Archive for the "Instrumental Skills" Category

How Expectations Contribute to Student Success

THE SITUATION: I think we can safely say that if you have a young student who begins lessons kicking and screaming (either literally or figuratively) because they don’t want to be there the chance for success is low. This of course has nothing to do with ability or aptitude. If a student expects they aren’t […]

Is Your Teaching Business Successful?

I recently ran across this blog post on Facebook: Running a Successful Teaching Business Means Not Losing Students Go read the article if you want, it’s not long. If you don’t want to read it, it basically talks about how to organize your lessons so that you can keep up with what each student is doing […]

Relating Finger Placement to the Notes on The Staff

Many students encounter difficulty with music reading, and knowing where to find the notes they see on the staff on their instrument. While this is a common problem, I believe it’s one that can be easily addressed! Let me first list some ways that I believe do not help address this problem (and can actually contribute to […]

Bowing Smoothly at Every Level

Bowing smoothly and evenly is a skill students at all levels must conquer. Obviously this skill needs to be taught to beginning students, but I have also encountered intermediate and advanced students that lack the foundational knowledge of correct bow usage. I believe that tone production, specifically that of a smooth bow, is often what […]

Is Your Student Ready for Intermediate Rep.?

We have the most control over the progress of our students when we start them from the very beginning. However, sometimes along the way we may encounter a student who seems to have missed out on an important aspect of their training despite our best efforts, or we may have students come to us from […]

The “Hard” Teacher – How High Standards Make Music Fun!

I would describe myself as a “hard” teacher – meaning that I have high standards and expect my students to meet them. That doesn’t mean that I push students to do more than they are capable of, or that I expect music to be the only activity in my students’ lives. However, it does mean […]

Left Hand Pizz. and the Beginning Student

If you think back in your journey learning the violin or viola you probably were taught extended techniques at the intermediate or advanced stages of learning. There is good reason for this; many extended techniques are too difficult for beginning students and with all there is to learn as a beginner, unnecessary complication should be […]

Dependency and the Musician

In this post I would like to expand the discussion of learning by rote/ear and music reading to discuss the relationship between each and the connection to dependency. By dependency I am referring to that which we need in order to learn a piece of music. In our earliest stages of learning as a student […]

Learning by Rote or Reading Music; Which is Easier?

I recently came across a video on youtube of an intermediate/advanced violinist who has been acclaimed as a child prodigy. One commenter noted that this individual learns all their music my ear and does not know how to read. Another commenter posted that it is easier to learn music by ear than to read music. […]

The Value of Teaching Open String Songs

The Beginning Violinist: A Companion Book for Children and Adults starts out with Open String Songs. I wanted to briefly give you some of the benefits of using Open String Songs with your students!   1) Open String Songs help students more quickly understand where notes are located on the fingerboard.   Students of any […]

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