move over elvis! here is the king on violin:)

April 30, 2009 at 08:16 PM ·

Replies (100)

May 1, 2009 at 02:27 AM ·

I didn't know Gary Busey was english

May 1, 2009 at 04:26 PM ·

"Those who are after joy and happiness need not apply." On the whole, I'd prefer joy and happiness!

The guy is pulling our leg, no?

May 1, 2009 at 11:32 PM ·

I prefer the king David...  lol   


May 2, 2009 at 04:41 AM ·

 I went to U-Tube and watched the entire lot on this fellow...Is he talented? the point of genius, perhaps...but he is also a self righteous, egotistical, sanctimonious, pompous  A_ _.

Yelling...throwing bows around?????????

Here's a great way to scare off students and imbed in them a total sense of low self esteem and negative self image

May 2, 2009 at 05:46 AM ·

Sigh. This is terrible.

May 2, 2009 at 06:15 AM ·


Please permit me to observe that your discovery of this Youtube video may be an indication that you are spending entirely too much time on the computer.  Perhaps it would do you good to get some fresh air and exercise (for example, on the golf course). 

May 2, 2009 at 07:35 AM ·


compare with Perlman masterclass.....



May 2, 2009 at 09:57 AM ·

Buri, You have hit the nail right on the head...Animated Hammer-- 3D GIF animation by Media Tech Productions.

Everyone, this is the link to what Buri spoke...

May 2, 2009 at 02:13 PM ·

Sorry but do you rally think this guy is a tirant? I am sure it was a kind of joke he did in these videos.  Honnestly, he wouldn't have students if he was that rough with them...  I though this kind of army commander's atitude was a joke!!!  I am sure some maestros are such tyranic persons but this didn't seem real!  He would not throw a 10 k bow on the floor... However if it is not a joke...  he doesn't deserve to have his violin playing talent and it's a shame that such mean persons succed better than many kind ones! 

At least the student was old and strong ennough to protect himself. I wouldn't let a tiny five year old with such a mad teacher...   The behaviour of agressive people is unpredictable.  (But again I doubt a real tirant would put his stuff like this on youtube...  Are you sure it isn't a weird joke?)


May 2, 2009 at 02:56 PM ·

He is British, somewhat eccentric, and thoroughly enjoying himself.  The lesson is the performance.  He's overbearing, but not in a demeaning way, to me.  And you have to factor in his great enthusiasm for what he's doing, including his engagement with the students.  I only watched one video complete; but you see the student laughing, not discouraged.  Somebody referenced the Perlman video, but that's a master class, not a lesson.  And it strikes me that regardless of differences in approach the two have in common their pleasure in what they're doing - the youtube videos of Perlman playing look like he's having the time of his life.  The Youtube comparison with de Keyser is probably with Tod Ehle's videos, which are very well done and helpful, but won't get you fired up.  Not for everyone, but I find them highly amusing.  Then again, I'm a mere fiddle player who likely would not be allowed in de Keyser's door.

May 2, 2009 at 03:23 PM ·

All the worst tendencies of the Classical world rolled up into one person... is this a joke? This has to be a joke! He seems convinced he's figured out the one right way to do everything on the violin, yet his own playing sounds simply awful. (And his advice goes against how many actually good violinists play.) Incredibly unmusical and unrefined, too, though I suppose his playing matches his persona.

I really hope this is a joke. If not, I feel so bad for his students! Why anyone would take his advice I have no idea, but some people are easily swayed by anyone with a big ego and strong opinions. Buyer beware...

Please someone tell me this is some kind of joke.

May 2, 2009 at 03:44 PM ·

The Pearlman masterclass is just amazing!!!!!!!

As for The King.......I love the cigar! LOL!

May 2, 2009 at 08:31 PM ·

So has anybody figured out yet if this is an elaborate hoax or not?? Anybody maybe know him personally?

I certainly hope it's a joke!

May 2, 2009 at 10:19 PM ·

From what I've heard from a few people I've asked, he's serious. I left a rather unflattering comment under one of his you-tube videos. While it's impossible to know for sure who was doing the writing, someone wrote me back from that account, and I had the impression that it was from him directly.

Let's just say he doesn't have a very high opinion of Americans (and he felt I was a typical example.)

May 2, 2009 at 10:30 PM ·


No I`m sure it@s not a joke.  Personally I wouldn`t condemn it out of hand either.   There are people who teach that way and it depends very much on the student`s response to it as is the case with any teacher.  I would not criticize for this approach.  Actually I could study with this kind of person quite easily;)     The proof of the pudding is in how many great students he ha s produced.  I have no idea.  But,  if you are going to make very strong critical public statements about for example British soloists,  or MR Vengerov,  or sweeping statements about conservatoires,   -for public consumption on the internet- then you become fair game for a reasoned debate on the pros and cons of what you do and that may well include some heavy criticism.

I actually liked his commitment ,  energy and some of his ideas.  Why did I cite the Perlman masterclass? 

First of all,  the comparison is much more apt than between a private lesson and a master class situation because of the camera.  The King is actually performing for an audience at some level (in this case a very obvious one) and therefore this is actually very different from a private lesson.  It is pretty much established in most fields of study that the presence of an observer (Laboff`s effect)  changes what is being observed.   So,  what thought most strongly about this lesson was that the student had very little playing time and was therefore not going to develop a sense of performance continuity if this was always the case.   Second,  at this level I disagree thta a student has to learn one interpretation.  That is frankly,  rather low level teaching.  It does not help the student to become an independent thinker who can work on their own.  It also creates players in the image of someone else.  Much bette r in my opinion is to work as Da Vinci and strip away the externals so that the artist is revealed.  The tendency too is for students to begin accepting the opinions on everything else as gospel and some of the stuff being said such as the clearly wrong statement about bows (based on the objective observation that just about any good player uses a good or great bow and knows the difference)

Back to Perlman.  He was quite clear and concise in presenting the conditions of a masterclass:

1) You should be positive and inspiring (don@t thing the king was that destructive personally)

2)   You can`t teach detailed technique to the individual.

