Lora Staples - beginning violin and fiddle expert
Beginning Violin And Fiddle
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Lora Staples' latest beginning violin and fiddle videos
About Lora Staples
Lora StaplesLora Staples began learning the violin in 5th grade in public school through the traditional system. This system combines reading notes and violin techniques for beginners. Four years later, Lora heard about the Suzuki method and regretted that she hadn't learned the violin using this method. However, this motivated her to practice more to reach the level of and compete with children who had learned through the Suzuki method.
Although music was a challenge to Lora, her father always supported her and told her that if she truly wanted something, she would be willing to work for it. Lora diligently followed this advice, bringing her violin everywhere so that she wouldn't miss an opportunity to practice. She continued her hard work until she received her Master's Degree in violin performance.
Lora was able to achieve her dreams of full-ride scholarships, membership to a professional orchestra as principal second violin, and solos with various orchestras.
Lora received an opportunity to teach another violinist's studio of students. She had to learn the Suzuki approach to teach her new students and became convinced that it is the most effective and advantageous way for beginners to learn music.
The most important advice that Lora learned throughout the years and wants to share with students is that success only comes when you believe in yourself.
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Questions, Comments, Requests:

Ravindra n on August 3, 2021 @12:18 am PST
Hi Lora.
My daughter is learning violin for last 3 years, Just want to understand, what is the better way to learn staff notation. She is much interested in staff notation learning.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on August 4, 2021 @10:34 pm PST
Hi Ravindra
Many teachers use the book "I Can Read Music" by JoAnne Martin. It is very simple because it separates rhythm from pitch at first....so you learn them as separate skills first, then combine them later. But that book requires a teacher or parent who can explain.
I happen to have a online class which explains everything very well, especially for violinists.
If you want more info its called "Learn to Read Music" and can be found at www.reddesertviolin.com.
You might also ask Fabrizio (the owner of Virtual Sheet Music what resources he has for learning to read music. I bet he has tons of helpful tools! Good luck to you and your daughter!
RL on May 19, 2021 @8:19 am PST
Hello :Lora. Just wondering what the best order is to go through the pages as they don't appear to be in any particular order...or am I missing somehting?
Loralyn - host, on June 28, 2021 @8:56 pm PST
Hi RL.....help me out. What are the pages? Are you referring to speed and dexterity exercises? Or...? I'll be happy to guide you if you help me understand what you are referring to. (more details are better than fewer details)
Augustine violinist from Malaysia on October 25, 2020 @2:15 am PST
Good evening Lora nice to meet you today by your website and had read your biography how you became as great violinist until now to be appreciated your interest and hard working as well your beloved father's guide
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on November 7, 2020 @2:40 pm PST
Thank you, Augustine! It is very nice to hear from you. Keep pursuing your passion of violin! You are making use of online resources, and that is WONDERFUL. Let me know if you have any questions. I'm a little slow to reply....but I DO GET YOUR MESSAGES! -)
Julius Pallof * VSM MEMBER * on April 2, 2020 @4:50 pm PST
love your fiddle music collection. Looking forward to your teaching presentations. I am sure I will learn a lot.
Loralyn Staples - host, on April 4, 2020 @11:26 am PST
Thank you, Julius. I appreciate your kind words. I love ALL the experts here on Virtual Sheet Music! (I watch them too!)
MELIN, on September 19, 2019 @5:57 pm PST
Hi Laura, by reading the questions, comments and request below i think all that i need to ask is indeed answered.
i thank you for your great passion in teaching and playing the violin. May God bless you with good health, mind and body.
Loralyn Staples * VSM MEMBER * on September 22, 2019 @8:14 pm PST
Hi Melin,
Very sweet of you! Thank you so much!
Best of luck in your violin studies!
RENNIE on May 4, 2018 @10:06 am PST
Hi Laura,
I am 20 years old and I am from India. It has just been 3 months from the day I started my violin playing. I really don't have a Western classical violin teacher. The major problem which I am facing is that my bow is bouncing and shaking. I improved a bit by viewing some youtube videos. But, still I find my bow shaking especially when i do down stroke. So, please give me a perfect solution for this. If you had already posted videos on this please send me the link and thank you for all your videos and support.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on September 5, 2018 @10:04 am PST
