5. Advice & conclusions

Form a group! If you are alone, it is difficult to keep going for a year, trying to sort things out at home alone, and to only come once a week for your Alexander lesson. Even if there are only two people going through equipment changes they should call each other up, get together, have a coffee and talk about it.

These days in my own teaching I try to get the student to think of violin playing as something that you do with the whole body, by letting go, and not just something that you do with the violin and two little arms. So, I ask them to walk, or count out loud, or talk while playing, or stand on one leg or on the balance board, or I put things on top of their head.

Perhaps I have gotten more sensible and patient through participating in the project. That is the most important thing! I find I am more able to just think about these things. I give more value to the use of the equipment and how I hold the violin. I am the kind of person that would usually have said: “Oh, what does all this matter? You should just stand normally and play relaxed.” I used to think that I just had to get it all over with so that I could just go ahead and play. I don’t think like that anymore. When I saw people who played well I used to think: “The violin looks like it just sits there and they can play.” But now I know there is more behind it. It is now a valuable topic to think about, for sure! I know that sorting out your equipment is not the only solution to get to be a good player; you are, in the end, the one who has to do the playing, but it can really help you to both change equipment and learn how to use it properly.

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