Holistic string practicing


One of the most challenging aspects of music, particularly in the realm of creating and improvising, is establishing a connection with your audience. I perceive a direct correlation between this challenge and the theme of the 2024 conference.

With almost two decades of experience teaching improvisation and Jazz to string players at universities, I’ve come to recognize that the art of practice plays a pivotal role. The effectiveness of your routine depends on its components and the results you aim to achieve. While many focus on perfecting specific techniques or sequences of movements, there is often a lack of understanding in the realm of ‘speaking’ to the audience through music. I firmly believe that this ability distinguishes a truly powerful performer from the rest.

In the workshop, I aim to elucidate and openly discuss various practice techniques that address the crucial aspect of ‘speaking through music’. These techniques have the potential to enhance storytelling in one’s playing. The incorporation of diverse exercises away from the instrument has not only transformed my entire approach to music but also serves as a constant reminder to connect with the essence of why we make music – to create guided by emotions and a profound message rather than mere technical perfection. This approach takes both the performer and the audience on an inner journey of flow, offering a deep sense of satisfaction through the shared experience of feeling vibrations.

Much of this process revolves around discovering your ‘self’ as a performer and improviser. I refer to this approach as ‘holistic violin practicing’ because it goes beyond the mere technical mastery of the instrument. It serves as a guide through various exercises, emphasizing listening and addressing specific aspects of musical expression to bring the music forth from within.

I will be in Portugal as a Yamaha Artist during a few days of the ESTA conference 2024, demonstrating electric violins and exploring the possibilities they offer for Yamaha. Additionally, I will be available for one-on-one consultations.

About the speaker

Max Grosch, Violin

Max Grosch began playing the violin at age four. After earning his Undergraduate degree in violin performance at the Augsburg Conservatory and a Masters degree at the University of Houston/Texas, he continued his studies on a scholarship majoring in Jazz and Contemporary music performance at the New School University in New York.

He was appointed Prof. for Jazzviolin in 2004 at the Gustav Mahler Private University of Music Austria and is further leading a string program for Improvisation and Jazz at the University of Music in Munich.

He has been part of productions for German, Austrian and Swiss Radio, has performed in the US, Canada, Italy, Switzerland, Austria, Denmark, Slovenia, England, Khasachstan and Kirgistan, UK and other countries.

He has shared the stage with Vincent Herring, Joe Lovano, Junior Mance, Nigel Hitchcock, Rick Margitza, Lee Harper, Takuya Kuroda, Adrian Mears and many others.

As a Yamaha artist Max conducts workshops and trainings for students and string teachers in all of Europe. He has taught at the NOCCA Institute in New Orleans, Musik Universität Wien, University of Houston, Alcorn State University, University of Astana, Jazzinty Jazz Festival and presented at the European ESTA Conference as well as other institutions and festivals.

He is regarded as one of the premier German Jazz violinists and educators moving style and creativity on string instruments ahead.