The Grossman Method© Newsletter

Happy Summer!
The Grossman Method© has had a very busy summer of workshop travels. We’ve been to  Central America, offered a full day Teacher’s Workshop, and presented the No Pain, ALL GAIN workshop at music festivals in Honduras, Texas, Massachusetts, and Washington.
My trip to Honduras was fabulous! The Encuentro Anual de Cuerdas Festival brought together a faculty from Mexico, Canada and the United States to work with string players in the capital city of Tegucigalpa.  The Honduran students and string teachers who took part in my five (5) workshop offerings were full of wonderful energy. They embraced the information with keen interest and their eagerness to learn was exhilarating. I also worked with many of these players in private lesson sessions and I was impressed with their high achievement of playing.
Working hard and striving for high musical ideals was the norm so learning some good stretches and care for their bodies, as it relates to string playing, was quite welcomed by these players. Hats off and a big thank you to my festival colleagues and teachers for a very fun collaboration of the Schumann Piano Quintet and the Shostakovich 8th String Quartet.
I’m still shaking with excitement from the full day String Teacher Training Workshop presented in Austin, TX.  I could not have wished for a better group of teacher participants!  The day started with an in-depth study of the muscles used in string performance; we next moved to learning how to incorporate breath into playing; then we examined several etude books - their suggested order of study and purpose.  The Practicum followed that.  Here, selected students from the Texas Strings Camp played for the workshop participants who, under my attentive eye,  “taught” the TSC students with the information learned earlier in the day. The day ended with a look at the WAVE chinrests (handcrafted and ergonomically sensitive chinrests for violinists and violists) and follow up discussion.  Several of us celebrated the day at a wonderful Indian restaurant that evening!
I hope you are all excited about your upcoming year, filled with new repertoire, recitals and concerts.  Keep an eye out for upcoming The Grossman Method activities -  I might be in a city close to you!  And, as always, let me know if you’d like to schedule a workshop session in your area.
  Ask the Teacher
A student asks: “I hate practicing scales and arpeggios. Why do I have to practice them? â€

Answer from:
Karen Khanagov, Professor of Violin
Oklahoma City University

So many reasons. And if you are more advanced in your "violin age" you'll understand better. 

Scales for music is like ABCs for English. Can you imagine going to school and not knowing you alphabet or multiplication table?

Here are some benefits for practicing scales:

1. Learning where the note are located (mental mapping of the fingerboard)
2. Teaching your fingers walk or run comfortably from one note to another 
3. Playing in tune and in time.
4. Shifting from position to another.
5. Making the scale to sound without spikes
or bumps.
6. Learning how to cross the strings
without bumps.
7. Practicing huge variety of different bowing, bow strokes and rhythms for technical improvement.
8. Working on speed and grouping the all notes in groups of 2, 3, 4, 6, 8, and so on. 

The list can go on and on. Did it help a little? 
Each of the topics is a subject on it's own and has to be thoroughly understood in details and developed into the habit. 

Good luck liking scales. They are like broccoli of violin playing. And even if you might not like broccoli they are good for you.
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