Practice on Vacation? No Way!
Most people with school aged children probably do not put a lot of thought into the coming school year during their summer vacation. Kids certainly have more pressing matters, swimming, baseball, riding bikes and other fun activities.
Don’t Fall Behind
However, if you take 2 months off from practicing your instrument, whether it is a violin, viola, cello or bass, chances are you will not be prepared for orchestra in the fall. Rehearsals will likely be a tough road for a time as you work to get back into the swing of things.
Your instrument will have missed all your attention and may even need maintenance before beginning the new school year. But, of course, you wouldn’t know. You have not even looked at your instrument all summer long. Right?
Stay in touch. Stay in tune, even if you only squeeze in an hour or so practice each week between all your fun activities. Some things are like riding a bike when you’ve been away and never seem to skip a beat. Playing an instrument is not one of those things.
Speak with your strings teacher before vacation begins. Ask for some tips on what to practice over the summer. Maybe there is an area where you had some difficulty and there simply was not adequate time to give it proper attention. This would be a great way to approach these areas in a more casual and relaxed way.
Mom and Dad, help keep your students engaged with their music over the summer. If they do not take private lessons, Maybe this would be a good time to start. If you live in the greater Greenville area and need help finding a quality instructor, give us a call and we will help point you in a good direction.
Keep it light. Keep it casual. There’s plenty of time for burgers, Bach, baseball and the beach. Have fun and avoid the struggle of starting over again when autumn comes and the new orchestral season begins.
SUMMER INSTRUMENT CARE
In the summer time, the living can be easy, as the song goes. However, heat and changes in humidity can wreak havoc with your bowed instrument if proper care is not heeded.
The physics of your instrument during seasonal change is fundamental.
Humidity causes expansion of the wood and can raise the height of your strings off the fingerboard by pushing your bridge upward. As this occurs, your sound post can also fall out of position. Open seams and cracks can also occur especially when humidity is combined with heat, resulting in costly repairs and sometimes irreversible damage.
Your peg box can be effected by temperature change also. In the summer, as wood expands from rising humidity, you may find the peg holes and pegs expand, becoming stuck and difficult to turn.
The summer months tend to offer ample opportunity to perform or jam with friends out of doors. Avoid exposing your instrument to rapid temperature changes and direct sunlight. When traveling about, never leave your instrument in the car. Never.
Your Bow and the Summer
Remember, it is not just your instrument that can suffer the effects of temperature change and humidity. Your bow is equally vulnerable to exposure. Even if yours is a composite of synthetic materials, the condition of the bow hair and its correct placement in the bow at either end can be impacted in a negative way. If your bow hair develops an improper fit (shrinking hair in hot, dry weather), the camber, or curve of the bow, can be damaged and permanently altered. A bow can break under these conditions.
What Can You Do?
What can a musician do to help ensure the health and wellbeing of their bowed instrument? Just as the physics of your instrument is fundamental, so are the steps everyone can take to prevent seasonal and weather related damage from occurring.
Take Steps Now
The single best investment you can make to help insure the health and playability of your bowed instrument is to make an appointment with your luthier every 6 months for routine inspection and maintenance. During this service you can have your pegs seasonally treated to avoid them becoming stuck, or so loose that you have trouble staying in tune. You might even consider being fitted for both a summer and a winter sound post.
How well your bowed instrument fares from one season to the next is largely up to you. By taking a few very basic precautions based on a basic understanding of the nature of your instrument, you can easily prevent most of the pitfalls resulting from changing temperature and humidity.
Whether you are learning the violin, viola, cello, or bass, your orchestra teacher holds the ticket to your success as a new musician. Make sure your teacher is smiling every time you are around. This will guarantee every bit of success that a teacher-student partnership is capable of. There are three ways you may keep your teacher smiling, resulting in maximum teaching and learning during lesson time.
-Make careful notes while receiving practice instructions.
-Practice as soon after class as possible. A musician benefits most by practicing while new lesson information is fresh and still in mind.
-Practice only the material assigned and only as instructed. This will help you focus on what your teacher intends. Although you should allow time for creativity during practice time, practicing techniques or music not discussed by your teacher places you at risk of formulating improper habits, requiring un-teaching.
-Practice regularly and diligently.
•20 minutes twice a day is better than 1 hour every other day.
•Practice every day, with one day off a week. Give yourself a well-deserved break.
•Mind practice. While away from your instrument, think through your music. How will you play it? Move your hands and fingers as though you are holding your instrument. How will it sound? Imagine what you will hear and what you will feel when the music is perfectly executed.
