Music is a gift of creativity and self-expression. Students are taught that creating excellent music is dependent upon their personal responsibility, and that they will see the rewards of trying their best and practicing consistently. In working with my students, I refer to a spectrum of growth leading to the goals of performance, education, and determination.
Each lesson is geared towards preparing a student towards a better performance. Twice a year, students will participate in a recital, performing pieces by memory with a pianist. The goal in lessons is to develop their skills of tone, rhythm, and creating good style and character of the music, which are the "basics" of violin playing and are a necessary foundation for any performance. For beginning students especially, I emphasize ear training by using "call and response" techniques and requiring students to match intonation with my playing, so demonstration is integral to their instruction.
Requirements for performance:
-30 min. practice required daily (6x/week)
-participation in two recitals each year
-listening to great classical music:
radio, recordings, attending recitals or symphony concerts
Talking with the students about the history, culture, and theory of music is part of the ongoing conversation in lessons. I welcome short and focused conversation to learn about students' lives, in order to encourage their ability to be expressive musically. And discussing "informal musicology" is a feature of the lesson conversation. To have dialogue and exchange ideas about music is a critical aspect of being a well-rounded musician. Students encounter numerous music theory concepts in their repertoire and in working through their methods materials.
Requirements for educational component:
-occasional music theory homework
-encourage reading about composers
-engaging in discussion about music in lessons
Students are invited into a lifelong discipline when becoming a student of the violin. Playing violin requires much discipline and effort, regardless the age or skill set. There is room for growth and improvement in every stage as a violinist. For children and adolescents, taking ownership of a skill and being responsible for improvement promotes students' personal growth and maturity.