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Whilst I miss performing for an audience and making music with my SCO friends and colleagues, I am actually enjoying the opportunity to do more practice and to reflect on and research music. I am also continuing to teach my students from St Mary’s Music School and the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland on Zoom, which has taken a lot of time (and frustration!) to set up. The sound and synchronisation aren’t ideal, but it is helping to keep them going during lockdown.

As a professional musician I find it is hard to feel bored or lonely as I am used to spending hours with only my lovely violin for company. I feel a bit sorry for my neighbours as I have been practising many more scales than usual and doing a lot of technical work – partly to try things out before I let them loose on my unsuspecting students. I also have more time to try out playing with a baroque bow, which will be useful for some of the concerts with Maxim when we get back to performing again, and am reading Jaap Schröder’s performer’s guide to Bach’s solo violin works.

Another interest is in the physical side of violin playing and how to avoid unnecessary tension. I have a long acquaintance with the Alexander Technique and have found its principles very valuable in my own playing but would like to have more anatomical knowledge to pass on to my students. I’m doing quite a bit of reading around this subject too.

All this probably sounds very ‘anoraky’! I must say that the highlight of my day in lockdown involves going for a walk locally, coinciding with my daughter and 8-month-old granddaughter – at a suitable distance of course – who live nearby. I wish our audience all the best during this difficult time and look forward to seeing you all again as soon as possible.

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