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The inside of a grand piano


Violin Strings

 - It's best to always have an extra set of strings on hand in case you end up breaking a string. 

 - The quality of the strings can really make a difference in the sound of the instrument.

 - Medium gauge is usually best, unless you are doing specialty playing. 

 - You will need to check your tuners/tail piece to see if you need ball end or loop end strings. Most student violins take ball end.  

 - Make sure to choose strings that are the correct size for your violin.

 - Students should bring their strings to the teacher to install unless they are experienced. 

String Recommendations:

Student Strings:

 - Red Label

 - D'Addario Prelude

Good General Strings:

- Dominant

Pro Strings:

 - Bright Sound: Pirastro Evah Pirazzi

 - Warm Sound: Pirastro Obligato

Instrument Care - Violin

 - Make sure that you have a quality instrument and have purchased or rented from a reputable company. 
 - Do not over-tighten your bow and always make sure to loosen your bow when putting away. 
 - Do not touch the bow hairs with your fingers. 
 - Do not put weight on the tip of the bow.
 - Use a soft cloth (flannel or cotton) to wipe off your instrument and wood of the bow after playing. Never use commercial cleaners or water on your violin or bow.
 - Never leave your instrument unattended or resting in the case, always put your instrument fully in its case and secure.
 - Never place your instrument upside down in the case or rest on the bridge in any way.
 - Do not let other people play or use your instrument.
 - Never leave your instrument in your car or trunk. Avoid extreme hot or cold temperatures.
 - Use a shoulder pad that allows the violin to rest comfortably on the shoulder.
 - Do not store rosin in the same compartment as the instrument. 
 - In the event that you have an issue with your instrument, please do not attempt to fix it yourself. Contact your teacher to advise you on the proper course of action. 
 - Use extreme caution when tuning your instrument. Use fine tuners before attempting to use pegs and make sure not to over tighten. 
 - Bows should be rehaired yearly by a reputable luthier.     
 - Strings should be replaced yearly and can be changed by a luthier or you may bring new strings to your teacher. 

Choosing a Digital Piano

When it comes to playing a piano, an acoustic will always be the best choice. However, it's not always feasible or practical, especially with a military lifestyle. 

The most important things to look for when purchasing a digital piano are:

1. A full-size keyboard (88 keys)

2. Weighted keys (not semi-weighted)

3. Touch Sensitivity

4. Pedals, or available plug-in

5. Not too many extra features (sounds, rhythms, demos, etc)

Piano buying options
Color Coding Your Music

RED - Forte, Crescendo

BLUE - Piano, Diminuendo

  • add a blue or red circle for dynamics in the same family but getting louder or softer

  • Example 1:  piano ---> mezzo piano is getting louder, but both are blue. Add a red circle around the mezzo piano.

  • Example 2:  forte ---> mezzo forte is getting softer, but both are red. Add a blue circle around the mezzo forte.

GREEN - Articulation (accents, tenuto)

LIGHT GREEN - Expression marks (rit, a tempo, fermata)

ORANGE - Pedal markings (can also do YELLOW for down pedal - ORANGE for up pedal)

PURPLE - Key changes, time signature changes

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