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Author’s Introductionverythin-blue-strip-1024x10

What is more important to you?
Doing better than your competition or challenging yourself to do your best?
How is True Success Achieved? 
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As a professional musician and teacher, I have encountered this question in personal experiences consistently over decades. With all confidence, I share that the value of the outlook discussed below, will be the most important part of your learning experience on your Quest for Success.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
You may be a teacher who has taught for a lifetime, or a student who is first starting out. You may be a brilliant scholar, or an experienced classical musician. You may be the parent of a budding teenager who will grow to become an adult, parent, or possibly a teacher. Everyone can gain perspective on how to appraise his or her own personal success at any level, including this author.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Most textbooks are subjected to painstaking editing processes. Stating things in a textbook-correct fashion, seeking to present concepts in precise and clear ways, is always the goal. On these pages, I share this important quest for precision and clarity, but in addition, you may notice a more personal style in which the material is presented. I wish to give the reader food for thought on a creative level. You will notice the use of expressions, analogies, friendly concept-characters, word play, and on occasion, I will share a fond memory or even a joke or two.
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It is important to know that string instruments existed before there were written instructions on how to play them. Over centuries, the dedicated love of musicians for their instruments has encouraged discovery. Master composers, players, and teachers gathered hands-on knowledge and then experimented with and improved their know-how. This traditional wisdom continues to evolve and has been handed down from generation to generation. Let us continue the tradition.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Maintain realistic expectations and recognize that playing a musical instrument is unlike any other activity in the sense, that it is much more than simply knowing what to do. Once you have acquired this knowledge, your goal is to apply it to controlled, polished, physical action. Studying and improving how knowledge is applied to and then guides physical action, requires patient and focused repetition –practice! It takes training to acquire knowledge of performance techniques and then be able to successfully apply this learned wisdom to your own performances.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Playing an instrument is a very personal activity. My experience has proven to me that the most successful students put forward their best efforts while enjoying the process.  There is great value in remembering to have fun while working hard. Fun brings enthusiasm, which increases motivation. Motivated students stick to it and want to improve.  Pleasure-giving and dedicated practice brings improvement, which is personally satisfying, thus furthering your interest in persevering and advancing.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Back to my earlier question:
How is True Success Achieved? verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Here are some answers to that question. Consider filling an old restrictive way of learning with an improved perspective. The result may bring to you a much broader and more fulfilling life lesson. Choose to replace the importance of competition with others in order to find the best performance solutions for yourself, rather than seeking simply to do it better or faster than a colleague.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Embrace the idea of a healthier and more productive personal standard. Individuals have more success when they learn and improve by challenging themselves, to realize their own personal best. Always practice to fine-tune your personal best, and work to make it even better!
Encourage your fellow musicians to strive to find their own personal best as well. Mutual success will be the result. This way, you will all perform together in top-notch harmony – on many levels! Orchestral playing is teamwork.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
The music field is a competitive one. The skill levels of musicians who perform with the world’s finest orchestras are equivalent to those of Olympic level athletes. As you advance, you will need to perform well at auditions in order to gain the opportunity to perform with more-advanced orchestras. Healthy competition occurs when participants present their own most polished and confident performances, which then challenge other competitors to reach for their own higher levels of abilities.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

The Quest for String Playing Mastery is not about my life and my personal accomplishments.  However, I do wish to share perspectives that I have gained as a direct result of enjoying a world-class education. Even more importantly, I wish to offer perspectives from lessons personally learned from a career in classical music as a performer, teacher, and music advocate. In the Quest, I wish to share helpful know-how. verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Simply put, I wish to tell you in my own words what works and to give you pointers from a pro’s perspective, striving to choose the most effective words in order to describe concepts and opinions about many things. Playing a string instrument is a physical, hands-on activity. Descriptions of tactile sensations are tricky. They require you to focus your imagination and apply common sense in order to achieve success.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

It is fair to state that building an extensive learning project as this one, demands time and detailed thought. Some may ask why I gave myself so much homework. The reason is that I love what I do. It is a true blessing to be a part of the quest for higher knowledge in the profession that I chose to pursue. This project is never ending, and I continue to enjoy working on the further expansion of theQuest, leading it to the concert-artist level.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Through dedication and hard work, musicians may attain a professional level, but they should remain amateurs in their hearts. Although I have attained the status of a seasoned, professional musician, I see myself as a “professional amateur.”  The origin of the word amateur means, “To love” and I use it in this context with that meaning: for the love of it.  I wish to instill this love of learning in you, show you what works, and how to make this knowledge yours to explore and enjoy.  Be positive and engaged in your learning. You will love it!verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Even though I thought that I really knew a topic, the more detailed research I put into it, the more I realized what I did not know and what I could question with a refreshed perspective. I have gained a deeper appreciation of the evolution of thought processes that span multiple centuries and of the effect that worldviews of past days had on ideas, concepts, terms, and their definitions.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Throughout the Quest, concept-characters will be talking to you on my behalf.  All of the characters were created to trigger your curiosity about how proficient a musician you wish to become. They will challenge you to practice hard in order to get there! You will get out of the Quest what you put into it! At first, you will make some “creative” sounds that will not be ready for the stage, but everyone will learn how to improve.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Keep in mind that there are erasers on pencils for a reason. Make beautiful mistakes, erase them in your mind and hands, then practice properly in order to make progress. The goal is to enjoy performing music with confidence!verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

It is always challenging to transfer thoughts and spoken words into clear and precise writing. Individuals use language in different ways. Therefore, it follows that expressing concepts in your own words, helps you to understand them more vividly, making the concepts.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Throughout the Quest, concept-characters will be talking to you on my behalf.  All of the characters were created to trigger your curiosity about how proficient a musician you wish to become. They will challenge you to practice hard in order to get there! You will get out of the Quest what you put into it! At first, you will make some “creative” sounds that will not be ready for the stage, but everyone will learn how to improve.verythin-blue-strip-1024x10
Keep in mind that there are erasers on pencils for a reason. Make beautiful mistakes, erase them in your mind and hands, then practice properly in order to make progress. The goal is to enjoy performing music with confidence!verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Remember, the expression is to “PLAY an instrument.” verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Thank you for reading; now – Let’s go make music! verythin-blue-strip-1024x10

Focus, work hard, and play well! – Adamverythin-blue-strip-1024x10

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