I am really impressed with the video tutorials and violin exercises Heather Broadbent has created. As I wrote two weeks ago, I was quite lucky to have discovered her channel on Youtube. She starts every video saying that she “easily takes violinists to the next level”. Quite some statement… but I can say it’s not an exaggeration. I truly believe I will progress fast(er) when I follow her guidance. She starts with the very basics, such as violin hold, bow hold, playing relaxed, how to correctly set up your shoulder rest , etc. I have learned that these things are very important to have a good foundation. I have only been watching her lessons for two weeks and I already have started to practice differently. It’s all about practicing the right way. You can practice for hours each day, but when you do it wrong it will lead you nowhere. So, following Heather’s tips, I believe the quality of my practice sessions has really improved.
For example, I did play scales before because everybody keeps telling that it’s very important to start your practice sessions with scales. But Heather adds something more.
Of course it’s extremely important to practice violin scales. But you also have to practice them with full concentration, listening to each pitch and make sure every note is perfectly in tune. In the end you should be able to recognize each pitch immediately. So, it’s not just about muscle memory or knowing where each note is on the strings. One could practice scales for hours, but if it’s without being focused, then it doesn’t result in an improvement at all. The most important thing about scales is that you learn to listen very carefully to each pitch and get to know them. I’m really excited about this approach.
Weekly Violin Exercises
Heather Broadbent also offers a program with weekly violin proficiency exercises during one year. These exercises are not just for beginner violinist, they are useful for any level of playing. Actually for me as a beginner many exercises are still too hard, since they cover all kinds of shifting exercises, fourth finger exercises, grace notes, pizzicato, scales and much more. I really love the exercises and I am learning a lot from them. Starting in January, the exercises will be rearranged from easy to harder. So although I am practicing some of the exercises already, my goal is to follow the complete program in 2016. I believe it’s a great help for me since I don’t have a private teacher. Following this weekly program will teach me something new every week and give me a great exercise to work on.