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!

Dec 21

Happy Holidays from the Alpert Studio

By billalpert | Bill Alpert Journal , Studio News

It’s our first Christmas on the Central Coast! We’re thrilled to bring music lessons to Morro Bay, Los Osos, Cayucos and all of San Luis Obispo County!

For our violin and singing students: No lessons the week of December 21 and December 28. Lessons resume as normal on the week of January 4.

Enjoy your holiday! We’ll see you in 2015!

Thinking about Singing Lessons? New violin under the tree?
If you’re looking for “singing lessons near me” or “violin lessons near me” were currently enrolling for the 2015 term. Call the studio at 805-254-2704 for more information!

Sep 01

Violin Class in Morro Bay – Afternoon Session Added

By billalpert | Studio News

by Bill Alpert

In conjunction with the San Luis Obispo Symphony and the San Luis Coastal Unified School district, I am pleased to offer a new violin class in Morro Bay. It’s an exciting opportunity for all central coast violin students in grades 3-6. Classes will meet :

Tuesday afternoons from 2:30 p.m. to 3:20 p.m. at Del Mar Elementary School, beginning on October 7.

Though the class is designed for beginners, it is also great for students who have played in the past but would like a refresher.

I created a 3 minute video for potential students, which may be viewed below. Also visit this page for registration information.

Instrument Check Out Day – Saturday Sept. 27.
The San Luis Obispo Symphony Strings in the Schools program has a limited number of low cost rental violins. Due to large demand, the Symphony is unable to accommodate all Strings in the Schools students with instruments. We highly recommend using the online options such as Shar Music orAntonio Violin with rentals beginning at just $15 a month.

Contact the Symphony’s Music Education Director,  Andrea Castillo for additional information about registration and instrument rentals:  (805) 543-3533, Ext. #583 andrea@slosymphony.com.

Morro Bay Class Updates
For families interested in the Morro Bay / Del Mar School Class, please add your name to our e-mail list (below) to be updated about the latest class information.

There is a $375 tuition fee, which covers the entire year of instruction.  The Symphony is offering some scholarships for families in need of assistance. An application is available below:
SLO Strings in the Schools Scholarship Application

 

 

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.

Jul 30

Alpert Studio Graduate Wins National Tour

By billalpert | Student News

Congratulations to Alpert Studio alumna Ms. Maggie Anderson on booking her first national tour! She will be carrying the female lead Jovie in Elf the Musical. If this adorable ball of talent ends up in a city near you, run, don’t walk to see her!  Much love from her teacher Melanie Alpert and the entire studio family!

 

Jul 13

Why Study a Musical Instrument?

By billalpert | Studio News

How a violin practice transforms your life.
(this article first appeared at http://InvincibleViolinist.com)

1. Learning how to truly master specific skills leads to a fulfilled life.
2. Motions and actions are how you shape your basic approach to the instrument. Using simplicity, ease and mastery moves you through life gracefully.
3. Practice is defining specific goals. Defining. Specific. Constant clarity.
4. Practice strategies are the pathway to your mastery. Thus choosing work that matters and doing that work mindfully, will produce a high quality result.
5. Performing is creating work that is important to other people. Like sales and marketing hinges on understanding others interests, problems and aspirations.
6. Performing is also facing up to your challenges. Life presents us with such challenges on a regular basis.
7. Choosing the violin (or any instrument) teaches you to define and implement large projects.

The violin or any instrument becomes transformational when (and only when) you approach it from this larger perspective.

If you’re in it just to learn a couple of songs, that’s OK too. Just don’t expect any more than a quick diversion.

Jun 18

Voice Lessons, Singing Lessons, Violin Lessons in Morro Bay

By billalpert | Student News

It's official! The Alpert Studio is accepting applications for voice lessons, singing lessons and violin lessons for students in Morro Bay, San Luis Obispo, Cayucos, Atascadero, Paso Robles, and surrounding areas.

2015-2016 Programs:

Adult Singing Lessons
Adult Violin Lessons
Singing Lessons Age 9 - 18
Suzuki Violin Program Age 4 to Adult

For information contact us at:

Phones:
805-254-2704 or 909-615-4426 for Singing Lessons
805-254-2704 or 909-754-4015 for Violin Lessons
E-Mail: bill@thealpertstudio.com

Click here to view my profile page at LessonMaestro.com.