3) Related to above- t is for the benefit of the audience so it must be understandable to the educated lay person.

So the students there were allowed to play though whole works or large sections which is vital fro artistic development before the work began. This is one of the principles laid down both by Flesch in his Art of Violin Playing and  Oistrakh in his masterclasses:  let the student work through their nerves first. Then he offered praise and encouragement.  After that,  in spite of his claim that technical work was not possible he honed in like a laserbeam on precisely the advice any individual students needed irrespective of the teaching context.  And it was only one point.  It was stated clearly,   dealt with and immediately the teaching moved n with no excursions into personal opinions or broader ideas of which Mr Perlman probably has a greater supply than just about anyone on the planet.

Hopefully this is a reasonable and reasoned commentary.  






May 3, 2009 at 03:10 AM ·

I also left a comment on U-Tube and the King himself sent me an email listed below with my email reply to him...

thank you for your comment. many people in usa agree with you. there is a cultural divide which grows between usa and america. i am unable to communicate in a way which you would find acceptable. i am sorry. i agree with you in reverse! i have watched hundreds of videos from the us and am amazed to the point of dismay at how low the standards are there and how many people praise to the skies mediocrity. i think that maybe different cultures stress different aspirations and perhaps they are all valid as part truths. with best wishes
my reply

 I am now 58 years-old, have played for over 50 years and question whether this is really your modus operandus or could this possibly be a show for U-Tube?
     My first violin teacher other than my father yelled, threw the music off the stand and puffed his Kent cigarettes non-ending during what was supposed to be a voyage into learning and NOT fear. I am no vanilla-wimp American. My heritage happens to be Russian, and work ethic was stressed. Thank God, I found a teacher of Lebanese-American background (was featered in the Harold Berkley bowing book). Stern?... yes... demanding?... absolutely... but not one to leave a student cowarring in fear. With the gift of pedagogy should also come humility and not arrogance
    Also, what right do you have to "throw" violin bows. You may own them but they are the work and labor of others. I honor and respect the work of each and every luthier, regardless of talent. You put yourself in the same league as those imbecile rock groups that smash their instruments.

That being said, I do see extreme talent on your part. I agree with your thoughts about tone, and the adjustment of the right wrist is a given. Just mellow out my good man. There is something to the phrase; you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar...perhaps a blend of the two might work wonders.
Sam Mihailoff
King of Nothing, but a graduate of the "School of Hard Knocks"

OH NO...He sent another...

Re:Re: comment
Re:Re: comment
i think you miss the humour. surely you can see that my student is not in terror. in fact i think i mention the issue of how people misperceive and see arrogance for mellowing out we are living in times when people are too cool and have little understanding of what developed the greatness of for example milstein or stern....i was not attacking the bows rather the stupidity of wealthy people who have to have the "power" of owning a valuable object when a cheap one is just as good.any way i wish you well. (i have more than several correspondances with people whose opinion is so praiseworthy that i am frightened to have received them for fear of the "evil eye". modesty prevents me from letting you see them. suffice to say one student is arriving from sao paolo soon another from argentina! and so on. i am frankly relieved to have received the unpleasant batch in case people are suspicious that i engineer the complimentary ones from myself or friiends and so on. again best wishes..


May 2, 2009 at 11:44 PM ·

Although he could be very competent, I still believe that this guy's head is way too big! True violinists don't think themselves god...

Even if it wasn't a joke, one must admit he is making a show and that it is pretty egocentrical to only showcase your knoledge (he plays all time) and let almost no time for the student to shine if you know what I mean. I don't know the degrees and level of this teacher but even top level soloists are usually lot less "ego" centered than him! There is many ways to become a king...

Through history some became kings for their tyranic behaviours (think about many political personalities...).  Thus they often had their power and respect through frightening people...  But at a point, there has always been a revolt because such a way of dominating people can not stay forever. 

Some others became kings (or Queens by the way) because they conquired the heart of people. Not only because of their talent in a certain field but also because of the way they treated other humanbeings.  Contrarly to the first kind of kings, the people NEVER stoped to love the latter and always remain faithful...

Also, what's the sense of becoming famous because of the terror you spread...  People who do this are often people with very strong inferiority complex that try to hide it. 

Only my two cents.

I know it's really off topic but it has been proven many times that good training with animals (dogs, horses, elephants etc) is 90% more efficient than using electrical shock, hitting or whatever barbaric method you could imagine always based on fright and submission.  I do not believe that we are that much different from animals!  Also there is a difference between beeing a very strict but loving teacher (as I heard many great violinists were) and beeing profoundly mean and egocentered. A good teacher is not a dictator nor a smothy... 

Also the student is anormally submissive...  How can you let your teacher throw your expensive bow like this on the floor without expressing anything. Even the most delicate Japanese soloist would defend her bow more ferocly than this!!!  Come on, this student was not 5 years old.  I just think he also was faking on the video!


