When it comes to playing music, there is so much more to it than just the notes. Playing the notes is of course the first major step that will allow you to start “playing” the music you are about to perform. But if we stop at that, we have only scratched the surface of the music and we have only half completed our mission of music playing.
Learning a musical work with all the technical requirements, such as proper set-up of the violin, good pitch, beautiful sound, and accurate reading, is quite important. It allows us to lay the foundation of what will soon be a nicely shaped melody, full of character, and fun to play and listen to. But doing just that is not enough.
One needs to learn and start giving shape to the melody, opening the doors of our imagination and singing it. Yes, singing it! I know it may raise an eyebrow or two coming from a violin teacher, but I do it a lot myself. The first thing we do when we are born is to cry. That is how we express everything until we learn how to talk. So, using the voice is a natural thing for all of us. When it comes to music making, singing the melody you are already playing well, will help you to quickly understand how to shape the melody and make it sound beautiful. Composers often like to use the term “cantabile” which really means in a singing style. However, “singing it” is just one of the ways that entices us to play the music.
To be continued…