The Happy Violinist https://thehappyviolinist.com Learn Violin, Be A Happy Violinist Thu, 27 Jul 2023 04:07:09 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=6.3.3 https://thehappyviolinist.com/wp-content/uploads/2021/03/cropped-THViolinist-long-2020-32x32.png The Happy Violinist https://thehappyviolinist.com 32 32 111795395 David Garrett ICONIC Tour Live in Singapore 2023 https://thehappyviolinist.com/david-garrett-iconic-tour-live-in-singapore-2023/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=david-garrett-iconic-tour-live-in-singapore-2023 Thu, 27 Jul 2023 03:53:39 +0000 https://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=2544 The post David Garrett ICONIC Tour Live in Singapore 2023 appeared first on The Happy Violinist.

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Music fans in Singapore, and all our happy violinists!

Ready for a night of musical brilliance with an internationally acclaimed crossover violinist?

Join us for an extraordinary evening as David Garrett, the world-renowned violinist and classical crossover artist, takes the stage to present his iconic concert experience, inspired by his latest album, ICONIC!

Live in Singapore Esplanade Theatre, Tuesday 7.30pm on 12th September 2023.

The Happy Violinist is proud to be part of David Garretts’s ICONIC Tour, as their promotional partners in Singapore.

Get your tickets here: https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/iconic0923

Use the code HAPPYV to get 5% OFF tickets.

The ICONIC tour will see David Garrett perform as part of a trio with guitar and bass. The concert will showcase David’s latest Deutsche Grammophon album ICONIC, inspired by the Golden Age of the famous violinists of the 20th century featuring Andrea Bocelli, flautist Cocomi and trumpeter Till Brönner.

With a fusion of classical and contemporary flair, the tour promises to be a mesmerising experience, featuring a diverse repertoire in a soulful homage to legendary violinists whose gems and melodies inspired David even as a child.

Audiences will be treated to favourites from the likes of Mozart, Vivaldi, Dvořák, Schubert and JS Bach amongst others.

The Singapore leg of ICONIC will introduce Garrett’s prized new violin, a Guarneri del Gesù from 1734, once owned by the great virtuoso Gaetano Pugnani.

The violin was purchased at auction in June 2022 for € 3.5 million and was the first violin by its maker to be sold at auction in more than a decade.

“I am particularly excited to introduce my new violin on this tour: a Guarneri del Gesù from 1734, once owned by the great virtuoso Gaetano Pugnani,” Garrett said.

“One of the main reasons why I acquired this wonderful instrument, which has not been played for such a long time, was actually this tour – so that I could present it to you.

“I believe that the sound of a Guarneri violin can express all the vulnerability and fragility, everything human – whereas a Stradivarius always sounds somewhat superhuman.

Especially with my current repertoire, which is full of big emotions and feelings, that fragile human touch is much more important to me than the superhuman sound of a Stradivarius.

“That’s why my new Guarneri del Gesù is the perfect violin for the ICONIC concerts – and hopefully you will enjoy listening to it as much as I love playing it.”

Singapore fans should prepare themselves to be enthralled by Garrett’s incredible virtuosity and showmanship as he continues to push the boundaries of what is possible on the violin.

Get your tickets here: https://www.sistic.com.sg/events/iconic0923

Use the code HAPPYV to get 5% OFF tickets.

The post David Garrett ICONIC Tour Live in Singapore 2023 appeared first on The Happy Violinist.

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Where to Buy the Best Violin Strings in Singapore https://thehappyviolinist.com/best-violin-strings-in-singapore/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=best-violin-strings-in-singapore Thu, 02 Mar 2023 13:46:58 +0000 https://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=2491 Where to Buy the Best Violin Strings in Singapore Finding the best violin strings for your instrument is a highly individual matter. Every type of string has its own unique combination of sound characteristics, playability, and feel; what works for one musician may not be the optimal choice for another. Because of this, it’s essential […]

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Where to Buy the Best Violin Strings in Singapore

Finding the best violin strings for your instrument is a highly individual matter. Every type of string has its own unique combination of sound characteristics, playability, and feel; what works for one musician may not be the optimal choice for another.

Because of this, it’s essential to do your research and find the brand, type, and combination of strings that are best suited to you and your specific needs as a violinist.

What to Look for When Buying Violin Strings

When choosing violin strings, there are a few elements to keep in mind. Firstly, the natural life of strings can vary according to the length of time they’ve been unused and the degree of heat and humidity they’ve been exposed to.

Secondly, you should consider how the strings sound, resources should seek out reviews from reliable sources as well as reading consumer feedback. Additionally, some higher-end strings are designed to last longer than others. All these factors should be considered before making a purchase.

Different Types of Violin Strings

Violin strings are categorised into three main types – pure steel, steel core, and gut core. Pure steel strings have a clear and bright sound but lack the tonal complexity of the other two types.

Steel core strings tend to be louder and have greater projection, while gut core strings have a warmer, mellower tone but don’t have the same volume as steel core strings. It’s important to take all these considerations into account before selecting a type of string for your instrument.

Benefits of Quality Violin Strings

High-quality strings are essential for violin playing because they produce a fuller, richer sound than bargain-priced strings. Furthermore, professional or high-end lines last longer than their cheaper counterparts and are better able to retain their quality over time.

For example, many violinists will find that quality strings produce fewer out-of-tune notes when used frequently. Overall, investing in top-of-the-line lines will help to ensure a good playing experience.