May 3, 2009 at 12:19 AM ·

Oh, Sam was writing at the same time as me and how interesting is this!  Maybe this guy is kind of nicer than we think when cameras are not on him...  Maybe he is a born showman...   Certainly he likes to put icing on the cake...  It's another way of being superficial!

About the lesser standards... I once had a short discussion with my teacher. Theory teacher who was also Russian told me about how serious and strict the learning was.  I said (in a joking way not that I believe it) that it worked always better with a stick! She also laugh and said that these were stereotypes we all had about the Russian training in that era. She said her teachers were so loving and transmitted her such a PASSION of music.  I also believe from what I read that those like Stern and Milstein (to state the ones he did) were trained stricly but with love!  I truly can't imagine Stoliarsky, Bron, Auer throwing bows etc.  Yes, in some asians countries and not everywhere they can be really mean (I once read to the point of beating up children...) but as many say, you can create technicians this way but you won't get more "true" musicians by doing this. 

I don't think they are all Vanilla whiped cream teachers at Juliard and Yale!  Again this is a stereotype against americans as well...  Probably we should all learn about this.  The two extremes are not good!

Yet, for the bows...  I can't understand this one!  Yes the bests can play on pancakes but still it isn't a reason to scrap quality stuff!  Would we set fire to a wealthy house because it's owners could live with less!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Sam, I admire your courage!  Thanks for sharing this. It helps us to have a better idea!



May 3, 2009 at 12:59 AM ·


May 3, 2009 at 02:38 AM ·

Yes courage!  How much of us would dare send him emails?  However he seemed less "tyrant" on email (I find)!   Maybe he's just a profound kind of showman of an unusual taste??? 



May 3, 2009 at 10:35 AM ·

"(i have more than several correspondances with people whose opinion is so praiseworthy that i am frightened to have received them for fear of the "evil eye". modesty prevents me from letting you see them."

That really is quite funny!

And to his first email, he clearly mistakes civility for 'low-standards'.

May 3, 2009 at 01:16 PM ·

Scott, this reality is quite funny I agree and maybe he receive those by some people in some countries where it is acceptable to be rude with children.  Not to name places like China because I will also be accuse of stereotype that country! Like you said, you can be competent and civilize at the same time.  I'm sur Menuhin, King David, Perlman etc do/did not teach this way although I have heard their way of training was very demanding with high standards.  Ennough for now,

Interesting discussion!


May 3, 2009 at 01:30 PM ·

I wasn't going to comment because I thought "who am I to judge someone else's playing."  But since he's putting himself out there then I can't help but form an opinion.  To each his own I say, if students feel like they're getting something out of his teachings then that's what is important.  For myself.... I have only been drawn to teachers that can play well and have obvious performance careers.  Doers, not talkers. 

May 3, 2009 at 05:21 PM ·

Thanks for the link, Al. 

I watched his videos yesterday, and although it is safe to say his style is not exactly "Sweetie, what's your concept of F#?", he has some interesting things to say, and some interesting ways of saying it, to say the least.

He did drop the F-Bomb at one point, which I found shocking.  (As shocking as the complete lack of typos in Buri's post above). 


May 3, 2009 at 09:51 PM ·

I find his videos entertaining. I particularly liked his comment on bow grip, the gist being that one ceases to grip the bow as soon as it is placed on the strings, from whence it is held by merely the friction of the skin - sort of a nice way to think about it. A question though. He is advocating keeping the elbow low on the upbow, which seems to contradict others who advocate that the arm (including elbow) moves up in upbow and drops down in downbow.  I'd be interested in hearing the comments of others regarding the upbow/downbow arm/elbow topic.

May 4, 2009 at 12:00 AM ·

“For myself.... I have only been drawn to teachers that can play well and have obvious performance careers.”  Marina, you took the words out of my mouth!

I could and did handle some teachers like that before. One I studied very briefly was in China who was US trained and notorious for his temper.  I learned hardly anything from him but oddly enough his occasional praises had a long-lasting positive effect on me.  Another one is an otherwise wonderful Russian lady with a heart of gold. I laughed a lot because it was just hilarious to watch her getting so excited about everything and worked so hard to amuse but taught so little.  Neither of them played that well. Teachers like this can be a bit tedious after awhile and a significant waste of time and money.


May 4, 2009 at 01:05 PM ·

Had to respond to this one.  I read all the comments first and then watched the videos.  I do not wish to comment on my opinion of this violinist or his teaching methods.  I do, however, wish to comment on something he said that, in my personal experience, is not true.

I am American.  I've never left the United States except on a couple of occasions to visit a Mexican border town.  What I witnessed in his videos was not more severe than lessons I've had in the USA (and probably quite a bit less so actually).  To me, he seems pretty tame.  I've had marvelous teachers and I knew they approved of me and my talent, but I was serious and they knew it and they knew they could push me harder.  So they did in the ways they knew and understood--which is what I came to understand.  I don't wish to comment on his teaching style, but I do want to add my personal experience to counter his opinion that US students are filled with fluff all the time.  That's simply not the case.  (Though after coming home from certain lessons I wished it were).  Maybe some people get the idea that all violinists in the US come from rich parents and "suffer" very little in favor of constant pampering.  That is simply not true.

May 4, 2009 at 12:51 PM ·

This man has a lot of charisma, and some good ideas (I also can't entirely believe he made all these videos without a small sense of humour).

The thing which really bugs me is that he continually resorts to one of the lowest tricks in the book.  That is, "inventing" an adversary which doesn't really exist, and then standing on top of this caricature of a bad teacher as the supreme master of all things.

