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Joel's Corner

Expert Advice

Joel Kennedy is the founder of Kennedy Violins. He has played viola and violin for over 40 years. He attended the prestigious Eastman School of Music in New York, where he earned a bachelor’s degree in viola performance, and his graduate work was in education. He has played professionally with orchestras around the US and his students have attended top conservatories in the US and abroad.

Best Beginner Songs For Violin

Hello everyone, this is Joel Kennedy from Kennedy Violins. Today, I’m going to share some insights on the best beginning violin songs, focusing on th...

How to Use a Violin Mute for Performance and Practice

Can you play a violin quietly? Hi everyone, this is Joel Kennedy from Kennedy Violins. Today, I want to share some insights on using violin mutes, ...

How To Tune A Violin By Ear

Tuning a violin by ear is a valuable skill for any violinist to develop. It allows you to tune your instrument quickly and accurately, without relying...

Why Do Violinists Hate Viola?

As a violist and musician, I've often wondered why violinists seem to have a disparaging attitude towards violists. While I don't think violinists tru...

Are Violin Strings Made Of Cat Guts?

Many people believe violin strings are made from cat intestines, hence "cat gut." However, the term "cat gut" originated from "cattle gut," and there's no evidence cats were used. Gut strings are typically made from sheep or goat intestines. The process is labor-intensive, giving these strings a unique tone preferred by many musicians....

Are Stradivarius Violins Really Better Than Modern Violins?

Are Stradivarius Violins the Best? Hey everybody, this is Joel Kennedy with Kennedy Violins. Today, we're going to tackle a highly contentious quest...

How To Learn The Violin Step By Step

At Kennedy Violins, we understand the excitement and challenges that come with beginning your journey with the violin. Whether you're completely new ...

How To Warm Up When Playing The Violin

A key aspect often overlooked by many, regardless of the instrument, is the warm-up routine. In this blog, we'll explore the critical reasons for warm...

Why Was The Violin Shoulder Rest Invented?

Hi, I'm Joel Kennedy from Kennedy Violins. In today's blog, we delve into the intricacies of the violin shoulder rest, exploring its history, functio...

Is It Better to Rent or Buy a Violin?

Hey everybody, this is Joel Kennedy with Kennedy Violins. Today I want to discuss the advantages of renting a violin. For the most part, kids are ren...

What Size Violin Does My Child Need?

Finding the right size violin for your child can be a challenge, but it's crucial for their comfort and musical development. In this article, we'll ex...

What is the Difference Between a Violin and a Fiddle?

One question that frequently comes up among string instrument enthusiasts is whether there is a difference between a fiddle and a violin. It's a topi...

How to Switch From Violin to Viola

Hi there, this is Joel Kennedy from Kennedy Violins, and today we're diving into a topic that has intrigued many: switching from violin to viola or ev...

Tips for Sight Reading Violin

Today Joel Kennedy delves deep into how to sight read on a violin and shares a simple system  he has developed for mastering sight reading. We'll focus on the basics of sight reading for. A strong understanding of time and key signatures will significantly enhance your grasp of this system....

How to Tighten Your Violin Bow

Navigating the delicate balance of tightening a violin bow can be daunting for both beginners and seasoned players. It's not just about turning a screw; it's about understanding the interplay between tension, control, and the environment. Join Joel Kennedy from Kennedy Violins as he breaks down the art of bow tension. ...

Revolutionizing the Violin Industry

 In a world where technology constantly reshapes our lives, Kennedy Violins stood as a beacon of innovation in the realm of violin sales. Over 20 year...

How to Use Rosin on a Violin Bow

Mastering the art of rosining your bow is essential for every violinist. From ensuring your bow is adequately tightened to applying the perfect amount of rosin, there's a specific technique to ensure optimal sound quality. ...

Finding the Best Place to Buy a Violin Online: A Comprehensive Guide

When it comes to buying a violin online, the choices can be overwhelming. At Kennedy Violins, we not only sell quality instruments but also aim to ed...

Does Violin Bow Quality Matter?

When it comes to playing the violin, there's a lot of attention given to the quality and craftsmanship of the instrument itself. However, an equally i...

The Ultimate Guide to Finding the Best Beginner Violin Lessons

Today, the internet is flooded with queries like "best beginner violin lessons." As a professional musician, teacher, and a parent of two budding mus...

Best Rosin for a Beginner Violin Player

Are you a budding violinist uncertain about which rosin to pick for your bow? Your violin likely came with rosin, but perhaps you lost it, it broke, ...

