FOCUS

Ariane Todes selects her favourite stories and interviews from The Strad website and beyond

Focus Thursday, 05 June 2014

7 techniques to combat stage fright

How often has a potential performance of a lifetime turned into a performance from hell? Are you suffering from stage fright? Laurinel Owen gives advice on overcoming this common affliction

Performing has many rewards, yet stage fright may cause you to forget why you love music. In working out a programme for stress management don't lose sight of the reasons why you perform and bear in...

Focus Wednesday, 04 June 2014

From the Archive: advice for budding orchestral players

Chas J Rockwell compiled a list of handy rules for less experienced orchestral players in The Strad's July 1893 issue

1. Cultivate your sense of hearing. Insist on and see to it that your instrument is in proper tune with itself and the rest of the orchestra.

2. Accustom yourself...

Focus Tuesday, 03 June 2014

Guidance for music teachers: how to deal with difficult parents

Difficult pupils can be the least of some teachers’ worries. Sometimes parents can be more of a handful than their sons and daughters. Catherine Nelson provides essential tips for dealing with misguided parent power

Wouldn’t it be so much simpler if, as a teacher, you only had to deal with your pupils rather than with their parents as well? Supportive parents can make the teacher’s world a better place...

Focus Thursday, 29 May 2014

Ask the Experts: How to keep your instrument clean

Strad readers submit their problems and queries about string playing, teaching or making to a panel of experts

In the sixth of the series, three instrument makers and restorers respond to a reader's query about how to keep her instrument clean of rosin.

Do you have a burning question...

Focus Tuesday, 27 May 2014

7 things to remember when buying a bow

Bows for so long seen as mere accessories, are increasingly attracting serious investors, writes Femke Colborne

Traditionally thought of merely as accessories, bows are becoming more and more important – not only to players, but also to investors. Bows by certain makers now regularly fetch upwards of $100...

Focus Thursday, 22 May 2014

How to nurture a musical prodigy

Early public exposure and adulation can overwhelm highly gifted youngsters. Catherine Nelson talks to expert teachers about how they help prodigies cope

What exactly defines a prodigy? Nicolas Chisholm, head of the Yehudi Menuhin School in Surrey, explains that it has some strange connotations: ‘Prodigy is a dangerous word – it derives from...

Focus Tuesday, 20 May 2014

Double Acts: Mstislav Rostropovich and Maxim Vengerov

Before he became friends with Mstislav Rostropovich, Maxim Vengerov had to learn how to drink

MSTISLAV ROSTROPOVICH I don't remember the first time I met Maxim, because now it is as if we have always been together. He has such a career, such a gift for making music, such gifts...

Focus Monday, 19 May 2014

How to reduce tension when playing the violin or viola

Mary McGovern provides some advice on holding your instrument without unnecessary spine and shoulder discomfort

The relationship of the head, neck and back is of central importance to human balance, co-ordination and movement. Frederick Matthias Alexander (1869-1955), after whom the Alexander Technique is named...

Focus Friday, 16 May 2014

10 tips to improve your sight-reading

By violinist and professor Eugene Gratovich

On a string instrument, sight-reading depends on the relationship between visual, mental, aural, and physical skills. A performer's limited solo repertory may not provide a person with adequate fingerboald...

Focus Thursday, 15 May 2014

Should string section bowings always be synchronised?

It is generally accepted that string sections should bow as a collective, but could this uniform approach sacrifice the composer’s intended sound? Violist James Boyd argues in favour of greater freedom

Bowing choices tend to favour practicality over artistryGenerally bowing decisions are based in pragmatism, rather than any great artistic ideal. And the solutions tend to be quite ...

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viola stolen!
I had my viola stolen last week from Liverpool. Label has: Aubrey J. Tarr 1974...
violin blocks
I have an old unlabled violin and I have noticed 4 small blocks about5cm square...
violin left hand position
I have a new student , quite advanced, who has a 'double jointed' left thumb...
serene violin solo pre-1917
Hi folks. For a story I'm writing I'd like suggestions for the most serene and...
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