Going on 10 years ago, I was introduced to the magic of Dounis by a violinist colleague and good friend (Yuval Herz). Yuval relayed to me that he had incorporated a routine called the “Dounis Daily Dozen” into his practicing pretty much every day for a year, and it had dramatically changed his feel and approach to the instrument. Around the same time, my viola teacher Steven Tenenbom of the Orion Quartet, AND his quartet colleague violinist Daniel Phillips both gave presentations in our studio class at Juilliard on the fascinating ways that the Dounis philosophy can change the brain/body connection and ultimately improve one’s ease and facility on the instrument. With so many respected musicians around me raving suddenly all at once about the benefits of this same philosophy of playing, I decided it was high time I looked into this “Dounis.” And wow. I’m so glad I did!
I’ve spent the past decade transposing the violin exercises in my daily practicing and having my students do the same. But now, with the gift of time forced upon so many by this pandemic, I decided it’s time to finally transpose these exercises officially into the world of the viola. I’m grateful for the help of Christopher Zaur in bringing this “Dounis Viola Player’s Daily Dozen” into the world. I hope you all get as much pleasure and improvement out of digging into it daily as I have!