How to Choose the Right Set of Violin Strings

When selecting strings for your instrument, there are several factors to consider. Depending on the age and quality of your instrument, certain types of strings might be more suitable than others.

Examine the bridge and soundpost to determine the optimum string type for your particular instrument. Additionally, if you can actually feel or hear a difference between different brands or types of strings make sure to consider this when making your decision.

Tips for Maintaining Violin Strings

When you first purchase a new set of strings it is essential that you tighten them gradually and evenly. Overtightening or uneven tightening can significantly reduce the life of your strings as well as put excess strain on the instrument.

Additionally, practice regularly maintaining cleanliness by wiping your strings with a soft cloth after playing in order to prolong the life of the strings. Lastly, some professionals suggest replacing violin strings at least twice a year.

Common Issues with Violin Strings

As with any type of stringed instrument, violin strings can encounter a variety of common problems. These issues can range from buzzing or flat notes due to string slippage or inadequate tension to corrosion due to exposure to dirt and sweat.

Additionally, some players may find that their strings break or fray more quickly than those on other instruments if proper upkeep needs to be followed. Recognizing common issues with strings can help you avoid them by taking appropriate measures.

How Much Do Violin Strings Cost in Singapore?

High-quality violin strings can cost anywhere from S$27 to S$130 depending on brand, size, and material. Generally speaking, 7/8 size strings are a bit more expensive than 4/4 size strings, however, synthetic violin strings can be slightly less expensive than gut or alloy ones. It’s always important to consider your budget when selecting the right strings for your needs.

Pros and Cons of Synthetic vs Natural Violin Strings

Generic synthetic violin strings are generally cheaper than gut or alloy strings although they lack the brighter and more complex sounds generated by those natural materials. Because of this, many professional musicians opt for the latter when seeking an optimal tone for their instrument.

Additionally, synthetic strings are less affected by temperature changes than natural ones and don’t require rosin for a good bow grip as readily. Synthetic strings also tend to last slightly longer than their gut or alloy equivalents.

Recommended Brands of Violin Strings You Can Find in Singapore

Players seeking optimal sound and playability should look no further than Thomastik-Infeld’s Vision and Dominant brand strings while Windstrings’ Violinos are great mid-ranged choices combining quality and affordability.

Additionally, Pirastro Goldflex and Tiger deliver professional quality at bargain prices, although slightly less tone complexity than Dominants or Visions. As always, try out as many brands as possible until you find the one that best fits you.

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What Violin to Buy for Beginners: A Guide to Making the Right Choice https://thehappyviolinist.com/what-violin-to-buy-for-beginners/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-violin-to-buy-for-beginners Thu, 02 Feb 2023 13:53:52 +0000 https://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=2500 What Violin to Buy for Beginners: A Guide to Making the Right Choice When it comes to buying a violin for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s important to consider factors such as budget, skill level and desired sound quality, as well as what kind of violin is […]

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What Violin to Buy for Beginners: A Guide to Making the Right Choice

When it comes to buying a violin for the first time, it can be difficult to know where to start. It’s important to consider factors such as budget, skill level and desired sound quality, as well as what kind of violin is appropriate for a beginner.

It can be helpful to have guidance when making your first violin purchase, and this article is designed to provide that. In it, we’ll look at considerations when choosing a violin, the different kinds of violins available, budget considerations for beginning violinists, the importance of shopping around, what to look for in a quality violin, tips for purchasing a violin from an online retailer and questions to ask before buying.

By the end, you’ll have all the information you need to make an informed decision when it comes to choosing the right beginner violin.

Considerations When Choosing a Violin

When choosing a violin, there are several factors to take into consideration. Firstly, it’s important to ask yourself what kind of music you want to play — classical, jazz or folk — as this will impact what kind of violin is right for you.

Additionally, you should consider your skill level — are you a novice or an experienced player? If you’re just starting out, it’s likely you’ll need a lower-priced instrument that can grow along with your skills.

Finally, you should think about the sound you want your violin to produce. Some violins produce a mellow tone, while others have a sharper edge — so have a listen to different options before you make your purchase.

Types of Violins You Can Find in Singapore

When it comes to buying a violin for the first time, there are three main types: acoustic violins, electric violins and bowed violins. Acoustic violins are the most traditional — they have no electronic parts and use a combination of strings and sound boxes to project their sound.

Electric violins amplify their sound with the help of an amplifier and pickup system so that it can be heard in larger venues. Finally, bowed violins use a mechanism to literally bow the strings, which produces a unique sound.

Budget Considerations for Beginner Violinists

It’s important to set a realistic budget before shopping for a violin. If you’re on a tight budget, there are many cost-effective options available — but be aware that cheaper violins tend to have a weaker sound quality and can be more difficult to play.

If you’re willing to spend more, you can get a higher-quality instrument to serve you better in the long run. Make sure to read plenty of reviews online before making your purchase.

The Importance of Shopping Around

When it comes to finding the right violin for you, it’s important to take your time with your purchase. Be sure to take your time and shop around — take a trip to your local violin shop or search online for the perfect instrument.

Don’t be afraid to ask questions of the seller — they can provide valuable insight into which musical instrument best fits your needs.

Choosing The Violin That Suits You

When assessing the quality of a violin, it’s important to look for certain things such as a good bridge and sound post, proper pegs and strings, and a good finish. Evaluate the body of the instrument for any visible damage or imperfections, as well as the accuracy of the sound.

Lastly, check that the strings are tuned properly before taking your purchase home.

