Looking for improvement

“If you look at a thing, the very fact of your looking changes it…if you think about yourself, that very fact changes you.”
— Robert Penn Warren

Today’s quote on the Happiness Project website.

I would definitely agree in many ways.  And I know there are many ways to apply this thought to self-analysis and self-improvement…but today is not a self-improvement day.

Today I thought of my students.

I often ask them to check their bow hold, to look at their bow, to check their wrist, to look in the mirror.  I will ask them how their “low 2’s” were, or if they played the correct dynamics, or if they got the correct bowings.  I try to get them to look at their playing, to observe it, and to critique it.

Often a student will check their bow hold, and as they glance down, I notice them curving their pinky and bending their thumb.  They will say to me, “it was good!” when in reality they simply fixed it immediately.  

And really NOTHING fixes a straight bow like watching it.   If you look at your bow, it will automatically improve, and not slide over the fingerboard as much.

(I know there is some technical jargon in today’s blog post.  Remember this:  to play the violin well there are some important techniques of how to hold the bow and the violin that must be followed, and much of a beginning teacher’s job is to instill proper techniques to greatly increase a student’s chance of success.  What some say is “talent” I say is “hard work and great teaching.”)