What Kind of Violin Strings Should I Buy?

Choosing the Right Violin Strings: A Comprehensive Guide If you've ever asked yourself, "What kind of violin strings should I buy?" then this guide i...

What is the Difference Between a Beginner Violin and an Intermediate Violin?

Understanding the difference between beginner and intermediate violins can often be a bit confusing, as it's somewhat subjective. This guide will clar...

How to Properly Care for Your Cello – Maintenance Tips and Tricks

When it comes to your beloved (and probably expensive) cello, proper care and maintenance are essential to ensure its longevity and optimal performance. In this comprehensive guide, we will share valuable tips and tricks to help you master the art of cello care and maintenance....

The Ultimate Guide to Choosing the Right Violin Size for Beginners

When embarking on a musical journey as a beginner violinist, choosing the right violin size is crucial. A well-fitted instrument not only ensures prop...

Benefits of online violin shopping and the unique experience that Kennedy Violins offers

Keywords used:  Online violin store, violin buy, violin music store, violin online store, violin online stores, violin shop, violin shop online, violi...

Exploring Bow Materials—Choosing the Best Bow for Your Violin, Viola, Cello, or Bass

By Joel Kennedy When choosing a bow for your violin, viola, cello, or bass, the material it's made of plays a significant role in the sound production...

How to Play a Chromatic Scale on Violin

In today’s video, I’ll be showing you an easy fingering for a 3 octave chromatic scale. Here is the fingering: GOING UP: On G string: (In 1/2 position...

How to Play Havana on the Violin

In this video, I’m going to show you how to easily play Havana on the violin The Havana song has basically has 3 main melodic sections. There is a mai...

How to Play a 3-Octave Scale on the Violin

Here's how to easily play a 3-octave G Major scale on the violin. Watch the video and play along. I’m going to show you how to play a G Major scale, w...

How to Play a Melodic Minor Scale on the Violin

In this video, I’m going to show you how to easily play a melodic minor scale on the violin For today’s example, I’m just going to show you how to pla...

How to Play a Minor Scale on the Violin

Joel walks us through how to play minor scales on the violin....

How to Play a Major Scale on the Violin

In Today’s video, I’ll be showing you how to play a Major scale on the violin. I’ll be showing you the G Major scale and a 1-octave scale as well as a...

When is the Best Time to Start Violin?

In this video, Joel Kennedy talks about when the best time is to start your child on violin.  Knowing when to start your child on violin has a lot to ...

Should My Child Learn Violin?

In today’s video, Joel will talk about the reasons why many parents start their kids on violin and why he started his children with the violin. Many p...

Why is Violin So Hard?

In Today’s video, Joel Kennedy talks about why it is so hard to learn the violin and what the difference between learning the violin and other instrum...

How to Hold a Violin

In Today’s video, I’ll be explaining how to hold the violin.  Holding the violin properly can help you avoid a lot of challenges to learning and playi...

Can You Learn Violin Yourself?

Many people, especially adults, wonder if they can learn the violin by themselves. The simple answer to this question is YES but you should be aware of some VERY important aspects of learning the violin before attempting to learn the violin yourself....

Can Adults Learn Violin?

Can adults learn to play the violin is a common question that I hear fairly often. The simple answer to this question is YES, adults CAN learn the vio...

To Rest or Not to Rest: The Shoulder Rest Dilemma in Violin Playing

In this video, Joel shows you how to use a shoulder rest. and whether you need one, or not. Learning how to use a shoulder rest is not especially tricky. But you should know how to use a shoulder rest, and why it can be so helpful to you. Using a shoulder rest on your violin will make it easier to learn....

What to Look For When Choosing a Violin for a Beginner

What to look for when buying and choosing a violin? It can seem like a very daunting task, and if you don’t know a lot about violins, it can seem impo...

How to Bow SMOOTHLY - Learn Colle'

In today’s video, I’ll be talking about how to bow smoothly like a professional. In other words, how to learn the colle’ bowing technique on the viol...

How to Install the Bridge

Usually, a bridge needs to be put back on an instrument because it was dropped (YIKES!) or it suffered some blunt trauma during the shipping process. ...

How to Read Sheet Music

Hello everyone, In continuation of my short series on reading sheet music, I want to talk about the first steps in reading sheet music, which is re...

How to Read Dynamics

Hello Everyone, Today, I’m starting a short series on how to read music. Today I’ll be talking about how to read and successfully perform dynamics ...