•Record your practice time and be sure to practice the full duration of your recorded time.
•Chart your progress.
-Listen to your teacher. You will stand out as a student and learn more by simply looking at your teacher intently every time you are being instructed.
-Listen to great music played by great performers regularly. Do this every day.
-Listen to your mom or dad when they say “don’t you think you should be practicing right now?”
-Listen to your friends when they play. Make sure you blend in with them while playing together. Pick out the best player you know and try to emulate their style and sound, then grow yourself to the next level.
Seeking your teacher’s affection should be your mission. It’s ok to be the “Teacher’s Pet” since your symbiotic relationship may yield musical opportunity for years to come.
– “An apple a day” may be too frequent, but there is nothing like an occasional gift of appreciation (not a bribe) that says “thank you for your input in my life”.
– Verbally express your appreciation. Be sincere. Name something specific. A little appreciation goes a long way.
– Develop a passion for playing your violin (viola, cello, or bass) and not only will your teacher enjoy it, so will you.
These three activities will encourage high performance teaching and high performance learning at lesson time. Your smiling teacher will provide multiplied dividends toward your success as a musician and will keep the both of you happy along the way. ~ j
18th Annual Bluegrass First Class
Friday: Rhonda Vincent & the Rage, The Grascals, Michael Cleveland & Flamekeeper, The James King Band, Will Clark & 10 FEET DEEP, Dillon
Saturday: The Bluegrass Album Band, Lonesome River Band, Doyle Lawson & Quicksilver, Russel Moor & IIIrd Tyme Out, Darin & Brooke Aldridge, Julia Ann Band
Sunday: Appalachian Fire
Dear Hannah Joy and Leah Grace:
The most exciting day of the year is almost here again: Christmas Day! You can almost feel it in the air. It gets colder out doors as it gets closer to Christmas. And of course, you have to be bundled up in much warmer clothes when you go to the store and when you go to Church: hats with ear muffs, coats with big white ruffles, mittens for those little hands, and boots to keep those tiny feet nice and warm. Even Mommy and Daddy dress up in big wooly coats, and hats, and gloves, and shoes. Christmas is almost here.
Every where you look these days you’re sure to see something that tells you that Christmas is coming soon. Look at those brightly colored decorations that Mommy is pulling out of the closets and and off the shelves. They have been hiding there for almost a year. There are strings of lights to decorate the Christmas tree and boxes of Christmas tree decorations. There are folded sheets of paper: red, and green, and white, and gold, and silver. And then there are boxes: big boxes, little boxes, long boxes, short boxes, pretty boxes, and boxes that are not so pretty.
Here comes a box full of strange little figurines: figurines of people: a mommy and a daddy and a baby. There are figurines of animals: cows and calves, sheep and lambs; horses, goats, chickens, and ducks. There is a strange little thing that Mommy calls a manger with straw in it. Mommy says that is where the mommy will place the baby Jesus to sleep. Yes, the baby has a name. The baby’s name is Jesus. And his Mommy and Daddy have names too. Mommy’s name is Mary. And Daddy’s name is Joseph.
Here is another box with little square white houses with flat roofs. Daddy says that they are the houses that were in the little town of Bethlehem where the baby Jesus was born two thousand years ago. But Mary and Joseph were not from the little town of Bethlehem. Mary and Joseph were from the city of Nazareth many many miles away. Mary and Joseph were just visiting Bethlehem when God gave them their baby Jesus. But that is another big story all by itself:
An angel from heaven visited Mary in the city of Nazareth before she was married to Joseph. But they were planning to get married. The angel told Mary that she was going to be the mother of the greatest baby ever to live in this world. He would be called the Son of the Highest. That means that He would be the Son of God.
When Mary told Joseph about the coming baby, Joseph was shocked. How could Mary have a baby and not be married. So the angel also visited Joseph in a dream. He told Joseph to marry Mary before the baby would be born. And the angel told Joseph to name their new baby “Jesus” because the name Jesus really means “Saviour.” Jesus would grow up and save His people from their sins. How would Jesus save His people from their sins? He would give His own life to pay for their sins. And if they would believe in Jesus, they would be saved from their sins. And they would go to heaven when they died. That is why we like to sing:
“Jesus loves me! This I know, for the Bible tells me so.
Little ones to Him belong, they are weak but He is strong.
Yes, Jesus love me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! Loves me still, Tho’ I’m very weak and ill;
That I might from sin be free, Bled and died upon the tree.
Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! He who died, Heaven’s gate to open wide
He will wash away my sin, Let His little child come in
Yes, Jesus Loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.
Jesus loves me! He will stay Close beside me all the way;
Thou hast bled and died for me, I will hence-forth live for Thee.
Yes, Jesus loves me, Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! The Bible tells me so.”
Well, what else did Mommy find in the closet about the Christmas story? Who are these men that look like shepherds, and what of the angels with wings suspended in the night sky? These are things that happened the night that Jesus was born. Angels from heaven appeared to the shepherds as they tended their sheep to tell them that Jesus was born in Bethlehem. So off they went to see the new-born Jesus and to worship Him. But that’s not all:
What are these camels for? And who are those three strangely dressed men on the camels? They are the wise men from the East who saw the star in the sky telling them of the birth of the King of the Jews! So they also came many miles on their camels to see Him, to fall down and worship Him, and to give Him gifts of gold, frankincense, and myrrh.
Joseph and Mary were amazed at all the things that were happening to them and to their new-born baby Jesus. Jesus was God’s gift to Joseph and to Mary, to all of the Jewish people of Israel, and to everyone in the world who believe in Him: “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16)
P.S. I’m looking forward to seeing you again soon.
[The above material was prepared on November 19, 2011 by Pastor Robert G. Clinton at the request of his son and daughter-in-law Jim and Kim Clinton]
We will be closed Saturday since our repairman / instrument setup technician, Alex Jones will be married to Hannah Bingham: Saturday 5/11/13. All of us at Jim Clinton Violins wish you a blessed day, Hannah and Alex. May you find fulfillment in following Christ together and happiness as you share your lives. ~ Jim, Kim and your friends at Jim Clinton Violins
Jim Clinton Violins, is having a celebratory, treasure hunt sale on Thursday, the 13th of March.
Just push the big, blue button above for instructions.
Why is their celebratory sale on the 13th? And not Saint Patrick’s Day?
This is Jim Clinton Violins’ 13th year!
Hurry! Press the big blue button above to see what you can do to receive up to 21% discount, plus $100 off almost everything, including special orders at Jim Clinton Violins.
If you wait till St. Patrick’s Day, you will miss this sale!
Play Antonio Scrollivarius here or read below for video script and additional information.
Europe, the land of Stradivari, the birthplace of the violin, is coming to Jim Clinton Violins. At least twenty three European instruments, many with special, one day pricing, will be here April 1 through Monday, April 14, 2014. Samples of handmade violins, violas, celli, and basses will be here. Touch them, view them, listen to, and play them. Will a European instrument at these prices be your next instrument upgrade choice? Find out for yourself. Press the link below to learn about the European violin making concept, and find out for yourself, if one of these gems is perfect for you.
Special pricing applies only on Monday, April 14, 2014.
A significant shipment of European, handcrafted, workshop instruments has recently arrived in the US, and their exclusive, US importer has given Jim Clinton Violins special permission to exhibit samples from this shipment, making them available for your review, purchase, and order. Models designed for the serious student through college level, to semi-professional will be arriving at Jim Clinton Violins during the first week of April. Our workshop technicians will be hovering over these European jewels, putting them through their paces, tweaking, and testing them for our one day sale on Monday, the 14th of April.
Jim Clinton Violins, 3400-D Rutherford Rd. Ext., Taylors, SC, 29687, 864-322-2622, www.jcviolins.com.
Jim Clinton Violins is celebrating their 13th year! But since Jim and friends plan to be in church on the 13th, this explosive sale will have to wait till April 14, one day before tax day.
A new work by celebrated composer Dan Forrest, Requiem For the Living,
will be performed by the BJU Chorale and the University’s chamber strings,
under the direction of Dr. Warren Cook.
The concert will be held in the War Memorial Chapel on the campus of
Bob Jones University and will begin at 8PM on April 25, 2014.
Free tickets are available in the Music Library of the Gustafson Fine Arts Center,
located near the Chapel venue.
According to the composer’s website, Dan Forrest has been “premiered in major venues
around the world, ranging from the World Choral Symposium (Argentina) to Izumi Hall
(Osaka, Japan) to Carnegie Hall, the Lincoln Center, the Kennedy Center, and
ACDA conventions. His music has been broadcast multiple times on American Public Media’s
Performance Today.” The work by Forrest to be featured on the concert,
Requiem for the Living, is “scheduled for dozens of upcoming performances across the US
and abroad, including multiple performances in Carnegie Hall.”
For more information, please contact the BJU Music Library during business hours at