Violinists: Get into your Dream School without practicing 10 hours a day

[*How to get into “The Best” music schools without practicing 10 hours a day. *]

Before you begin your audition prep, you need to know this one fact: Your focus should be on getting in to the school, not playing a perfect audition. Although playing a perfect audition would definitely help your chances of getting in, it's unrealistic and unlikely that you will get to that point before your audition. It often times takes many years and performances before someone can say they are truly comfortable with a piece, and some might argue a piece is never 100% mastered.

p<>{color:#000;}. Students preparing for an audition often times misuse their energy by practicing for countless hours each day 

p<>{color:#000;}. Students can relieve themselves of 50% of the pressure and add to 100% of their results by focusing more on the audition than practicing for several hours a day

Instead of wearing yourself out, follow these simple steps to assure your spot in the school of your choosing. 

[+:+] Ask yourself, “Why do I want to go to this school?”

p<>{color:#000;}. Often times, students pick a school because they’ve heard it’s really good or because someone told them it’s the best one. Although some schools ARE ranked above others, these are very general rankings, and there is a school out there that is the best fit for YOU. Asking the question “Why do I want to go to this school?” will help you focus your efforts and get in the school that is best for what you want to do. Use these questions to help guide you:

What kind of violinist do I want to be? A soloist? An orchestral violinist? What about a composer/ recording violinist? Or am I really not so sure at the moment?

(Sometimes the most limiting factor in college audition preparation is that we have such a narrow scope of what types of careers there are for violinists, and therefore believe that the best thing to do is try to go to “the best” school and practice as much as possible. See the career page for over 30 famous violinists with various careers)

*** It's important to ask these questions because certain schools cater to some skills more than others, and picking the school that will benefit what you want to do the most will increase your chances of getting in. For instance: Juilliard and New England Conservatory are schools known for their soloist development, where as Berklee College of Music is known for more innovative techniques such as recording technology.

Step 2: Once you know what you want to do, get specific with your targeting.

p<>{color:#000;}. If you want to be an Orchestral Violinist, what orchestra would you like to be in? 

p<>{color:#000;}. If you want to record, what kind of recording do you want to get into? (See the career page for violinists known for their recording careers)

p<>{color:#000;}. If you want to be a soloist, what kind of music do you want to be playing?

***The reason for this step is that certain teachers have different levels of expertise in each area, so you want to study with a teacher that will set you up for success in that area. For instance, if you wanted to be a soloist who competes in classical competitions – you might want to study with Itzhak Perlman at Juilliard. However, if you wanted to be a jazz soloist who plays with various ensembles you may want to study with Glenn Basham at the University of Miami. 

Step 3: Once you know what you want to do, make a list of teachers that best fit the career path you’d like to take as a violinist. 

p<>{color:#000;}. If you’d like to play in the New York Philharmonic one day, put teachers on your list that play with or have played with the New York Philharmonic.

p<>{color:#000;}. If you’d like to write music with your violin, pick a teacher who has some amount of accolades for works they’ve written themselves.

***Doing this puts you at an advantage because you’re not just going to the teacher “to get better”. Although that is part of what you’re doing, what you want is a much more tangible goal that these teachers will be able to direct you to. 

Step 4: Reach out to them using the faculty directory and ask them for a lesson.

This is one of the biggest aspects of college auditions. Taking a lesson with the teachers you’d like to study with beforehand provide these benefits:

p<>{color:#000;}. You can confirm if you like them as a teacher

p<>{color:#000;}. You can get an idea of where you’re at, and where you need to be/ what you need to do to be ready for your audition. 

p<>{color:#000;}. Begin to develop a relationship with the teacher – this way when it’s time to audition, the teacher will have heard you before and there will be much less pressure on the actual audition. 

p<>{color:#000;}. The teacher may decide beforehand that they’d like to have you in their studio! Especially if you know what you want to do and have a strong reason for picking the teacher in the first place. 

(Click here for email templates to help you maximize the responses from your prospective teachers)

Step 5: Practice what the teachers on your list told you! You are guaranteed to have a much more focused practice now, because you’ll know exactly where you need to improve in order to have a successful audition.