How to Straighten a Bridge

Hello everyone, Today's post is about the importance of keeping your bridge straight and how to straighten it. 99.9% of the time, a crooked bridge is ...

Different Types of Violin Strings

Hello everyone, Today, I’m doing a quick video on the differences between the types of strings you can install on your violin. There are 3 prima...

How to Change a Violin String

Hello Everyone, For today’s video, I will not only be showing you an easy way to change your violin string but also a couple tricks that will make ...

How To Play With a Straight Bow

Hello Everyone, Today’s video is about how to play with a straight bow. Playing with a straight bow is very important because it will give you C...

How To Place Left Hand On a Violin

Hello Everyone, Today's blog post is about proper left hand placement on your violin or viola. Where you place your left hand is very important. Howev...

How to Bounce a Bow

Hello Everyone, Todays video is about learning how to bounce your bow. Bouncing your bow on a stringed instrument is more commonly known as Spicatt...

How to Practice Vibrato

Today's video is about how to practice vibrato. I won’t be talking a whole lot about the mechanics of vibrato because there are different types of vib...

The Importance of Breathing

Hello everyone, Today is the 6th video in my 8 part series about effective practicing techniques. Today I want to talk about how important breathing i...

How To Practice Without Getting Tired

Today I’m going to be talking about improving endurance while practicing. Not getting overly physically or mentally tired during practice is important...

How to Practice with the Metronome

Introduction Hi everyone, Welcome to the 4th video in my 8-part series about effective practicing techniques. Today, we'll focus on the importance of ...

How to Practice Scales

Joel gives us the best way to work up to playing scales!...

What is Collegno?

Collegno is an Italian word that means “with wood”. It’s a technique that often used with violin and other bowed stringed instruments. Collegno has been used as an effect for a long time in orchestral music but it’s probably more prevalent in modern classical music. Here is how to achieve and use collegno when you play...

How to Do Ponticello

Ponticello is an effect that is most often used in orchestral music to show danger or mystery. It colors the sound in such a way that it conveys a sense of coldness or starkness. To effectively play ponticello, you have to make sure that you keep your bridge straight and play right extremely close to the bridge. Here's how…...

How to Do Tremolo on the Violin

What is tremolo? Tremolo on a bowed stringed instrument just means that you are creating a “trembling effect”. You will want to repeat the same not...

How to Learn Spiccato

Today's video is about some easy methods you can use, to learn the Spiccato bowing technique. There are many ways to learn spicatto, but over the year...

How to Learn Detache on the Violin

This is the first video in a series of videos I’ll be doing about various bowing techniques. I’ll be talking about Detache bowing today. Many peopl...

Difference Between Cheap and Expensive Violins

There are 5 main tiers of violins that you can buy. 1. VSO violins (usually below $200) Otherwise known as Violin Shaped Objects. These violins repres...

What Bow Should I Buy?

Learn about the different kinds of orchestral bows and what you may decide is best for you. The purpose of this video is NOT to offer an exhaustive li...

Should You Buy a New Instrument?

Today, I’ll be talking about some of the factors involved when you are deciding to buy a new stringed instrument. Generally speaking, there are a f...

How to Read Sheet Music for Violin—Open Strings

Here are the first steps in reading violin sheet music, which is reading open strings. Watch the video for more tips! Memorizing how your open strings...

How to Write Fingerings in Sheet Music

Today’s video is about how to write fingerings in your sheet music. There are many benefits to writing fingerings in your sheet music whether you are ...

How to Use a Mute on an Orchestra Instrument

Here are the the differences between the many types of mutes you can use on your instrument. During my younger years and when I played professionally,...

How to Put Fingering Tape on Your Violin

Hello everyone, Today I’m doing a short video on how and why to put fingering tapes on your violin. Many people who first learn the violin wonder why ...

How to Properly Store Your Instrument

Hello everyone, Today I wanted to give you a few ideas on the best ways to store your violin. Remember: Temperature and humidity affect strin...

How To Prepare for an Audition

Hello everyone, today I wanted to talk about how to prepare for an audition. It's all about two main things: Preparing the music and preparing your mi...

What happened to EBONY?

Hi everyone, today I'm talking about the use of Ebony on stringed instruments. I talk about why Ebony is used and the fact that we are running out of ...

Audition Sight Reading

Hi everyone, today I give you 3 easy steps to practice, in order to make sight reading in auditions EASY! The 3 steps are: What is in your foot? --J...