Alternative you can try the HV100 Violin is a quality and affordable violin set for beginners and intermediate violin learners.

Tips For Purchasing a Violin From an Online Retailer

If you choose to purchase your violin from an online retailer, there are some precautions you should take. First, make sure that the retailer is reputable and read up on customer reviews of their products.

Additionally, when ordering online be sure to get detailed measurements of the instrument sent to you beforehand. Finally, ask whether you will be able to return the violin should it not meet your needs.

Questions to Ask Before Buying a Violin

Before deciding on which violin to buy, there are some important questions you should consider asking. How long has the instrument been played? Where was it made? How old is it? Are there any cracks or other defects? Is it made from quality materials? Can I return it?

These questions can help you determine if the violin is right for you.

Final Thoughts on Choosing the Right Beginner Violin

Buying your first violin can be an intimidating task. But by taking some time to research and ask questions, it is possible to find an instrument that is both affordable and suitable for your playing level.

Consider factors such as budget and skill level when shopping around. Additionally, consider different types of violins, as well as look at reviews before making your purchase. Ultimately, by taking all these steps into account, finding the right beginner violin will be much easier.

The post What Violin to Buy for Beginners: A Guide to Making the Right Choice appeared first on The Happy Violinist.

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Why Is My Child’s Progress In Violin Slower Than Others? Here’s 8 Reasons Why https://thehappyviolinist.com/reasons-child-slow-progress-violin/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=reasons-child-slow-progress-violin Wed, 21 Dec 2022 04:27:24 +0000 https://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=2467 The post Why Is My Child’s Progress In Violin Slower Than Others? Here’s 8 Reasons Why appeared first on The Happy Violinist.

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One day, two kids told their own parents they want to learn the violin. Both kids are of the same age, no music background, and showed interest in learning the violin. 

The parents signed them up for violin classes. 

3 years later, one child is learning Grade 2 pieces and preparing for exam in few months’ time. Meanwhile, another child is still learning A Tune A Day Book 2, and nowhere near Grade 1 level. 

What’s the difference? 

Here at The Happy Violinist, I have the privilege to work with hundreds of violin teachers in Singapore, and also thousands of violin students.

Over the years, I have seen students who learn and progress well, but have also seen students who struggle to progress in their music journey after learning a few years. 

While we don’t need to compete to see who’s the fastest learner in music, it is important to know why your child is not progressing as well as he/she should.

If a child usually take 1 year to progress from Primary 1 to 2, but another child take 3 years… isn’t that’s a cause for concern?

After all, music lessons are not cheap, and you don’t want your hard-earned money to go to waste! 

From our experience interacting with hundreds of teachers and thousands of parents and students, here are the reasons why your child is progressing slower than others in their violin journey. 

1. Frequent Changes Of Teacher

Is your child learning well with a teacher currently, and suddenly the school assign you another teacher without prior notice? And probably after a few months, you are assigned another teacher again? 

Learning under different violin teachers is normal, but it’s not normal to be switching teachers every few months. And worst of all, an abrupt change with no proper handover. The worst time to change teacher is in the midst of exam preparation when the student needs the teacher the most. 

Students (especially beginner kids) take time to warm up to a teacher, build rapport, and understand the teaching style of that teacher. 

Same for the teachers, who also take time to build rapport with the students, and overtime, know their strengths and weaknesses too. A teacher who can commit long term can also plan out the progression path for the student. 

That’s why we see that the students who progress fast are students who learn from the same teacher for at least 1-2 years, or even better, to continue learning through all the grades. And these are usually students who learn with private violin teachers who run their own music practice (because private teachers have full control of their students)

What should you do?

You need to know the commitment of the teacher. Is the teacher able to commit lessons for the next 1-2 years? Or complete the current grade exams with your child before moving on?

If your teacher is not a resident in Singapore (e.g. a foreigner who joins a music school under a work permit), you have to know how long he/she will be staying here. You have to ask, otherwise that teacher may teach halfway and then quit on you (because the pass has expired and he/she has to return back). 

2. Teachers Are Not Qualified or Experienced

If your objective is just to learn violin for fun, then qualifications of teacher doesn’t matter much. You may not even need a teacher. You can just learn from your friend or a mobile app directly. 

But if you want to progress well with proper foundation, then it is important to learn from a qualified teacher. A qualified teacher in Singapore has minimum Grade 8 (ABRSM/Trinity/LCM) certification onwards, to Diploma, Degree or Masters Degree from recognised institutions. 

Recognised institutions refers to international examination board such as ABRSM, Trinity College London, London College of Music, and established music colleges in Singapore, NAFA Nanyang Academy Of Fine Arts, Lasalle College of the Arts, SOTA, NUS Yong Siew Toh Conservatory of Music, or music colleges and universities from First Tier countries with high standards of music certification. 

And why do we spell them out so clearly for you? 

Because we realise many parents or students don’t even know what qualifications their teachers have. Some parents are paying expensive lesson fees thinking their teachers have “music degree”, but those degrees are from unknown colleges no musicians have heard of. (Because not all music degrees are the same!). 

You may be shocked to know that some of these teachers with unknown music degrees don’t even have ABRSM certificates, but was tasked to prepare your child for ABRSM grading? Probably now you know why some kids are not even at Grade 1 after learning 3-4 years.

What should you do?

Know your teachers’ qualifications and their music certifications. You have to ask even if the teacher is referred by your friend or assigned by a school. Don’t be shy! You’re the customer paying for the fees, so you have the right to know who you are paying for. By knowing the qualification, you will know if you’re getting the right teacher for your child. 

