My student Alex just had a wonderful lesson! His enthusiasm is abounding! He is thinking of playing Viola in his school orchestra “for fun” next year.

Alex is a genius. I don’t say that lightly. He is highly intelligent and he has perfect pitch.  He is 12 years old and goes to High School.   His first lesson with me was on July 13, 2005. He is now on the third Seitz Concerto in Book 4 and his favorite place is the double stops! (How many students feel that way about it?)  During a Insitute he could be found practicing on the fancy violins sold in the lobby during his breaks. He sat on the front row for every recital. He smiles a lot. He’s funny.

Sometimes he’s a real challenge to teach, but if we just play chamber music, we’re fine. He’s playing the Telamann Four Violin Concerto and Fandango by Michael McLean (2nd Violin parts). Today he came to me with a healthy looking and sounding arm vibrato. He has been working faithfully since May 17th with Joe Kaminsky’s Technique Mastery Vol. 2 CD. 10 weeks! If arm vibrato works for Josh Bell, it’s good enough for Alex too! I have nothing against arm vibrato as long as it isn’t tense.

He was trying to think of the word “vicarious” during his lesson. We were playing Schradiek and he quit playing and just watched me for a few measures. I asked him why and he said it was … then he couldn’t think of the word and he described it to me. Vicarious. I got him to play along with me anyway.
I enjoy teaching him and hope to continue for a long time. I can see him as one of those rich fancy surgeons who plays amazing chamber music on Wednesday nights. 🙂 Or maybe a scholar! (He has a private German tudor) Of course he could become a famous violist or violinist with the St. Louis Symphony. Or the New York Phil. Not Berlin, he can’t stand a 442 hz A. :mrgreen:
I wonder what he wants to be when he grows up…



Filed under Suzuki Method, Teaching, violin

2 responses to “

  1. Chris

    Hi Suzanne,

    This is a great site you have. I’m writing because my son Antonin (yeah like Dvorak 😉 likes to play piano for fun. He’s 7½ and we’re seriously thinking of registering him in a music school. However, I’ve studied music (15 years) and I know that has a young boy, it’s easy to lack discipline or to want to do “something else” (anything else for that matter).

    I was wondering if there was any piano-lesson techniques (or music techniques) that you were aware of that might stimulate Antonin to learn music in a traditional way, that is with a teacher. The technique you seem to be using with your 3-year old seems amusing.


  2. Hi Chris!
    At this site you can find well trained Piano teachers who are accepting students in your state. The site should list their phone numbers. If you can’t find one in your city, call one on the list and ask them if they know of any good teachers who are closer to you. I hope that helps!
    Antonin sounds wonderful and he should definitely have lessons!!
    Good luck to you~