Hi Rennie,
Here is a youtube video I did on that concept. Have you already viewed it?https://youtu.be/PSBMI1ITe6U
But here are some other thoughts. (I am VERY familiar with this problem, because I struggled personally with it even into my years of playing professionally. It was so frustrating.
Here are two things that contribute HUGELY to the unwanted bounce, (and both of these things are new discoveries since I did the video)
1) too hard of an attack on down bow (it causes your bow to "pop a wheelie"
2) too stiff of a bow hand (our curled fingers and colle' motion helps to cushion the down bow attack)
Things you can do to help, specifically on the down-bow strokes:
1) Use colle' (but not TOO MUCH....too much will also cause a spastic bow change and will cause the bounce)
2) Learn to engage your pinky at the frog....pinky adds balance and prevents those klutzy bow changes
3) Tilt the bow as you approach the frog (just from the lapping to the ferrule). As you change from up-bow to down-bow, the tilted bow gives you a nice blade of hair, and a little bit of cusion, AND IT PUTS YOUR PINKY ON TOP, which assists you with #2 above. This also prevents the problem of too hard of an attack.
Rennie, I think these tips will TOTALLY solve your problem.
Please keep me posted. (I am sorry for the delayed reply! The owner of VSM just emailed me to tell me you had written....I missed the notification)
Marguerite Chippendale on December 4, 2017 @9:50 pm PST
Dear Lora,
When do we shift from 1st position to 3rd position and back again.
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on September 5, 2018 @10:07 am PST
Have you figured out the answer to your question? I bet you have already figured it out! Basically, we can shift from any position TO any position at ANY TIME of our choosing.
But to give you a guideline:
On the E string, you would shift after 2nd finger, (G) and you would play the next note (A) with a 1st finger. That would put you in 3rd position, and would allow you to play two notes that are too high for 1st position. The notes are C and D.
On ANY STRING, the most common time to shift from 1st position to 3rd position is after 2nd finger. So we play 0, 1, 2-shift-1, 2, 3, 4
I hope you are still working on your violin!
Noranne on April 25, 2017 @10:46 am PST
can't seem to get the tunes that you mention when applying drones in your video
Pam on March 2, 2017 @10:59 am PST
I have been working on intonation while playing Arioso in G. No matter how hard I work, when I come back to the tune, I make the same intonation mistakes. I can "hear" what is correct, and I can correct the mistake, but I can't convince my muscles to find the correct pitch on the first try. I try to coach myself, reminding myself that on THAT D note I need to stretch my third finger a little further, or that on THAT C natural I need to tuck my 2nd finger a little further, but I can't make it "stick." Is this just a matter of practice?
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on September 5, 2018 @10:11 am PST
What is your instinct telling you now that a year has passed since your question?
Yes, it is a matter of practice.
It's not a matter of just learning the correct spot, and then we are able to nail it every time after. It is a matter of little by little gaining better precision. First, we might miss the note by a meter. Then we might miss the note only by a centimeter. Then, we miss the note by a millimeter. And eventually, we are SO CLOSE to the right spot most of the time, that it is called "good intonation". So, think Precision and Accuracy. (one means that we hit our target more often...the other means our average is closer to our target. It takes BOTH to gain good intonation, and it comes little by little...and requires attentive ears.
margie on November 12, 2016 @7:14 am PST
how do you do a 2 octave f major arpeggio?
Lora * VSM MEMBER * on November 16, 2016 @9:39 am PST
Hi Margie
Great question. In order to play a TWO octave F major arpeggio, you will have to shift out of 1st position. There are MANY fingerings you can choose, and I would refer you to the book here on Virtual Sheet Music called "Basics of Violin Playing" by F. Ferrari. It has a FANTASTIC section on scales and arpeggios with fingerings!

But, let me try to convey the fingering I would use for a 2-octave F Major arpeggio:

F-A-C this is the 1st octave, played 2 on D, 4 on D, 2 on A

F-A-C-F this is the 2nd octave, plus the top "F" For this octave, I jump all the way up to 1st finger on the A string in FIFTH POSITION!!! That's a leap from 1st position to 5th position, but it is remarkably easy with a little practice

Once you are in 5th position, you just play:
1 on A F
3 on A A
1 on E C
4 on E F

Then take the same fingering down. So here's the whole thing:

2-4-2 BIG SHIFT 1-3-1-4

Then read that backwards to come back down.

But really, if you get the book "Basics of Violin Playing", it will explain scales and arpeggios very nicely!

Good luck to you!
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