Michael Michael Sellers

All articles by Michael

 

Naming Your Instrument

Naming inanimate objects may seem a bit quirky or even pointless to some, but plenty of people think of it as a fun way to give a bit of personality to a prized possession. You may know someone that makes a habit of naming their cars or their plants. But have you considered people who...
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When to Remove Finger Tapes

Violin can be a tricky instrument to learn, especially for beginners. As a result, plenty of learning devices have been developed to improve the student learning experience. Finger tapes are one such tool. They are designed to help teachers mark out note placements for their students. Finger tapes are usually colored dots or strips that...
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Common Problems With Cheaper Violins

For beginners in particular, purchasing a new violin may seem like a big commitment. If you’ve just started taking violin lessons and have not yet determined if it’s the instrument for you, the cheaper violins may seem more cost effective. However, there are some common problems with cheaper violins to watch out for. Price isn’t...
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Is Viola More Difficult to Play than Violin?

Viola vs. violin is the age-old battle of the stringed instruments. While the viola sometimes is referred to as a “big violin,” there’s more to their differences than that. Along with the size of the viola, it also has a lower pitch and greater depth of sound than its more famous cousin. Due to the...
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The Cello Buyers Guide 

There comes a time in every musician’s life when they have to decide the type of investment they are willing and able to make in their instrument. If you are a beginner or intermediate cellist who has previously rented a cello, then it might be the right time for you to consider purchasing your next...
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VIDEO: Hear From Johnson String Instrument Staff

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Planning Your Career in Music After College

It’s that time of the year when college seniors are looking forward to being handed their diplomas and branching out into their chosen field. For some people, it may be easy to decide what path to follow after college. For others, however, the prospects aren’t as obvious. If you are going to college to study...
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Rosin for Upright Bass

For upright bass players that use a bow, rosin is a necessity, since an un-rosined bow will not create the friction required to produce sound. However, choosing bass rosin can be a complex process.  While there are a few standard, reliable rosins that work, there are many new rosins available for string players, so picking...
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Is Cello the Instrument for You?

You have decided to break into the world of stringed instruments, but you are not sure where to start. From violins and violas to guitars and a host of other instruments, it can be hard to decide which one is right for you. Today we will look at the cello, which offers deep, warm, brilliant...
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Caring for Your Instrument

Here are a few articles from our “Caring for Your Instrument” series — everything you need to know about taking care of your instrument and understanding when it may need the help of a professional luthier. Instrument Care Checklist Checking Your Bridge for Straightness & Warping Everything You Ever Wanted to Know About Bow Bugs...
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Why Do Violinists Have Multiple Violin Bows?

Ask a group of violinists why they have more than one bow, and you’re likely to get a variety of responses. Most will reply that they keep a backup bow in their case in the event that one breaks or if there is a concern that their primary bow may sustain damage at a particular...
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Forming Your Own String Quartet

If you’re a string player, you’re probably familiar with a variety of famous string quartets. There are classics such as the Busch String Quartet known for its performance of Beethoven quartets, but you can also find more modern groups like the Vitamin String Quartet who play instrumental covers of popular songs. The success of such...
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Cello Recording Tips

With a rich, emotional sound that has often been described as the closest approximation by an instrument to the human vocal range, the cello is a favorite stringed instrument for many musicians. Known for its versatility, the cello is a worthy addition to any production, from classical and pop to folk, soul, metal — even...
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Cross Tuning Your Fiddle

Many fiddle players have only experienced playing their instruments within the standard tuning format of GDAE. Each tuning is used to achieve a different key, and trying alternative tunings can allow you to coax new and different sounds out of your fiddle, including the open string drone. (A drone is a string above or below...
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The Beginning Musician

Have you (or your child) recently decided to take the first step on a musical journey by learning to play a string instrument? If so, congratulations! Learning something new can seem overwhelming at first — but take comfort in knowing that many others have taken up a string instrument with no prior experience, and while...
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How Often Should You Replace Your Cello Strings?

When it comes to string instruments, maintenance is key to producing your desired sound. The strings will wear out over time, and may even break in the course of playing. As a result, regular string replacements are necessary. Some string instruments will need updated strings sooner than others, like violins or violas. By contrast, instruments...
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Music Makes You Better At …

The benefits of music have long been a subject of intense study and debate. For centuries music has been a well-known form of artistic expression. Musicians and audiences alike often discuss the transformative power of music. But can music really affect human behavior? Can listening to music really make us smarter, affect our moods –...
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The Best Violin Strings for Beginners

When new to playing the violin, you are not just learning to read and play music, you are also learning the instrument itself. To start with, you will gain a basic understanding about how to properly hold the bow and violin, how to tune it and what accessories to have on hand. Violins themselves are...
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What Are the Cello Strings in Order?