To suggest that most teachers attempt to teach spiccatto as some wild stroke from the right shoulder, and to dismiss out of hand wrist, finger, and arm vibrato as we all know them - this is all lunacy.  His own idea of vibrato was interesting, but when he plays all four variations - he simply discards 60% of the possible expressive sounds which a violin can make.  It's like a painter rejecting half of the primary colours.  Makes no sense.

He may have viewed a teacher at some point teaching spiccatto in this manner, but he's thrown a blanket over all pedagogy (except his own), and lumped all North American teachers in the same lot.  That's his loss.

All that said, I must admit I'm kind of enjoying his videos - and do think there must be some humor here.  In the first video, when he stands behind that blue/green chair, it is perfectly placed to appear like a sarong (sp?), or like he has a towel wrapped around his waist.  Is that an accident?  I don't know.

I plan to keep watching, hoping to learn something.



May 4, 2009 at 02:31 PM ·

It is my opinion and that of many professional violinists which I know that a lot can be told of a violinist by his/her tuning of his/her violin. In one of the videos, 'the King' tunes using a full, fortissimo bow stroke. I've always been taught that the most accurate tuning is done with a pianissimo bow stroke towards the tip; ie the less pressure you put on the strings, the closer the sound you hear is to the actual pitch of the string(s).

May 4, 2009 at 05:07 PM ·

Hi all,

To my mind, this has "HOAX" written all over it!

The King's words and actions are totally over the top, and perhaps even the deficiencies in his playing are deliberate.

I believe this is an attempt of the King to satirize -- us -- and the length of this thread is a measure of his success.



May 4, 2009 at 06:30 PM ·

Kimberly, how true! For one thing, many of our violin teachers (in America) are immigrants with their own culture and I can assure you that some are much more direct than what we would think.  It's frequent to have Germans, Russians, Asians etc as teachers and of course, they bring their pedagogy with them.   So, I think that we cannot say that their is one unique "type" of teacher in America as well as elsewhere!  I don't accuse all Europeans because I saw that guy... He should do the same with us!


May 4, 2009 at 08:35 PM ·

My former teacher was telling me last year that he had a professor once who was from Russia and my teacher didn't play the part quite right and his professor would loudly say with both hands in the air, "Niet! Niet! NIET!!!!! NOT LIKE DAT!!!! Like Dis!!!!!" And so.................

May 4, 2009 at 09:59 PM ·


If he is really the  , and students flock to Merry Old England from Sao Paolo and Argentina for his expert tutelage; then why  does   shun him? Only thing listed is a violin method book..."Playtime Studies".

May 4, 2009 at 10:05 PM ·


I guess we`ll have to agree to differ about the hoax. If you want to see teachign where a lot of pressure and intensity accompanied by apparent anger then watch the Zhakar Bron video. Wen I first saw them I was rather surprised but I think what makes hte diffenrece is that is cocnern is only for the music and the student getitng it right by digging deeper and deeper into their resoureces even when young.  plus he is both saying and demosntrating what he wants at one of the highest posisble levels.



May 5, 2009 at 01:12 AM ·

It's all done with mirrors!!!!!

May 5, 2009 at 03:25 AM ·

mirror, mirror on the wall

the King has an ego bigger than y'all

May 5, 2009 at 10:38 PM ·

Buri - which video about Bron are you referring to?  Is it on DVD?  

May 5, 2009 at 11:40 PM ·

I like this man's approach to the mechanics of the violin. He is analyticak with th ephysiology.

I like his humour. BIG humour. Makes me laugh.

I like the fact that he doesn't really care what people think, other than those who "get it".

And, if you get it, you realise that he actually is pretty humble. He knows he ain't a great player (even says so).

BUT I suspect he can teach well.

I know that one can teach outside one's own technical mastery, if one understands certain principles.

You may know how it should be done, even if you can't actually do it yourself.

You can know how to practise,  even though you can't be bothered to do it.

I have students coming to me with pieces I know nothing of, and can't play myself BUT I can show them how to master the difficult bits that they haven't been able to approach, because I understand a set of principles tha twill work, if you put some time into applying them.

In fact, watching me work out how to tackle these things, gives them an insight into what to do, and how to focus on the piece's needs.

I think Prof de Keyser works in a similar way.


May 6, 2009 at 01:18 AM ·

Sorry, 'the principles' he espouses are quite arbitrary. They may be amusing youtube videos (I have to admit I've watched a few), but I'm still horrified he's passing this off to students.

May 6, 2009 at 06:33 AM ·


Rosalind, there are a series of Bron DVDs that have been around for some time. Shar sells them I think. They used to anyway.  He teaches variously, Bach a minor,  Accolay,   Vivaldi A minor,  Reiding cocnerto and De Beriot 9.    Richly rewarding to study.  Probably the tightest bow since Kreisler...



May 6, 2009 at 07:18 AM ·

Let's deal with one issue now. Many of you have commented that the King is a scary tyrant who spreads terror. One of you also wrote that I am abnormally submissive. You will have observed that, far from cowering in fear, I was laughing! I train twice a week in the art of long shadow boxing (a kung-fu style), and have been for the last 6 years. I can take the King down in an instant, and he knows this!! Watch the videos again. Thank you.

May 6, 2009 at 08:37 AM ·


Nicholas,  welcome to the disucssion.  Hope you are not to bothered by it.  Your esteemd teacher is willing to offer what he is doing and this site is nothing if not opinonated!  Even though we always claim that we are reluctant to offer opinions blah blah...

However,  I would have to point out ,  I hope without offence that your posting is somewhat erroneous,  except for the details about yourself or course.  

