Essential Elements for Improvement


Next, I will discuss 4 essential elements which must be present for successful lessons.

Responsibility of the teacher

First, the teacher must carry out the lessons while always considering the real essence and joy of music. Of course knowledge and techniques must be taught, but if there is too much focus on that, the sense of enjoyment of music becomes lost. The teacher must think carefully about this balance.

Responsibility of the student

Naturally, as technique improves proper and beautiful sound will increase. For this to happen, the most important thing is that the student himself makes effort.

Appropriate Text

The use of an appropriate text is also essential for lessons to go smoothly. At the same time, I believe that as long as the text is the appropriate level there should be flexibility and discretion about the use of the textbook. (This issue will be addressed in greater detail in a later section.)

Parental Involvement

During lessons students will complete songs one by one and then go on to the next level. The basic idea is that the performance exists for the audience. If the student accomplishes something the first person they want to play for is the parent not the teacher (audience = parent). Therefore, parental support in this regard is a must. For example, parents can give the student feedback such as, “Your playing sounds good today.”

Children have a great ability to adjust or adapt to different sounds. They quickly become used to listening to unpleasant sounds and in the case of the violin they quickly incorporate incorrect intonation into their playing. In order to avoid that, it is an important part of the overall lesson plan to have the student listen to CD’s or attend concerts and listen to good music. If parents believe that by providing lessons the responsibility for the lessons rests solely with the teacher, the student will not progress satisfactorily. I encourage the parents of students to always be aware of what the child is learning. Especially with very young violin learners, parental support in terms of reinforcing technique is a must. (Parental support will be discussed in greater detail in the Contents and Fees section.)

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Reiko Tamura Music School