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Laying the Foundation in your Fiddle Playing

January 6th, 2019 by Katherine Moller

My husband, my mom, and I had been traveling to visit family.  When we returned home, we discovered a pile of snow and ice had accumulated on the step.  I spent quite a bit of time working on getting our step back down to wood.  My mother had made a passing comment to me about how “all of this hard work is going to be covered up by the new snow tomorrow.”

This got me thinking about how we all view things in life differently.  To me, the work that I was doing was laying the foundation for the snow the following day.  I was cleaning all the ice off of the step so that when it snowed the next day, it would be easier for me to shovel.  Had I not bothered doing that foundation work, shoveling the next day would have been much harder.  Yes, all of my hard work ended up being covered up, but it was not wasted! Playing violin

Much of what we do in learning music is also laying the foundation, much like shoveling before a snowstorm.  All of those scales and arpeggios are the foundation.  No, you are never going to perform them – but by learning your scales properly, when you learn new repertoire, your job is going to be much easier.

Many times, students run into a piece or two that they don’t really like.  Usually we stick it out and learn these pieces anyway; because yet again, we are setting the foundation of their playing.  In the early learning books, each piece has a technique that it is helping you learn.  No, it is not necessarily fun at that moment, but it makes life easier later on.

Sometimes it is hard to see the long-term game!  No foundation work is ever wasted!  No, it is not always fun.  No, you can’t always see that exact work later on, but yes, it will make learning newer, harder pieces easier!

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''Celtic fiddle with a classical twist:
the heart and soul of afiddler, the artistry and finesse of a classical violinist.''