Thursday, July 19, 2012

Benefits of Listening to A Music Piece

I loved the violin since I was little, and know instinctively that I should know my notes if I am to play my violin someday.  Granted that I have the inherent "ability," so to speak, to play a tune better if I know what on earth I am playing,  I wanted to get that habit out of me so I can learn how to read notes.  However, I can't seem to visualize notes better than when I hear them in my head.  And I think Dr. Shinichi Suzuki was aware that there are individuals out there like me who will only play better if they are familiar with the music that they are playing when he made his violin program.

And for that, I would like to earnestly say Thank You to Dr. Suzuki for coming up with such concept.

I've given up hope in learning how to read notes and how to play them using just vision alone.  And one of the reasons why I took the time on my birthday last year to rush out to the mall near closing hours in order to get that last copy of Suzuki Book I in Trinoma was because of the "free" CD that comes with it. An original book without the CD is cheaper, but what's the use of it right? When it comes to education, I prefer my copies clean because they will last me for a long time compared to knock-outs and rip-offs.

While others may disregard the CD that comes with Suzuki and just by principle and pride rely on the book and note reading itself, I encourage others to be easy on themselves and utilize the CD. As an adult beginner (or even for children who are just starting to play the violin), creating a mental reference for the music will help you with your violin progress in different ways.

Faster Note Memorization
Listen to the CD and look at the music piece at the same time.  If you wish to know the notes better, use your Speedshifter program to lower down the speed to 60bpms or lower.  Follow each note with your finger  or a pencil and sing the notes out loud. Take note: sing not say. Singing will help you give more emotion, feeling and phrasing to your playing rather than just be someone who is "mimicing" a recording.

Focus on Intonation
No one wants to listen to someone sing off key. And it's even more ear and nerve wracking to listen to someone play the violin out of tune.  By listening to a recording of your intended music piece, you will have a mental reference on how your notes should be played. One may rely on tapes to know play the notes, but everyone knows that hitting the notes on the violin is not as easy as playing the piano.  You press a piano key and you're note is always on tune.  You place your finger on a violin string carelessly and you can be flat at one moment, and sharp at the next. And you won't even know and care how you sound unless you listen to someone play the music over and over and over again.  Then one day, light bulb moment: was I really that off key?!?!

Next time your teacher gives you a musical piece, ask him or her if you can record her playing the piece so you can have a reference as you practice.  Of course a visual and audio reference together is better than just a CD because you'll be taking down notes on bow strokes and shifting. However, audio is ten times better than none! So just get an MP3 recorder, ask for your teacher for a CD recording, or even a tape that you can play in cassette player and record through in line mic in your PC to convert in MP3.

This is one of the several things I learn to appreciate as I go with my virtual violin training at  I know I will learn more as I go on and I will share one of my eureka moments when I get one again in the future.

Thanks for reading my blog and come back again soon!

No comments:

Post a Comment