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June 13, 2020
Hello All Fiddle & Violin Friends & Students!

I am so energized and excited these days as I continue to make strategic and pleasing changes at the studio. Our world changing so much has brought a lot of new and refreshing additions to Full Circle! In our Essential  Refreshments Cafe, we now offer several of the North Country hard ciders, and dang – they are yummy. LOL The beverage fridge also holds your white wines and a variety of Bubbly seltzers. The individually-packaged Snack Selection is superb. Beethoven is our Maestro of Refreshments.

Studio 402 is being opened up to the very fullest and most spacious to create the ideal small group music space. Our equipment (violin stands, stand lights, etc.) are in the beautiful Art Deco cabinet, and plants are relocating to higher places off the floor. And of course there's more :) 

Thanks everyone, for jumping back into the Music and our Full Circle Community.
See y'all soon at the ranch!
Cayt & Pico

P.S. We're getting this week's newsletter out a few days early, to make sure that anyone eager to join our summer classes has all the information they need to sign up. Check out the details below, and register soon for your summer gift (to yourself💜)  of music and joy!!
Summer Classes – Final Sign Up!
Summer group classes are starting in 2-3 weeks. If you haven't signed up yet, do so now. We have just a few places left in each class, since we're limiting each class to 10 people (including me) for better distancing.

O'Carolan Session Class Starts June 24 – 2 Places Left
O'Carolan Session will be on Wednesdays, 6-7:30pm, from June 24 - August 12 (8 weeks). Cost $140. If you love traditional Celtic music, and have a couple of years of fiddle playing under your belt, this class is for you.

UpLevel Class Starts June 30 – Places Left
Uplevel will be on Tuesdays, 6-7:30pm, from June 30th - August 4 (6 weeks). Cost $115. I'm hoping to have everyone registered and paid by June 20th for this class. We will pick up where we left off: primal rhythm/chord grooves, soaring melodies with accompaniment, improvising, and kick-ass tunes.

Absolute Beginner Class Starts July 6 – 4 Places Left
Beginners will be on Mondays, 6-7:30pm, from July 6 - August 10 (6 weeks). Those who were in class when we were suddenly cut short have fully paid their class fees. For new students, cost is $115, all materials included (studio violins available @ $20 for the six weeks). New students, please register by June 22.

You can sign up on the Full Circle website, or with Cayt during your lesson.
Why & How to Warm Up
What’s a violin warmup? I think of it as a ​daily reunion with my fiddle, with hugs and checking in on how we’re feeling and what we’d like to do. Every day it varies, according to how my mind, emotions and body are doing, and how the instrument is responding (yes, your violin is an organic entity.) A well-crafted warm-up leads to improvements in every aspect of your playing. 

What a Warm-Up is NOT: 
  • Playing an exercise or scale mindlessly, just to get the “warm-up thing” out of the way.
  • Playing anything without checking for your form and level of physical confidence. 
  • Scratching around trying to remember how something goes. 
  • Playing random scale-like, non-organized, not in tune, notes up and down.
  • Jumping on a brand new piece. Full tilt, train wreck coming :-) 
  • Hitting your most demanding music or tune hard & fast, or with a frail & tentative approach.
 Now moving on to what a Warm-Up IS​ All About... 
 WHY: To relax, loosen, warm our muscles. To bring our mind and emotions into a calm, centered focus. To be grateful and aware for the music in our lives. To waken our ears to pitch (LH) and tone quality via the bow (RH).
 
WHEN: Before any learning or performing session. At the end, as a cool-down, Or even in the middle, to release any tension, rushing or loss of focus that has crept in.
 
WHO: Everyone benefits from a warm-up.
 
WHERE: Set up a practice space with plenty of light, privacy if possible, all of your gear (music stand, metronome, etc.). There should be a positive energetic feeling in your space, with no concerns for your sound/volume as a problem.
 
WHAT: Check out a few ideas in “Explore and Experience” below.

For an expanded, in-depth version of What is a Warm-up?, with even more juicy specifics, click here.
Explore & Experience – Warming Up
Your objective, in warming up, is to gradually and calmly connect fully with your instrument, with as little tension as possible. To generate physical confidence and mental focus. 
 
The specifics of your warm-up will vary according to your skill level, the music and technique you are learning, your physical status, your mind/emotional status, the time available.  Check with your instructor for ideas just right for you.
  1. Open Strings. Relaxed, slow, steady, connected (and straight!) bows up and down. In D – A – G – E order, 8X each. More advanced players can add rhythms and explore different bow distribution. Open strings should be part of every warm-up!
  2. Finger Patterns. Based on your skill level, play the easiest 2, 3, & 4 note patterns you know, slowly, on one string at a time: separate bows &/or slurred. Concise, structured, metronomic repetitions. 
  3. Exploration.​ Take a few minutes to explore, very simply and ​with good pitch and tone quality,​ some combinations of notes, strings, rhythms, and bowings. 
Music Brings Us Closer To Each Other
Want to understand more about how shared musical experiences – whether performances or classes – bring us closer together? Check out this very cool article in Scientific American titled Music Synchronizes the Brains of Performers and Their Audience.  As the article explains, "the musical experience runs deep: we dance and feel the same emotions together, and our neurons fire together as well."
If you have an article, a cartoon, a photo of your favorite violin-themed shirt or other possession – or a tune you've written or arranged, a photo of your home violin practice space, a poem, or anything else to share with the Full Circle community, email it to us for possible inclusion in a future newsletter.
A Simpler Anti-Grabbity Variation
In our last newsletter, we shared a little ditty aimed at helping students relax the tension in their left hand – a tension that is tied to the "pincer reflex" between the thumb and first finger.

While that tune was perfect for more experienced students, here's another version just right for newer students. Start your warm-up with this no-first-finger tune to help soak your hand in the feeling of "anti-grabbity." 
Quote of the Week
"When I hear music, I fear no danger. I am invulnerable. I see no foe. I am related to the earliest times and to the latest." 
-- Henry David Thoreau
This Week's Video: Mabel and Olive
Two Set Has the Week Off
While Zoom has been a godsend for getting through Stay-At-Home, meeting on Zoom can have its limitations and frustrations for everyone.
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Rollinsford Lower Mill, suite 401, 402, 406
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