Style - Solving Problems While Making a Violin Purse
Making Rachel's Violin Purse was a long process with many construction problems to solve. This record of the construction will remind me not to make the same mistakes in the future. Because she wants the purse as an everyday purse and to hang from her wrist, there were new challenges. The fabric must be ultra sturdy. It was my choice to use a thin leather. I don't have a professional leather machine. If I were to get more orders like this, I might hire a professional with a leather machine to sew parts of the bag. It was a joy that her favorite color is purple! I couldn't meet her request for sequence around the edge of the purse, so I hope she likes bling!
Please excuse the lengthy videos. I edited them a little, but the whole while I was holding my cell phone in my hand to video myself!!! And I am a relatively quiet person, not used to all the talking, especially when I stayed up most of the night many times (had little sleep) working on the Violet Violettes Violin Bag.
Thanks for watching.
An Outstanding Violin Teacher in Knoxville
We are lucky to have violin teachers as fine as Dr. Susan Eddlemon in Knoxville, TN. Dr. Eddlemon holds the distinction of being the first woman to graduate from the Julliard School of Music with a Doctorate Degree of Musical Arts in violin performance. Her studio is probably the most up to date in the area with high tech capabilities to assist in teaching students!
If you are dedicated and looking for a violin teacher who will give you a workout and lift you to your playing height, check out Dr. Eddlemon’s studio. I would know, my daughter took lessons with this amazing teacher and I highly recommend her! -----------------------------------------------(Contact info: 865/ 617-3804; firstname.lastname@example.org)
Dr. Eddlemon hails from Ohio. She met her husband at Juilliard, and has lived in Knoxville for 26 years near her husband’s family. She currently performs with the Oak Ridge Symphony, Knoxville Symphony, Bryan Symphony, Kingsport Symphony, and Johnson City Symphony. She is the violinist for the Isotone Concerts and the Cumberland Piano Trio performing in our area of East Tennessee and Southeast U.S. She maintains a private studio for teaching and rehearsing. Prior to life in East Tennessee, Susan and her husband lived in Canada, where she served as Associate Concertmaster for the Victoria, B.C. Symphony, the Calgary Philharmonic, and the Saskatoon Symphony. From 1986 through 1990 she recorded and played throughout western Canada with the chamber group Music Mosaic.
1. Violettes by Becky: You introduced my daughter to many new techniques, expressing them in new ways. Perhaps, some of it was my daughter’s age and readiness level, but not all of it. You had her hold ping pong balls on her violin while playing to improve her overall posture; you loosened her stiff posture, helping her to move with her violin… And just as importantly, you pushed me out of the studio so that playing became her own. (Our background was Suzuki violin lessons, and I started learning violin right alongside my 4 year old).
Jenna’s music reading level was forced to improve, the way you occasionally left her with sections to finish learning on her own. In the beginning, switching to your teaching method was tough for my daughter, but well worth the effort for improvement. In addition, Posting an 8 X 10 photo of each student in your studio is just one way that you show you really care about each student. Students can feel the caring.
Do you think that you have techniques to offer that are not usually taught by other teachers? Do many students who come to you have areas they need to relearn?
Dr. Susan Eddlemon:
All of us have areas we need to relearn or at least revisit over the span of our playing years! I teach universally accepted principles of string playing using "string vocabulary" which combines what has been passed along to us by previous generations with terms in current usage. Young pre-college students learn these terms from me, along with words and terms I invent to respond to the individual student's need of the moment. Learning the names of various techniques is always part of any discipline.
2. Violettes by Becky: The technical level of your studio is phenomenal. You record piano accompaniments for a student’s piece at various speeds for them to take home for practice. You video your student right in your studio to play back for your student to listen and watch themselves during the lesson (just like they did at my son’s golf lessons)! You even record yourself playing a difficult passage in a teaching way for the student to bring home for practice. It’s been many years since I have listened to one of your lessons. What else along these lines do you do in your studio?