=On;y one single person=  used the word tyrant directly about the kong in this discussion and that was to suggest he wasn`t,  sort of. I suppose a more careful read might reveal some slight agreement bringing the number up to maybe er,  =two=.   Nor could I see any reference to you cowering or being overpowered (soory, I`ve gone back in detail and it is indiectly suggested in one post and you are also erroneously described as submissive when your bow is thrown down but thta was by the same person who called hime a tyrrant,  I have had my shoulder rest thrown off by a similar sort of quirky British teacher minus the ego and MR Zuckerman can be nasty as heck when he chooses.   Made a superb violinist colleague of mine cry for days ;)  Do note though that the kong himslef specifies he wants studnets that for wnat of a better word are submissive.  Whether or not you fit that requirement is somethign you will have to work out with him behind closed doors.

. T you did seem to be having a good time.  Indeed,  I wrote myslef that I would have enjoyed this kind of barking in the wind humor in a lesson.

The criticisms people much more unanimously made were to do with egotism not fear creation. I don`t have much sympathy with your mentor in this regard since I see no reason for anyone to call themsleves the king of the violin although it is arguably a good publicity move to create this kind of controversy.

Anyway,  please be a little careful about reading something in just a couple of posts and attributing it to many.  I do it a lot and its kind of hard to talk your way out of sometimes;)

Sorry this post wa so messy.  It gives me bad headaches to read back whole threads in one go. Computer screens are poison to me.



May 6, 2009 at 03:28 PM ·

the  King and I sessions are watchable.  it is different.  one has to be in that monty python mood:)

the only thing that makes my cringe is people holding a cigar not far from bow hair,,,

May 6, 2009 at 06:00 PM ·

nicholas has given me permission to respond as i don't have a usable email account to register. i am paul de keyser(the king on the violin). first of all the name i use is a pun on my name which means  literally the king-de keyser. it is a pun it is humourous and i am surprised that none of you noticed. i read nicholas's remark immediately deemed erroneous by buri. not so! i read carefully all the remarks and note a tendency towards hysteria concerning alleged violence/ madness permeating most of the comments not just one. regarding lessons versus masterclasses; perlman does not give one single piece of useful information to any of the students. whereas i in the "lessons"(please watch all the videos) give out scores of concepts. for example intonation quarter tones and tartini notes for double stops; the concept of slow bow with maximum pressure(i suspect this is galamian's B TYPE bowing);the concept of musical interpretation via human emotions-"i am very sad today" instead of reductionism to dynamics; how to depress the bow stick to the hair(not using pronation but using the 2nd finger) how to stop the string; how to choose a bow viz. can it be depressed without scratching and does it have a perfect springiness;i raise the issue of how can a genius play so perfectly and miss the point of 1850's france; NOT A SINGLE COMMENTATOR HAS NOTICED AS THE PRICIPAL CONTENT ANY OF THESE DETAILS! the comments centre around my alleged arrogance my alleged egotism my alleged violence my alleged madness my alleged poor playing my alleged hostility to scores of millions of americans. now i ask this to you all; is this a discussion forum on violin teaching? why did you not enter into correspondence with me directly through youtube?

when i responded to one person my private responses were published on this site without my permission without any discussion between us. i attempted but my answers were used as fodder for further abuse instead of dealt with by returning to me for discussion.  now as to doers not talkers; if this were taken literally then the contributor would have to exclude flesch galamian delay and auer (arguably the greatest pedagogues of all time) and known for their medium/ mediocre playing. in other words the art of teaching is vastly different from the art of playing even though both disciplines overlap somewhat. i said in one of the videos that my playing disappoints listeners because it is not of soloist standard but it is good enough to teach. as to oistrakh and kogan they did very little teaching the odd mastercalss when they were not on tour and the spade work done by "assistents" the most vital missing ingredient in western europaen conservatoires. these assistenti would work for eight hours a day in a rigourous discipline .how many of you have heard of bezverchny?( sadly i heard he became alchoholic) i may be wrong but i think delay began as assistant to galamian so the concept should be  a little familiar to you all. i agree with the concept of the pupil playing. all my pupils begin each lesson with scales studies and a performance from memory of the repertoire before i begin the detailed work. i made it quite clear that we had been going 2 hours before the video began. what did you think was happening during that time? as to my own credentials apparently google has snubbed me according to one writer. the last time i looked (three years ago) there were 18000 entries for my name. i have never posted a biography the entries are mainly to do with my tutors. as well as study time there is a complete series (15 volumes) of works for children. they are best sellers on all 5 continents and have recently had 80000 translated into chinese. i have been teaching for forty years at all levels. i am sad that one commentator thinks i would not accept him across the threshhold because it is wrong. i have always accepted all students from all nationalities at all levels. i am anti elitism of any kind. my personal background is musical. my mother aged 89 is the most famous living piano pedagogue in the world. most of the greatest names in the world of piano (and violin) visited my home and some were/ are close family friends. my wife is the premier solo violinist of bulgaria and through this link my carl flesch background was broadened to a thorough understanding of the russian and soviet schools. my own students have won prizes at international competitions and i have worked on thirty five concertos as well as all the standard repertoire. my question to you all is this; why do i have to stoop so low in order to give out biographic details? please go now to your violins and play the snippet of the achron hebrew melody without vibrato with maximum pressure at the heel without scratching. can you all play at the heel with maximum bow pressure and with pure intonation without practising?  can you all jump to the kreisler cadenza to the franck sonata to the chausson poeme to the ysaye sonate n.5 to the brahms development and so on not to mention bach fugue?  and all of this is just awful playing? when i was 16 i was the youngest person ever in uk to get the arcm performers diploma with honours. the following year because standards in london were so low(it used to be the final exam) they made it compulsory to take it by the end of the first year and external entries were no longer accepted. there was then developed a diploma with  the associated board for talented youngsters. now back to other matters. regarding humility we learn that moses was the paradigm of humility he believed 1 that he could always have done better and 2 that anyone else with the same abilities as his would have made better use of those faculties. i believe this to be a perfect definition of humility. i aplogise if my playing is not good enough for you; i am trying...please remember youtube as an outlet has a maximum of ten minutes and it is obviously not possible to explain an entire life so you all witnessed snippets only.......please feel free to enter into discussion of violinistic significance via my youtube message. with best wishes Paul de Keyser

