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Tuesday, October 13, 2020

Jazz Violin Practice Class Review

Recently I have been thinking about how my passion for jazz started. I remember as a young child being entranced by the fabulous sounds of what I now know was the Count Basie Orchestra with Sinatra. The other lasting memory is of the marvellous Stephane Grappelli seemingly magically swinging his way through the Great American Songbook. 

I have been lucky in life. When I started school at five years old I was handed a recorder to play, and soon after a violin by Sister Mary Austin who was a visionary teacher of music to young children.  I have never been without music in my life thanks to her. During a midlife ‘affair’ with the saxophone I got to play Basie on Baritone Sax in a Big Band- a treasured experience! But with the passage of time I have returned to my violin - and to trying to make the sounds of Grappelli.

What luck to randomly stumble upon the Jazz Violin Practice Club! Matt Holborn, an established Jazz/Swing Violinist, (a northerner who studied at Leeds College of Music) runs a twice weekly ‘practice club’ on zoom, which is also really part workshop. The great advantage of zoom is that you can try things out in your living room without the din of everyone else disturbing your concentration (and vice versa). Matt combines his expert knowledge of the violin with a nicely paced planned approach to tackling the ‘jigsaw pieces’  of improvising, and how to try putting them together on the violin to play something that makes sense.  I have been to a lot of workshops of one kind or another over the years and this ranks with the good ones (and is not expensive).

So if you play the violin check out Matt Holborn’s website here!

https://www.mattholborn.com/

Nicola Milne

1 comment :

Joe Martin said...

Hi Nicola, it's Joe Martin here. What a surprise to see your name here and the mention of Sister Mary Austin! I nearly stopped at grade 1 but for her gentle encouragement. I've been considering Matt's course, which is how I stumbled on your review. It sounds good. Cheers, Joe x

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