires immense dedication and concentration.

From rough finger tips to grueling practice sessions, violin players are challenged both physically and mentally whenever they step onto the stage.

Whether you’ve just started taking violin lessons or you’re a seasoned violin player, chances are you can relate to more than one of the following things…

1. Every piece of clothing you own is black.


You capitalize on every opportunity to wear bright colors because you’re sick of wearing all black ensembles. And don’t even get us started on those bulky blazers and billowy dresses.

2. You have impeccable posture.


Your posture is so good you could run a marathon while balancing books on your head.

3. You’ve lost all sensation in your fingertips.


People think you’re a construction worker judging by your callused fingertips.

4. You did yoga before it was cool.


Before Lululemon came along, you were doing yoga in your living room to relieve tension after a long performance.

5. You wear turtlenecks in the summer to hide your violin hickeys.


People can’t help but glare and giggle at the violin hickeys on your neck. You’re embarrassed by them, but they secretly give you a sense of pride.

6. Violin stock photos.


Enough said.

7. You have a recital face.


You try your hardest to smile during a violin performance, but you can’t help but put on your stern recital face.

8. Somehow everything you own has rosin on it.


No matter how hard you try, you seem to get that sticky gross stuff–better known as rosin–all over everything.

9. One hand is significantly more dexterous than the other.


You might be right handed, but your left hand is much more dexterous.

10. You can’t help but want to scream when someone mistakes your violin for a viola.


For the last time people, a violin and a viola are NOT the same thing.

Beginner and advanced violin players will all agree that playing the violin is a wonderful and rewarding experience. However, there are bumps along the way to becoming a master of this unique instrument.

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violin performance

The Ultimate Violin Performance Checklist for Parents [Infographic]

violin performance

Does your child have a violin recital coming up? Below, violin teacher Julie P. shares the ultimate violin recital checklist to help parents ensure their child has the best performance…

Your child’s first violin performance is an exciting time! Your child gets to show off what he or she has learned, while you get to marvel at how far he or she has come since their first violin lesson.

Recitals can be a wonderful family event and a great confidence booster for your child. However, they can also be stressful, especially if you don’t know what to expect.

There are so many things in which to keep track. The best way to ensure that your child’s first violin performance is a positive experience is to make sure you and your child are prepared ahead of time.

There are three main areas in which your child needs to prepare: the violin playing, the performance elements, and the items to bring. Your child’s violin teacher will help him or her with the violin playing, but it’s important that your child also practice at home regularly to reinforce the skills he or she learn in lessons.

The performance elements include playing in front of people, knowing how to bow before and after a performance, entering and exiting the stage, handling sheet music, etc. These are all things you can practice at home with your child to make him or her more at ease the day of the recital.

The items your child needs to bring to his or her performance can also be discussed and prepared ahead of time to reduce any stress the day of.

Follow the steps in the infographic below, and your child will be on his or her way to a great first violin performance. In fact, your child may love it so much he or she won’t be able to wait for his or her next violin recital!

violin performance

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Don’t leave all the preparation up to your child’s violin teacher. Use the checklist above to ensure that your child is ready for his or her big debut!

JuliePPost Author: Julie P.
Julie P. teaches flute, clarinet, music theory, and saxophone lessons in Brooklyn, NY. She received her Bachelor’s degree in Music Education from Ithaca College and her Masters in Music Performance from New Jersey City University. Learn more about Julie here!

                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                  Photos by Eden, Janine and Jim and Nathan Russell

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best violin songs

Best Violin Songs to Practice by Genre: Rock, Pop, and Country

best violin songs

Love it or hate it, practice is a significant part of every musician’s life. This is especially true for those learning the violin, as there are many complex techniques and skills one must learn.

As every musician can attest, finding the time and motivation to practice can be difficult, especially when you’re used to practicing the same songs over and over again.

Rather than bore yourself to death, try switching up your practice plan by adding different genres of music–such as rock, pop, and country–into your routine.

Learning how to play different songs will help keep things interesting and enjoyable. What’s more, it will help you master various violin techniques and make you a well-rounded violinist.

If you’re bored practicing the same old songs, then switch up your routine with this list of the best violin songs to practice by genre.

Best Violin Songs for Pop Genre

“Rolling in the Deep” Adele

This popular song helped propel British artist Adele to stardom in 2010 and received three Grammy Awards. Its beat and rhythm makes it a great song to play on the violin.

“Let it Go” Idina Menzel

Featured in the Disney animated film Frozen, “Let it Go” is a catchy song that’s been played by many different instruments because it’s fairly easy to follow. Channel your inner Elsa with this power ballad.

“All of Me” John Legend

John Legend’s biggest hit to date, “All of Me” was the third best-selling song in 2014. While it’s considered a piano power ballad, it’s the perfect song to play on the violin because of its slow tempo.

Best Violin Songs for Rock Genre

“Brown Eyed Girl” Van Morrison

Released in 1967, “Brown Eyed Girl” quickly became a classic rock hit due to its catchy lyrics. Practice this song solo or accompanied by a piano.

“Maggie May” Rod Stewart

Another great classic rock song, “Maggie May” topped the charts in 1971. Believe it or not, the song featured a number of instruments, including the organ and mandolin.

“Free Bird” Lynyrd Skynyrd

This power ballad by American rock band Lynyrd Skynyrd is dubbed the most requested song in the history of rock music. Its slow tempo makes it easy to learn and practice.

Best Violin Songs for Country Genre

“Friends in Low Places” Garth Brooks

Performed by Garth Brooks, “Friends in Low Places” is a country music hit, having one both the Academy of Country Music and Country Music Association Award for Single of the Year in 1990.

“Wide Open Places” Dixie Chicks

This Grammy award winning song, which features the fiddle and mandolin, is the perfect low-tempo song to practice on the violin.

“What Hurts the Most” Rascal Flatts

This contemporary love song off of Rascal Flatts’ album, titled Me and My Gang, earned the band two nominations for the 49th Annual Grammy Awards.

These songs vary in difficulty. If you’re in the beginning stages of learning to play the violin, ask your violin teacher to play along with you or ask him or her to choose a part of the song that’s easy to learn. If you’re a more advanced violin student, then try practicing these songs on your own.

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