Friday, September 26, 2008

Passing On

Thursdays are "violin days" for me. This is the second year now that I've taught private lessons at the small classical Christian school where my dad teaches. I love only teaching one day a week; it keeps my schedule free, and doesn't leave me feeling trapped. This year I have a broader range of ages and levels, which makes it interesting -- the cute little memory techniques that I can use with four-year-olds just won't work for my sixth-grade beginner.

It amuses me to hear myself using the same phrases that my teachers used. Perhaps the old platitude about parenting also applies to teaching a child an instrument -- the faults and downfalls that you have come back to haunt you in the children you teach. I am both nervous and excited to pass on what I've learned over the past thirteen years, hoping desperately that I will spark a lifelong love for music in at least a few of my students. Whether or not I produce any Itzhak Perlmans remains to be seen...


  1. I have been playing the violin for about five years now. It has been a wonderful experience. My first teacher - whom I had for about three years - was the best teacher I have had. But then she moved, and of course there were tears. I got a new teacher, but she didn't seem to have a love for the violin like my first teacher did. Now I have another teacher, one who had been taught by my first teacher. It is neat to see some of the similarities in the way they teach. If you show and share your love for music, your students will probably grow a love for it as well, just like I did with my teacher.

    I have been visiting your blog for quite a long while now, but never commented. Thank you for blogging, I always enjoy your posts. Your aprons are so cute - I hope to set up an Etsy shop sometime, once I have several things to sell. :)

    God bless you!
    Miss Emily Rose

  2. That's a neat picture of your violin. If I could have picked an instrument to learn, it would have been the violin.

    As an aside, when I looked at my blog reader, I thought your last two blog posts were about death...At Peace and Passing On.... I'm happy to be wrong!!

  3. What method are you using to teach violin? I took a year or so of Suzuki lessons when I was about nine--though I'm afraid most of the skill I gained has been lost over the years. :)
    You mentioned Itzhak Perlman. He's my favorite violinist. Have you heard his "Cinema Serenade" albums, conducted by the peerless (IMHO) John Williams? Perlman's rendition of "As Time Goes By" from "Casablanca"... *Siiigghh* :)

  4. Miss Emily Rose, It's nice to "meet" you! ;-) I'm so glad you've found another good teacher -- it makes all the difference, I think!

    LOL! Keri, it does seem like I've been on a morbid streak recently! :-D Maybe I need to find more cheerful titles for my future posts!

    Janna, currently I'm using Muller Rusch (there should be an umlaut over that "u"!), which is what I started out with. I also have a "second-hand" student who is using the Suzuki books (which I did after Muller Rusch). That's great that you took violin lessons for a while! I haven't heard Perlman's "Cinema Serenade" albums; I'll have to look them up! Thanks for telling me about them!

    Yours in Christ,

  5. Fun post! =)

    Though nothing to do with teaching persay, have you ever seen this website: ? My teacher is the one who has developed them, and is currently working on producing DVD's of her methods. She is a very dear Christian woman too (a reformed/Scottish Presybterian... or something like that. Was it Free Church of Scotland or something?) and anyway, just thought I'd pass it on from one violinist to another. =)

    And btw, I can highly recommend her scale books. It has made a huge difference in my playing.

  6. That's neat that you have the opportunity to teach violin! I'd like to someday, it would be "fun".

    Meanwhile, I'll settle for youth orchestra and Bernstein's crazy Overture to Candide...


  7. I don't think I will ever be good enough at the violin to actually teach it...

    Anyway, I enjoy playing the violin myself. I only started in July, and so far I haven't succeeded in driving away all my family members! My violin teacher thinks I'm doing very well, but I still consider myself a most definite beginner.

    Talking of the Suzuki method, although my teacher doesn't use it, she does have his first book, and I am at present learning from it. What I really want to play is Bach's third minuet from there!

    Anyway enough of my rambling. I have said far too much!

    In Christ,

  8. Cheri, thanks for the link! I'll have to bookmark it! I always used to hate scales, but I'm trying to be dutiful and use my Carl Flesch scale book. ;-)

    Maria Pauline, I just listened to a clip of the "Candide" overture, and it does indeed sound crazy! I miss playing in an orchestra.

    Jerusha, I'm so happy that you're enjoying the violin! And I certainly agree with you that the 3rd minuet in the book is lovely -- I often play it at weddings! And I'm a very wordy person, so I don't believe it's possible to say too much ;-)

    Yours in Christ,


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