May 7, 2009 at 12:11 AM ·

 Nicholas sent me an email to see the "refutation" on the site.

Refutation by definition; the speech act of answering an attack.

There were no attacks made on my part.  Comments, Observations, opinions, and even a suggestion...YES ...attacks...NO

Mr. Paul de Keyser:

  1. compliments and agreement were extended..."I went to U-Tube and watched the entire lot on this fellow...Is he talented? the point of genius, possibly"..." I do see extreme talent on your part. I agree with your thoughts about tone, and the adjustment of the right wrist is a given. Just mellow out my good man. There is something to the phrase; you can catch more flies with honey than vinegar...perhaps a blend of the two might work wonders".
  2. "but he is also a self righteous, egotistical, sanctimonious, pompous  A_ _. "...yes, my opinion based on viewing the videos. Can one refute an opinion???
  3. " i don't have a usable email account to register"...gee, your email worked just fine when you emailed me directly TWICE
  4.  When you put a video  on the internet showing exactly what is being commented on; it can  hardly be described as being "alleged".
  5. when i responded to one person my private responses were published on this site without my permission without any discussion between us.Your emails held no copyright or confidence clause. Why should this even be of concern. I can share this with whomever I so choose. It precisely makes your "alleged defense" even more preposterous.
  6. i was not attacking the bows  Flight through the air and effect of gravity causing a fall, is certainly not an attack on the arrows shot from a certain variety of bows, but I do not believe violin bows experiencing this simialr usage qualify.
  7. "why do i have to stoop so low in order to give out biographic details"...Nobody on this end ever asked. The word narcissism  does come to mind though

I guess my only thought at this point is "why are you being so defensive"???

nopity.gif No Pity image by TGrosjean

May 6, 2009 at 10:51 PM ·

I apologize if I misunderstood the following statement when I responded to this thread topic:  "i have watched hundreds of videos from the us and am amazed to the point of dismay at how low the standards are there and how many people praise to the skies mediocrity."  I'm grateful to know you don't see all Americans this way and happy to stand corrected if I misinterpreted what you said.

May 6, 2009 at 07:32 PM ·

hello, i think everyone is entitled to his/her own approach and opinion, but as colleagues among violin teachers, i don't think this line is appropriate..."perlman does not give one single piece of useful information to any of the students. whereas i in the "lessons"(please watch all the videos) give out scores of concepts." 

May 6, 2009 at 07:56 PM ·

I stand corrected. I no longer believe this is a hoax. Let's hope Mr. de Keyser (the Emperor, not the King) has only those students who may learn something from him. It's not my cup of tea, but then I'm a sucker for joy and happiness.

May 6, 2009 at 08:46 PM ·


I`m very sorry but your refutation of my comment to Nicholas is utterly false.  He made an inaccuarte claim concerning a specific reaction to specific words which is easily provable by simply printing out thi st hrea d and doing a count.  Its quite objective. Your claim to the otherwise is frankly foolish.  Its in the numbers. 

This is a very positive site most of the time and people (but I agree not everyone) did make some effort to point out what they liked or disagree with unreasonable criticism of you. ( I also agree with your point that e mail should not be cited.  )It is your choice to continue to belittle who you please at any end of the professional spectrum including us (a lot of us have I think heard of Bhezverchny so that wa s patronizing ) but you may have noticed by now that a lot of people are not impressed.  Your good ideas are getting lost in what is perceived by many (a more accurate count) as egotism.  

That is your choice.



May 6, 2009 at 09:28 PM ·

And in V-dot-Com spirit Mr. Keyser (which means Ceasar ?) welcome to V-dot-Com; Give me a mailing address and I'll send you a box of Prunes....individualy wrapped!  And I have learned some neat things from you.  i sincerly mean that!  and I hope that you will post here also, I think I can learn some good things from you.... and in the mean time, have a coffee enema and a box of prunes.... I do and it works wonders...... }:^D And that!  Is our since of humor and the folks here are a great lot.

Maestro Keyser ( I am sincere!) welcome to It's a great sight with great peop-le who LOVE the violin / viola.  We are here for each other and we are here to enhance our trade/art/science of the freetless side shows.  But be forwarned.... you will always learn something that will enhance-enchant your playing.  you have ALOT!!!!! To offer.....

Kindest Regards,


May 6, 2009 at 10:02 PM ·

Hi, I know my post was very badly interpreted and I admit I did a much to broad comparison with Tyranic behaviours.  And I know that Mr de Kayser is not a real tyrant. (I mean, he WOULD NEVER DO TERRIBLE THINGS)  The proof, I posted something after Sam's email telling that he was less a tyrant that what I initially though!

For the excellent student, I didn't really though he was submissive since I put this after the sentence in these exact words:

"Come on, this student was not 5 years old.  I just think he also was faking on the video!"

