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The Grossman Method© Newsletter

Welcome to the first edition of The Grossman Method© newsletter. In this newsletter we'll discuss topics pertinent to healthy string playing, address your questions, and introduce you to some techniques that you can incorporate into your daily practice. As many of you witnessed in one of the many classes held this past season, The Grossman Method© is dedicated to educating everyone everywhere so I hope this newsletter is a helpful guide that will continue what we have started.
 
Last month we had a great info session and beginners course at Oklahoma Music Educators Association Convention in Tulsa, Oklahoma. It was an honor to be chosen to present at this statewide convention and I was thrilled to have had such a large number of Oklahoma string teachers in attendance. I love presenting for string teachers because they have seen the physical issues with their students day in and day out - the playing pain, the nervousness in performance—so they really appreciate the workshop content. And they ask the best questions! I feel so rewarded when participants come up to me after these sessions and tell me that they plan to incorporate some of my ideas in their classes right away.
 
It's been an amazing season already for The Grossman Method©. Presentations at the Manhattan School of Music and DePaul University, and upcoming sessions at the University of Oregon, University of California, Berkeley, University of the Pacific, The Sutter School, and the Olympia Philharmonic Society in California will bring healthy string playing from coast to coast.
 
Many thanks to Nolan Robertson, orchestra manager at Manhattan School of Music and co-owner of Blankenship Robertson Management, who has joined forces with me to take The Grossman Method© to a new level!
 
I always want to hear from YOU! If you have any questions or requests for videos, please let me know. Together we will make The Grossman Method© newsletter a source for healthy playing!

 
Sincerely,
Hal Grossman
Founder, The Grossman Method, LLC

 

Ask the Teacher
From a student in Minnesota:
"My hand hurts when I play double stops - why?"

Answer from Hal Grossman, founder, The Grossman Method, LLC:

Excessive tension can result when playing double stops on the violin because players sometimes squeeze extra hard with their thumb against the neck of the instrument. This happens because the left hand set up needs attention or it might also mean that one’s double stopping technique needs to be studied more thoroughly. The action of putting down two or more fingers at the same time on the fingerboard can cause tension in the hand unless a proper double stop “building process” has been implemented.  Further, students tend to “squeeze” more if they think they are playing out of tune.
 
Here are some helpful hints to help relax your left hand when practicing your double stops:
  1. Be sure to practice with a light left hand when working on double stops. You might even try practicing the notes as “harmonics”, hardly pressing the string down at all, to help release tension.
  2. Realize that if you play out of tune, you should move your fingers to the right place; squeezing will do nothing except make your hand tight!
  3. Try practicing double stops with your thumb away from the neck of the violin. This will show you just how hard you might be pressing with that thumb.  
  4. Practice double stops softly with the bow.  If the right hand is relaxed, that will help the left hand relax. 
 
Have a question for Ask the Teacher? Email your questions by clicking here!
Upcoming Workshops & Masterclasses
 
March 11 - 13, 2014
University of Oregon
 
March 16, 2014
Sutter Suzuki School
Sacramento, CA

March 19, 2014

University of the Pacific

March 20, 2014
University of California, Berkeley 

March 21, 2014

Los Angeles High School for the Arts

March 22, 2014
Katz School for Strings
Sherman Oaks, CA

March 23, 2014

Olympia Philharmonic Society
Los Angeles, CA

June 20 - 27, 2014

Camp Allegro Wichita

June 16 - 22, 2014
Texas String Camp
 
July 11 - 20, 2014

Aria International Summer Academy
 
July 27 - Aug. 10

Marrowstone Music Festival
Stretch of the Month
 
Airplane Hanger
 
To open up your tight shoulders or warm up that area for playing, I like to do Airplane Hanger.
 
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Video Disclaimer
Please consult with your physician before beginning this or any exercise program. Exercise at your own risk. If you feel any discomfort, please stop immediately and consult with your physician. The Grossman Method, LLC, accepts no liability for injuries from this or any of The Grossman Method© videos. The Grossman Method, LLC, makes no representations or warranties concerning any usage of the information offered here and will not be liable for any direct, indirect, consequential, special, exemplary, or other losses or damages that may result. Reliance on any information appearing on this site or from me is strictly at your own risk.