On Wednesday, January 8, the orchestras welcomed Mr. Bruno Silva to our classroom. Mr. Silva performed on Violin & Viola and talked to us about how to practice efficiently and without stress. His performance and thoughts that he shared were both engaging and left an impression on the students.
In addition to performing Bach’s “Cello Suite No. 1” on Viola and Mark O’Connor’s fiddle tune “Appalachia Waltz,” Mr. Silva talked to us about the “Myths of Practice” and how to practice efficiently.
Myths of Practice
- Practice every day, even when you don’t feel like it.
- Just like athletes, we should have a day of rest.
- Continue to practice even if you are frustrated.
- If you get frustrated, stop, take a breath, drink some tea, try again. If you are still frustrated, come back to it later.
- Practice slowly.
- Do not practice too slow. You have to find a middle tempo that still makes sense musically.
- Repeat a lot.
- Don’t just repeat something. If you repeat it over and over again wrong, you will become very good at doing it wrong. Instead fix it first, then repeat it 5-10 times. Do it again tomorrow.
- Use a metronome to improve rhythm.
- At first you might use a metronome, but you have to work on internalizing rhythm. Also, most music is not exactly metronomic.
- Isolate parts to improve.
- Don’t just play random parts. You have to pick a section that makes sense musically and is a phrase.
We are lucky to have Mr. Silva as a one-on-one private teacher here in Lake Zurich. He teaches at the High School and currently has available time slots for any violin or viola student to take lessons. If you are looking to improve on your instrument and really love orchestra, then taking private lessons might be the thing for you!
Let Mr. Broach know if you want to take private lessons or if you like, contact Mr. Silva directly to sign-up to take lessons with him! You can contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org.
About Mr. Silva
Mr. Silva, a native of Brazil, has performed in the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra, Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Chicago Sinfonietta, and much more. He has worked under world-renown conductors such as Ricardo Muti, Sir Andrew Davis, Michael Tilson Thomas, and many more. He has performed with Yo-yo Ma. He has studied with Charles Pickler (retired Chicago Symphony principal violist) and Rami Solomonow (former Lyric Opera principal violist).