The summer I waitressed in Paris I often went dancing in Caveau de la Huchette, which is a very tight venue.

I was sitting out a song, and sitting next to a French lady. A man came before her and asked her to dance. She said, without batting an eyelid, “Non merci”. It was not, “Non, merci”, it was “Non-merci”: all one word and nothing else – no apologetic expression and certainly no excuse.

1. Using an Electronic Tuner

For the beginner violinist, the electronic tuner is very appealing. Telling you which way to turn the violin peg, it removes the need to listen entirely, which is difficult, and as far as you can tell, not really worth bothering to learn for now, and besides, you are so eager to make some music!