The Grossman Method© Newsletter

Welcome to Newsletter #2! A LOT has happened since the last newsletter and I'm excited to fill you in! I've just returned from my West Coast tour of Oregon and California and it was amazing! The Grossman Method workshop was hosted at the University of California at Berkeley, University of Oregon, University of the Pacific, Sutter School in Sacramento, Katz School for Strings, Los Angeles County High School for the Arts, and the Olympia Philharmonic Society in Los Angeles. In addition to the workshop, I also performed a recital in Eugene, Oregon with my great friend and superb violinist Fritz Gearhart and I gave a number of violin master classes in Oregon and northern and southern California. I saw many wonderful friends and former students during the tour and heard lots of fantastic young violinists. 
One special moment during the tour came when I was presenting one of the workshops in northern California. A college undergraduate violinist came up to me and said "Now I finally know where to turn to find this information." That made me happy because I hope to be a resource for players who are interested in playing healthy!

A special thank you to Nathan Sutter, Dan Flanagan, Fung Ho, Leslie Katz, Igor Veligan, and all the folks at the University of Oregon, U.C. Berkeley, LACHSA, and University of the Pacific for making my visit so wonderful. 

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 string playing!

Hal Grossman
Founder, The Grossman Method LLC.
Ask the Teacher
From a String Student in California:
"Do you have any tips on effective practicing?" 

Answer from
Professor Fritz Gearhart 
University of Oregon

Practicing the violin is like playing basketball. O.k., sure...what? 
There I got your attention. Yes. Just like basketball. Let's practice making a basket.

1) Choose how far back from the basket you will stand
When you have something to practice,pick a starting and an ending place.This is very important. Start BEFORE the difficulty in your passage. Don't back up too far, just a comfortable distance from the basket. A common mistake is "STOP-CORRECT-CONTINUE" practice. This is when you make the mistake and THEN correct it. The important thing is to eliminate the mistake, not correct it once it has happened
2) Bounce the ball and look at the basket.
When you bounce the ball, what are you doing? You are feeling the ball and looking at the basket. Do the same with the violin. (No, don't bounce the violin, silly!) Feel the violin in your hand and look at the passage. Imagine the passage in your head.

3) Lift the ball into the air with both hands.
Lift your bow and prepare to play the passage. Imagine the ball arching through the air and swishing through the hoop. Imagine the passage.

4) Breathe. 
Breathe. Did you get that step? No, you cannot skip this step. Breathe. Oxygen travels to your brain. You see things clearly. Your heart slows down. You are relaxed.  

5) Make the shot.
Play the passage. Don't stop. You can't stop the ball once it is in the air. Once you start to play the passage, don't stop.

6) Observe the ball, see what happens.
The ball curves through the air and lands on the rim and bounces off to the right. You played your passage, but you missed the c-sharp.

7) Go get the ball and and come back to the line again. 
OK, you can skip this step.

8) Bounce the ball and repeat from step 1.
So, you observed what happened. Don't get angry or tense, because that won't help. The ball curved to the right? Throw it slightly more left this time. This time, we aim for that c-sharp. Breathe. Don't forget to breathe. If you don't, your practice resembles the gerbil in the cage running crazy on that wheel-thing. Don't be a gerbil. 

Have a question for Ask the Teacher? Email your questions by clicking here!
Upcoming Workshops & Masterclasses

Click on the links below for details!
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

Oct. 10, 2014
Manhattan School
of Music

Oct. 25-26, 2014
Workshop of Eric Swanson, Select Instruments and Bows

Nov. 10-14, 2014
University of Wyoming

Need more information on how to attend one of the above workshops? Email us by
clicking here!
Stretch of the Month
Bear Hug

Need a great stretch for tight upper back muscles?
Try Bear Hug

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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.