I have about seven years of experience as a violin teacher/tutor and will be happy to use this experience to teach you as well.
The way I see it, there are three basic elements to violin playing:
Ideal setting: A dark or semi-dark room with decent acoustics, but not too “cathedral-like”.
The focussing part has many names — some call it concentration, some call it focus, some call it meditation, and some call it kavvaná. With the right focus and only the sufficient degree of movement (be slow with that bow), you can play a long, full note on down bow on an open G string and have it sound like music. Interesting music. You can do the same with the first finger on the G string — playing an a. A good exercise is to make the a sound as interesting as the open string g. Is the a dull? Try pressing your first finger down firmer. As long as the g (0) and a (1) have markedly different sound qualities, chances are that you are not yet firm enough. Before you master this, don’t even think about playing either one with vibrato, as the vibrato tends to take away from the focus.
This is where the music begins. Doesn’t matter whether you are a beginner or a professional violinist: If you don’t have the focus, you will not be able to use your full potential. So get going and practice those LONG notes. You would have been likely to get that advice in the 1700s or the 1800s — and the advice is equally relevant today.
Receiving is an underestimated part of being a good musician. That reading music is important in classical music is well recognised. But even if you are the best sight reader in the world, that won’t make you a good musician unless you have the ability to listen and look around you and integrate the relevant clues (tempo, dynamics, intonation, etc.) in your playing.
More to come later...
Location: Rockville Centre, Nassau County, Long Island, New York, USA