Learning to Balance the Violin
One of the first steps in playing the violin is holding the instrument. We are actually ‘balancing’ the violin, which means finding a stable placement of the violin between the head, collarbone and shoulder so there is an even distribution of weight. There is a simple scientific principal to keep in mind, namely gravity. Because of gravity, the violin will fall to the ground unless we find the best place for the violin. Resting Head on Violin
The head can simply rest on the violin. It is not necessary to grip the violin with head and shoulders once balance is achieved with the violin and body. This is a trial and error process and may require a bit of patience.Practice Makes Perfect!
The brain has a wonderful ability to learn from ‘mistakes’ and adjust automatically. This is the same process all human beings used when first learning to walk as infants as well as the many other movements that require much coordination and balance.THE PRINCIPALS OF BALANCE AND BOWING
Violin playing incorporates many of the same principals understood by science and physics. The above image illustrates the delicate balance between two points and this is similar to the relationship between the index finger and pinky when balancing the bow! This is similar to the interaction between the fore finger and pinky in relation to balancing the bow. As technique develops, the player may notice that the weight of the bow is largely balanced by the pinky, when playing at the frog whereas bowing in the upper half of the bow, the weight will fall on the index finger.Gravity is also important in producing a beautiful tone because the weight of the arm naturally wants to drop downward and this arm weight enables the player to produce a tone. As students cultivate relaxation into playing, it will become easier to access the natural arm weight.
***************************************************************************Rozanna Weinberger’s understanding about technique has come from working with some of the best teachers in the world, including Karen Tuttle, William Primrose, William Lincer among others. But is has also come from having to overcome the effects of breaking her neck at age 15. As a result of this injury Rozanna had vertebrae in her neck fused together, which had an impact on her ability to move her neck, shoulders and arms. While hospitalized for this injury, Ms. Weinberger learned that she had been selected to perform at Kennedy Center with a youth orchestra selected from young talent from every part of the country. Determined to participate, and with just 2 months to recover enough to be part of the performance, she did ultimately participate in the orchestra, despite having to use a neck brace and cast on her leg, from having bone taken from her leg to repair her neck.
sweetthunderRozanna refused to allow this setback to get in the way of her dream to be a concert soloist and ultimately had the opportunity to perform solo with orchestras along with many other performing opportunities. Her challenge included playing hundreds of thousands of ‘open strings’ observing the difficulties and developing a refined kinesthetic awareness, which enabled the artist to sift through the discomfort and find the optimum approach.As a soloist she has always believed that it is necessary to do difficult things easily and that this is what defines a virtuoso. Her setbacks from breaking her neck, ultimately became the impetus for overcoming challenging situations and learning to play the most difficult music with ease and joy.Rozanna Weinberger recently performed as soloist at the Tribeca Film Festival, for an event sponsored by the Manhattan Producers Alliance and with flute virtuoso Robert Dick at The Spectrum, She has premiered concertos by composers Tania Leon and Maurice Gardner and has performed twice at the International Viola Congress. She has performed original music on the runway for Fashion Week while her award winning music video, Chromatic Fantasy has screened at International Film Festivals and televised throughout North and South America. Her unique style led to recording a solo viola soundtrack by Christopher Mangum for the King Tut Exhibition and as an improviser, Rozanna has played with violinists Sara Caswell, Nigel Kennedy and cellist Dave Eggar.Her solo recordings are available through Arabesque Recordings and North Pacific Music. She has been a guest panelist at Peabody Conservatory of Johns Hopkins University and Juilliard where she has been a consultant for entrepreneurial studies. Her unique artistic approach coupled by a vision of what is needed in the string world, led to creating her own line of violins, ‘Rozanna’s Violins, available at Sam Ash, Guitar Center and other fine retailers. Rozanna has also written for Strings Magazine. As a New York freelancer, Rozanna has performed for numerous Broadway shows and for the Radio City Christmas Show.