Learn how to easily shift on the violin!

Hi everyone, today I show you how to easily learn how to shift and I give you 2 exercises that'll make you a great shifter! Remember 3 things: 1...

The Importance of Warming Up

What are the primary benefits to warming up properly? When you warm up properly, you will have a significantly more focused and productive practice se...

Effective Practicing Habits

Consistency is Key It is very important that practicing becomes a HABIT. Nobody has time to practice. Nobody has time to get to the gym. Nobody has ti...

How to Find the Right Teacher

Hello everyone, Today I’m finishing up my series on raising musician children and I’m talking about how to know if your violin teacher is a good mat...

How to Practice with Your Kids

Let's talk about how to practice with your child. However, I think that the effectiveness of any advice that I can offer is heavily dependent on the r...

How to Practice

Today I’m talking about how to practice. A lot of people focus on how much time they practice and while that’s important, it’s arguably much more impo...

How to put on a shoulder rest

Watch Joel Kennedy from Kennedy Violins show you how to put on a shoulder rest. This video features a Portland Gold Shoulder Rest....

How to Change Your Violin Strings

Watch Joel Kennedy demonstrate how to change your violin strings!...

How to Tune an Instrument

Joel Kennedy explains the different ways in which you can tune a violin and shows how to do each one. In this Video we will go over using the Tuning ...

How to Hold a Violin Bow

Hey guys, this is Joel Kennedy bringing you another video! Today, I'm showing you how I've taught a lot of students how to hold a violin bow. While...

Difference Between Violin and Viola

Hi everyone, in this video I explain the differences between the violin and viola. The differences can be explained in 2 different ways: physical an...

How to avoid scratchy sound on the violin

Hi guys, today's video is about how to play the violin without screeches and scratches. Remember, don't be too frustrated. The concepts of playing w...

How to Pluck a Violin String

Today's video is about how to pluck your violin string (pizzicato). My goal is to make your pizzicato easy and sound awesome! There are two basic types of pizzicato: Plucking while maintaining bow hold or plucking and losing bow hold. Let me show you the difference!...

Stringed Instrument Care and Maintenance Part 2

By Marisa Kobilan Welcome to Part 2 of Instrument Care and Maintenance!  This time we’ll discuss some routine maintenance that is necessary for keepin...

Stringed Instrument Care and Maintenance, Part 1

You’ve made the decision to begin playing a stringed instrument. Or, perhaps your child has begun taking music lessons on a stringed instrument. In order for you to enjoy years of trouble-free use from your instrument, it is a good idea to follow a basic program of care and routine maintenance....

How to Return to The Violin After Years of Not Playing

By Joel Kennedy Introduction At Kennedy Violins, we get calls all the time from people who want to get back to playing after taking a hiatus of severa...

Practice Makes Perfect

By Joel Kennedy Everybody knows that if you want to be better at anything, you need to practice. Most people would also agree that while practicing is...

How to Purchase a Violin

If you don't play the violin, how can you test one? What if you don't have a violin store in your area that has a large selection of violins? Perhaps most confusing of all is the fact that most violins all look the same and when you look at one to another, the price ranges are huge and the price differences seem to be nebulous and random. How can you be sure you're not getting ripped off? How expensive of a violin do you need to purchase for your child, especially considering they may be a beginning student?...

Maintaining Your Violin or other Orchestral Instrument

Other than wiping it down every day and making sure you don’t expose it to extreme temperature/humidity conditions, there isn’t really a lot that you ...

Humidity and Your Stringed Instrument

At some point in a violin's life, its ribs will start to separate from the top and bottom plates of the instrument because of changing humidity conditions.  TThe good news is, it is very easy and inexpensive to control the humidity conditions that your stringed instrument is subjected to....

How Do You Find a Violin Teacher For Your Child?

Where do I find a suitable instructor for my child? Once parents decide that they want their children to learn a stringed instrument, they are faced with this often challenging question. It's difficult to know where to start. find a teacher who will not only show them proper technique, but also instill a joy for music....

How to Prevent Slipping Violin Pegs

Why do Violin Pegs Slip? I found a disturbing amount of misinformation on the internet about the problem of slipping violin pegs. Unfortunately, many of videos and articles available will ensure that the problem persists. Here is the right way to install strings and stop your pegs from slipping....

How To Rosin a New Bow

This video is for anyone starting out on the violin who is wondering how to rosin their bow. This video also has a brief description on what rosin is....

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