Step 6: Take more lessons with your prospective teachers

p<>{color:#000;}. The more you can develop a relationship with a teacher before the audition the better. If it’s like you’re a student before you even play your audition, they’ll be rooting for you when judgment day comes and it will be a piece of cake to get in. 

Step 7: If you don’t know exactly what you want to do, that’s okay! However, the more specific you make your reasoning, the easier it will be to get in. Often time’s people think they have to make a decision that will determine the rest of their lives, when in reality you can change your mind at any time. The benefit of being specific early on is that you can get into a better school, and you won’t spend hundreds of hours practicing for some undefined goal. 

(If you’re still unsure about what you want to do, use the extra resources section to explore different musical communities you can get involved in to learn more about what interests you)


p<>{color:#000;}. Decide what you want to go to school for: What kind of Violinist do you want to be?

p<>{color:#000;}. Be Specific: If you said orchestral, what orchestra?

p<>{color:#000;}. Make a list: If you said New York Phil, make a list of teachers who play with that orchestra.

p<>{color:#000;}. Reach out: Start developing a relationship with prospective teachers by asking for a lesson.

p<>{color:#000;}. Practice: Based on the lesson with your prospective teacher, practice what they told you to practice.

p<>{color:#000;}. Take more Lessons: The more you can develop your relationship with a prospective teacher, the better. Sometimes you can secure a position in a teacher’s studio before you even audition.


























Neil Amin-Smith (cleanbandit.co.uk)

One of the founding members of the pop group Clean Bandit. Amin-Smith was the group’s violinist. Clean Bandit’s hit single Rather Be debuted at number one on the UK Singles Chart and was the third fastest-selling single of 2014, and the highest-selling January single since “Spaceman” by Babylon Zoo in 1996. The song spent four weeks at number one, selling over 1 million copies since release and becoming only the seventh single to go 3× Platinum. In the United States, the song peaked at number ten on the Billboard Hot 100. The song was placed at number four on Billboard’s 10 Best Songs of 2014 list.

“Rather Be” has also become an international hit in part due to the song’s video becoming a viral hit on YouTube. Featuring Haruka Abe, it has over 420 million views. It won the Best Dance Recording category at the 2015 Grammy Awards in the United




Laurie Anderson (laurieanderson.com)

American avant-garde artist, composer, musician and film director whose work spans performance art, pop music, and multimedia projects. Initially trained in violin and sculpting, Anderson pursued a variety of performance art projects in New York during the 1970s, making particular use of language, technology, and visual imagery. She became widely more known outside the art world in 1981 when her single “O Superman” reached number two on the UK pop charts. She also starred in and directed the 1986 concert film Home of the Brave.






Aly Bain (philandaly.com)

a Scottish fiddler who learned his instrument from the old-time master Tom Anderson. The Scottish first minister Jack McConnell called Bain a “Scottish icon.”


David Balakrishnan (turtleislandquartet.com)

After graduating from UCLA in 1976 with a B.A. in music composition and violin, he moved to the San Francisco Bay Area, where he quickly established his reputation as a talented young improvising violinist, appearing on many recordings and making guest appearances with the David Grisman Quartet and jazz violin legend Stephane Grappelli. In 1981 he undertook a master’s degree program in music composition at Antioch University West, where his groundbreaking work integrating stylistic elements of jazz, European classical, American folk and Indian classical music led to the creation of the Turtle Island Quartet in the fall of 1985.



Miri Ben Ari (miribenari.com)

Grammy Award-Winning violinist/producer/humanitarian, “UN Goodwill Ambassador of Music to the United Nations Associations of Brazil”, Global Brand Ambassador for Harman Kardon and a featured blogger for the Huffington Post. Originally from Israel, has created her own unique sound; a revolutionary fusion of classical, soul and dance music. A classically trained violinist, who once studied under the late classical master Isaac Stern, Ben-Ari has helped sell millions of records by collaborating with other Grammy award-winning artists such as Kanye West, Jay Z, Wyclef Jean, Alicia Keys, Wynton Marsalis, Britney Spears, Maroon 5, Akon, Patti Labelle, Brandy, Donna Summer, Janet Jackson, John Legend and Armin Van Buuren.