If you want your child to progress up the ABRSM grading, then engage a teacher who has completed the grading, and has prepared students for the grading. If you want to engage a teacher who holds a music degree, then go for one who graduate from a recognized university (to make your money worth too!)

3. Wrong Type Of Lessons

There are different types of violin lessons out there, and you have to know the correct one that meet your objectives. 

a. The music exploration type.

This type of lesson is more of music discovery, for little kids to try out different instruments, like keyboard and percussion, some violin, some guitar, some singing and dancing and storytelling. Not so much of proper violin learning and playing. 

b. The crash course type

This type of lessons will teach your child a few finger patterns or few tricks to play the violin fast. The student won’t learn any music theory or music foundation, but will go straight to learn a fixed list of songs chosen by the instructor.This is mainly to kick start your child’s interest in violin. 

c. The proper foundation type

This type of lessons will get you with learning the basic foundation of music and violin playing, learning music theory and practical playing. You learn how to read music notation, play with scores, learning simple pieces, play scales and then progress upwards. 

The proper type of learning is what will train your child up with proper music foundation, to be able to read scores, and eventually able to learn and play any pieces independently. Learning with proper foundation will also help your child ace any music exams too. 

However, this does not mean that it is wrong to take up music exploration or crash course type of lessons. They are fun lessons too, just that they are not structured to teach your child to progress far in violin playing. 

What should you do?

Before you sign up for any lessons, know your objectives first. If you want your child just to ‘explore and try’, then exploration lessons will do. But don’t expect your child to come out of such classes and ready to take ABRSM grading exams, as those classes are not meant to teach violin foundation. 

If your child just want to have fun and learn a few songs, then request for teachers who can structure a ‘crash course’ that teach your child just the few songs he/she likes to kick start the interest. But do note they still lack the proper foundation to learn and play music independently. 

If you want to learn proper music foundation and progress up the grades well, to be able to read and play any music you want yourself, then request for teachers whose lessons are designed to teach your child both violin practical playing and music theory. 

4. Evading Music Foundation

At point number 3, we mentioned about learning music theory such as note reading and reading scores are important. But for anyone who learn music before, we all know it is not easy for beginners to read music, the notation, the rhythm beats…etc. 

So over the years, there are many new methods developed to help kids beginners learn music without reading the music notes, like reading numbers or reading colour tapes, or just learn by memory.

So can you learn the violin using these methods? 

Yes. 

But can you go far? 

No. 

Reading numbers and colours are easy. Memorising finger patterns works too. But all these short-cuts can only get you so far like playing short tunes on the violin. You can’t be playing higher grade exam pieces with numbers or Vivaldi Four Seasons just by memorising finger patterns. Ultimately, your child still have to learn and read music notes. 

For your child to progress, he will still need to come back to learning note reading. 

For example, it is common to put tapes on the violin to indicate the finger position when students start learning. But overtime, the teacher will remove them one by one, to train the student to listen more and play without the tapes. This is a transition phase violin students will go through, because they can’t be relying on tapes at higher grades. (That’s why you don’t see solo violinists who perform in concerts with their violins full of tapes!)

What should you do?

Learning to read music is same as learning a new language. Every music note look like a foreign character to you. But should you skip because it’s something new to you? No! 

Your child can start with any method, and that’s fine. But as he progress, the teacher will introduce music notation and transit him to note reading, so it’s important to support him through this transition and not to avoid completely, or continue to stick to old methods that are limiting his playing. 

Reading music can be fun, and we have many Happy Violinist teachers use music notes cards and rhythm cards to help their students read music faster. These methods start the child on the right path and make lessons fun too!

5. Lessons Duration Is Too Short

Lesson duration is usually determined by the age of the student (because of the attention span), and also the grade level of the student. 

Young children who are about 4-5 years old tend to start with 30-min lessons first, because of their short attention span. But if they can focus better, then they can do longer duration like 45min or 1 hour. 

If your child is learning for grading, then it’s better to do 45min or 1 hour lessons, so that the teacher has enough time to cover the exam pieces and other aspects of music learning, such as sight reading, scales and music theory. Don’t keep staying at 30min class. 

Furthermore, fees can be cheaper per-minute if you do longer duration. 

For example, we have beginner lesson fees at $40 per 30min lesson, or $60 per hour lesson. The per-minute rate is lower if you do 1 hour class. 

What should you do?

If your child is learning for leisure only, then any duration is fine. 

If your child is learning for progression up the grades, go for longer duration lessons so she can learn more and the teacher can teach more to help her progress faster. A longer duration class is also cheaper per minute. 

6. Not Enough Practice

We all know music practice is part of music learning. If you want to progress fast, then you have to practice what the teacher teach you. So in every lessons, your child learn something new and move forward fast. 

But if your child doesn’t practice, or practice too little, then the teacher has to spend time revising what was taught in the previous lesson. The teacher also can’t move fast if the child is not ready.

So how much should your child practice? 

This also depends on your goal you set for your child. 

We have parents who want their child to progress fast and complete Grade 8 before they are 12. The kids practice at least 1 hour a day. The kids may do multiple lessons a week, or even have a practice tutor to guide the child in practice. These kids can complete 2 grades a year. 

We also have parents who want their kids to go for grading, but at their own pace. The kids practice 2-3 times a week. The kids progress on average 1 grade a year. 

