James Plattes

Quick Overview of the Suzuki Violin Method

November 22, 2010 19:08

I have designed and posted a website dedicated to giving prospective students and parents a quick overview of the Suzuki violin method.  In this site, I have compared and contrasted traditional violin teaching methods with the Suzuki method.  It's a five minute read and it can give parents a resource to quickly learn some of what's involved in the Suzuki method.  The address is:


It is my hope that this can be a valuable resource to parents of young violinists, and parents considering violin lessons for their child.  Hopefully this site presents an unbiased overview of these two violin learning approaches.   While searching the web, I found that it's hard to find this kind of concise information about the Suzuki violin method.


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Bow technique for the adult beginner

November 22, 2010 18:25

I have taught many adult beginners througout my teaching career.  I am interested in finding out how other teachers have approached teaching these players to obtain a fluid, smooth bow technique.  Also, have any teachers had success in teaching these players to have a good vibrato?  Any suggestions?

Realize that there are 17 "hinges" in the hand, wrist, elbow and shoulder that move as a professional player moves the bow.  That's an amazing concept.  Any inflexability in these "hinges" will lead to a crushed tune.  This is a difficult instrument to play well!

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What is the ultimate goal as far as taking violin lessons?

November 10, 2010 14:00

I will sometimes ask the student, "what's the ultimate goal of your violin study?"  I want them to think about this very important question.  I believe that the ultimate goal of taking lessons is to get to the point where you will be able to teach yourself.  Teach yourself to learn or improve a technique, or learn a particular piece.  Teach yourself to be self critical, and analyze how you play and sound.  It's a good aiming point, in my opinion.  To get to this point you first need a sound technique and years of study.  You need good teachers and a wealth of performance experience. 

this is only my opinion.  This can be mentioned to a highly motivated student, that really enjoys playing the instrument.  It's good to have  an ultimate goal.  This goal takes years of study to achieve.  When and if this point is reached depends upon the dreams and goals of the student.  I just want to put this out there as a start to a discussion of the ultimate motivation and goals of our students.  Music is a vitally important part of our lives.  I enjoy sharing my sense of the importance of this art with students and parents.  This art makes for well rounded individuals. 

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Previous entries: August 2010

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