Cami Shaskin

Violin Blog

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Favorite Music
16 AUG 2021


This blog is about all things violin. It is meant to educate, inspire, and provide resources for parents, teachers, and students. The author takes full responsibility for the viewpoints expressed here. In instances where she quotes ideas from others, she pledges to cite her sources as fully, responsibly, and accurately as possible. Topics will include book reviews, technique tips, entertaining anecdotes, quotes, jokes, educational findings, instrument care suggestions, violin in the news, repertoire lists, etc.

Cami J. Shaskin graduated with her master's degree in Music Education in 2008. Violin has always been her primary instrument, since beginning private lessons at age five. See for her music résumé, or click on Spotlights for historical recordings. Cami has enjoyed an array of experiences in writing, from penning award-winning articles as a journalism staff writer in high school, tutoring peers at BYU's Writing Center, earning a Writing Fellows scholarship and a minor in Language and Computers, and later becoming a published author. She recently picked up web programming as a hobby, earning a certificate in Web Programming and Development from the local community college. This blog has been a collaborative effort between her and her husband, who is a Web Developer by profession. Together, they designed and coded this blog and its original content "from scratch."


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        16 - Welcome to My Blog
        23 - Violin Teaching Kits
        30 - The Power of Inspiration
        06 - Valuable Techniques
        07 - From the Top
        13 - In Honor of Valentine's Day
        20 - Violin Jokes
        28 - Beginning Orchestra Teaching
        06 - Singing in Orchestra
        13 - Nurtured by Love
        21 - Helpful Websites
        27 - Unique Case Uses
        02 - Favorite Music Quotes
        10 - All About Tone
        17 - Unique Composer Stories
        24 - Teaching Values
        02 - Believing Teachers?
        15 - Violin in Art & Architecture
        23 - A Solo Repertoire List
        29 - Our Quartet
        20 - Theft and Other Lessons
        26 - Violin Bridge Tips
        07 - Clever Violin Memes
        20 - Horses and Lions
        04 - Music During Covid
        16 - Favorite Music
        12 - Being There
        16 - Sight Reading Tips
        05 - Why It's the Frog
        20 - Bach on the Brain
        30 - Impact for Life
        23 - Tendonitis Helps
        21 - An Old Performance
        23 - Cars3 & Coaching
        28 - Buying a Violin for Dummies
        29 - Preferred Brands
        27 - Love: A Calling
        20 - Gratitude for Idaho Shop
        19 - Violinist Interviews Books
        08 - Music Opens Doors
        23 - Top Classical Tunes for Violin
        11 - 100 Days of Listening
        27 - Useful Analogies
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Our Quartet
29 May 2021
I was with the same string quartet for seven years. That's a long time . . . especially when you're young. And we were young. We were two sets of sisters. I was the oldest at 14. My sister, the youngest, was only 11 or 12 when we first formed the group. But we were gung-ho. We had our group name, regular rehearsals, our own signature piece (arranged by Emily Richards, a talented violinist and friend) that we started each gig with, matching floral skirts, our own album, business cards, some supportive fans—and through it all, we developed incredible friendships with each other.

We played full quartets by Dvorak, Ravel, Mozart and Beethoven in our spare time. Of course, we played Pachelbel's Canon, Jesu Joy of Man's Desiring, Trumpet Voluntary, and other wedding favorites. There were personal favorites like Interludium in Modo Antico and Pavane by Jay Welch. For jobs, sometimes we even took requests. And we got asked to play for a lot of receptions—even for college graduations. There were some challenges—like at a chamber music camp we attended, when the key to the trunk holding our instruments broke in the lock. Or when my sister opened her case at one of our gigs at least an hour way and we realized she had forgotten her viola. There was the time the cellist left her music home, and we were just about to go onstage to perform a concert. Or when the old car we were all in broke down.

But we had each other. We had our musical preparation. And we had prayer. (Prayer works!) That gig where we were without an instrument? Well, it just so happens that a mutual friend was at the wedding reception we were playing for, and he just happened to have his violin with him and was gracious enough to lend it to us. Jenny played all the viola parts for the next hour and a half on his violin, transposing the entire time. That time Angie, our cellist, didn't have her music for a performance? She played the entire quartet from memory. (Just wow. We didn't even know she didn't have her music; she didn't tell us until after the concert was over!) And that time when the old car had problems, thankfully someone thought to say a group prayer that we'd make it home safely. The car sputtered and strained for the last several miles, but we made it. It literally died the moment we pulled into the driveway. Permanently, I think . . . .

This group also prepared me for college. The other girls were my first roommates away from home, at a week-long music camp one summer in northern Utah when I was 16. They taught me easy, inexpensive meals, like dry Ramen noodles with egg. I learned new ideas for applying makeup, and fun group games that only required pen and paper, but had us rolling in stitches on the floor.

I still think one of the best parts about playing music is the people you get to know in the process. You get to experience one of God's great beauties; and you get to do it with remarkable friends. There's nothing quite like it. I am so grateful for all the memories.

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