top of page
Ideal Violinist


By Bayla Keyes


  • Beautiful, appropriate, emotional sounds.

  • Perfect, ringing intonation everywhere on instrument.

  • Total rhythmic control of both bow and left hand.

  • Clarity, brilliance, purity, and virtuosity in fast passages.

  • Ease, naturalness, and comfort while playing.

  • The ability to learn rapidly and thoroughly.

  • A gift for listening and playing well with others.

  • Deep musical understanding, both intellectual and instinctive.

  • Performances which connect with and move audiences.

  • Artistic playing which expresses spirituality and meaning beyond the individual self. 


Playing the violin

The violin is capable of making some of the most beautiful sounds in the world. I love how its sound changes and opens up as we learn to feel the give of the strings and the elasticity in our bodies – sensing how power comes not from strain and effort, but from learning to use our own natural weight and balance. We can find many ways to achieve certain resonances or effects, but the best ways will most often feel natural and easy, and they will enable us to play the violin for our whole long lives.


Studying the score

The score is so much more than what lives plainly on the page – and although notes, dynamics, and rhythms can be in themselves extremely difficult to achieve, they are only the beginning of the story! A musical score possesses a kind of secret code which is glorious to decipher. Having the curiosity, love and care to notice all the details of harmonic movement, the arc and range of the line, changes in orchestration, and so on, will give our ultimate performance great depth of understanding and nuance. We can truly inhabit the music.


Making the emotional connection

Technical work is necessary and even enjoyable at times, but our reward is not simply the physical calm, centeredness, and accuracy that come with technical mastery – it is above all the deep and abiding joy that comes with making the deep emotional connection from yourself to the music, through your instrument, out into the air, and into the heart of your listener.

bottom of page