We also have parents who let their kids learn for leisure only. The kids practice 0-1 times a week. The kids progress slower, but it’s alright to them as they are not working towards any grading or certification. 

What should you do?

Progression goes hand in hand with the amount of practice done outside of lessons. So if you like your child to progress faster, then they have to practice more outside of lessons. 

But we know practice is not fun! 

We understand that, hence we have Happy Violinist teachers who make practice fun for kids by using reward points. Kids earn points with regular practice, and use them to claim little gifts, or sometimes ice cream treats from the teacher!

7. Lessons Not Consistent

Violin lessons are usually conducted once a week regularly, so that a student can learn new things in class, practice on the other days or the week, and learn more things in the next class. 

This consistency helps the student to learn better and remember what they learn, and the knowledge will retain much longer. The knowledge learned will build up and that’s how progress is made. 

However, if the lessons are not consistent, with gaps of 2-3 weeks in between lessons, or many breaks throughout the year, then it’s difficult to retain knowledge learned. As lessons are too far apart, the student will forget what was taught, and the teacher will need to revise the previous lesson, instead of teaching new stuffs. 

What should you do?

If you want your child to progress, it’s important to commit to regular lessons as much as possible. Consistency is key.

It’s okay to take breaks once in a while (such as holiday trips), but too many breaks, or a long break will disrupt the learning, and the child have to keep revising what he learn previously, and not able to move forward. 

8. No Direct Access To Teachers

For lessons with our Happy Violinist teachers, all parents have direct access and contact of the teacher, and the teacher will also feedback weekly to the parent about the child’s progress. 

This way, the parent and teacher can work closely together and help the child progress better. We have also seen how some parents and our Happy Violinist teachers work so closely that they become good friends for years, and continue to support each another for the benefit of the child. 

However, some parents don’t have direct access to teachers, as communication is restricted, either by school or some administrator. So if a parent need to know the progress of the child, the readiness of the child for exam, or even simple things like buying of books, it has to be done through the school administrator. 

Some schools give feedback only once every few months, or end of year. If you as a parent only know about the slow progress of your child after a year, you have already wasted a year (plus one year of fees). All these restrictions slows down communication and lesson planning. 

What should you do?

We firmly believe a strong relationship between parents and teachers will help the progress of the child, and that’s why we give all our parents have direct access to their teachers to discuss about lessons and progression plans. If you don’t have access to your teacher, you must at least be able to speak to the him/her at the end of each class, to get feedback and understand about your child’s progress. 

Regular communication is important, so as much as you can, get direct access with your teacher. It will make communication easier and avoid miscommunication too.  

Above are the 8 reasons why your child is progressing slower than usual. To ensure a smooth progression path for your child in violin, the teacher, student, and parents have to play their own role well. We hope the suggestions help you make better decisions in planning the lessons for your child. 

If you need further advice on how your child can progress better, feel free to reach out to us on your request too. 

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How to Buy the Right Violin for Your Child https://thehappyviolinist.com/how-to-buy-the-right-violin-for-your-child/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=how-to-buy-the-right-violin-for-your-child Sat, 02 Oct 2021 14:02:37 +0000 https://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=2505 How to Buy the Right Violin for Your Child Buying a violin for your child can be an exciting time for any parent. Not only will getting a new instrument provide your child with an opportunity to show off their talents and explore the richness of music, but they or will also gain the responsibility […]

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How to Buy the Right Violin for Your Child

Buying a violin for your child can be an exciting time for any parent. Not only will getting a new instrument provide your child with an opportunity to show off their talents and explore the richness of music, but they or will also gain the responsibility that comes with owning a new asset.

However, as helpful and exciting as this may be, it is important to do your research and consider certain factors before investing in a violin. This guide explores the considerations, types of violins, sizing, buying new or used, evaluating the quality, finding the best price, and the needed maintenance and care of a violin.

Considerations Before Buying a Violin

Before you commit to a purchase, it is essential to consider all aspects of purchasing a violin. Start by researching various types of violins to determine which would suit your child best. For example, electric violins have effects that younger players may find enjoyable, while classical guitars favour historical accuracy.

It is also important to remember that violins come in different sizes and prices. Those with smaller budgets may find a quality antique violin or opt for a modern instrument at a lesser price.

Types of Violins in Singapore

The two main categories of violins are acoustic and electric. While acoustic violins are made up of wood and metal strings, electric violins contain all the same elements with an added pickup system that helps amplify sound.

Electric violins may have additional effects such as special tuners and built-in distortion that can lend themselves to genres such as rock and metal. 

Sizing a Violin for Your Child

Before investing in a violin for your child, you must determine the correct size of the instrument for them. Most violins come in four sizes: 1/4, 1/2, 3/4, and full.

A 1/4-size instrument is usually suited for children between the ages of 4 and 6. A 1/2 size instrument is perfect for those aged 7-9; the 3/4 size corresponds to 10-12 year-olds and the full size isn’t advised until the player has reached their teenage years.

Buying a New or Used Violin

When buying a violin, you can either purchase a new or used one: both offer unique benefits and drawbacks. If you choose to buy a new instrument, it is highly likely to come with a warranty that guarantees a certain period of functioning or protection against damages or defects.

On the other hand, buying a used violin allows you to save money if you’re on a budget, however, it doesn’t guarantee great quality. To find a well-used violin, select pieces from respected manufacturers or take it to an experienced luthier for more detailed evaluations.

