Monday, June 22, 2020

Who Invented the Violin? Sephardic Jews and the Early Days of the Violin

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins, and Mikaela Marget

Who made the first violin? 

With a cursory internet search, you may be convinced that the mastermind behind all modern violin making was Andrea Amati of Cremona; many give him credit for the oldest existent violin, a 1546 instrument that is now lost. The truth, though, is more complicated than that; first of all, we don’t even know if he was responsible for the very first modern violin. Even if he was, Amati didn’t just come up with a great idea out of nowhere! 

ex-Kurtz violin by Andrea Amati

Tuesday, June 2, 2020

Stage Fright/ Performance Anxiety- Got Yours?

Great Violinist Yehudi Menuhin was a Proponent of Yoga

By Andy Fein, Luthier at Fein Violins,
and Ivana Truong

"Relax. RELAX. JUST RELAX, YOU'LL PLAY SOOOO MUCH BETTER?" Ever had such sage advice thrown your way? Yes, most musicians have. And it doesn't help. But learning to relax and focus on your performance truly will help you play better. But how do you do it when every part of your being is telling you just the opposite?

Though perhaps to different extents, every musician understands the stomach-turning restlessness that precedes a performance, not to mention the heart-racing blur of the performance itself. For some musicians, the feeling becomes manageable with time, as confidence in their technique grows and the player gains more experience with public performances. For others, performance anxiety can become a serious issue preventing them from pursuing music more seriously.