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What's Your Mindset While Practicing?
Stephen Fine posted a topic in The FingerboardAt the end of lessons I always ask, "Do you have any other questions?" Almost all of my students always say, "No." But, I have one who usually has a good question either about repertoire, posture, technique, or practice. Today he asked me, "What should my mindset be while practicing?" Obviously, it's a very general question, and, as I told him, mindset shifts throughout a practice session, but what would your answers be to the question? I rambled for a while while trying to answer his question, but I think the heart of my answer was to "trust in the method, don't allow frustration to dictate how you practice."
The Art of Violin Pedagogy FB Page
Aria posted a topic in The FingerboardHi everyone! It's been almost 10 years since I posted in this forum ... yikes! It feels good to be back after such a long break and I'm delighted to see things here going as strong as ever. I very recently started a Facebook Group called "The Art of Violin Pedagogy" to encourage exchange over this topic with other violin teachers. Sometimes I feel a bit isolated in teaching, and I thought that it would be fun and inspiring to connect with other instructors to share knowledge, ideas, thoughts and experience. You're all invited to take a look at the page and join if you wish! In writing here, it is not my intention to take anything (or anyone) away from this forum at all - it's a marvelous resource and I'm glad to have rediscovered Maestronet. The FB group is specifically for violin pedagogy! https://www.facebook.com/groups/355279351227763/ Thanks for listening! Aria
Teaching my child violin
Menachem posted a topic in The FingerboardMy son has finished preschool this year, and starting next term he will be home schooled. I am planning on teaching him the violin, but I am in need on some advice for method books. I seem to remember starting out on the green String Builders book by Applebaum ages ago when I was in elementary school. My personal experience was public school orchestra from about the 4th grade through high school with some community orchestra experience. In high school I switched from violin to viola. I've heard a little about All for String and Essential Elements, but no experience with them. What are your take on these methods and what you recommend in place of/complementary to these?
New Tech approach or Old School?
Rue posted a topic in The FingerboardI am totally on the fence about this, and don't have enough personal experience to formulate a reasonable opinion. I just watched a video of a teacher who is using iPads, e-pens and a camera to record her students' lessons. The technology looks interesting. The student plays...the teacher handwrites notes with an e-pen (which strikes me as somewhat ironic )...the entire session is recorded. The student can later listen to themselves play the piece on an iPad and following along with the notes that the teacher made at each point in time. I like technology. So that isn't it. But...there is just something about this I find rather off-putting. The lesson itself looked more like a visit to a psychiatrist's office than a music lesson. I don't think I'd be comfortable in that situation. I might miss or forget something I learned in a lesson...and maybe this format addresses that issue...but I'd rather just be reminded of the issue in my next lesson. Learning takes time - and often certain concepts need to be retaught and re-explained until the student is ready to grasp that concept. I feel this is a bit of a cop-out in that regard. Perhaps this isn't practical for beginners? Perhaps this is very practical for advanced students? Or perhaps part of what I like so much about the violin and classical music is the Old School take on it all - and new technology interferes with my romantic picture of it all? I also find a reliance on new technology worrisome. Using it as a tool to aid learning is one thing, but it seems that there is also an attitude that it is a must, rather than an aid. If people are already becoming overly reliant on technology - should we be incorporating more and more of it into areas where it isn't necessary? Just fishing for thoughts!
Progress, Steady and Otherwise
Stephen Fine posted a topic in The FingerboardSome questions for teachers, students, employers, employees, masters, apprentices, etc. . . How do you keep track of progress? And how do you motivate it? I take notes in lessons, tracking repertoire, etudes, technical and musical issues. But I use the notes mainly as a reference aid. I try to tell students what they are doing right and doing wrong, what they have learned recently and long term, and what they should be thinking about "this week." I explain the value of slow practice and the metronome and etudes and scales and theory, but my students and I just write on their sheet music, they don't take notes. I have come to the conclusion that I need stricter measures to ensure adherence to a rigid practice schedule. I know a number of my colleagues make their students keep practice diaries. This is a more hard-nosed approach than is in my nature, but on the other hand, what's not to like about it? How do they work? Does anyone have any suggestions or experience with what [string music] students should include in their notes? Probably the same type of stuff I keep in my teaching notes. Hmm... PS: How do you do etude/scale/excerpt study? 1 per week? Should we memorize etudes? I've tried explaining the Zen of Scales to my students, but they just get glassy-eyed.
Strad education issue
zefir68 posted a topic in The FingerboardI am enjoying the high class feel of reading the Strad at my leisure. The glossy pages and high quality feel of turning them makes a nice late night indulgence while all is quiet after a long day of teaching. However, the content of the 'Education issue' leaves me a little empty. Noy much in any way of insight, actual real world thoughts and reflections by well known, at least to me, teachers currently practicing and making a living at this craft. Also, trying to read the article regarding teacher training deficiencies made me shake my head so many times, I gave up, at least for now. Conservatories do not make their bread and butter reputation teaching pedagogy and never will. The best teachers are ones that train to and succeed at performing and later develop a gift for explaining how they got there. The best teachers are never the top performers, but ones just below the rung that concertize for a living. The top performers, historically, that delve into teaching, are just dilettantes. Able dilettantes, but mostly one rung below the legacy teachers. Just my two pence re the Strad issue...