Erin Benim Mayland (hamiltonbroadway.com)

Violinist Erin Benim Mayland earned her bachelor’s degree from the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and studied at the North Carolina School of the Arts. While living in California, Erin frequently served as Acting Concertmaster for the Santa Rosa Symphony and the Fresno Philharmonic. She also performed with the New Century Chamber Orchestra, the San Francisco Ballet, and the Skywalker Symphony, with whom she recorded numerous movie and video game soundtracks.

Andrew Bird (andrewbird.net)

Andrew Bird is an American musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist. He was initially known through his work with the band Squirrel Nut Zippers before forming Bowl of Fire, and is now best known as a solo musician. Bird’s primary instrument is the violin, but he is also proficient at other instruments including whistling, guitar, and the glockenspiel. He wrote “The Whistling Caruso” for The Muppets and performed the whistling heard in both the film and the soundtrack. Bird composed the score for the FX original series Baskets, created by Louis C.K., Zach Galifianakis, and Jonathan Krisel.




Sara Caswell (saracaswell.com)

An American jazz violinist, known for her work as a solo artist and as a collaborator in 9 Horses and the bands of Esperanza Spalding, and David Krakauer.










Brett Yang & Eddy Chen (twosetviolin.com)

These two Australian violinists form the group TwoSet Violin, a musical comedy duo that has amassed an enormous digital following and appeared in videos alongside other famous violinists such as Ray Chen, Maxim Vengerov, and Lang Lang. They even appeared in a promotional video for the Sydney Symphony Orchestra under Sony Classical.


Ray Chen (raychenviolin.com)

Winner of the Queen Elisabeth and Yehudi Menuhin Competitions, Ray Chen is among the most compelling young violinists today Aside from his extensive solo career, he has a strong online/ social media presence often appearing in short comedy videos along other musicians such as Two Set Violin on Facebook and YouTube.









David Favis-Mortlock

an English geomorphologist and musician.









Taylor Davis (taylordavisviolin.com)

Taylor Davis is a classically trained American violinist, arranger and composer, whose passion for video game and film music led her to launch her widely popular YouTube channel “ViolinTay” in 2010. Five years, over 150 videos, 1 million subscribers and 140-million views later, she has become one of the fastest rising stars in the digital world. Taylor has released 5 full-length game, anime and film-themed albums, a full-length Christmas album, and most recently a self-titled original album that debuted at #10 on the Billboard Classical Charts.


Rick Dolan (rickdolan.com)

Violinist Rick Dolan has toured internationally with some of the best chamber and symphonic orchestras, including the New Jersey Symphony, Philharmonia Virtuosi, NYC Opera, and the American Symphony. He been performing on Broadway since 1980 when he joined his first Broadway show, the Tony award winning revival of West Side Story.







Stuart Duncan (stuart-duncan.com)

an American bluegrass musician who plays the fiddle, mandolin, guitar and banjo. Duncan has been a member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band since 1985. He also works as a session musician and has played with numerous well known performers including George Strait, Dolly Parton, Guy Clark, Reba McEntire and Barbra Streisand. In 2006, he toured with the Mark Knopfler–Emmylou Harris Roadrunning tour, and he appears on their All the Roadrunning and Real Live Roadrunning albums. In 2008, he joined Robert Plant and Alison Krauss on the tour for their critically acclaimed album Raising Sand. He appeared on Transatlantic Sessions Series 4 broadcast by the BBC in September/October 2009. In 2011, Duncan collaborated with cellist Yo-Yo Ma, bassist Edgar Meyer, and mandolinist Chris Thile on the album The Goat Rodeo Sessions. In 2013, Duncan accompanied Diana Krall as a sideman on her Glad Rag Doll tour.

