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April 14, 2020
No secret. We're all a little (a lot!) antsy with this stay-at-home thing. To help the Full Circle Studio community come together, I'm morphing our monthly-ish Studio Notes into a weekly newsletter until life gets back to normal.

Look for inspiration on how to keep your passion for the violin going, including off-beat practice ideas, useful online resources, and comic relief. Plus, I'd love to share your photos and reflections on how you and your fiddle are getting on in these strange times! See Peg's poem, to start things off.
Explore and Experience
The only way to really learn the violin is through your body. The mind alone is not enough. This week's off-beat ideas for practicing are:
  1. Play with your eyes closed.
  2. If you usually sit to play, stand. If you stand, sit.
  3. Balance a beanbag or pillow on your head while you play.
Try This At Home: Video Selfie
Put your phone or tablet on your music stand and take a video of yourself playing violin. It’s easier than trying to watch yourself in a mirror! Play it back and see what you notice: 
  • Is your bow parallel to the bridge / perpendicular to the strings?
  • How’s the height of your elbow, as you play different strings?
  • What about your left wrist? Is it largely straight, or awkwardly bent?
  • What else do you notice that you'd like to change?
While we're physically distant, we can still connect. Share a poem, a short composition, or a selfie with your fellow Full Circle students. This week's contribution is a poem from Peg:
I don't like Fridays I shall explain,
that I don't like them in the rain.

I don't like Fridays on a train or a plane,
with many people coughing the 'strain.'

On Sunday our cupboards are stocked and crammed,
by Friday, we're forced to eat beans, eggs and ham.

I do like Fridays when I play fiddle with Cayt;
She's a fine teacher, our sessions are great!

I can't wait for Friday to zoom, zoom, zoom,
out on my porch – the coziest room!
Student Composition – Tuesday's Waltz
Here's a waltz Cynthia wrote for two violins. How you choose to enjoy it is up to you. A few ideas:
  • Just put up your feet and listen. Let the music waft over you.
  • Use the music to try playing it yourself – either part, or both.
  • Listen to the MP3 of the Violin 1 part, while you play either Violin 1 or Violin 2.
Use these links to access any files you want:
1. PDF sheet music.
2. MP3 file of both parts together.
3. MP3 of Violin 1 part alone.
If for any reason the links don't work, email Cynthia ( and she will email files to you.
This Week's Two Set Violin Video
There's a reason why I always tell students to practice SLOWLY. Click on the image, to find out why speeding during practice really doesn't pay off.
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