Evaluating the Quality of a Violin

When shopping for a violin, it is important to check on its quality first. Examine all surfaces for any cracks or signs of repair, such as glue or patching. Check for bow-wear, looking for signs of fraying or cracks in the wood near its balance point.

Don’t forget to pay attention to the strings, as they should be well-intoned and untarnished. Finally, inspect the bridge, nut, nut slots, neck and fingerboard to make sure they’re all in good shape.

Finding the Best Price on a Violin

Finding the right balance between quality and affordability often requires careful research. Talk to people knowledgeable in the area, such as teachers and luthiers. A good place to start is comparing prices online at retailers such as eBay or Amazon; however, remember to look at other factors such as shipping costs.

If you’re confident in your knowledge about violins and their components, you can check out sites featuring classified ads and community outlets that offer used instruments.

Tips for Shopping for a Violin

When shopping for a violin, it’s important to have patience. Look around for deals, ask around from people involved in music if they know someone selling an instrument, and do detailed research before committing to buy.

It’s also advisable to always ask for salespeople’s advice or opinion when in doubt regarding components in your instrument; you will be surprised how much they can help. Lastly, consider bringing along a family member or friend who has knowledge of musical instruments when you go shopping.

Alternative you can take a look at the HV100 Violin.

Maintenance and Care of a Violin

In order to keep your violin playing at its peak performance level, regular maintenance is necessary. Maintain the body of your violin by cleaning it with a soft cloth after each use. Using polish can create a thin layer of wax, which helps protect the wood from humidity levels and wear.

Look at the bridge often for warping; this requires professional assistance from a luthier. Lastly, check your strings regularly for any signs of wear, rust or tarnish; replace them if needed.

Resources in Singapore To Learn How to Play the Violin

Learning how to properly play and maintain your instrument can be one of the most rewarding experiences both for you as an adult as well as for your child as she/he practices on their own. A great way to start is to consult with violin teachers who offer private lessons on playing the Violin.

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What Violin Strings Should You Buy? A Comprehensive Guide https://thehappyviolinist.com/what-violin-strings-should-you-buy/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-violin-strings-should-you-buy Sat, 02 Mar 2019 14:13:34 +0000 https://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=2508 What Violin Strings Should You Buy? A Comprehensive Guide When it comes to selecting the best strings for your violin can seem like an overwhelming decision. There are numerous factors to consider, including types of strings to choose from and brands to shop for. It is essential to know what strings will work for your […]

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What Violin Strings Should You Buy? A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to selecting the best strings for your violin can seem like an overwhelming decision. There are numerous factors to consider, including types of strings to choose from and brands to shop for.

It is essential to know what strings will work for your instrument and playing style. Read on to learn about the different types of strings, factors to consider, pros and cons of different options, popular brands, and how to select the best strings for your violin.

Types of Violin Strings in Singapore

Violin strings are made from a variety of materials, some of which are synthetic and some which are natural. The primary materials include steel core strings with aluminium or synthetic-black silver winding, copper or nickel winding, monofilament steel with perlon or kevlar winding, aluminium-coated gut strings, and plain gut strings. The core of a string imparts texture and tone to the entire string.

Steel core strings create a bright sound and are more durable than synthetic strings. Aluminium or synthetic-black silver conduct electricity better than steel-core strings and create a warmer sound. Copper and nickel windings create a softer sound while a monofilament steel core provides great tonal clarity when used with perlon or kevlar winding.

Factors to Consider When Choosing Violin Strings

When shopping for strings, it is important to take your specific needs into consideration. You should identify which type of strings will give you the level of sound quality you desire.

Additionally, your budget and playing style should be taken into account. Steel core strings are generally less expensive, while synthetic strings tend to be more expensive. Steel core strings are better suited for louder playing styles and synthetic strings work best for softer playing styles. You should also factor in the age and condition of your violin.

Pros and Cons of Different Types of Violin Strings

When it comes to steel core versus synthetic strings, the pros and cons should be weighed. Steel core strings provide the advantage of better durability and brighter sound. However, they typically offer little protection against changes in humidity and temperature which can cause them to corrode quickly.

Synthetic strings may initially cost more but are longer lasting, do not corrode or corrode as quickly, and are better suited for softer playing styles. Monofilament steel core strings also provide great tonal clarity with perlon or kevlar winding.

Popular Violin String Brands in Singapore

When selecting violin strings it is important to purchase reliable brands that have built up a reputation in the music industry. Some of the most popular string brands include Evah Pirazzi, Thomastik Dominant, Pirastro Tonica, Obligato, Jargar and Helicore.

These strings come in a variety of gauges, styles, and sizes for you to choose from.

How to Change Violin Strings

Changing strings on a violin can be tricky but with the right tools and preparation, it can be done with ease. The first step is to loosen the old strings by turning the pegs until they no longer turn. Then gently remove the old strings in one swift motion or one at a time. Next, clean the pegs and bridge sticky areas with a cloth.

Finally fit the new strings one at a time by looping them around the bridge and tightening them onto the pegs.

How to Select the Right Gauge for Your Violin

String gauge is an essential factor when selecting new strings for your violin. Thin-gauge strings (string gauges smaller than 0.4mm) tend to produce a brighter sound because they require less tension to create sound waves. They also offer more flexibility when vibrato playing and better articulation between notes.

Thicker-gauge strings (string gauges larger than 0.4mm) produce a warm sound because they require more tension to create sound waves. They are also more resistant to changes in temperature and humidity.