Duncan has received numerous awards. As a member of the Nashville Bluegrass Band, he won the Grammy Award for Best Bluegrass Album in 1994 and 1996. Duncan was named the Academy of Country Music Fiddle Player of the Year for 1996, 1998, 1999, 2001, and 2004, and Specialty Instrument Player of the Year for 2006.

In 2015 Duncan appeared on one of the tracks from the Jericho Summer album, Night Train which had been recorded in Berry Hill Studios, Nashville.





Derryck Gleaton (youtube.com/iamdsharp)

better known as DSharp, is an American violinist, DJ, singer and producer based in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Known for his trademark colored violins, he writes his own music and performs cover versions of popular songs, focusing on hip hop, electronic dance music and classical pieces.






Terry Glenny (kaosztheory.com)

Multifaceted Violinist, Composer, Producer, Arranger and Conductor, Terry is a native of California with a background in classical violin from the age of 9 and composition from the age of 13. Glenny has an incredible list of film and album credits. He was featured on the scores for Super 8, Cars 2, Up, Star Trek, and many more. His album credits include work with Christina Aguilera, Kanye West, Frank Sinatra, and Michael Jackson.







Hilary Hahn (hilaryhahn.com)

American violinist. In her active international career she has performed throughout the world both as a soloist with leading orchestras and conductors and as a recitalist. She also has built a reputation for championing contemporary music. Several composers have written works specially for her, including concerti by Edgar Meyer and Jennifer Higdon.




David Harrington (kronosquartet.org)

Founded the Kronos Quartet. The Kronos Quartet is an American string quartet based in San Francisco. They have been in existence with a rotating membership of musicians for over forty years. The quartet specializes in contemporary and new music, with more than 750 works having been written for them.





Anne Harris (anneharris.com)

an American singer, songwriter, violinist, recording artist and actress based in Chicago, Illinois. She has independently produced and released five studio albums on her record label, Rugged Road Records: Anne Harris (2001), Open Your Doors (2003), Wine and Poetry (2005), Gravity and Faith (2008), and Come Hither (2015). A live album, Live at the Acorn Theater, was released in 2008. Her music has been described by various writers as incorporating a variety of influences, including traditional Celtic music, American folk-rock, Afrobeat, soul, and chamber music. For lack of a specific genre label, her work has been dubbed “conscious music” which refers to music and lyrics that have some basis in a spiritual, humanist philosophy.

Charles Yang & Nick Kendall (tf3.com)

These two violinists make up the group Time for Three. Time for Three (Tf3) is a classically-trained string trio that explores a variety of musical genres. The members of the group are Nicolas (Nick) Kendall (violin) and Charles Yang (violin) and Ranaan Meyer (double bass). Because of their eclectic musical tastes, ranging from classical to bluegrass to rock to jazz to hip-hop, and their usual casual dress, even while performing at Carnegie Hall, the group refers to itself as a “classically trained garage band.”

Malcolm Lowe (bso.org)

Concertmaster in 1984, becoming the tenth concertmaster in the orchestra’s history and only its third since 1920. As concertmaster, he also performs with the Boston Symphony Chamber Players. Mr. Lowe is equally at home as an orchestral player, chamber musician, solo recitalist, and teacher. He appears frequently as a soloist with the Boston Symphony Orchestra at Symphony Hall and Tanglewood and he has returned many times to his native Canada for guest appearances as a soloist with the Toronto and Montreal Symphony Orchestras and the National Arts Centre Orchestra in Ottawa.





Sean Mackin (yellowcardrock.com)

an American rock musician. He is best known as the violinist and backing vocalist for the American pop punk music group Yellowcard.








Kev Marcus (blackviolin.net)

Violinist in the duo, Black Violin. Black Violin is an American hip hop duo from Florida composed of two classically trained string instrumentalists, Kevin Sylvester and Wilner Baptiste, who go by the stage names Kev Marcus and Wil B. Kev Marcus plays the violin and Wil B. plays the viola. They met in high school, went to different colleges, then later reconvened to create the musical group Black Violin. The duo plays a variety of music (relying heavily upon classical music), but are often categorized as hip hop because of the changes to the rhythm and beats. This mingling of hip hop and classical sensibilities is what is generally thought to give them their distinctive style.



