The Long Island Violin Shop Blog

Summer Music Theory Workshop

The LIVS will also be offering a music theory workshop for beginning and advanced students this summer at our Huntington location. The program will run every Wednesday evening for six weeks, from July 12th to August 16th.

Beginner topics will include: reading the music staff, clefs and ledger lines, measures and time signatures, major scales and key signatures. Advanced topics will include: intervals, introduction to chords, triad inversions, seventh chords, basic chord progression and composition.

The cost of the program is $300 per student which is to be paid in full on or before the first class date. Family rates will be given to those who enroll more than one family member. Please contact our Education Coordinator, Monica Behler, at monica@liviolinshop.com for more information and to register.

June 16, 2017

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FREE Copy Of Things For Strings Magazine

Stop by our shop today and pick up your FREE copy of Things 4 Strings magazine. This edition features articles about body mapping for strings players, healthy playing and ways to prevent injuries while playing.

June 14, 2017

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Perfect Pitch - Can It be Learned?

Today I came across an interesting article in the Wall Street Journal, by Heidi Mitchell, about perfect pitch and whether or not it can be learned. Studies have suggested that perfect pitch is linked to genetics, however, almost anyone can be trained to recognize whether or not a note sounds in tune.

The article included an interview with Dr. Joseph P. Bradley who is an otolaryngologist and professor at the Washington University Voice and Airway Center.  Bradley, who is also a singer, has been studying neuroplasticity (the brain’s ability to learn new things) and how learning a tonal language, like Mandarin, at a young age can improve one’s accuracy in recognition of pitch. Bradley points to one study involving native speakers of tonal languages such as Vietnamese or Mandarin. The outcome showed that 60% of Beijing natives who began taking music lessons before the age of 5 were able to pass a test for perfect pitch while only 14% percent of Americans were able to do the same.

It is unclear whether or not learning a tonal language later in life can lead to acquiring perfect pitch and further studies would prove beneficial to answer this question. Overall it is a fascinating field of inquiry and little by little evidence is being acquired to determine whether perfect pitch is determined more so on genetics versus plasticity.

June 05, 2017

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What We're Listening To: Mikail Glinka's "Sonata for Viola and Piano"

Mikhail Glinka is considered the fountainhead of Russian classical music, and the first Russian composer to gain widespread recognition in his own country. As a child, he was raised by his over-protective grandmother and was confined to her room, and therefore developed a sickly disposition. The only music he heard during his confinement was the sound of strident church bells and improvisatory peasant choirs. Both of these used unconventional harmonies, which later freed Glinka to break free from the Western tradition of consonant harmony. After his grandmother’s death, he moved to live with his uncle, where he heard his uncle’s orchestra perform music by the greats, such as Haydn, Mozart, and Beethoven. He began violin and piano lessons, and soon began composing as well. He later traveled to Italy to continue his studies, but realized that he wanted to return to Russia and revolutionize Russian music.

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La Vida Es Un Carnaval: Jessie Moran's Reflections On Cuba

My name is Jessie Moran and I am a cellist who teaches at The Long Island Violin Shop. As a student of the Crane School of Music, I had the privilege of studying for one week at the University of Cienfuegos, Cuba.

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What We're Listening To: Igor Stravinsky's "The Rite of Spring"

Igor Fyodorovich Stravinsky was born on June 17th 1882 in St. Petersburg Russia. Born to Ukrainian parents, Stravinsky maintained strong connections with Ukrainian culture. He studied piano and composition at an early age and went to school to study law, but ended up focusing more on studying music.

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What Are the Benefits of Learning Music Theory?

CircleofFifthsFrom gaining a greater command of notes and rhythms to dabbling in the art of music composition, musicians have found a great number of applications for music theory. Studies in written music theory begin with note and rhythm reading, and this is especially beneficial to new string players. A greater command of notes and rhythms will allow budding musicians to read music with more fluency. Among other things, this enables them to focus on building their own, personal brand of musical expression.

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