Fundamental and Noteworthy from Studio Class

Every week in the ACHT studio class, students perform and receive feedback from their peers and professors.  Today’s post offers a sampling of this feedback.


Hsin-Yun Huang on:

Rochberg Sonata

Drama comes from large intervals, from unusual intervals.  When playing, think of it as singing, not bowing.

Hindemith Sonata, Opus 25, #4

For fluid right arm, imagine conducting the part with your right arm.

Brahms Sonata in Eb, Opus 120, #2

Move your body the same way while playing as you would while singing.    You rarely speak from the top of your breathe.


Steven Tenenbom on:

Clarke Sonata

To practice, play each phrase separately with different feeling, stopping in between.  Then go back and join them together.

Mozart Sinfonia Concertante

Mozart was great at changing personalities on a dime.  Don’t smooth that over.


Molly Carr on:

Bridge Lament

Think of your instrument as if it’s your voice.  Your voice has a huge range of sounds it can make.   Direct your attention to your voice box; this also will help relax your back and shoulders.


Misha Amory on:

Prokoviev, Romeo et Juliette

While playing a phrase, think of the color of the next phrase so you can effectively set yourself up.

Bach Sonata 1, Adagio

Needs to be very dramatic.  Think about the bass vs. the top line. Drama comes from tension.  If there’s a dark sound, the notes have an opportunity to really clash with one another.


Heidi Castleman on:

Walton Concerto (Second Movement)

With piano, clap and bring out emotional character using only claps.  Clap from your back.  When playing with the viola, keep the looseness you had when clapping. Keep in mind that your arms where the collarbones meet.

Enesco Concertpiece

From where do you listen to yourself?  On the bridge or from the back of the hall?  Notice how your vibrato projects to the back of the hall. Play the space/room as if it’s your viola, instead of just playing your viola.

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