Hi
My father loves Massenet’s Meditation – Thais. I am planning to play this music on his next birthday party, but there only has 11 months left. Is it a realistic target for a total beginner?

Thanks a lot

9 Comments

  • I have the same question, actually.

    I have been playing violin for 5,5 years in the age 7-13, but then quit for 25 years running. Then I returned and quickly regained my skills up to grade 3 level, planning to reach grade 4 in the next month or two. I have no problems with shifting positions and high octaves, but damn! my vibrato skills are _completely_ lost! 🙁 And also long slow bowing produces uneven sound with a light occasional shaking.
    So, do I have a chance to perform it in a 9-12 months without sounding silly? And how hard should I practice daily to get my vibrato back and improve my long bowing technique? Is there any special exercises for the last one? I’m very concerned about sustaining, cause it makes the whole piece and playing Meditation without a nice smooth slow bowing doesn’t make any sense…

  • if you had a background in strings i.e. played the cello very well it might be possible but otherwise it will not be possible … play something nice within your abilities and save Meditation for the future

  • I gave thumbs up to two completely opposite answers above because I thought both were right. I was wrong..

    If you mean the traditional version you hear on the radio and in recordings (which seems likely, if your father is familiar with it and not himself a violinist) then I agree, it is way beyond your ability at this point and still will be in 11 months.

    Finding a simpler version (my mistaken thumbs up) sounds like a good idea at first, but then I realized I don’t know any easier versions of this piece, and frankly can’t think of a way around the range, artistic and rhythmic complexities that would be a serious challenge for a beginner.

    Your intentions are excellent – but don’t tackle something that’s just going to frustrate you at this point. Take some lessons, build your skills…Thais is a reasonable goal for a good intermediate player. Your father will be pleased you’re working towards it, I’m sure, and wait patiently 🙂

  • First there’s “vibrato” to learn, and then there’s the matter of changing positions and reaching up on the fingerboard to the higher notes, so you’d have to develop your intonation sufficiently. You might be a quick learner and take less time but it’s something you have to build up from day to day.

    If you have a teacher I’m sure they can recommend suitable melodies that will fit in with your level of studies. What about “The Swan” by Saint-Saens? It’s slow and very expressive.

  • complete and total beginner?

    i think if you practice hard enough, it might get there. it is really unrealistic to play the original version though. to get the intonation and the warmth/character is really hard.

    if you get an arrangement maybe?

    good luck!

  • Yes, there are easier versions. You can learn the notes with practice. good luck, it’s a beautiful piece!

  • I played that piece in a church service after taking violin lessons for 4 years.
    I’m afraid I will have to say no.
    There are other soft and sweet solos you could play instead.
    If interested, write back and I’ll help you look.

  • That is a tall order for a complete beginner. It really depends on how many hours a day you can devote to practice and how good your teacher is. If this is a goal for you, you should discuss this with your teacher.

Leave a Comment