The Entertainer


ImageThis is an arrangement of the well-known entertainer by Scott Joplin that I made to play with my daughter. The piano part has been simplified slightly to make it more playable for less advanced players. Click on the link below to go to the download page. Enjoy!

Free sheet music




How to practice, in six steps

ImageI came across this article by Laurie Niles on - some excellent advice for student players to improve their practising.

"I think I forgot how to practice," said my student.

Well, I guess it's better than forgetting TO practice, but this is a problem that needs addressing. In fact, I'm finding that as my students get older, I need to take time to talk about practice strategies in a different way than I did when they were younger. Sure, I can identify their problem areas, but they need to start learning to do so on their own, and it isn't always obvious how to go about it. So let's say you are working on this week's etude, or a page of your concerto, or your orchestra music; here is a basic plan:


Something to make you cringe....

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Building a violin - photo essay (Completed)

Violin buildingI recently received another commission to build a violin. I have decided to document the building process through a photo essay. The building process is mostly done by hand. I have no objection to the use of powertools, but there are very few steps in the building process that can be improved or completed in a shorter time using them. And besides, powertools and a glass of wine and a nice CD on the sound system don't mix!

Click on the thumbnails below to see the photo with a description. Enjoy!


The Russian school of violin playing

ImageThe Russian school (later the Soviet school) of musicians formed a dominant force in classical music through the 20th century. From the studios of Leopold Auer in St Petersburg, Piotr Stolyarsky in Odessa, and Abram Yampolsky and Konstantin  Mostras in Moscow came great artists such as Elman, Heifetz, Milstein, Oistrakh, Kogan and many others. These iconic violinists had a profound impact on later generations worldwide.


Darth Fiddler flattened...


ImageAfter a man crossed over to the dark side and tackled Victoria’s famous Darth Fiddler, a music store has stepped up to help the busker get back on his feet. Darth Fiddler, the performer’s alias for Randy McKenna, was performing at his usual perch at Government and Wharf streets on Saturday, when he was assaulted at about 7 p.m.


19th Century Mirecourt violin for sale

ImageI have a beautifully restored 19th century Mirecourt violin for sale. It is labled 'Copy of Nicolaus Gagliano, Neapanno 1717' and is sold with a case and a freshly rehaired bow. The selling price is R35,000 or USD5,000. For more information and pictures, click here > Violins for sale



Cello completed!

ImageThe cello that I started building way back in 2007 is finally completed and was sold. I used the opportunity to update the pictures of the building process in the 'workbench' section of the website. Here is a link to the pictures:

Cello building pics

I also did some research on the 'Davidov' Stradivari cello that I used as inspiration for the cello and here is what I found:


Playing the violin with a Sawzall


Free sheet music - Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet

Sheet musicI have added another high quality free sheet music download, this time the beautiful Meditation from Thaïs by Massenet for solo violin and piano. Click on the link below to download.

Free sheet music - Meditation from Thaïs

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