Dr. Susan Eddlemon:
I've been astonished at all the electronic tools we have that can help students reduce the time it takes to master violin playing. Violinists can benefit from regular self-recording as part of the practice routine.
My Clavinova has a metronome function which counts "aloud" in four different languages. Using this function helps the violin student just beginning to learn to play music at sight. Hearing the actual words, "One, Two, Three, Four" helps the student keep up the tempo and rhythms he is seeing on the page much better than just hearing an even "click" noise. It's too easy to lose track of how many "clicks" have gone by in a single measure while you're busy figuring out which finger or bowing to play next!
3. Violettes by Becky: You have several hobbies including walking, watching birds ,camping (not to mention all your grandchildren – your current main hobby). How did you decide to become a violinist? Are you still glad of the decision? Do you have any advice for young people trying to make this decision today?
Dr. Susan Eddlemon:
I inherit string playing from my mother's family (learning to play the violin runs in families sometimes!). Mom started me on violin when I was six years old; first because she played herself and second because we did not yet have a piano in our house (which she also played). If we'd had a piano, she would have begun teaching me from that instrument; but she was keen to get me started studying music early, and reckoned she didn't want to wait until whenever we could afford a piano ( which could have been several years).
Arriving at my junior year in high school and realizing I was expected to study something after graduation, the only two interesting options for me were either further violin study or language study. The second option did not appeal because I would have to continue sitting stationary behind a desk, reading and writing. Even as young as I was, I knew my body needed to move around quite a bit. One of my early ambitions was to become a cheerleader; but my Mom said I needed to choose only one after-school activity and master it. "Do one thing and do it well," she said, adding "That's what my Mom taught me!"
Best advice for young people making this decision: If you cannot imagine doing anything else but pursuing violin, by all means do it; but consider your other interests also. If you commit to violin performance and/or teaching, you will have to place all your resources (time, money, attention) to the study of it, for that is the only way to succeed in performance mastery. And to teach well (which is how many of us make or supplement our living) you really should be able to perform the music you are teaching. There are some parents who might say," Okay, study violin, but have something else to 'fall back on'." With the violin, you must go all in, you will not have time for "falling back." If you go with fallback plans, you may be almost certain that you will indeed "fall back" and never master the violin....so you are best to leave the violin as a career option.
4. Violettes by Becky: Do you have a favorite composer to teach or to play? Why?
Do you pick student pieces based on the student’s individual interest rather than following a book series? Jenna’ says Zigeunerweisen by Sarasate was such a good fit for her, as she loved playing it.
Dr. Susan Eddlemon:
Hearing a student name a piece of music she would like to study and play always encourages me as a teacher. If a student knows enough to ask about certain pieces, it shows that she has developed interest on her own, has been paying attention to music she is hearing around her or to certain friends who are playing this music. This is always much better than just proceeding on to the next piece in some particular book; especially if the desired music is not completely out of the student's technical range. It gives incentive to learn new techniques, vocabulary, and advance the student's musicality.
My favorite composer to play is J.S. Bach. As a senior violinist I find his unaccompanied Sonatas and Partitas my go-to material for daily practice when there isn't anything else currently demanding attention. There are still movements in that repertory which I have not yet even learned! His music continues to challenge just about every aspect of technique and musicality a violinist can face.
5. Violettes by Becky: I remember at one of your recitals, you explained who your students descend from, teacher-wise. It was fascinating. Can you explain that again?
Dr. Susan Eddlemon:
I remember that the line of student to master goes all the way back to Corelli, and through some French and German masters. I can remember that there were no Eastern European or Russian masters. But I cannot remember any particular names farther back than my teacher Joseph Fuchs's teacher Franz Kneisel. Kneisel was the first concertmaster of the Boston Symphony Orchestra.
Now that I know how to use the Internet for such purpose, I'll have to look it up! But any professional violinist will proudly tell about his or her master teacher and the music school where they completed their studies. It continues to be a factor throughout professional life.
