Category Archives for "violin"

suzuki violin lessons for ages 4 1/2 to adult in San Luis Obispo, Los Osos, Morro Bay, Cayucos and across the central coast.
Jan 08

The Ideal Age to Begin Violin Lessons

By billalpert | Bill Alpert Journal , music education is essential , violin

Thousands of students over many decades remove any doubt. Even at a tender 4 years old (or even earlier), kids can almost miraculously play a string instrument with beautiful posture and a rich, vibrant tone. So just what is the ideal age to begin violin lessons?

Violin Lessons for Kids and Teens
Of course your own family’s progress may vary, but it’s rarely a lack of natural talent that limits stellar results. Are you able to provide the kind of parental support that is needed to take a 4 year old from raw beginner to “polished performer?” Here are some clues to help you decide:

Over many years of teaching today’s super-busy Suzuki families, I’ve found the common bond between the most successful is a long standing, deep and abiding love of music. This is the one ingredient that seems to motivate kids to stick with the program over the long haul.

Let’s face it; learning to master a musical instrument is a long term project. The rewards are great; if you are willing to make a family commitment to the see it through.

Other important factors to success:
• One or both parents with at least a modest background in music
• No more than one or two other regular after school activities
• A reasonably calm and stable home atmosphere
• Especially for younger students: a parent who will be physically and mentally present for all lessons and practice sessions, who will take careful notes, and who will be support the practice process, no matter what is required.

What’s a good starting age for kids?

Taking the above factors into account, I’ve found that it is rare to find a modern family that can find the time to fully support a 3-4 year old Suzuki violin student. Still, a few super patient parents will find themselves with an unusually well-focussed four year old and the results look almost magical to someone on the outside.

If you have a five or six year old child and as a parent you’re willing to learn more than your ever dreamed of about the violin, success will almost surely be yours! Even 7-12 is an ideal age to begin violin lessons.

Adult Students: Violin Lessons for the Young at Heart

I’ve successfully started beginners at every stage of life. And I’ve rekindled violin journeys for many an adult whose instrument has been gathering dust in a closet for decades. As an adult student, you have many unique advantages, and you have the ability to leapfrog your progress very quickly, if you so desire.

The short answer: there is no “ideal” age to being violin lessons when you bring your curiosity, your patience, your love of music and a youthful can-do spirit to your violin journey.

Jul 15

Beginning Violin 2015 Class

By billalpert | violin

Discover the Violin with Bill Alpert: The First Month

Are structured violin lessons right for you or your family? This series of one on one lessons you learn:

  • The physical and mental demands needed to succeed at violin
  • Our working method, based on the simple motions that lead to advanced playing
  • How the program is adapted to very young or older students
  • How our music program builds great habits, courage, leadership and many more powerful traits of success
  • Note: this is a required course to enter our full program.
    Availability:  ages 4 1/2 – Adult and new to our Studio.
    Call (909) 754-4015 to schedule. Tuition $150

“Courage. Confidence. Poise. Persistence. Determination. “

“Music definitely shaped who I am and how I think and approach things. SUCH valuable training in consistency, habits, determination, trusting process … and learning to compensate for weaknesses with knowing other strengths or through practice” – Michelle Schaeffer, Business Marketing Expert

“Thanks to Mr Alpert’s professional, patient, creative and passionate teaching method, Benjamin now performs proudly with a smile at every concert and is always anxious to learn new songs. Now seven years old, Ben can play numerous Suzuki Book one pieces by heart which is wonderful when called on to perform and lovingly appreciated by friends and family. Benjamin plays his violin with pride knowing one day he’ll be able to play the piece that will make mommy’s dream come true.” – Sylvia Tam, Studio Parent

 

Apr 12

Violin Practice as Simple as Copy and Paste

By billalpert | Bill Alpert Journal , violin

Recently I wrote about starting your daily violin practice with something dead simple. And that’s common sense.

But it also turns out that same idea also works for your most difficult songs, pieces or passages. In fact 90% of your practice problems can be solved in about 10% of the time you currently spend practicing! That’s great to know, when your available time on the violin is limited.

Begin by warming up for 5 or 10 minutes on a very simple song, or scale while you relax into the physical sensations of playing.

1. Find your target tough spot. Maybe a “tricky group” of 5 or 10 notes that you’d like to improve within 5 or 10 minutes.

Now, here’s the practice hack that actually uses your brain in a productive, positive way:

  1. “Copy and paste” the challenging aspect of your “tricky group” into your simple piece. For example, a rapid fire succession of hard to find notes could be pasted into a slow “scale.” This simplified version of your problem allows you to focus on the 10% of skills that will produce 90% of the results.
  2. Tune into any and all physical sensations during this process. Especially notice any tension or discomfort ANYWHERE in your body.
  3. Stop, and evaluate what you’re hearing, feeling and seeing. Frequently. Like every 15 or 30 seconds.
  4. Return to your original song, but with your new found skills. Use the copy/paste, feel, think pattern. Do this for no more than 5 or 10 minutes before moving on to a new challenge.

Copy and Paste practice is enjoyable, fast moving and effective

Using this practice system really works well because it honors your intellectual skills while at the same time honing your physical and motor skills.

