Posts Tagged ‘fiddle’

Can Five More Minutes Make a Difference?

Thursday, January 13th, 2011

I don’t know about you, but I’m going to try to make a significant improvement in my playing this year. There are several things that I intend to do to achieve this, but probably the most simple that I am planning is adding a mere five minutes to every practice.

The key is not going to be playing my violin an extra five minutes. In fact the five minutes that I am adding, and that I am suggesting that you add, will take place between the time that I play the last note and the time I close the lid to my violin case.

I’m going to do a much better job organizing what I practice and play. I’m going to write down what I do right and what I do wrong. And I’m going to make sure that the next time I pick up the instrument I step right back into the thick of things. The five minutes that I spend writing a critique of my practice as well as any insights that I have during the practice are going to pay off big time! Guaranteed. And if I take the time to write down things that other people tell me it will help even more. Lists and journals are important. What your teacher or peers told you are important. Things that I want to remember are important. Five minutes at the end of this practice will probably save me ten or fifteen minutes during my next practice, and it will allow me to use those extra minutes more effectively!

Art Haule


Another Year With Bow In Hand

Saturday, January 1st, 2011

Fun With Your ViolinHappy New Year! It’s January 1, and that starts me thinking about my interaction with my violin.

Frankly, I haven’t been as active this year as I would have liked. I hope to change that this year. Some of my goals (I don’t make “resolutions.”) for the year include:

Getting a whole lot more active with this blog.

Scales and arpeggios at least three times a week.

Playing something that makes me smile every time I pick up my violin.

Using my violin to help others smile much more often.

Working on my fiddling and my improvisation more, rather than just my more classical stuff.

Interacting with more people who share a love of the violin…both in person and on the Internet.

More games on Violin Student Central.

Trying to spread the word about the website better. If we want to stay online we MUST generate more interest! (You can help! Tell your friends and share the URL if you find a daily Tip or History page you like. And if you buy through Amazon, Barnes and Noble, or eBay, or ANY of our partners, you can help us pay our server bills by simply using a link on our site to go to their site. It won’t cost you a cent, and it will be very helpful to us!)

Happy New Year!

–Art Haule ¬†–

It Doesn’t Matter How You Learned, All That Counts is That You Play!

Getting Ready for Christmas

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

My birthday is October 17. There are two things that always come to mind on this date.

The first is that I am another year older. That is obvious to me every day. The waist inevitably expands, and I vow to start doing twenty-five sit ups and twenty-five crunches every day. I’ll make the same vow next year, I’m almost sure. I look in the mirror and see a few more grey hairs, or the fact that there are fewer hairs atop the head today than there were yesterday. I vow to look into some dye, at least for the moustache. I view the expanded forehead as a sign that wisdom and knowledge are expanding. My 14-year old daughter, Adriana, would take issue with that.

The second thing that comes to mind is that Christmas is on its way. If I am going to play my violin during the Holiday Season I need to get to work on some Holiday music. It’s time to start researching what is available and to start making decisions as to what I will play. This year I think I’m going to look for some fun stuff to play rather than just (in the words of my daughter) “churchy, serious” stuff.


Falling in Love With Western Swing

Friday, March 19th, 2010

Sophia, Hulda, and Grace Quebe

Every time I think that I have reached the limit of genres of music and artists that I enjoy on the violin I come across a new performer, composer, or work that I completely enjoy.

My last birthday I was fortunate enough to receive a CD of The Quebe Sisters Band, and I have listened to them two or three times a week since then. I am not ashamed to say that they are actually creeping into the recesses of my heart where such performers as Hilary Hahn, Zino Francescatti, Mark O’Connor, Nathan Milstein, Mark Wood, Sarah Chang, and Rachel Barton-Pine reside.

Haven’t heard of the Quebe Sisters? You really should look into their music. I was hooked as soon as I heard them!

Sophia, Hulda, and Grace Quebe were raised in the that thriving North Texas Metropolis…Krum. They were home schooled and began playing fiddle in 1998, taking lessons from Sherry McKenzie. The girls showed remarkable talent, and soon their coaching was taken over by Sherry’s husband, Joey (An able teacher as evidenced by the fact that he is 3-time World Champion Fiddler, World Series of Fiddling Champion and 5-time Texas State Guitar Champion). The trio began playing with Joey on guitar and Drew Phelps on bass. (Drew’s credits include a Bachelor of Music degree from North Texas State University, he received a full scholarship to attend the School of Fine Arts at the Banff Centre in Canada, and a National Endowment for the Arts jazz fellowship to study privately with legendary string bassist Dave Holland.)

The Quebes learned to play fiddle by ear, and received no classical training. They’ve won numerous contests and awards. They have appeared in such places as the Grand Ole Opry, the Kennedy Center, and Lincoln Center in New York City. ¬†Their musical style includes such musical styles as western swing, hot jazz and swing standards, western and cowboy songs, vintage country and bluegrass.

If you can listen to these ladies and not want to tap your feet, dance, or move down to the Fort Worth area, you’re a stronger man than I. We’re in the midst of arranging an interview with them, so watch Violin Student Central for an update on the Quebes!

Want to see them live? They post their schedule on their website.