I love the violin. I think it is simply the most expressive and flexible instrument
there is. No other instrument (besides the human voice) is found in as many folk
and classical traditions. The range of sounds and rhythms that can be made by
the violin is unmatched.
However, the violin can be a difficult instrument to learn. Bad habits are all too
easy to develop and all too hard to get rid of. I have seen many fiddlers who are
sadly limited in what they can play because they have developed bad habits. I
promise that this will not happen to any of my students.
In order to play the violin well, you must have good technique. You must know
how to place the instrument under your jaw, how to finger the strings, and most
importantly, how to use the bow properly. I have found that the "Talent
Education" or "Mother Tongue Technique" developed by Shinichi Suzuki has no
equal in developing good violin technique.
Suzuki students are generally competent and confident performers, working
well in ensemble and solo settings. However, I have also found that the Suzuki
method alone can be somewhat restrictive once a student has gained a certain
amount of proficiency. A Suzuki-only student will not learn about the fun and
exciting world of traditional fiddle. This is why I have developed the "Classical
I teach students how to play the instrument through the Suzuki Classical Violin
Method and its American cousin, the O'Connor Violin Method. Developed by
America's preeminent fiddler, Mark O'Connor, this "New American School of
String Playing" complements the Suzuki method by drawing on traditional
American tunes for the teaching repertoire. Alongside Bach minuets, my
students learn American classics like Amazing Grace, Buffalo Gals, and The
Arkansas Traveler. I also add in a healthy dose of Celtic and Nordic tunes from
my own playing
I strive to help the student discover the fire, hear the beauty, and understand the
depth of the instrument. I have developed this method to make sure that
students get that chance. Too often students give up on the violin before they
recognize all it can do and how much fun it can be.
Good Technique = Good Playing
Good Playing = Good Technique
"Excellent playing, really excellent playing."
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