My Crescendo System

From Prof. Hrachya Harutyunian

The Crescendo System is a system, or a working method for violinists to cultivate highly-effective practicing and stage performance skills. Since the principles and technology are the same across the family of string instruments, all string players can achieve their highest technical and artistic potential by applying this system.

Of course we all know that the word “crescendo” means growing in strength, getting louder, progress towards a climax. And that’s exactly what this method is about: it makes the player better, stronger and more efficient so that his or her potential can be deployed to the fullest. When it was founded in 1996, I named my academy “Crescendo Violin Academy,” because “Crescendo” is the underlying philosophy of all my pedagogical work.

The Crescendo System is beneficial not only for all string instrument players but also for musicians at every level – from the beginner to the seasoned professional with a lot of stage experience.

The core idea that lies at the foundation of this system is that violin playing (from here we’ll say violin but we mean any string instrument) consists of a few technical aspects. Each of these aspects, which are actually very simple, should be functioning at maximum quality so that when applied in performance, they all work together optimally and beautifully.

So what are these technical aspects we are talking about?

1. Tone Production
2. Breathing
3. Intonation
4. Vibrato
5. Shifting technique
6. Technique of playing fast
7. Chords
8. Accents
9. Trills
10. The body language

I would actually reduce the number to just seven because the first three melt into one when applied correctly and the last one, body language, only becomes relevant as proficiency develops in the previous techniques.

So what does all this mean to you?

Let’s imagine the following: you are good at tone production but not so good at intonation, or your breathing is not free… maybe your shifting technique is not smooth, or trills are stressing you out sometimes … perhaps your chords are not clear and not working easily – the way they should…  In many such cases, violin playing becomes a struggle rather than the creative music making process it is meant to be.

For optimal performance, all of the technical aspects above should be functioning at 100%, not at 80% or less. However, for almost everyone, when we look at it honestly, we see that every one of these technical aspects could (and must!) be better.

Here is a quite common scenario: tone production is functioning at 75% (not really bad but could be much better), intonation is 80% (just okay, but not really good), breathing at 55% (not free at all), and shifts are at 60% (they do work but not all the time and under stress they become quite problematic). So what is the result?

Can you say that you are making the music you really want to or are you merely glad it works to a certain degree?
Is this satisfactory for you?
On a scale from 1 to 10 how satisfied are you?
Be honest with yourself…

Do you see the point I am making here?

Now imagine yourself with impeccable intonation, breathing freely and fully enjoying the physical process of violin playing. Your sound is rich, big, free and you are able to spontaniously create any color and nuance you wish. Like this, your technique is your great advantage rather than a burden holding you back from enjoying being a musician.

I have an example that can help us get another perspective on this issue: imagine a car whose wheels are each turned at slightly different angles and the different parts of the motor are not moving in synch. What’s the result? Well, the car moves and even can get from point A to point B but how is the ride? You get the picture, don’t you?

Unfortunately, most of the violinists worldwide (as well as other professional musicians, by the way) are in that hamster-wheel.

Don’t be upset. I’ve been there myself too.
That’s exactly why the Crescendo System has been designed and it will transform your life too. Easily and quickly.

Don’t Just Take Our Word For It – Try It Out!
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