With an open mind and a desire to learn we will step into our studio willing to put aside fears and preconceptions in order to become the best versions of ourselves on our instruments. Because every student is built slightly differently and comes into the studio with unique habits, we will prioritize ease of playing. By the end of our time together, one will have a solid understanding of all technical components and what each individual must do in order to perform their best. Focusing on Baroque, Classical and Romantic compositions, our goal will be to form our own ideas of artistic expression, which we can then build upon as we mature with time and experience. With this disciplined and organized work, our journey together will expand the students’ efforts into a successful life in whatever they will.
My approach to the violin as an artist is the same that I teach to my students. I believe that it is crucial to balance the ergonomic and practical techniques required to express the music to its’ upmost potential with a compassionate empathy to the emotions and sensations performers and students are experiencing in the moment of their music making. The ability to conceptualize music’s complex meaning and envision the physical movements theoretically is necessary as both a preparatory and interpretive skill. Thus, I believe in understanding the way the natural body works anatomically first and then identifying how each specific movement can be used on the violin or any instrument. In my practice and teaching I correlate physical movements, which relate to the different types of bodily joints, and foundational left- and right-hand techniques. Before conversations can begin on how to make a fluid motion between all different movements, one must be able to identify and separate the roles of the upper arms, forearms, wrists, and fingers individuals
As part of my musical lineage from my own violin education, including teachers from the Brodsky, Castleman, Delay, Flesch, Galamian, Galimir, Milstein, Oistrakh, Ricci, Rostal, Schumsky studios, I recognize a lot of my principals on technique stem from a “German” approach, although I am enjoying learning and experimenting from more “French” and “Russian” schools of violin playing. Through my own practice, interviews and conversations, and experience teaching, I’ve discovered that it is equally important to prepare technically as it is to be able to identify and cope with our own mentality, physical sensations, will or desires, and emotions that we experience as we play or perform. I explore philosophies and concepts with those struggling with anxiety, depression, or other mental issues as well as students preparing to perform that may help with bridging that gap between playing technique and a healthy performance mindset. In fact, I developed a basic strategy for learning music, memorizing and preparing for performance which seems to help clarify my own and my student’s practice.
I tend to start students in a technical foundation using repertoire from the Baroque, Classical, and Modern musical eras, and I personally love the complexity of expression that repertoire offers as well as technical control needed to express it, but I also believe modern music and contemporary composers should be explored and supported. Music lives in the present time and space, constantly developing, and the act of creating it comes into fruition through playing and sharing that music with a, hopefully live, audience. I believe that for the service of the student and music itself, it is part of the duty of the teacher to show that the violin or any acoustic instrument can be used in a variety of genres and in collaboration with many different mediums, as we as how to learn from and work with living composers and commission new works for future musicians which will provide a steady career that can be gifted to the next generation.
No matter whether playing the violin will continue in the future of my students, I know that the lessons we learn through music as well as the disciple and work ethic required to learn the violin will support the children in the life they choose. Ultimately the teaching of how to interpret music empowers the students to believe in their own ideas and ability to make them come into fruition. Furthermore, the creative problem-solving strategies and understanding “the why” for our musical and technical decisions will provide a foundation for whichever career the student chooses and continue to provide society with educated music-lovers. I strive to build a healthy relationship with the instrument as with ourselves that will span lifetimes.