Tips for Selecting the Best Violin Strings for You

Here are some tips for selecting the best violin strings for your needs: Choose a string material that fits your playing style, budget, and instrument; experiment with different string gauges to find the right sound; research and compare different string brands; consider synthetic core or monofilament steel core strings; and opt for quality over price.

Care and Maintenance of Violin Strings

Taking good care of your strings is essential for preserving their life and quality. Always loosen your strings before putting away your violin after practice and replace them when you notice fraying or excessive dullness in the sound.

Additionally, clean them at least once a month with a lint-free cloth dampened by rubbing alcohol or lemon oil-based cleaner to remove dirt particles from wound strings.

Conclusion

Choosing the best violin strings for your instrument is essential for producing the best tone. There is a variety of types of strings to choose from, factors to consider and popular brands to consider.

Knowing what type of sound quality you desire, your budget, your playing style, and the age and condition of your instrument will help determine the best strings for you. Take good care of your strings using the tips mentioned and have fun exploring different strings!

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Ways to handle performance anxiety https://thehappyviolinist.com/ways-handle-performance-anxiety/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=ways-handle-performance-anxiety Mon, 04 Sep 2017 13:44:23 +0000 http://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=1006 Many students and also teachers would often face this problem…performance anxiety. There is nothing abnormal to it! Performance anxiety can happen to anyone who is about to go up on stage to perform, be it playing the violin, playing the piano or singing a song. However, fret ici not! There are ways to handle performance […]

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Many students and also teachers would often face this problem…performance anxiety.

There is nothing abnormal to it!

Performance anxiety can happen to anyone who is about to go up on stage to perform, be it playing the violin, playing the piano or singing a song.

However, fret

not! There are ways to handle performance anxiety!

Preparation

 

As we all know, practice makes perfect.

If you have practiced well enough, you would have gained muscle memory and thus you would have confidence that you will not blank out at the last minute.

With enough practice, you would feel ready and when you go up on stage, you would be more than ready to give it your all.

Positivity

 

Before you perform, negative thoughts would definitely cloud your mind.

“What if I forgot the lyrics? What if I play the wrong note? What if my fingers get stuck?”

If you push away these negative thoughts and fill your mind up with sentences like….”I am going to shine today, I am going to sing beautifully, I am going to have every bit of fun out on that stage.”

Trust me, your willpower will shoot up to a tremendous height and you won’t feel scared anymore.

Stretching and deep breaths

 

Before you play the piano, it’s best to shake your whole body.

Start from your neck rotations to your shoulder rolls and then your finger stretches.

That goes the same for violin. If you are a singer, do some lip trills and do some full breathing of your own.

Relax and calm your nerves. Inhale through your nose and then exhale through your mouth.

Feel your body lifting and swaying in the wind.

This helps you relax and gain control of your body without feeling yourself shake with anxiety.

Visualisation

 

On stage, do not think of anyone who are watching you.

Simply visualize the crowd as though they aren’t there. If it doesn’t work, think of things that you like.

Be it flowers or bears. Thinking about how others may judge you will definitely hinder your thoughts and will distract you from having full focus in the performance.

Visualize the melodies that you are singing or playing.

Visualize the story behind the pieces that you play or sing.

 

Mind over body

Remember! Regardless of how your hand shakes, sweat, or clenches….it is your mind that plays a huge part in performance anxiety.

Tell yourself to have fun onstage. To enjoy each and every moment on stage as though it was your last.

Make every minute count.

Keep telling yourself that you are doing great and you’ll definitely go a long way!

Performance anxiety is one thing that will hinder your way to reach your full potential.

Remember these tips and adhere to them and you will realise that slowly…..you will be focusing on things that matter that you don’t feel afraid anymore!

Have fun on stage!

 

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What is effective practice? https://thehappyviolinist.com/what-is-effective-practice/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=what-is-effective-practice Mon, 28 Aug 2017 13:54:48 +0000 http://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=997 I have practiced 2 hours a day. I have practiced 6 hours a day. Going by the length of practice hours, is it enough to gauge whether or not you have practiced enough? How many hours do you have to put into practice to be considered enough? Do I need to practice long hours? I […]

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I have practiced 2 hours a day. I have practiced 6 hours a day.

Going by the length of practice hours, is it enough to gauge whether or not you have practiced enough?

How many hours do you have to put into practice to be considered enough?

Do I need to practice long hours? I am an adult, I need to work!

 

The thing about practice is, it’s not about the number of hours you put into practice but how effective your practice is.

Even if your practice is only for a half hour, it may be more than enough if your practice is of substance and effectiveness.

  1. Sections

Playing a piece from top to bottom might seem like the fastest and surest way to a practice session but it will not work.

If one section of the piece is something that you always get it wrong, by repeating the same mistakes and not rectifying it might cause you to instill bad repetitions and habits into your practice.

Thus, dragging your practice process down.

By separating your score into smaller chunks and practicing it in small sections, it will help you target your mistakes and rectify it accordingly.

  1. Scales, scales, scales and more scales

Jumping straight into your pieces is not the most effective way to a good practice.

If your technique is not honed well, you might not be able to play your instrument to the best.

By utilising scales in your practice, it helps you gain control of your finger strength, the relaxation of your wrist and the agility of your fingers.

This helps with fluency and phrasing of your music. Hone your techniques while learning your pieces. Never neglect it.

  1. Goal setting

 

You have a long piece of Beethoven’s sonata in your hand.

By practicing it from the start to the end of the piece each and every day is not useful.

