from J. Geggie

How to Improve Constructively
By John Geggie, Crane School of Music

  • Take responsibility for your actions
  • Expect improvement, not status quo
  • Know what is expected, know what the music demands — be able to analyze situations to assess what the music demands
  • Only you can fix right hand problems — bow placement, amount of hair on string, amount of bow used
  • Only you can fix left-hand problems — finger placement, shifting, vibrato, curvature of fingers to close the string the best, placement of thumb etc.
  • Only you can play the right bowings
  • Only you should be listening to yourself and correcting details
  • Only you should be analyzing what you are doing and finding solutions
  • Remember what worked well and successfully and (remember the sound, the feeling, and the procedure) use the same skills again where appropriate
  • Break down areas to specific challenges and solve them; use what you have learned there to solve other situations
  • It is better to take things MUCH slower to break down problem areas into simpler packets of tasks to do; it is always possible to gradually speed up these
  • Make sure there is constructive improvement ALL THE TIME

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