May Violin Class Zoom Recital, Sunday, Nov. 22, 2020

What a terrific dress rehearsal! See you Sunday, Nov. 22 at 1:30, with your various methods of accompaniment, including those of you playing without. Please check to make sure your transmission is as good as possible, including your distance from the router. I’m looking forward! Share our teaching link with anyone you’d like to invite.

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Braginski Report: Five for Five for Meriel Bizri

August, 2020
Our Meriel has joined the violin class of Nora Chastain in Berlin at the Universität der Kunst.
She was also accepted by the Hanns Eisler Academy and the Barenboim-Said Academy, both in Berlin. Also the New England Conservatory. Oh, and Juilliard.

The world is her oyster.

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Virtual lessons

Dear Students and Parents,

I hope you are all doing well.  I admire how you’re bearing up with huge life changes, and continuing to flourish as violin students.

With a little less than a month left in our semester, we all need to generate one more big energy burst to have a great spring finish.   Now that we have done several weeks of classes online, we have the experience to have learned what we can do to improve the experience.  Most of these are simple things to do, and will truly enhance our experiences in class and in private lessons.

1. This clip is from The Royal Academy of Music in Denmark and describes how Zoom audio settings can be maximized for music lessons. It is about turning on original sound and turning off computer modifications and the auto setting of the microphone:

2.   Please do not take class either on a phone or tablet.  The sound (especially) and picture are simply unacceptable;  from now on workshop participants must take class on laptop or desktops.  This will ensure that you are on a wifi connection, rather than cellular. Please get set up with your computer in a steady position on a table or bookshelf that you cam play into comfortably. Make sure that the light is not behind you. Please position your child and music stand so that I can see both hands on all parts of the bow and violin on the student’s right side.

3.  More than anything music is about sound, and computers are not designed for high quality sound capture or reproduction. Without some help from external speakers and microphone, the sound is distorted, grating and unpleasant.  For very little expenditure, there are two things you can do to help with this.  Both will be very good investments in the quality of your learning and listening experiences.

3a.  Use an external plug-in speakers — at the least desktop speakers, but preferably higher quality computer plug-in or bluetooth speakers, which are readily available for as little as $50-75.  There is a huge selection and any of them — even the cheapest– will be a huge improvement over computer speakers.

3b.  Use an external (usually USB) microphone.  The internal microphone on computers (don’t even talk about the mics on phones and tablets!) are very low quality and pick up a mere fraction of the sound you make on your instrument.  Please consider investing in an external microphone — this will be useful to you far beyond the current situation, because it will dramatically increase the quality of any recording you make for auditions in the future. The one that is highly regarded in the Snowball — two models, Ice and Blue — both available for electronics dealers for less than $90.

If you will do these few things, we will be able to make a big improvement in the quality of the class experience.  I look forward to a terrific end of semester.

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Summer in Italy 2020

Please be in touch for details!

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Project STEP video

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Hi Students and Parents,
I’ve been wondering about how much music you’re listening to. Much as you can’t learn a language without hearing it, it’s impossible to learn the violin without hearing music.
I’ve been working on individualized playlists that can be part of a regular listening habit including your piece assignments. Just go to and log in the way I’ve explained. Then go to Playlists/My Playlists. Any questions about that, please just call. I promise it is legal and approved. In some cases the pieces I’ve chosen are the original songs that inspired the violin pieces. In other cases, I’ve chosen some favorite recordings and/or players. Have fun with any and all of them.

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My beautiful Indiana U String Academy Class of 2019

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May Violin Class in Cambridge, Vol.1, No. 1

Hello Students and Parents,

I am very excited to plan a small recital for all of you. It will on Sunday, May 12, 2019, Mother’s Day at 4:30 at:

Saint Sebastian’s School
1191 Greendale Avenue
Needham, MA 02492

A huge thank you to Christian Casiano and his family for arranging this. I’ll be back in touch when I learn about a rehearsal time. Since this is our first recital together, I’d like to go over my usual drill:

Everyone plays from memory!
No athletic shoes or jeans, nice school clothes are okay.
Hair clipped back so everyone can see your shining faces!
Be sure to play at home in the outfit you plan to wear. It can be surprising to learn that your sleeve length or neck buttons won’t let you play comfortably.

By the way, some people like to keep up with news on my blog,
I’ll make this announcement our first Cambridge Class volume.
I will also leave info on my professional FaceBook page for those who use it.

Next, please note that I will be out of town from Monday April 8 through Wednesday April 17. That means the only lesson you’ll miss is April 11, 12, 13.

Looking forward to your lessons tomorrow, Friday, and Saturday!

(Now go practice.)



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Backstage at Boston Symphony Hall

Former student, Meriel Bizri, 17, and her masterful teacher, Lynn Chang, and coach/godfather Bruce Coppock, after Meriel’s performance of the first movement of the Sibelius Concerto with the Boston Symphony Orchestra. According to conductor Thom Wilkins, she “knocked it out of the park.” We are walking on air!

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News Flash on the “Braginski” Report

We’re beyond thrilled that our Meriel Bizri won the 2019 Boston Symphony Orchestra’s Concerto Competition! She will play the first movement of the Sibelius Concerto at Symphony Hall with the BSO on Thursday, March 28 at 10 am. You can also hear her as a winner of the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition on Sunday, May 12 at 3 pm in Sanders Theater.

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