Mark O’Connor (markoconnor.com)

Mark O’Connor is an American bluegrass, jazz, and country violinist, fiddler, composer, and music teacher. O’Connor has received numerous awards for both his playing and his composition.








William Preucil (clevelandorchestra.com)

William Preucil became concertmaster of The Cleveland Orchestra in April 1995 and has appeared regularly as a soloist with the Orchestra in concerto performances at both Severance Hall and Blossom Music Center. Prior to joining The Cleveland Orchestra, Mr. Preucilserved for seven seasons as first violinist of the Grammy-winning Cleveland Quartet, performing more than 100 concerts each year in the world’s major music capitals. Telarc International recorded the Cleveland Quartet performing the complete cycle of Beethoven’s 17 string quartets, as well as a variety of chamber works by Haydn, Mozart, Schubert and Brahms.



Caroline Shaw (carolineshaw.com)

Caroline Shaw is a New York-based musician. She is a Grammy-winning singer in Roomful of Teeth and a violinist in ACME (American Contemporary Music Ensemble), and in 2013 Caroline became the youngest ever winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Music, for her enigmatic composition Partita for 8 Voices. Recent and current projects include commissions for the Cincinnati Symphony, the Guggenheim Museum Works & Process Series, and the Folger Library, as well as collaborations with Kanye West.




Eric Stanley (ericstanleyworldwide.com)

is an American violinist, composer, arranger, and record producer. Stanley presents improvisational violin performances found on his YouTube channel, Estan247, which was introduced in 2009. As of March 2016, his YouTube channel has more than 128,000 subscribers and over 18 million total views.








Lindsey Stirling (lindseystirling.com)

is an American violinist, dancer, performance artist and composer. She presents choreographed violin performances, both live and in music videos found on her eponymous YouTube channel, which she created in 2007. Stirling performs a variety of music styles, from classical to pop and rock to electronic dance music. Aside from original work, her discography contains covers of songs by other musicians and various soundtracks. Her music video, “Crystallize” finished as the eighth-most watched video of 2012, and her cover version of “Radioactive” with Pentatonix won Response of the Year in the first Youtube Music Awards in 2013. Stirling achieved one million singles sold worldwide by August 2014. As of July 2016, her Lindseystomp YouTube channel exceeded 8 million subscribers and over a billion total views. Stirling has been named in Forbes magazine’s 30 Under 30 In Music: The Class Of 2015. Forbes notes her quarter-finalist position on America’s Got Talent season five in 2010, a No. 2 position on the Billboard 200 for her second album Shatter Me in 2014, and her 8 million subscribers on YouTube.










Scott Tixier (scott-tixier.com)

An award-winning French jazz violinist and a recording artist. Scott Tixier has worked in many genres, in the theater, film scoring, Broadway shows, for Sony Pictures, ARTE Creative, Heineken, Dos Equis, Fisher-Price, America’s Got Talent on NBC, with Zedd on the David Letterman Late Show on CBS, for Josh Groban, Harvey Keitel, Robert De Niro, Sting, Jean Reno, Whoopi Goldberg, Marc Jacobs, Keith David, Pierre Palmade, Pierre Richard, David Ackroyd, NBA player Allan Houston, Christina Aguilera, Chrisette Michele, Doug E. Fresh, JR, Ariana Grande, and Monica Dogra.





Charly & Margaux (youtube.com/charlyandmargaux)

[_ Chargaux is an all female violin duo composed of Charly and Margaux. The duo has a large internet following, and make an appearance at the end of Kendrick Lamar's hit song "B**** Don't Kill my Vibe". _]










Violinists: Get into your Dream School without practicing 10 hours a day

  • Author: Pio
  • Published: 2016-11-02 21:35:14
  • Words: 3604
Violinists: Get into your Dream School without practicing 10 hours a day Violinists: Get into your Dream School without practicing 10 hours a day