Presenting Our New York Music Competition Students
Our music competition finds New York. Three students from Veritas Academy High School In Flushing, New York entered the ViolettesbyBecky.com competition. For the second year, outstanding teacher Dr. Michael Eisenberg challenged his students to write a song for the competition. It gives them a goal, and he says entering a competition is an exciting challenge for them. Often, his class is their first introduction to music instruction.
This year, Violettes by Becky presented the 3 students who entered honorable mentions with certificates that were presented in a special ceremony with the school principals and personalized little prizes. In addition, we were able to collect $200 in donations for the teacher to use on classroom supplies. Dr. Eisenberg will use the funds for "guitar capos, for keyboard headsets and adaptors, for keyboard pedals, and for guitar amps and cables".
Next we present the students:
"I'm Melany and music is my life. It helped me through hard times and now I can't wait to evolve in the music world. My teacher Dr. Eisenberg has been a big help. And now I'm working really hard to improve my voice. My influence has always been Etta James. I'm so thankful for entering this competition. It encouraged me to keep going and keep writing. My dream is to tell my story one day through music."
"My name is Tiffany. I live in Queens, NY. Music has been a huge part of my life. Everyday I pretend as if I am performing for a sold-out show. One day that will be reality. This competition meant so much to me because it shows I have potential as a songwriter although it's so competitive. My goal is to become a singer-songwriter and philanthropist."
"My name is Jibril. I love music and it is something that I really enjoy. It is an important part of my life. This is something that I have been involved in since I was very young. In addition, I am an athlete but music is something that is something i would like to accomplish a lot in. However, I would like to become a lawyer. Thank you Violette's by Becky for supporting my exploring music and writing songs!"
Thank you students! Hope to see you next year!
Contest Winner Bios Continued
ViolettesbyBecky.com - whimsical music gifts, held our 3rd Annual Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition for ages 10 thru 18, with scores and recordings submitted on-line. Volunteer judges are music professionals, who review the students’ entries not only for prize placement, but with an aim to provide encouraging constructive comments. The competition is divided into 2 categories, Composition and Songwriter, each with a junior and senior division.
The competition is national, so winning is not easy. We would like to announce 17 year old 3rd place winner, Alma Russ from Whittier, North Carolina. Ms. Russ is enrolled at Jackson County Early College and is on track to receive both her high school diploma and associate of arts degree next year. She loves singing, playing fiddle and writing music. Fiddle playing is her passion! She first became interested in fiddle when she discovered Alison Krauss and started taking lessons at age 12. Originally from Oxford, Florida, she moved to western North Carolina at 13, and has taken lessons from a number of instructors including most recently, Bobby Hicks. She has two bands, The Colby Deitz Band and Dogwood Winter. She also sometimes plays in other bands where fiddle is needed such as Ol' Dirty Bathtub, the Breedlove Brothers. She recently recorded fiddle for The Maggie Valley Band's upcoming album. She also sings and plays claw-hammer banjo. She loves to read, write stories, draw, paint and spend time with her family and pets (including two pugs, a chinchilla, and a pony). She hopes to have writing as a career in one form or another in addition to a music career.
Contest Winner, Alma Russ song, "Next Town"
Congratulations Alma!!! We will look for your performances when we head toward North Carolina!
Coming in the next two weeks - Violettes by Becky Screen Printed Banjo T-Shirts. Woman's styles will be available.
Made from Becky's own art. T-shirts will say Pick Banjos......Not Fights
All purchases support our Youth Music Competitions. Our Banjo Greeting Cards have been very popular. Purchase a set of 8 cards Here.
Knoxville Songwriter, Emma Rowe
ViolettesbyBecky.com, a music-themed gift company, held its 3rd Annual Youth Composition and Songwriter Competition for ages 10 thru 18, with scores and recordings submitted on-line. Volunteer judges are music professionals, who review the students’ entries not only for prize placement, but with an aim to provide encouraging constructive comments. The competition is divided into 2 categories, Composition and Songwriter, each with a junior and senior division.
