I am passionate about education and believe that it essential for both individuals and societies as a whole. My teaching philosophy can be described rather simply: I am interested in developing a whole personality, whether I teach a music performance class or present an academic lecture. I am devoted to nurturing curiosity, reflection and independent thinking alongside technical excellence. I encourage my students to ask critical questions, develop an experimental and problem-solving attitude to their work (and life) and challenge the easy and the obvious. My emphasis is on the process and concrete step-by-step problem solving, rather than the final goal or destination – a teaching philosophy that has much in common with the athletic performance studies (Deborah Osteen-Munch (2018)) Strategies for Teaching the Process Orientation in Sport and Education Domains, Journal of Physical Education, Recreation & Dance, 89:5, 53-57, DOI: 10.1080/07303084.2018.1440269).
Teaching the Violin
The love for the instrument, its rich and growing repertoire and an endless fascination with the violin sound is at the core of my teaching philosophy. I love the sound of the violin, I love shaping it and communicating through it with the audience. The love, the curiosity and the endless fascination are starting points for my teaching philosophy.
A great attention is devoted to physical health and comfort during performance and practicing. A large emphasis is put on the holistic, embodied learning, a conscious relaxation of the body and a healthy posture. All my students learn a solid violin technique and develop a rational, conscious understanding of the sound production process and the expressive tools. I introduce improvisation at an early stage of learning in order to stimulate imagination and develop an ability to spontaneously react to musical ideas and develop a fluency of technical ability.
The technical part of mastering the violin has to do with physical laws of sound production and the athletics of performance. Therefore I emphasise the demystification of violin technique and the simplification of its components being an essential part of developing a confidence and ability to convey the emotion and musical ideas to the audience.
The efficient and focused practice is at the core of good results. I teach my students to reflect and analyse their playing so that they can quickly become their own teachers. Concentrated and efficient work will inevitably produce some outstanding results. Three to four hours of focused practice is worth gold, and must be learned from an early stage.
I believe that the early idea of “Der vollkommene Capellmeister” is more relevant now than ever, in a sense that in our complex and expanded world a musician must develop a great degree of versatility, flexibility and a variation of skill. That means that learning the canon of the violin repertoire is not sufficient at this time and age, and a violinist is required to master a whole pallet of styles and expression through approaching interdisciplinary and contemporary practices. I believe that having the flexibility and ability to adopt and approach different styles and genres of violin playing – the solo, chamber, orchestral, contemporary, mixed music practices, early and improvised musics – is essential for a contemporary violinist, and must be approached through education and dedicated practice.
Other subjects that enjoy teaching:
Violin extended techniques
Historically Informed Performance Practice