Cami Shaskin

Violin Blog

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The Ink
26 AUG 2023


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
        23 - Raw and Real Recital Reactions
        18 - In Honor of Halloween
        26 - Music Copyright
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The Power of Inspiration
30 Jan 2021
Examples of the power of inspiration (the biggest takeaway I have learned from Lindsey Stirling):

A) I totally respect LDS artists who are able to maintain high standards of kindness and modesty even on the road to fame and fortune. I think others appreciate it, too. Take the Piano Guys, for instance, who are so uplifting to watch and who have close to 7 million subscribers. 7 million.
B) You don’t have to be Heifetz to inspire future generations. I can’t tell you how many students I have had who decided to study the violin because of Lindsey Stirling’s videos. Of course, when I teach my students, I encourage them to listen to many violinists as part of their music education. Names such as Hilary Hahn, Joshua Bell, Itzhak Perlman, and even Vivaldi or Paganini (though we have no recordings of the latter players) are often touted in the Shaskin studio.
C) Lindsey Stirling gave an interview once where she described a phenomenon she called "Orchestra Face" (look it up or try this link). Soon this became a standard saying in our house. Frequently after I have performed in a broadcast of Music and the Spoken Word, my husband will let me know if he saw me on the screen and whether or not I had orchestra face. Hearing Ms. Stirling talk about "Orchestra Face" is perhaps the biggest motivation I’ve found for attempting to look pleasant while I play, or, as Tabernacle Choir at Temple Square directors have put it, "sparkling" for the camera!

EDIT: After realizing the image no longer works in the link above, let me quote from the article, titled 12 Struggles Only Violinists Will Understand, what Lindsey said: “It's really hard to smile when you play.” (Aside: true, and yet she's so good at it!) “As a performer, if I ever find myself focusing it's like, oh no — orchestra face! It's not attractive at all, so I have to focus on smiling.” Yep.

Here's a short video of the two of us performing together, though I doubt she knew it at the time:

Here's a shot of her from that performance:

And here's Lindsey, showing what NOT to do:
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