Two local students entered with impressive work, Emma Rowe, Junior Songwriter and Samuel Aba, Senior Composition. Emma won a 2nd place in the Junior Songwriting category.
I had the joy of meeting Emma in person to deliver her certificate. She and her 2 younger sisters were on their way to a Daddy Daughter camping trip.
Emma RoweEmma is a 12 year old rising eighth grader. This fun, active girl loves many different styles of writing! She sings, acts and helps write shows for the musical theater troupe she has been with for five years. Emma studies writing in her homeschooling co-op. She was the 2014 First Runner-up in the National World War II Museum Essay Contest. Emma is currently writing two books, one a non-fiction story set in an area of land in Kentucky she saw while on a trip, and another a guide to healthy eating. She hopes to publish both! She loves to read, swim, and play with dogs and cats. Those are only three of the many things Emma enjoys doing! She also entered the Violettes by Becky Music Composing Contest twice, entering an original tune and lyrics both times. Emma is grateful to her friends, family members, and teachers who edit her musical score compositions, lyrics, essays, and books.
Music Art Cards to Benefit Youth Music Competition
The Youth Music Competition will earn 100% from card profits thru the end of May 2016, and 20% after that. Please support our work with card purchases at this LINK. You can buy a set of all the same or an assortment. We are currently working on more cards, and love requests.
Yes, That's right, Lulu Roman is Cool Violin Purse -un 42
We have taken a break from our Cool Purse -un blog, but can't resist the excitement of a post that Singer and Comedian, Ms. Lulu Roman is a proud owner of a Violettes by Becky Violin Purse. She is a lovely and kind person, and tells me,
"I love my bag, it's small and it goes with everything. You can put so much in this small violin I will never use another purse."
This lovely woman has so many credits to her profession. Just a few of which are, she was a guest performer at the inauguration celebration of President Ronald Reagan in 1980, was inducted into the Country Music Gospel Hall Of Fame in 1999 and the Christian Music Hall Of Fame in 2008.
Today, she is still both a as a comedian and singer, and as a Southern Gospel singer has well over 16 albums. Google her work and enjoy!
Owner of ViolettesbyBecky.com
Presenting Results of the 3rd Annual Violettes
Composition and Songwriter Competition 2015/16
We hope to post some student Bios in the near future. Please send in Bios and Photos.
Senior Division Composition Awards
Announcing the 1st Place Senior Composition Winner for the 3rd Annual Violettes Youth Music Competition (Hope You don't mind some visual - it shows how easily your music paints a picture) Thanks to Kiwanis West in Knoxville, TN for the Prize Donation.
2nd Place Senior Composition-
Lindsey Williams from Oregon with "Nocturnal Transmogrifications"
Thanks to Kiwanis West of Knoxville, TN for the $200 Prize Donation.
3rd Place Senior Composition-
Helena Abney-McPeek from Illinois with "May 14", Both Parts I and II
Thanks to Sheet Music Plus for the $25 Gift Certificate
Juliana Lynch from Maryland, "The Cherry Tree"
Sayali Gove from North Carolina, "The Night Dances"
Max Justice from Oregon , "Scarlet"
Jie Zhang from Oregon, "The Unforgettable"
Juliana Lynch from Maryland with "Heaven's Door" - One of the judges commented that this deserves 1st place in a different category. Violettes by Becky agrees, so we have created a special one time Choral award for Miss Lynch.
Presenting 1st Place Choral Award to Juliana Lynch, we pulled $100 out of our Violettes by Becky hat.
Senior Songwriter Awards
Please note that this decision was impossibly hard. Finally, after looking at the ratings from 3 judges, we had to call a prize winner.
