What counts?

Often I tell students to repeat something 3+ times every day–which they faithfully do, but when they return to the next week the “preview spot” is the same or worse off than before. Why is this? Why did all those repetitions not help?

The answer is in knowing what counts.

When repeating a measure, do you know why I have asked you to repeat it? Is it for the rhythm? For the c#s? The circle bow or wrist circle? A bow in the highway?

There is always a reason and if you can’t tell me why you are repeating something how can the repetitions be helpful?


Second, BE PICKY. You need to pretend that you are me and every time you play the spot in question you should decide if you like it (aka if it was correct) or if is wasn’t right. If it wasn’t right it doesn’t count. I promise that if you are truly picky, each time you repeat it you will improve.

Third, CONCENTRATE. If you find after 3 times you just can’t play it right anymore, are you still thinking about why you are repeating those same three notes? Are you wondering what you are going to have or dinner? Or are you looking out the window?

If you are still thinking about violin, how is your tempo? Often the more we play something the faster we get. Make sure you aren’t going so fast your fingers and your brain can’t keep up.