By this, I wanted to tell that I though it was impossible for a grown up guy like him to be submissive at the point of doing nothing when his bow was throwned.  So, I couldn't believe he was not faking to be submissive as part of a kind of joke. (in other words, I couldn't believe it was true!)

I just want this student to know that I am sorry if ever he though I really meant it, really!

And, yes, I will try to avoid such broad comparisons!  I was just outraged by some things but it was MOSTLY the bow events that made me say this.  I just hope they didn't cost 5K and more since parents pay big money to buy those and make a lot of sacrifices!



May 6, 2009 at 10:25 PM ·


well you Frenchies are often revolting which I think is why you are up in arms about tyranny.   Brits on the other hand,  tend to get half way through a revolution and nip off to the pub for a beer.



May 6, 2009 at 10:30 PM ·

Though I'm 289 years removed from the U.K. ( My family is Scotts-Irish settling the Tennessee Aplalacia in 1720) The 1st. round is on me! Cheers!

May 6, 2009 at 10:40 PM ·

Gosh, you are nearly as old as me.  Methuselah eat our dust.

May 6, 2009 at 11:13 PM ·

LOL Buri!

May 6, 2009 at 11:22 PM ·

Ah, I laugh myself of these stereotypes!   I think we must be able to laugh of ourselves in life!

In general, I think Frenchies are more direct and English more tongue in cheek (especially British!)  And even between Quebeckers vs France and England vs USA, their is quite big differences. 

By the way, do you really think pubs are peacful?  Once in the pub... some begin to fight by beating up eachothers (or is this another stereotype???) To dangerous for any violinists fingers!!!


May 6, 2009 at 11:26 PM ·

Dear King,

You have, what appears to me, an eye for detail. I think you are a very analytical person, and I respect you for the time and effort you have put into becoming a better violinist and teacher. However, I do not like your sound, and the more I listened to your explainations in your videos, the more I tended to disagree with what you had say. It doesn't really matter who is right, what bothers me is that you figure all of these things out about violin playing and then you tell your student (or the audience in the videos) how something works. These explainations (whether they are right or wrong) destroy the learning process. How is your student supposed to figure out how play the opening of Legende? You keep stopping him. Telling him how to play devalues the music. I think a good teacher would guide the student in the right direction rather than harping on the same subject continuously ("elbow down on the up bow!"). While you are a demanding teacher, you are teaching at a low level for this instance. You are a high level thinker, so it doesn't suite you, Professor De Kayser.


Charlie Caldwell,

Amateur Idiot

May 6, 2009 at 11:31 PM ·


Charlie,  just a thought. I was wodnering about the sound and to be honest I think there is a lot of problems with the mike.  My impression was the tevhno;logy or lackmadethe sound very hard.

Just a thought,


May 6, 2009 at 11:43 PM ·

I don't believe we can judge anyone's sound via YouTube, or Skype etc. In fact, I am not sure that any recording gives a true experience of a player's instrumental sound, especially not via the internet.


May 7, 2009 at 12:49 AM ·

the comments about the sound are true enough. you-tube doesn't often do justice. yet, I don't buy that you-tube will distort vibrato, which is also an important component of the sound.

May 7, 2009 at 12:59 AM ·


I had taken into account the low quality of the audio on youtube (I am not saying I do not like it because of the quality on youtube, I mean that I genuinely do not like De Keyser's playing). I tried to be fair, but it boils down to personal opinion. If someone likes the way Professor De Keyser plays and also likes the way he teaches, then by all means study with him. I appreciate what this professor is doing for violinists, but I have no wish to study with him or hear him play.

It is really easy to disagree and dismiss Paul de Keyser. I would really like to hear from someone who likes de Keyser's playing or teaching. Maybe I would better understand the professor's ideas and teaching methods.


May 7, 2009 at 02:39 AM ·

Charlie, I think some people like Paul de Kayser are this type of people one totally like or totally dislike.  I would also really like (just to try to understand the opposite view a little better) to hear more about those who study with him. 

For sound issues, everyone has its tastes and this is not arguable.  Even idiot amateurs "to copy your words if you don't mind" like I also am can have a very developed ear (in fact, most violinists have a "listening ability" much better than what they play and thus can identify the sound that makes them tic so to speak:)  I can recognize the beauty and greatness of Oistrakh's sound even in old crappy, cheap technology mono recordings.  Of course, I know the sound was better in live! I find that, generally speaking, fundamental qualities or trademarks usually shine out of almost any video.  IMHO


May 7, 2009 at 08:25 AM ·

As I said above, you do not have to be a great player to be a great teacher.

You have to understand certain principles, and know how to communicate them, but you don't necessarily have to be able to play to an extremely high standard, just well enough to demonstrate. In fact, that can sometimes get in the way. You have to see how the principle applies to the student, not just how you do it. A student can be blinded to their own application if the teacher is a great player, and just try to do it the teacher's way.

When it comes to vibrato, I believe that Mr de Keyser is contrasting a pitch fluctuating vibrato, with a volume fluctuating vib, where the main aim of the vibrato is a throb rather than a wobble. Henry Roth describes Kreisler as having this kind of vibrato saying he used a series of "impulses". Stephen Redrobe now teaches this approach, calling it the "impulse vibrato", and it is done by squeezing the hand rather than rocking about the fingers. There is a little  unavoidable pitch fluctuation, but the main effect is a rapid throbbing in volume.

I should add that, while the wobbling vibrato will survive the compression of YouTube's sound mechanism, the impulse vibrato will not be portrayed accurately, owing to a reduced dynamic range.



