Tuesday, February 23, 1999

Erin's Violin Blog 14

Throughout the winter, Erin has done very little practising, but has still played her violin for pleasure regularly. Several times a week she takes out her instrument and plays a few early review pieces and spends some time improvising. The improvisation is clearly very enjoyable for her. She played for her new baby sister, often just squeaky disorganized notes from the A major scale, the sort of thing an innocent bystander might have rolled eyes over. To me it was fascinating to watch though: although she has not bee interested in "studying" the violin, she was definitely finding joy in this free-form experimentation. I've noticed how her improv pieces are clearly organized around the tonic and dominant, how there are phrase endings with implied cadences, how sequences emerge and meandere and how the complexity of the melody and bowing has grown as the months have passed. Some worrisome posture habits seem to have become entrenched: a droopy violin and a clenched left hand, but any guidance I give in this area was soundly resisted. So I just worry instead.