One, you’ll get bored of the piece. Two, by re-emphasizing my first point, you are unable to pick out the mistakes you have made and the mistakes still remain.

Make it a goal to clear one section a day until the whole sonata is rectified.

  1. Feedback

 

Here, I don’t mean peer evaluation but a personal recording of your own helps you to identify the sound that you yourself has made.

Find out what you can improve on from your own playing.

You might be surprised at how certain things can be missed out when you are actually playing your songs without listening closely.

 

Effective practice can help you improve at a tremendous rate and allow you to have ample time to rest and recover.

Remember, by practicing 8 hours a day without putting in much effort into thinking will not help you improve.

By having effective practice 4 hours a day helps. Find a teacher to guide you today!

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Pros and Cons of learning violin the Pop way! https://thehappyviolinist.com/pros-cons-learning-violin-pop-way/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=pros-cons-learning-violin-pop-way Tue, 15 Aug 2017 06:01:51 +0000 http://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=984 As a student who starts on the journey of learning the violin, it is essential to extend your creativity in a million ways! Learn classical pieces but learn pop as well! There are pros and cons learning the violin the pop way!   Pros Improves Aural skills Sometimes, if you just want to play the […]

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As a student who starts on the journey of learning the violin, it is essential to extend your creativity in a million ways!

Learn classical pieces but learn pop as well!

There are pros and cons learning the violin the pop way!

 

Pros

  1. Improves Aural skills

Sometimes, if you just want to play the violin leisurely or to express your love for music via the pop songs you play on the violin, you may not necessarily need to read the music score.

For example, if you come across a melody/ popular song you really like, you can just replicate whatever you just heard and translate it into your violin playing.

This may

seem easy but it actually requires a ton of effort since it’s all about using your ear to pick out the melody and rhythm.

In a way, this is similar to aural dictation!

  1.  Keeps you highly interested

 

Pop songs are incorporated in our daily lives!

Without them, life would be really boring!

Young kids especially, hear catchy melodies from “frozen” or their favourite cartoon and would definitely be influenced to try out these songs on the violin.

This way, they would be able to play their favourite song over and over again.

By learning the violin leisurely and just playing the violin the pop way, students will never become bored!

 

Cons

  1. Technique

 

In the classical world, there are a ton of techniques that are incorporated into classical pieces.

Teachers who are teaching the pop way will most likely not touch on intricate details such as double stops, pizzicato, drones.

The pop way is to learn the correct rhythm and pitch and play it beautifully in a legato(smooth) way.

It is not so much of the different kinds of ‘tone colour’ that are constantly nagged by virtuostic violinists of the classical world.

  1. Structure

 

Unlike the classical world, pop lessons are usually very flexible and score based, meaning that there is no set lesson materials that are used for lessons.

Usually classical lessons employ the suzuki method book but in pop, there are a hundred million ways to conduct lessons thus making the structure not stable and may sometimes be slightly confusing.

 

Learning violin the pop way has its advantages and disadvantages.

However, learning the violin whichever you or your child prefers, is your choice.

Learning the violin should be fun and engaging! If you are goal oriented and would like to sit for violin examinations, the classical way would be the safest.

If you or your child is just looking for fun and leisure lessons, pop violin may just be the one you’re looking for!

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How to get more involved in the classical world? https://thehappyviolinist.com/get-involved-classical-world/?utm_source=rss&utm_medium=rss&utm_campaign=get-involved-classical-world Tue, 15 Aug 2017 05:49:25 +0000 http://thehappyviolinist.com/?p=978 Singapore is currently expanding its reach into the arts and classical music field. What are the different ways to get yourself exposed to classical music? Is Canon in D considered to be classical music? Is Yiruma’s songs considered classical. Well, not really. These are contemporary pieces. Classical music refers to music that has traditions from […]

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Singapore is currently expanding its reach into the arts and classical music field.

What are the different ways to get yourself exposed to classical music?

Is Canon in D considered to be classical music? Is Yiruma’s songs considered classical.

Well, not really. These are contemporary pieces.

Classical music refers to music that has traditions from its western roots, typically emerging from the baroque, classical, romantic and 20th century periods.

Some notable composers are Bach, Mozart, Beethoven, Chopin, Debussy.

How do you get involved in the scenes?

Social media

Right now, the internet sensation is so great!

Getting yourself in touch with piano music such as Yiruma is a first step to having an interest in the classical arts!

Subscribe or like classical music social media accounts! It may not be serious accounts that has lectures about classical music.

It can be funny, comedic social media accounts that mainly focus on classical music such as twoset violins or classical music humour.

They are a great way to brighten your day but at the same time, give you insights

to the classical world!

 Free concerts

I could not emphasize how great the classical world is becoming.

Every Monday or Thursday, classical music students from Nanyang Academy of Fine Arts would present their musical niche at the Lee Foundation Theatre.

It’s free admission and what is presented has a variety of genres, ranging from piano duets to chamber orchestra works.

It is definitely an eye opener! Esplanade concourse has musical events almost every week so check out their website!

Music Classes

Last but not least, sign your child or yourself up for music lessons.

Your teacher will definitely give you an in depth history of almost all the classical musicians in the world.

Their different styles and characters that would make you have a deeper understanding of what classical music is all about!

 

If you are interested in classical music and would like to know more about it, employ these 3 tips and get exposed to your heart’s content.

Starting your child out by bringing them to classical concerts would definitely influence them to have a classical taste bit by bit!

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