What the Child Learns
Overall musicianship and artistry.
Playing violin is physical, mental and emotional. It’s much like learning to sing a complicated song in a foreign language but probably ten times the difficulty. I teach to develop everything a student will need to become a fine violinist and artist.
I teach good form, pitch (intonation), ease of playing, focus, discipline, strong memory, good, solid tone production and rhythm. I teach basic and advanced technique (skills used to play well and to create endless musical possibilities).
A multitude of various bow strokes. A violinist uses the bow as one’s breath and the different bow strokes, as in speech, permit articulation and pronunciation including sound effects such laughter rage, brilliance or sadness.
I couple these right side skills with left hand techniques. Both sides are equally important. Without the left hand, you have no pitch and without the right, you have no sound.
I develop dexterity and pitch through the use through exercises, scales, repertoire (pieces of music that one can play) and insightful ways to practice. I teach scales in all keys and in all ranges, instilling smooth shifts (going up and down the fingerboard with the left hand) and intonation.
I teach vibrato: a technique which entails a consistent, yet varied oscillation of the fingers to beautify notes.
I teach how to produce different tone colors: shades of sound such as dark, rich brown or bright and cheery yellow.
I teach music literacy. Students learn to read music: they will recognize notes (pitches) and know how to count rhythms in order to participate in solo, orchestral and chamber playing.
I teach basic music theory, (the basis and reasoning of music composition) and how to analyze pieces that students learn.
I teach the meaning of music indications written by the composer or editor in either Italian, French, German or English. Music indications encompass many clues as to what the composer or editor desires. They imply aspects of sound, mood, speed or depiction of scenes or feelings and consist of musical directions such as dynamics, which indicates volume of sound: loud, soft etc. and such things as “crescendos” and “decrescendos” which mean to gradually get louder and to gradually get softer or “stringendo” - to speed up) and “ritard” - to slow down.
I teach musical idioms: inflections and stylistic mannerisms characteristic of different composers and periods in Western music history such as the baroque, classical, romantic, and 20th century eras.
Music flows like a poem. There are many questions and answers and it encompasses the inexplicable and intangible. I teach how to effectively phrase musical sentences and motifs using imagery. I also use imagery to develop students’ imaginations, which aids with learning and the enjoyment of practice and playing.
I coach students how to work with a pianist and present oneself onstage in concert.In conclusion, I teach all the skills and psychological means necessary in order to play the violin musically, to fully express oneself and to entertain an audience.