Stringendo plays Piazzolla’s Tango Ballet beautifully at our Spring Soiree in September, 2016.
We raised close to $2000 to build a boarding house for students who would otherwise be unable to attend the School of St Jude in Tanzania. Well done Stringendo for spreading the humanitarian message of love and kindness through music!
The 3 Personality traits that determine a student’s likely disposition towards sitting examinations . . .
The following article highlights 3 common personality traits and suggests which type of student may or may not benefit from sitting an exam. The different personality traits are: extraversion, neuroticism, and conscientiousness.
‘Let’s kick some goals and sit the next exam!’
Extraversion is the trait, which drives and motivates a student to pursue and capture the next extrinsic goal. Continue reading →
String Playing is all about being graceful, isn’t it? This article highlights how 3 specific techniques, which are shifting, bowing changes, and vibrato can help achieve more graceful playing when done well!
So, what is the purpose of using grace notes when shifting?
Well, Kreutzer and myself certainly believe shifting to be a point of gracefulness, hence his study No. 11 in E and my entire collection of pieces devoted entirely to the release, glide and press method of shifting in Violin Time Book 2 (and Viola Time Book 2). So your left middle finger is sitting pleasantly on the A string on a C with the B just a semitone below it. The two fingers are best friends; yet the next note in the phrase is an F marked ‘sul A with a 1st finger.’ Good gracious, so how on earth shall I reach 5th position from back here?
‘There is no instrument whose absolute mastery at a later period presupposes such meticulous care and exactitude in the initial stages of study as does the violin.’
(Leopold Auer, 1921, Violin Playing As I Teach It)
I quote Leopold Auer because it is from reading his book that I have formed one of my core beliefs that dedication and a meticulous approach to learning are required when teaching a student the foundations to becoming a great player. I teach violinists the technique required for a lifelong enjoyment of learning, rather than a survival method of teaching to simply ‘get through’ the next level.
6 ideas to make group and individual teaching even smoother
I would often think to myself as I chowed down my morning tea in my 3 minute breaks over my years of teaching, ‘Surely there is a better way to teach in a group situation . . .’ This planted the seed of thought that perhaps one day I would write my own book. So, 15 years on, I did! The series is called Violin Time and Viola Time and amongst other things it aims to address some of these issues. So, when it comes to beginner teaching, do any of these pointers resonate with you? Continue reading →