Participate in the experiment
Hi! Participating will mean following a program of 12 video lessons, meant for professional violinists / violists or music students, in order to learn to play without using a shoulder rest (group 1) and/or a chin rest (group 2).
It would be great if you could join! The only requirement is that you are open and curious to learn new ways of supporting the instrument.
You can keep going your usual way of playing during the experiment, if you like. Participation will require a minimum of 10 minutes per day to develop a new way of balancing, after which you can do your usual practicing. After the experiment you can decide if you want to adopt this different way into your playing or not.
Content of the program
The program consists of 12 video lessons, divided in 3 blocks:
- In the first 4 lessons we will work on ensuring that your collarbone forms a healthy basis to support your violin or viola. This has much to do with the use of your body, the balance on your feet and finding a comfortable place for your violin to rest on the body. After that, we will work on balancing the instrument with your left hand.
- The second 4 lessons willl be about violin technique. When we support the violin with your left hand, how do we do that without it being tiring? In what way do we use the left thumb? How do we make position shifts and how do we do glissandi? What does this balance mean for the bow?
- In the last 4 lessons we will apply this all to playing a part of a Paganini caprice, building it up very slowly. So we first start with the first 4 bars, next lesson again 4 bars etc, until you play half a page at the end of the experiment. You can download the music sheet from the login page. Fingerings and use of the left hand will be explained very carefully, in order to prove that with this new balance you even can play pieces like Paganini.
My hope is that this way of playing will feel easier (!) than when you place back your chin rest or shoulder rest. The proof of the pudding is in the eating…
How will it work?
After registration you will receive a password for the login page on top of this website. On this ‘hidden’ page you will find:
- entrance survey
- links to the 12 video lessons
- link to upload your own videos
- file to download the sheet music we use during the last 4 lessons
- exit survey
Ideally, you would take one video lesson per week and practice the assignment I give in the end of every lesson for a couple of days. For example: you watch the video on Monday, then practice every day 10 minutes, and on Friday you make a video recording on your phone (a couple of minutes, not much) showing me what you did, through the link o the website. You will also receive email reminders on Monday and Friday with the link to your lesson and the link to upload your video. It will be very easy.
If you find the program too easy or too slow, you also can do it faster. In that case, you use the video lesson links at the login page (all 12 lessons are there), just upload the skill I am asking for and continue to the next lesson. But I would suggest to take your time and I think one lesson per week will be a nice tempo.
What about the 2 surveys?
For the research, it is very important that you fill out an entrance survey (10 minutes) before you start the experiment, and also fill out an exit survey (10 minutes) after you finish the 12 lessons. In this way, I can measure the effect of the lessons and the result of this approach.
What about my privacy?
The data collected will be used anonymized in my dissertation. At no point will your personal data be shared with an outside organization or with other persons. You can be totally safe by participating and there is no need to worry.
What if I need help during the program?
On every Wednesday morning 11.00 CET, there will be an open Zoom session for all participants where you can ask questions or get extra support if something is difficult for you. It’s also nice to just share your experience with other participants and have a chat about the process. This is not obligatory, but you are welcome to join. It could be interesting to also hear the questions of others and my answers to that. If you prefer to have an individual session without other participants present, this also can be arranged, just write me a message and we will find a time to meet on zoom. If you have any questions about this program, also please just write to me.
How to start:
If you feel motivated to join, please fill out the box in the footer with your name and email. You can even start now immediately, as the website will send a password to you to log in as soon as you register.
It would be great to have you as a participant, welcome!