As a beginning cellist, properly tuning a cello is one of the most important skills you’ll need to learn early on. If your cello is out of tune, it is practically impossible to practice or improve your playing. In order to learn how to tune your cello, you’ll first need to become familiar with the...
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Helping Kids Develop a Practice Routine Isn’t Always Easy

Learning to play music is an incredibly enriching experience for young children, but getting kids to practice their instrument can be a difficult proposition. Like homework or any other compulsory activity, there may be days where they’re tired or simply not in the mood. Sticking to a set schedule, with specific parameters like what time...
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Potential Problems You Can Find with Cheaper Violins

If you’re the parent of a young child who is interested in learning to play the violin or an adult beginner, you’re going to need to rent an instrument or purchase a starter violin. For some parents or adult beginners, purchasing an instrument is important, so they go online. Once there, they’re going to find...
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Living Our Values

It often comes as a surprise to customers and friends of Johnson String Instrument when they find out that most of our employees are string players. Many studied at conservatory or majored in music in college and are now weekend gig players who appreciate a 9-5 weekday work schedule and the benefits it provides. Many...
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New Year, New Goals

A new year typically brings with it a desire to “wipe the slate clean,” and start the year fresh with a new set of goals, both personal and professional. Here at Johnson String Instrument, we’ve published a host of articles on various topics over the past few years, some of which you may find helpful...
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How to Become a Concert Hall Manager

Most kids are introduced to music through stringed instruments some time around 4th grade. Schools will often give the children a choice between learning the violin, bass, viola or cello, and all students are taught the basics together. That’s often the sum total of music education for many students, but a select few children choose...
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How to Buy Violin Strings Online

There are many types of violin strings to choose from, and each has a different effect on the resonance, projection, and playability of the instrument. Because beginning violinists can find the wide variety of violin string sets on the market confusing, it’s important to learn about the basic attributes and how they influence the sound...
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‘Twas the Holiday Season

Happy holidays from everyone at Johnson String Music and Carriage House Violins!  ...
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The Corner of Music Avenue and Math Road

Did you know that there is a strong relationship between math and music? Research has indicated that music activates the same area of the brain that is used for solving spatial-temporal reasoning problems. Conversely, understanding various fundamentals of math can help you learn to read and play music. Similarities in how the brain processes the...
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Adele Sheet Music for String Instruments

In 2008, Adele Laurie Blue Adkins burst onto the music scene with her first album – aptly named “19,” her age at the time of recording. The record included hits such as Chasing Pavements, and her sensational talent was quickly recognized by a poll of BBC music critics, earning her a Critics Choice Award that...
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Winter Protection For Your Stringed Instrument 

Violins and other stringed instruments need protection from the elements. In the summer, it’s the humidity. In the winter it’s the cold, dry weather. Stringed instruments, just like most humans, prefer a constant temperature of between 60-70 degrees with a relative humidity of 40-60%. Unfortunately, these conditions are pretty tough to maintain as the temperature...
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Viola Players are Awesome – and Here’s Why

In the world of stringed instruments, the viola takes a backseat to the violin and cello when it comes to being the stringed instrument of choice. But we know that the viola is a beautiful and essential part of any string ensemble. Even violinists and cellists have to admit that a symphony or orchestra sounds...
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Living Our Values: Teamwork

Jhon Alvarado works at Johnson String Instrument as an Educational Representative in our School Services department. While he’s only been here a short time, Jhon has developed a reputation as someone who is quick to help out when needed. Learn more about working at Johnson String Instrument. Copyright © 2021 · All Rights Reserved ...
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Living Our Values: Customer Commitment

Nate Faro, front staff at the Johnson String Instrument retail store, is a favorite with our customers. We chatted with him to find out why he places such a high value on customer commitment, one of our company’s core values. Learn more about working at Johnson String Instrument. Copyright © 2021 · All Rights Reserved ...
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Wittner’s Unique Animal Inspired Metronome

Most music teachers recommend that students practice using metronomes because it’s human nature to slow down at the difficult parts when you’re learning to play a piece of music and speed up when you have the phrase down. Metronomes emit a steady ticking sound that can be set for a specific beat per minute (bpm)...
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Holiday Sheet Music for Stringed Instruments

Outside, the air is getting colder, the days shorter, and the leaves have changed color and fallen off the trees. For many folks, this is a magical time of year, especially with the onset of the holiday season. And there’s nothing that gets you more in the spirit than hearing Christmas carols, Chanukah songs, and...
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How to Start Playing the Violin After a Long Hiatus

If you are like a lot of people who took music lessons as a child, you probably stopped playing when you approached adulthood. Perhaps you found other things that grabbed your interest, went off to college and were busy with classes, immersed yourself in a career, got married and had children; in other words, “life”...
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Remembering Roger Johnson

Roger Johnson, co­-founder of Johnson String Instrument, died on Wednesday, November 10, 2021. He was 84 years old. Born in 1937 in rural Hillsboro, Ohio, Roger Johnson was the youngest of ten children in a farming family. Roger’s passion for music and the building of stringed instruments began at the age of 11, when he...
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Everything You Need to Start Playing the Violin Today

Have you recently decided to enroll in violin lessons? If so, congratulations on your decision. Learning to play an instrument provides a unique source of joy, accomplishment and entertainment that isn’t achieved through any other pursuit. Another benefit over other pastimes like sports is that you can start learning at any age and keep it...
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Upgrading From One Cello to Another

If you have been playing cello for years, it may be time to think about a new instrument. Cellos come in beginning, intermediate and advanced models, and it’s appropriate for new music students to begin with the easiest model. As you become increasingly adept, you will eventually reach a point where continuing to play the...
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How to Buy a Cello Online

Buying a cello online greatly expands the selection from which to choose, and allows you to purchase the precise instrument you want at a competitive price. Shopping online makes it possible to search music shops all over the country, rather than being limited by your location. Before you make a purchase, however, it’s best to...
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Beginning a Lifetime of Musical Memories

They may have walked in with some doubts, but they left as budding musicians, ready to begin an amazing journey that may last a lifetime. That was the feeling in the air at the instrument rental event held at Canton High School in Canton, MA on September 14. Coordinated by the Performing Arts Program, the...
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VIDEO: How a Bow is Made

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