Principles of Violin: Playing & Teaching

Principles of Violin: Playing & Teaching

Principles of Violin: Playing & Teaching

Principles of Violin: Playing & Teaching

Excerpt

Many things are being taught by the various present-day methods that I would not care to endorse. For the moment, I shall limit myself to the singling out of three major items. I do so because they are common to almost every system of violin playing and also because they concern the very foundation of all violin teaching.

The first of these is the contemporary insistence upon compliance with rigid rules for everyone and everything that has to do with violin playing. The making of rigid rules is a dangerous procedure, since rules as such should be made for the good of the students rather than using the students to glorify the rules.

In violin playing, as in any other art, that which can be formulated is not a set of unyielding rules but rather a group of general principles that are broad enough to cover all cases, yet flexible enough to be applied to any particular case. The teacher must realize that every student is an individual with his own personality, his own characteristic physical and mental make-up, his own approach to the instrument and to music. Once the teacher recognizes this, he must treat the student accordingly. Naturalness should be his first guiding principle. "Right" is only what is natural for the particular student, for only what is natural is comfortable and efficient. The efforts of the teacher, therefore, must be devoted to making every student as comfort-

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