5. Advice & conclusions
My advice is: don't start any changes with tension; instead try to continue to play as freely as possible. You really need to take time to make the changes! During the project I thought, "If I don't have the time now to change, when will I have it? I am here to play better and to improve my musicality."
I didn't understand at the beginning of the project that changing the equipment would give me temporary problems with my practicing. Eventually I realized that sometimes you need to really work on the changes, and other times you need to forget about it a bit and concentrate on the music. Then, improvement comes more easily. You cannot work under pressure all the time.
I also noticed that my daily life has an influence on my concentration. If I am happy I can concentrate and practice without too many problems.
I think that the knowledge that I gained during the research will help me to introduce the violin to children. If they can learn all that I have learned, but from the beginning, they won't have to think too much about it after the first six years or so. It would help a lot if they could be made conscious from the beginning of what you have to do to play in a relaxed, comfortable and effective way. In order to insure this, when I have my own students, I will try to help them find better equipment. I will check and re-check it as they grow.
The research experience helped me to play more openly, to get a better sound, to play with more freedom, and to observe and control my bow better. Generally, I don't have to think about the equipment or my playing style anymore. I can play more musically, because when you feel free with your instrument you can let your imagination work for you.