Tuesday, April 4, 2017

The dancing violinist

Lindsey Stirling is a violinist, but not in the conventional sense. She has pushed the boundaries of what a violin can do and what a person can do while playing the violin. Lindsey Stirling is classically trained in the violin and dance, and is widely known through her YouTube channel which has had more than 1.7 billion views in total, Roundtable Rival being the biggest at 86,104,352 views, and 9,216,558 subscribers. From a young age she decided to combine the two things she loves,
dancing and violin, and has since created a career for herself.

Roundtable Rival, Lindsey Stirling Oct 20, 2014

In 2010, Lindsey Stirling was on America's Got Talent in which she made it to the quarter finals. She then went on to YouTube where she garnered huge support. One aspect to her success could be attributed to continuing her work even after a failure and to going to social media. Many traditional artists are now flocking to use YouTube as a social media platform. Back when Stirling first started her channel, YouTube artists had more of a stigma, but in recent years YouTubers can almost be equated to celebrities.  Lindsey Stirling is one such celebrity. She has gone on tours around the world, collaborated with famous traditional artists such as John Legend and Andrew McMahon in the wilderness, wrote a memoir called The Only Pirate At the Party and released 3 albums including her album Shatter Me which was no. 2 on the Billboard 200 and no. 1 on the Billboard classical and dance/electronic charts.  

Prism, Lindsey Stirling, Oct 14, 2016

Her inspiration for Shatter Me was her successful battle against anorexia and her recent album Brave Enough was inspired by the continuation of that battle, and it  the untimely death and sudden of her friend Jason Gaviati. Though she draws inspiration from multiple sources, I think her driving motivation is intrinsic. Lindsey has used her experiences and her passions to explore different ways she could use the sound of the violin and has created many works that she is proud of. her music has remained a positive thing for her and it is something she still loves to do to this day. Her new album Brave Enough allowed her to explore more genres than classical and
dubstep. Brave Enough  also allowed Lindsey to work through her emotions and share her experiences with her fans.

Although Lindsey is primarily intrinsically motivated she does have her extrinsic motivators as well namely her fans. Although extrinsic motivation is no longer considered harmful by the majority, Lindsey was harmed by extrinsic motivation. An example of extrinsic motivators harming her works is seen in her final performance of America's Got Talent. Because she was in a competitive setting and needed to step up her game, her performance was injured resulting in missed notes and ultimately her elimination. However, in this situation the extrinsic motivation was not all bad, she used her failure as a motivator to continue creating the songs she loved.

Right now Lindsey is on tour and filming a documentary. She has stated that her next big goal is to build a family, but she has decided to write a Christmas album. She continues to feel the love and support from her fans and shares all of her emotions about death, grief, and her battle with anorexia to connect with her audience and basically tell them they are not alone. Her documentary is going to be a heartfelt and emotional rollercoaster because it is the first without Gaviati and her father, a christian author, died this past January. Instead of shying away, Lindsey accepted her feelings and shared them  so that her fans can follow her on her journey.

Shatter Me, Lindsey Stirling ft. Lzzy Hale, Apr 23, 2014

Australian, The West. "Crossover queen silences critics." The West Australian. The West Australian, 03 Apr. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <https://thewest.com.au/entertainment/classical-crossover-queen-silences-critics-ng-b88423583z>.

Boboltz, Sara. "Lindsey Stirling Continues To Defy Your Ridiculous Music Categories." The Huffington Post. TheHuffingtonPost.com, 17 Aug. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <http://www.huffingtonpost.com/entry/lindsey-stirling-violin-brave-enough_us_57b3575ce4b0863b02851e8c>.

Erin Carson September 23, 2016 5:00 AM PDT @erincarson. "Lindsey Stirling's sterling YouTube career." CNET. N.p., 23 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <https://www.cnet.com/news/lindsey-stirling-youtube-singer-dancer-violinist/>.

 Mary Ann Collins and Teresa M. Amabile. Motivation and Creativity.

Moutinho, Amanda. "Lindsey Stirling is 'Brave Enough'" Boulder Weekly. N.p., 29 Sept. 2016. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <http://www.boulderweekly.com/entertainment/music/lindsey-stirling-is-brave-enough/>.

"Rockhal, Saturday night: High kicking, genre bending violinist Lindsey Stirling." Wort.lu. N.p., 19 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <http://www.wort.lu/en/culture/rockhal-saturday-night-high-kicking-genre-bending-violinist-lindsey-stirling-58ce5e70a5e74263e13ac36f>.

Stirling, Lindsey. "Lindsey Stirling: 'I overcame anorexia to become a YouTube sensation'" The Telegraph. Telegraph Media Group, 31 Mar. 2017. Web. 05 Apr. 2017. <http://www.telegraph.co.uk/women/health/lindsey-stirling-overcame-anorexia-become-youtube-sensation/>.


  1. When I read the article, I automatically made the connection to how a lot of artists have had their creative inspiration from their own battles with grief or hardship. Stirling is no different in this aspect and I think it's very beautiful that artists can take those emotional pieces to find an outlet but also create something to give others hope. An an artist, there is not only musical talent that you can hear but in her videos, there are many moving parts, creative elements, parts that make the music to come life. For example, there are parts where they make it seem like the music is pushing the men out. The visual stimuli plus the music itself with the background dancers, costumes, colors, and theme is like a sensory overload that all works together to give the audience a full performance. Very awesome read!

  2. Lindsey Stirling is amazing! I love how she creates catchy tunes from her violin. Her ability to overcome hardships, such as anorexia, has allowed her to be a great creative. Her album is a culmination of her life experiences, good and bad, and her emotions are translated through her music and her dance. I think that she is a pro-C creative because she did have training in violin and dance, took that training to make it into her own unique style. She turned her classical training into something new and modern. Her openness about her hardships inspires her fans and I wonder what she will come up with next.

  3. I loved your blog post, and Lindsey Stirling is super awesome and crazy talented. I have not listened to much of her music, but I think it is really cool that incorporates dance with the violin. She really reinvents how the violin can be used. I definitely could not play the violin like her, let alone dance at the same time. I never knew she got her start on America's Got Talent so that was interesting. I also like how you talked about her motivation and inspiration for her music. It is always interesting to see what inspires musical artists to write songs. Lindsey Stirling definitely has faced hardships and battles that serve as a great inspiration for her music. I hope to hear more about her in the future and I wonder how she will continue to evolve as an artist.


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