Introduction to Integration

The whole
When working on passages we need to isolate the individual components of a technical issue. However the problem is not fully solved until the passage on which we are working is reintegrated back into the whole. That is, when we can play it without giving it special attention.

The development of technique should be balanced with development of musical ideas. Here are some suggestions:

Participate in ensemble playing, especially string quartets.
Perform in a variety of environments. Do not just perform for examiners or competition judges, but play also to uncritical audiences such as young children.
Listen to recordings of many and varied artists, including those from the early 20th century, which show strong links to past traditions.
Go to concerts, not only your city’s Symphony Orchestras but also specialist Baroque and Classical ensembles.

Monitor the positives as well as the negatives
We can often forget to acknowledge what has been achieved. Your review pieces will help you to appreciate your improvements.
How much analysis?
The ability to analyse violin technique is essential for all players. While it is ultimately reductionist to use phrases such as "this is a forearm action", or "initiate the action with the fingertip", such statements can be necessary to help us focus on a particular movement. Sometimes we have to analyse our movements - what is active, what is passive - in order to achieve fluidity with the whole. Of course fluid integration with the whole is our goal.

I hope you use Violin Bow Technique to get you thinking about the way you do things and to experiment with finding efficient solutions to technical issues. Please remember every question about violin technique has an answer - sometimes more than one!...

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