1st Place Senior Songwriter - Aanna Sapp from Missouri with "Wanderlust"
Thanks to the Annie Moses Band for the Fine Arts Summer Academy Gift
2nd Place Senior Songwriter- Carli Tuttle from Florida with "Trust Me"
Thanks to US Music Corp for the Washburn Guitar Prize
3rd Place Senior Songwriter - Alma Russ from North Carolina with "Next Town"
Thanks to Sheet Music Plus for the $25 Gift Certificate
Junior Division Composition
1st Place Junior Composition- Fiona Abney-McPeek from Illinois with "Sunlight"
Thanks to Performers Music in Chicago for the $50 Gift Certificate
2nd Place Junior Composition- Tie
Sonia Nair from Oregon with "Coming of Age"
Thanks to Performers Music in Chicago for the $25 Gift Certificate
Maya Wood from Missouri with "Moonlight Spirit"
Thanks to Sheet Music Plus for the $25 Gift Certificate
Junior Division Songwriter
1st Place Junior Songwriter- Samantha Shuma from Texas with "Hooked"
Thanks to Sheet Music Plus for the $50 Gift Certificate
2nd Place Junior Songwriter- Emma Rowe from Tennessee with "Life Isn't Fair"
Thanks to Sheet Music Plus for the $25 Gift Certificate.
Oakland, California Roots Int. School wins Outstanding Participation Award, with Dr. Bryan Alvarez entering 26 students with Garage Band compositions. They each have feedback from our amazing judges. 1st thru 3rd places still to be announced. -And a $500 check from an anonymous donor.
We still haven't heard from one of the judges, who is diligently typing results for all the children.
The Flushing, New York Veritas Academy students were challenged by Dr. Michael Eisenberg to write songs to enter. Students Melany Bernard , David Mercado, Tiffany Rose Joseph all won honorable mentions. Plus outstanding teacher, Michael Eisenberg wins $200 for the school to spend on music related equipment. Thanks to a collection of my generous friends and clients.
We must thank Composition Classes of Ben Mulholland from Philadelphia, Pennsylvania school, Play On, Philly! for judging the middle school compositions including the overwhelming number of Garage Band compositions.
Note that all Judges are Music Professional volunteers! A great big thank you to these fine people. We pulled in an additional judge, Tammie Dischner, member of the Knoxville Songwriter Association, to help us decide on the Senior Songwriter group winner.
From the Desk of Violettes by Becky
Regarding the 3rd Annual Youth Music Composition
Dear Music Competition Folks,
We are working diligently to finalize our late judging for the Violettes 3rd Annual Youth Music Competition by next weekend. We had 2 three way ties, we had judges who voted for different first place candidates and we had traveling judges, sick judges, and even judges who didn't properly receive all the student entry links. (My bad).
With continuous back and forth with judges this week, and even asking an extra music professional help to break a conflicting vote, "winners" are being finalized. We have judges going back to make minute scoring tweaks to help us come up with the official winners. In other words, the entries are all winners, and we have to painfully decide on who gets the prizes.
While waiting for the results, please check out the new line of whimsical cards we have with Practice Tips on the back (and blank middles). They are created from hand painted originals by Becky Chaffee (me). Profits from On-Line Sales thru May 31 go directly to the 2017 youth competition. To view more cards, see Link 1 and Link 2.
We're All About that Bass Fashion at Violettes
Cool Bass Purse-un No. 41There was no "About that Bass" Fashion when I first met Linda Hill. We had a connection in that she is a great storyteller, and I was teaching my children how to tell stories. I invited her for dinner so we could talk more. I still remember that I cooked a home made shrimp pizza that day almost 20 years ago! At that time, I didn't know she played musical instruments and would love a Violettes by Becky "All About that Bass" Fashion Bag, especially since I hadn't yet designed them.
