Monthly Archives: January 2006


Some of my students arrive for lessons in an accelerando. They pull up in front of the house and run into lessons, whip out their violins and they are chomping at the bit for me to hurry up and tune them because they are eager to play! Others arrive precisely on time and dally towards the door and carefully and slowly rosin their bows before they finally hand me their violin to tune. My experience is that the enthusiastic students end up playing for life.

I miss studying tone. I hope there is someone in Italy who will be teaching Dr. Suzuki’s deep tone so that I can study again. I study on my own and my students work on tone at every lesson, but I feel that my tone is slipping. The Master Class Violin teacher in Italy is Pavel Vernikov who studied with David Oistrach (one of Suzuki Sensei’s favorites) so it should be marvelous. He currently teaches at Vienna University.

However, I won’t be bringing my violin. It’s too much to carry it all around Italy when we go touring after the Conference. Plus my experience has been that the teachers aren’t really allowed to play (sad but true). So anything I pick up about tone I will have to internalize for when I get home.

I hope some of the Japanese teachers will be there as well because I would like to observe them. Maybe I need to plan another trip to Japan for study and observation…



Filed under Italy, Suzuki Method, Suzuki World Convention, Teaching, violin

“5-year-olds playing violin, and other obvious examples of child abuse”

“The show was cute, but I was suddenly reminded of the performing animals at the Circus and wondered how long it had taken to etch the frozen smiles onto these young faces. We saw 5-year-olds playing violin, and other obvious examples of child abuse.”

I saw this quote last fall on a page about North Korea (scroll down to Suffer the Little Children). It has haunted me. Since I studied the violin from age five, it had just never even occured to me that teaching young children to play could be seen as a form of child abuse! I loved it. And my students love it. At least … I think they do… What do you think about this? Please tell me the truth.


Filed under Teaching, violin