Thursday, July 28, 2011

Recording Your Practice

I recently submitted a video to for Beth to check up on and it made me realize something that I want to share to those who are just starting in playing the violin - the importance of recording your practice sessions.  

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Why Short Nails are Important

One of the most basic, yet most neglected advice given to beginning violinist is the importance of keeping your nails short.  It's very easy to forget about maintaining the proper nail length because we all started on bowing techniques with open strings.  However, once you start using your fingers on the fingerboard, your nails will become an issue.

Monday, July 25, 2011

Canceling Music Sanctuary

I was happy to have found a violin school that offers lessons for a very low fee.  Sad to say, I got my money's worth.  There was a confusion on what should have been last week's last session for July - something that should not have happened if the people in charge of Music Sanctuary were really concerned over the schedules of their teachers and students.  It would have been no issue at all for me if I'm just a stay-at-home mom, but I'm working.

Alas, it was fun while it lasted.  Farewell, Music Sanctuary.  Sadly I won't endorse you to my friends anymore.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

Twinkle Twinkle Suzuki Variation A

Video 1: Twinkle Twinkle Variation July 22, 2011

After 3 weeks of violin lessons, I'm finally able to do one song. As I'm doing this video, I really did my best to relax as I am not comfortable catching myself on film. I also did what Isaac Stern said when he was teaching a small child on how to play. Play as if you're listening to something beautiful.  Obviously, I still need a lot of practice as it did not work out well here. :))

Saturday, July 23, 2011

Cavatina by Nicanor Abelardo

The violin being of Western origin, I have mistakenly assumed that this great instrument can only be played with music created by Western composers. However, during my quest in creating my "future repertoire" of songs, I came across this great video.

Friday, July 22, 2011

Meet Beth My ViolinLab Instructor

Getting a great violin instructor is really a challenge, especially when you have a busy schedule. As working mom with a 7 y/o daughter, I certainly have to create the time to take violin lessons without having to compromise other personal and professional responsibilities. That goes without saying that I need a violin instructor who is flexible yet still give me the right amount of attention for a good start in learning the violin.

I’ve tried countless searches for a violin tutor that has a flexible schedule, and personally I prefer to have my violin lessons at home. I’ve spent 3 months browsing the net for a tutor just to get the right one. And in order to start right, I also searched for basic video know-hows in YouTube for playing the violin – This is how I found Beth Blackerby, my virtual violin tutor in

Tuesday, July 19, 2011


Welcome to my blogsite! My name is Donna and I’ve been into music since I was a kid. At the age of 5, I’ve always dreamed about playing the violin and to be included in a symphony orchestra. Since our family was not well-off, music education was not a priority at that time. However, that did not stop me from dreaming, and with the encouragement of my sister Bernadette (a great mortgage broker in Canada), I am now finally realizing my dream – to become an outstanding violinist.

This website is dedicated to people like me who started late in learning the violin. In this blog, I’ll be documenting my progress as I go through my lessons. More like an online diary, but with videos and insights on how I go around my violin tutorials. Please note that this blog is meant to inspire and be an avenue for people to share insights on violin techniques and not as a sound resource for playing the violin.

As of now, I have two teachers: Beth from Music Sanctuary, and Beth from Both teachers are great in their own way, and I’ll be giving insights on what I learned with my personal violin lessons as well as online violin lessons for adults that I have taken in from both teachers.

Thanks for taking the time to read my blog. Please stay tuned for more developments, videos, and insights.