Linda has done so many cool things and has so many accomplishments. Having cancer has slowed her down and increased her debt status. She was in college to get an elementary education teaching degree, when everything came to a halt for treatments. She has been in remission for 3 years now.-----------------Linda was born in Mississippi, and has lived in Atlanta,Georgia, New Orleans, New Jersey and Knoxville, TN. She grew up with a Mom teaching her to knit, crochet and sew and a father who gave very structured church sermons. This helped her to cope as an adult. For awhile, she earned a living sewing theatre costumes. She attributes her father's sermons to her storytelling abilities.------------Linda moved to Knoxville for college in 1972 to major in music at Knoxville College because her father lived in Sweetwater. After that, she majored in theatre at UTK, but had trouble with childcare. She also had many health problems, and had to put college on hold. She later went back to school for an early education degree, and spent time studying elementary special education thru the Grand Canyon University on-line, but cancer interfered. She would love to get back to the on-line classes.-----------------------------
1. Violettes: You play a lot of instruments and are experienced with theatre. That includes
Violin, Bass, guitar and Piano? Are you still playing them or/and teaching with them?Linda plays the upright Bass weekly in her church orchestra. At the elementary school where she is an assistant teacher, she teaches basic music theory and musicianship. She also teaches an after school violin club.-------------------2. Violettes: You have been in an acting troupe, "Carpetbag Theatre" - Are you still associated with that group?Linda still performs (singing and acting) in short skits with them including excerpts from shows for meetings. This includes performing a skit about the "Tennessee Chocolate Drops" (who the Carolina Drops are named for) for the Louis Bluie Festival and the TN Historical Society.Linda also wrote a story called "Aunt Dina", which she performed for prisoners in honor of Black History Month.------------------------------3. Violettes: You are currently a teaching assistant for elementary school children. I hope you are able to use your music and acting talents working with the kids! Are you doing anything involving, music, acting or storytelling with the school children?Linda teaches reading intervention groups from the 1st thru 4rth grade. After school , thru the Great Schools Partnership, she teaches beginning keyboard and violin.----------------------4. Violettes: What are your favorite things to do these days?Linda says, "I have been feeling a lot better for the last 9 months. Weekly music with my church is my biggest joy. And just relaxing at home."--------------------------5. Violettes: You have 2 wonderful sons that you call your coastal babies. What are they up to now that they are grown.Milton is recruiting for the Marines in California and Charles is learning to be an electrician in Florida.----------------------------------6. Violettes: What is your favorite musician, band or/and music genre?Linda's favorite music is classical, and especially baroque. "In orchestra, it keeps the basses busy!" But she also loves old time blues and country music because of the stories.
What Does Music & the Brain Have to Do With it?
What has music and the brain have to do with it? Music helps the brain in so many ways for all ages. So if you are playing music, we hope you are intelligent, and don't need to be told to not vote for Trump.
Violettes by Becky, selling Gifts for Music Lovers like our Hand painted by Becky Peace Sign "Woodstock" Guitar Purse, has a rare plea for politics. Please send me answers entered at the bottom of this page.
How can Trump be taken seriously by anyone? Is it only the uneducated? Do people not understand that much of his "facts" are fabricated? Do they not see that he is a hate monger? Do they not understand his parallels to Hitler?
I don't know where I have been, but I am now introduced to comedian John Oliver. Check his fact full "acts" on Trump. You can find it on You tube. While you're at it, check out his acts with facts and humor about the Refugee situation and about the Refugee vetting Process...
This is the message Sierra Club is sending out about Trump:
"A man so arrogant he claims he would have skipped the Paris climate summit... so unwilling to be contradicted he insists climate change science is a hoax... so bigoted he says he can't 'Unequivocally Condemn' the KKK's David Duke... could be our next president."
With that in mind, have you listened to the most recent Al Gore Ted Talk about climate changes? This is worth a look. It is a critical issue for the world right now, and Trump...
On this NOTE (says Violettes by Becky, who sells an amazing personally designed Violin Purse and gig bag), the refugee crisis is nothing now, compared to how it will be with "climate refugees" by 2050. From a National Geographic article, scientists predict the number will rise to at least 50 million by 2050. Some say it could be as high as 200 million. This will result from parts of our planet that become uninhabitable. "Climate Refugees". Yes, people from the middle east will flood the US, and ... Probably so many, that we won'y be able to control them by laws and walls.
Get responsible people! Do not vote for Trump!!!
Just so you know, we can paint anything you like on a guitar purse. Send us photos of your pet if you like. Check our our animal theme Guitar Purse selection.