Copy and paste practice is SO POWERFUL! It’s a staple of top professional musicians, yet it simple enough that even a beginner can take part. In fact, this idea is so powerful I surgically implant it (just kidding) into the brain of all my private studio students. And it’s also at the heart of my video training programs, like the 6 Week Ultimate Vibrato Workshop.

Until next time, enjoy your violin journey!

~Bill Alpert

Feb 11

Violin Lessons: Making Up for Lost Time

By billalpert | violin

The 80/20 Principle is well know in the world of business: “20% of your customers create 80% of your profit.”

But this universal “law” doesn’t just apply to wealth creation. For example: 20% of the roads get 80% of the traffic. 20% of the runners take 80% of the trophies.

This even works for learning violin. And the numbers are even more surprising: Only 20% of what your violin activities will produce fully 80% of your results. And it may even be more like 90/10!

And at the top of that 20% list is one glaringly overlooked item:

Violin Setup

Meaning: what’s on your violin, and how does it all fit your body?

This is fairly basic stuff, and a lot of it is just pure common sense. Still, I can’t think of one other thing that can so quickly improve your playing.

If you’ve always wanted to play better, but you’re not sure if you’re “doing it the right way”…

If you’re making up for lost time…

If you’re jealous of that beautiful tone that seems so easy for other violinist…

If you’d like to improvise or play more advanced positions…

Nothing will get you there faster than correctly setting up your violin.

Violin setup is truly your low hanging fruit. And that’s why I put violin setup in all of my violin teaching.

When you’re making up for lost time, you need a plan. A lifetime of work and much trial and error goes into creating a usable 80/20 practice system. You could delve into dozens of pedagogy books, expensive lessons and master classes. You could make all the mistakes I made.

Or you could cut out the boring, pointless and ineffective busy work and learn from my my mistakes. Not to mention my wins! That would be a true 80-20 play, yes?

To Your Violin Journey!
—Bill Alpert

P.S. An 80/20 strategy is especially important if you’ve been around the block a few times. I love working with adult students in Morro Bay, Los Osos and San Luis Obispo!

Aug 31

Turn Your Violin Passion Inside-Out

By billalpert | violin

(first appeared at http://InvincibleViolinist.com)
You have a violin passion, so it seems logical that practicing the violin music you most love is the thing to do. To “go with your passion” is indeed popular advice.

If instead, you can grow passionate about about other music, such as etudes, scales, or music chosen for you by others (orchestra, or teacher for example), it’s far more likely that your musical journey will move ahead further and faster.

Local Violin Lessons, San Luis Obispo
Mar 23

2014 Violin Graduates

By billalpert | Events , Studio News , violin

2014 Graduation at Zipper Hall, from left, Maya Rustenburg, Sophie Peltz and Benjamin Wong

2014 Graduation at Zipper Hall, from left, Maya Rustenburg, Sophie Peltz and Benjamin Wong

These three beauties received recognition for their first ever violin graduation at Zipper Hall, Los Angeles today. From left, Maya Rustenburg, Sophie Peltz and Benjamin Wong. Also (not present) Jessica Chao was one of only two graduates in Southern California to be recognized for completing Volume 7 of the Suzuki rep, performing the Bach A minor concerto. Hearty congrats to all four Alpert Studio of Violin 2014 graduates!

Sarah Pastor and Jessica Chao receive ASTA Certificate of Advancement
Aug 14

Studio Violinists Receive Advancement Certificate

By billalpert | Studio News , violin

Sarah Pastor and Jessica Chao receive ASTA Certificate of Advancement

Sarah Pastor and Jessica Chao receive ASTA Certificate of Advancement

 

Recently two Alpert Studio of Violin students participated in the American String Teachers Association Certificate of Advancement Program, for the national association’s Southern California chapter. Students who are nominated to participate must prepare a rigorous audition including scales, etudes and performance pieces played from memory.

Congratulations to students Sarah Pastor and Jessica Chao for receiving their certificates as well as excellent comments from the adjudicator.

Feb 16

Important Dates for the Alpert Studio

By billalpert | Studio News , violin , voice

It’s shaping up to be a busy Spring at the Studio. Please make a note of the following dates:

Our Spring/Summer Recital will be held on Saturday, June, 8 at 4:30 p.m. • Save the date, as all students are expected to participate.

Spring Event Summary:

Spring Break – March 18-22: No lessons for voice or violin

San Bernardino County Solofest (voice and violin) – April 6/April 13 – Application Deadline March 22: Information

Suzuki Violin Graduation – April 28 – Recordings due in March – Information

Great American Songbook Competition (High School Vocal Students) – Videotaping on Saturday, March 16 – Deadlne for Entry: March 31 – Information

Spring/Summer Recital – Saturday, June 8, 4:30 p.m. – Rehearsal on Friday, June 7, times tba

 

Dec 02

Violin Schedule for December

By billalpert | Events , Studio News , violin , voice

Happy Holidays from the Alpert Studio

Photo: A. Bloom (click to enlarge)

 

Violin students: our work for the year isn’t over quite yet!

Violin Lessons will continue through December 14th. There will be no lessons between December 15 and January 4. Lessons will resume according to normal schedule on January 7, 2013.

Please remember that this is my normal December teaching schedule; regular tuition applies for December, as your annual tuition is simply divided into 12 monthly payments.

Congratulations to all our violinists and singers on a wonderful recital performance! Remember to share your talents and continue to sing and play through the holiday season.

Happy Holidays to the entire student family!

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