The Art of Teaching Violin
Violin Teachers’ Blog
It was obvious the trainer had found a system of gears and knobs I’d never seen before. But there were no explanations. Why did these things work?
As with the violin movement building blocks, the idea is to isolate each tiny skill one at a time, then put them all together. So what are the basic components of vibrato that have to work?
The language is a bit like walking around town with your eyes closed, or the way a sommelier talks about wine. Oak? Cured leather? Tobacco?
We often say things that actually prevent our students from experiencing this sense. What does this sound like? Totally innocuous. Like, “Keep your bow straight,” or “Try to get a cleaner sound,”
Communication involves the ability to build relationships and motivate students to the highest levels of achievement. This goes well beyond teaching violin, and requires the teacher to learn how to be a mentor and guide. The video shows how teachers can build trust...
I started experimenting with introducing various “more advanced” techniques during Book 1. The result: my students’ facility went through the roof.
Her fingers fumbled for the notes, and her bow arm was all elbow. By the end of practice she looked and sounded good, but when she picked up her violin the next day it was as though they were starting from scratch.
Being smart is great … until someone comes along who is better than you. Then you realize, “I don’t have what it takes.”
But what does it take, actually?
She could still extend and re-curve her pinky on a pencil. But she had lost her ability to flex her bow hand while actually playing.
Where was the disconnect? An unexpected discovery about knuckles.
I say that I teach violin. My real job is to keep students’ hearts open.