We are super glad that you are here! Just a few words about using these recordings...
What we are about: First of all, we are super glad and excited that you are here! The goal of our website is to help you learn notes and rhythm with efficiency and, hopefully, fun. Also, we want you to achieve the performance tempo while still playing every note. :D Our biggest hope is that you have a better clue how to practice between your private lessons. We sort of want to be your teacher's assistant—and your assistant.
How to get the most out of it: These practice recordings are designed to play along with you in your practice sessions. While they are mere recordings and do not give you feedback, they can be very helpful if you become an active listener, using your excellent ear to match your playing to the intonation and rhythm in the recordings. It is highly recommended that you sometimes pause the recording when you two (you and the recording) are sounding noticeably different. The recording is usually the correct one. :D If you're on a laptop, you can pause easily using the space bar. Go back a few seconds, listen to the spot as many times as needed, and try playing the spot with the recording again. Do this until you are able to play the whole movement sounding just like the recording. At that point, you should already sound pretty good. After that, add to that your awesome musicality (still following your teacher's directions). In fact, merely being able to play with correct rhythm and pitch requires great musicality, too! :) Finding the right volume: Laptops or mobile devices might not provide enough volume to accompany your violin playing. With that said, using earphones or headphones is not recommended, as you'll need substantial volume to hear the recording while you're playing the violin, and it can damage your hearing—the last thing we want to happen! Generally, it works best to hook (an) external speaker(s) to your laptop or the device you're using and find the desired loudness. Try to find the level where you can hear the recording while you play the violin, but not too loud so you can still hear yourself while the recording is being played. You should be able to compare your own playing with the recording.
What the practice recordings are like: -The recordings were made with minimal dynamic changes and rubato as our primary focus is to provide correct notes and rhythm in the practice recordings. In terms of dynamics and rubato, please follow your teacher's guidance. -The ways trills are played in the recordings are only suggestions. Please follow your teacher's directions as to how fast, how many turns, from which note to start with, etc.. -The tempi and sequence of the recordings were carefully chosen and designed for the general level of students who are learning each piece, based on our staff's teaching and performing experience. The more densely you follow the sequence of the recordings, the more satisfying result you will get. However, please pick and choose which recordings to use out of the gazillion recordings on each page. (Tip: Sometimes a gazillion times works best! ;) ) -We used harp or piano sound for the violin parts (or the parts of other instruments that you are practicing) for articulation purpose because the violin sound we had in the system was sort of... mushy. (You definitely want sharp articulation for the Bach Double!) We are planning on making recordings with good violin sound (or the sound of the instrument you're practicing) in the future. Thank you for your patience! -The frequency (i. e., pitch) of the recordings is 441 Hz.
A little technical stuff: -If you are using a mobile device, avoid clicking on the big orange message on the widget that says, "Play on SoundCloud". It does no harm, but it will interfere with your workflow. Instead, simply click on the individual tracks underneath. You can also click the tiny black message that says, "Listen in browser", and it will automatically play the first track in the widget. -Either on a mobile device or a laptop, if the message that says, "Explore more music and audio..." pops up on the widget, simply click the x mark on the top right corner of the widget and it will disappear. -If you are on a laptop, you can easily pause and resume the recording using the space bar. (Yes, we thank you, SoundCloud!)
A NOTE ON NOTE-READING: The practicing method of this website is not to replace note-reading in learning a new piece. We strongly recommend that, unless your teacher says otherwise, you learn new pieces first by reading notes on your sheet music. Practicing with these recordings is for after you first gain a good understanding of how the piece should sound by studying your sheet music as much as you can.
Music is a proclamation of the beauty that certainly exists.