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June 2021

Happy Solstice Greetings to All,

What a wonderful and also packed June 2021 we are enjoying! We’re all making up for lost time, reconnecting with people, places, and experiences that couldn’t happen in our past year. It is absolutely lovely!

At the studio, we are also having reconnecting and grateful-for-the-music experiences! New folks reaching out to do violin/fiddle, a new classical-themed ensemble in the works, hopefully our Slow Trad Session back sometime this summer or fall, and of course the popular and on-the-wild-side Tunes & Tech class with its high energy and hard work!

Our momentum and appreciation for our ongoing musical opportunities here at Full Circle is growing every week. For instance, our (entire Salmon Falls Mills) Open Studios Event, which has been on hold for two years, is looking good for this coming Fall! We’ll have casual performance opportunities, spontaneous jam sessions, tune sessions, you-name-it…. It's all about enjoying the fun, refreshments, guests and our music. If you haven’t been here for a while — be sure to catch us at Open Studios and say hey:)

I’m looking forward to a fabulous year of music, learning, new experiences and joy with you all.

In Harmony,
Cayt & Pico of course

P.S. The Full Circle Newsletter will be switching to a "Serendipity Schedule" going forward. Fourteen months ago, when we had so few ways to come together as a musical community, we began publishing this newsletter weekly. When in-person lessons became possible again, we switched to a monthly schedule. Now, as we return to a full array of possibilities for connecting with our musical friends, the newsletter is no longer the ONLY way we come together – so we're easing off on the schedule.

We'll continue to collect photos, videos, cartoons, links, music, quotes and practice tips — and will send them to you whenever the Newsletter Muse determines we have enough interesting content.

You can help! Send Cayt your violin-related photos, video links, news articles, etc. so that we can share them with the entire Full Circle Violin & Fiddle Studio community. 
Learning Violin: Kids vs. Adults
Musing On Success in Learning the Violin:
Kids – Easy vs Adults – Difficult… Is it Only Age?
For all the years that I’ve taught children & adults, I can certainly say that children (from about age 8) learn to play much faster and much better. They have many advantages such as supple bodies & fingers and fresh minds; they are in the most active learning season of their lives; they are curious; they are usually getting enough rest and have more down time. But they have other things going for them which are actually The Most Important Keys to success.
Here are the three things about how kids learn that adults can also access:
1. Accountability and Structure
Children have Accountability & Structure from parents and teachers/music group directors. Their practice time is noted, and the quality of the practice. In a music group at school, everyone has to make obvious improvement, and learn their parts for their ensembles.
It’s very hard for an adult solo learner to get this level of accountability. The best option for accountability for adult learners is a group experience. Which is also great for support and encouragement. And Fun.
2. Practicing as the Teacher Instructs
Children are likely to – or required by their parents to – (pretty much exactly) practice as the teacher instructs.
This is diametrically opposed to 90% of  adult learners. If you are an adult learner, you know easy it is to go quite far beyond that simple learning approach.
I could write forever on this topic. But I leave it to you to consider how you might possibly be doing things differently, doing less, doing things incompletely, doing without faith in results, doing something else instead… Doing too many extra things instead of your instructor’s guidance, assignment, suggestion, even requests. (Extra is cool, but in moderation – after you've done what was assigned.)

Adults find it difficult to keep things simple when it comes to learning:) You may find that staying closer to the detail of your class or lesson will make a significant difference in your results.
3. Getting Out of Your Own Way
Children generally have very little self-consciousness and few ego-related or logic-centered stumbling blocks when learning the violin. They love music and they love to learn. That’s it.
They are not comparing anything or anyone to something — like a goal, expectation, perceived failure, a definition of success, what others do or think. They are in the moment, and not worried about what’s next or how everything will fit together. They celebrate the small steps of achievement — and quickly amass thousands of those steps.
This is more or less what is called “Beginner’s Mind.” It is the key to learning and knowing anything as efficiently, expediently and trouble-free as humanly possible. But human adults are highly challenged by Beginner’s Mind! Look it up, and check it out. It will be a boon to your music study if you can embrace it!
Left: Laura and Pico. Right: Cam, in Tunes & Tech group.
Your Sound Follows Your Eyes
Where are you looking when you play your violin? If you're like most people, your eyes are probably glued to the music on your music stand. While it's important to focus on the music, you may create a better sound if you can expand your awareness to take in the rest of the room.

Try this experiment. Play a simple tune you know by heart, or simply play open strings, while you stand by your music stand and stare at it. Now open up your field of vision and become aware of the farthest point you can see. It could be a tree outside your window, or a bookshelf on the far side of the room. Play the same music again. Is there any difference in the sound? Most people find that their sound is richer, and projects farther, when they put their attention farther away.

Now experiment with sheet music. Can you keep the music in sight while also being aware of the world beyond your music stand? Try standing farther back from the music stand; you may surprise yourself by finding you can still see the music while being more connected to your surroundings, when you maximize your visual field.

A big thanks to Vanessa Mulvey, Body Mapping instructor at New England Conservatory, for opening my eyes (literally!) to this experiment. -- Cynthia
Student Violins from 3D Printer
Engineering students at the University of Toledo are collaborating with musicians from the Toldeo Alliance for the Performing arts and the Toledo Symphony to create an affordable student violin using 3D printing.

Merwin Siu, second principal violin for the Toledo Symphony, says the 3D printed violin is very comparable in terms of sound quality and projection to a regular violin. A materials cost of $68 will make the violin more available to schools and clubs. Learn more here.
Inspiring Quote
The true mission of the violin is to imitate the accents of the human voice, a noble mission that has earned for the violin the glory of being called the king of instruments.
Charles Auguste de Beriot
30 Styles of Fiddle Music
The fiddle is an amazingly versatile instrument, used to create very different sounds and moods – to be the voice of different cultures. For World Fiddle Day 2021 in late May, Michael Burnyeat demonstrates thirty fiddle styles. Which ones tug at your heartstrings – or start your toes tapping – the most?
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