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) pace, and help you play with consistent rhythm throughout the entire piece of music. There are a range of speeds … Read more
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 other seasonal music. If you’re a string musician, why not take the opportunity to learn to play them yourself on … Read more
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” just seemed to get in the way.
If you have decided to return to music after years of not playing … Read more
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 built a guitar that won first prize at the Ohio State Fair.
After completing his bachelor’s degree at … Read more
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 up throughout your lifetime. You are never too old or too young to get enjoyment out of playing music.
For … Read more
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 same cello will limit your progression. It’s at this point that upgrading to your next great cello with rich deep … Read more
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 visit a good violin or string store, in person, and test out different cellos. Take your time investigating each option … Read more
When you’re first learning to play the violin, mastering finger coordination can prove to be difficult, but not impossible. However, for many violinists, it’s a challenge to increase the strength as well as the agility of the pinky or fourth finger of the left hand. This is especially true for violinists with small hands.
Your pinky is not only the shortest finger on your left hand, but it’s also relatively weak in comparison to the … Read more
When you are learning how to play the violin, it’s important to understand scales. Learning scales will give you a solid foundation as you start to explore new and more challenging pieces of music.
What is a scale? A violin scale is a series of notes, ordered by their frequency or pitch, which span eight notes or an octave. Each scale on the violin is accompanied by a set of naturals, sharps, and flats which … Read more
Flying with string instruments can be a stressful experience. With the number of horror stories clogging our news feeds in recent years detailing airline mishaps, it’s no wonder we get nervous taking our instruments with us when we fly.
However, things are looking up; under a Department of Transportation (DOT) ruling that went into effect March 6, 2015, airlines are now required to allow small instruments in the cabin as part of a passenger’s carry-on … Read more
Congratulations, you found your violin! Now for the hard part: finding the right bow. This task can be an even more daunting than finding the instrument itself. With so many options and factors to consider, it can feel overwhelming. Luckily, we are here to help! The best thing you can do is to connect with a knowledgeable salesperson who can guide you through the process, but here are some things to keep in mind before … Read more
Your teacher tells you you’re starting a new piece. You go to buy the sheet music, only to discover there are multiple editions to choose from.
Which edition do you choose?
The easy answer? The one your teacher tells you to buy! They like that edition and want you to get it for a reason. If they don’t have a preferred edition, it’s up to you to decide. While finances sometimes dictates that choice, here … Read more
Finding a private teacher for your child can seem daunting, especially if you are not a musician yourself. Maybe you want to get your child an early start on an instrument, or their school director recommended they get a private teacher. Whatever the reason, many parents ask the same question: How do I find the right teacher? Here are a few things to keep in mind when searching for a private teacher for your child.… Read more
People may say it all the time, but you truly are never too old to start learning an instrument. Like any skill, learning to play an instrument as an adult is a process with no immediate pay-off. However, it’s one well worth the time and effort. Whether you played as a child and want to start up again or are starting from scratch, here is some practical advice to help set adult beginners up … Read more
Origins of the Bach Cello Suites
A suite (pronounced “sweet”) is a collection of dance pieces. Though not standardized at first, a German composer and keyboard player named Johann Froberger (1616-1667) ended up forming what is known today as the classical suite style. It consisted of … Read more