Cami Shaskin

Violin Blog


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."


Quick Access


        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
        28 - A Humorous Anecdote
        14 - Favorite Concertos & Sonatas
        15 - Our Commonality
        10 - Extras
        18 - Autopilot
        06 - Motivation
        07 - Starting Lessons Again
        08 - A Tale of Three Cloths
        26 - The Ink
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In Honor of Valentine's Day
13 Feb 2021
Things that inspire me to love violin performance:
  • Pieces with fun, descriptive titles, such as “Hunter’s Chorus,” “Spring Sonata,” or “The Girl with the Flaxen Hair”
  • Fiddling
  • String quartet music
  • Great musicals with great violin solos, like Fiddler on the Roof, or Oliver!
  • Great composers, including but not limited to, Vaughan Williams, Bach, Prokofiev, Sarasate, Mozart, Rob Gardner, or Mark Isham*
  • Opportunities to bear testimony of Christ through music
  • When a student actually practices every day
  • Hearing a movie intro (for example, in Last of the Mohicans) that features an awesome violin melody
  • When family members or friends ask me to play for them; I see that as a huge compliment and don’t take it for granted
  • When colleagues are respectful or inspiring
  • Hearing my husband say he still remembers the first time he heard me play
  • A fun project like a recording or solo recital
  • When I get to compose a violin part for a particular band’s cover of a Celine Dion song
  • Getting asked to play for a wedding
  • Collaborating musically with friends
  • Hearing the world’s best musicians on a local classical radio station
  • Touring Europe with a collegiate orchestra and seeing the Berlin Philharmonic perform live
  • Watching Hilary Hahn perform in person with the local symphony and play a Bach sonata for her encore, accompanying Shlomo Mintz in an orchestra and then watching him reach out and shake my stand partner’s and my hands, playing in Walt Disney Hall soon after it opened, being on stage at Carnegie Hall as a freshman in high school, participating in an orchestra backing up Sissel, seeing John Williams’ smile while he conducted, soloing with a local community orchestra in a period gown suitable for Mozart’s day, participating in the Closing Ceremonies of the Olympic Winter Games, recording the end of Beethoven’s “Ode to Joy” (at an incredible pace) with a gigantic choir and orchestra, accompanying the inspiring Evelyn Glennie—the only time I’ve seen bare feet on stage, sitting in front of ten french horns for a performance of Respighi’s “Pines of Rome,” playing the solo for Holst’s “Jupiter” with the All-State Orchestra, recording movie soundtracks and CD’s, soloing and snapping fingers/shouting on stage for Bernstein’s “Symphonic Dances from West Side Story,” and the list goes on . . .
  • Performing for Shinichi Suzuki before his death
  • Seeing Twoset Violin videos—check them out; they’re hilarious
  • When a young boy comes up and kisses my hand after a summer theme park performance
  • Hearing a performer with perfect intonation, impressive clarity, and soaring (but slightly subdued) expressive tone, who approaches their performance with an attitude of prayer or love for the music itself, not just to justify vanity or cater to the crowd

*Rob Gardner is famous for oratorios such as Joseph Smith the Prophet and Lamb of God. His rendering of "Savior, Redeemer of My Soul" is popularly performed among LDS musicians.
Mark Isham is a modern movie composer who wrote the music for October Sky and Dolphin Tale.
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