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How to learn to play violin or viola in much less than you think with the New Approach

(and enjoy it much more)

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Congratulations on your decision to learn to play violin or viola (even if you decided and started already years

ago). It is a beautiful thing, although a lot of people think it's very hard, you can only start very young, you have to suffer months of horrible screeching noises... I'm happy to reassure you that all this is not true. Like any other activity, as long as you really want to learn to play and enjoy it, you can start at any age. It may take longer or not, you may be come more or less skilled, but you can start.

Also another myth is about very difficult initial times. Everything "everybody knows" about horrible noises that family and neighbors (not to mention the learner) have to suffer for months if not years is not true, it  doesn't necessarily have to be so. This fear of horribly hard times is what discourages people from starting to learn to play violin or viola. Also, since many do experience hard times at the beginning, due to lack of correct information on how to play, a lot of those who actually start then give up soon because can't see much progress.

All this can be avoided! If you learn to play with the New Approach developed by Kató Havas

When you want to learn to play violin or viola, it's necessary to realize that the difficulty is not physical, it is in the concentration, in the ability to focus that is required. In today's society we are so used to doing many things at the same time (I myself am a sinner with this respect, in many cases) such as making a phone call while writing at your pc and surfing Internet and having a tea and... more, that it's really difficult to fix our attention on one thing at a time for some longer time.

The cause of bad sound
and a lot of other problems too

The horrible sound, or rather noise, that beginners think they have to endure is caused by tensions in the body, by the right hand gripping the bow and pressing on the strings, by the left hand clamping the instrument between shoulder and head for fear of dropping it and pressing the fingers down on the fingerboard.

All this not only causes physical tension that produces horrible noises (especially at the beginning, but not only), faulty intonation, inability to play fast and to play double stops and chords, but in more serious cases it causes physical injuries (tendonitis etc.) following which some players have to completely give up playing, after maybe undergoing surgical operations.

It also causes more or less pain in the back, neck, arms, thumbs and causes nerves, stage fright, the fear of playing in front of an audience. Pain is nothing else than a message your body is sending you, it's telling you that you are doing something wrong, you are mistreating it.

You can have a beautiful tone  from the beginning

And if you are not a beginner you can also have a better quality tone. A beautiful tone is a rich and warm tone, not squeaky, and this depends both on intonation and the way the tone is produced by the bow friction (not pressure) on the strings and by the softness of your left hand, that remains supple and able to play fast, play chords, so that the player can focus on expressing himself or herself rather than on the technical problems.

What is really important to learn to play (or to improve if you already play) and achieve results quickly is the ability to control every single movement of your body and to do this you need to focus your mind on one thing at a time, one movement at a time and then, once you can control individual movements, put them together.

It's important to train our inner ear, to learn to recognise the pitch of each note to improve intonation and develop a good tone from the beginning. Also, the first important thing to develop is the ability to have and follow a steady rhythm, indispensable to play with other people.

Learn to play with the

New Approach

"A new approach to violin playing" (and it applies to viola too) is the title of a book written in 1961 by the famous violin and viola teacher Kato Havas.

Now I hope you don't think I'm a fanatic! I'm writing this page because I myself have experienced the success of the new approach, I had got to a point where I was really terribly nervous playing solo for an audience, not happy at all. Then I studied with Kató Havas and I completely got rid of all those fears, playing "difficult" things is much easier and I really enjoy playing for an audience (and, incidentally, my listeners say they like my playing).

If you want to read more on how to learn to play with the new approach, I recommend you to visit this page where you can also watch videos from a workshop with Kato Havas explaining the new approach, and read Kato Havas's books. I've seen a complete difference between the way I used to play and what I've learned from her.

Now I teach the new approach and I see that my pupils have a nice tone from the very beginning, the advanced ones improve very quickly, all enjoy themselves much more, learn more quickly and overcome nerves.

Go to Kato Havas and the New Approach
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