May 7, 2009 at 10:46 AM ·

May 7, 2009 at 10:51 AM ·

this  vibrato is indeed the one i teach. i disagree about audibility. the impulse vibrato carries further and clearer. to me its a black and white issue kreisler ida haendel stern milstein yes oistrakh kogan perlman no. hasid zimbalist saraste yes menuhin neveu no. however it is easier to hear the difference with plastic records cds are not allowed into the palace. my students have to copy plastics on to cassettes. cds not allowed.

May 7, 2009 at 11:54 AM ·

7:27 AM raining, but no moose at the window... two cups of java, an hour of Alard scales under the belt...Bach to come soon. If I live long enough, I will master that which I have not as of yet. Now, there's a quote!!! I must say, this king has me quite intrigued or perhaps perplexed would be a more appropriate description. Three more emails from him last night, so I went a- googlng again. It appears that is not the only discussion board a buzz with this  man

Scroll down to the thread "Alienating Musicians"

nopity.gif No Pity image by TGrosjean

May 7, 2009 at 12:05 PM ·

thank you for alerting me to more abuse. i shall not join this new discussion. i am  in correspondence privately with people who warned me about the usa. i must say i was disappointed that the two more intelligent responses on this site were both from englishmen and reiterate that there is a cultural divide which may well prevent communication. it looks as if there is a kind of pseudo dialogue taking place and i was fooled into believing that it was the equivalent of communication. i just viewed all the videos again. i can begin to see them now through the eyes of america. it is something like viewing an ape at a zoo. "hey did you see the fantastic ape?" "yes i was outraged he scratched his bollocks in front of my child" well actually i think its rather good for a child to see that" "well i think the zoo should not display such a creature" "well i think all zoos should be closed down." well ive been watching this ape for sometime and although he smells he does have a certain talent for mimickry" "he swings with elegance and ease but i wouldnt go near because he steals bananas from the next door cage" "i have learnt much about zoology from observing how protective he is of the young" i cant get over the smell.  this is not for me. i am not interested in planet of the apes. it was a good film ahead of its time. !

May 7, 2009 at 12:40 PM ·

Thank you for joining the discussion but here we usually discuss more than one point of view, at least here in America.  When someone posts a video like this it is to be expected that there will be both negative criticism and positive responses, and as you can see this discussion includes both.  This is not England vs. America and I find it quite rude that you are attributing criticism of your teacher to "being americans."  We don't have kings here in the states but if we were to crown a King of the Violin I'm sure we would debate perfusely around names like Heifetz, Perlman, Kreisler, etc. is a welcome place for you, and your opinion matters as much as anybody's here.  People visit the site from all over the world, but predominantly from America so be warned!   But there is no reason to go around insulting people just because they have a different opinion than you do.  I'm very glad you like your teacher and you are learning a lot from him.  This is wonderful news and nobody is judging you for that.  But we all make our own choices and study with the people we want to.... in fact I'm willing to say that my teacher is truly a King of violinists and you will find far fewer people to disagree with me.

May 7, 2009 at 12:56 PM ·

Hi Paul, it is easy to post under your own name at this site.  There are many companies that offer free email, such as yahoo, aol, gmail, etc.  A simple few registry steps insures that you can stand behind your own words.

For what it is worth, you make a great point about the worthlessness of youtube comments. I think one reason they are so worthless and wrongheaded is that the commenters get to hide behind a veil of anonymity.  It is so much better when people are held accountable for their own statements, yes?

May 7, 2009 at 01:03 PM ·


The postings are from the "king" and not Nicholas. The "king" posts under Nicholas' name

May 7, 2009 at 01:24 PM ·

i tried to register with my email account. you are wrong! more american inaccuracies! this site only allows registration with a school account. that means that in true us style(upside down) my student has to use his london university account and then his teacher can slide in. usa= no king no subjects. no parenting  no teaching etc. having initiated the reversal any one who returns to the old is demeaned. it crops up again in the idea of peeling back the layers to reveal the interpretation of the "budding talent" this is nonsense. i am tempted to reveal what the great names really thought of all this. you would all be shocked to know the truth..... as i said some of the greatest names in the world of music are/ were close friends of my family. what is said in public for "business" reasons is not the same at all as what is said in private. teachers have to give an interpretation. as i said a great talent may reject it later please watch all the videos carefully! there is a culture in america which in the last thirty years has actually come to believe in itself viz the idea of pedagoguics. people can get degrees in the us having studied pedagogics! let me assure you leopold auer would fail entry! in europe we laugh at this. a teacher is part born and part long hard graft. the critics of my videos are well aware i too would fail in such an environment but are threatened by my coolness my aloofness and open lack of respect for such a system. for now the king is exhausted and must retire. if ever any of you come to london you are welcome for an audience. (in other words cut the crap! as i said i want to hear you play! i want to hear the concertos i want to hear the beethoven sonatasALL TEN NOT THE FIRST MOVEMENT OF THE SPRING i want to hear the 6 unaccompanied and 6 accompanied of bach the4 schubert sonatas. WE HAVENT STARTED YET.)

May 7, 2009 at 01:43 PM ·

There certainly are cultural differences between the USA and UK (and all other nations' cultures).

It is partly a matter of context dependency.

In some cultures a statement may mean many different things according to the various types of context in which it is said. Call this a "high context" culture. Japan and the UK are examples of such high context culture.

In other cultures, a statement may only have a very limited number of interpretations, even only one, regardless of context. Such cultures are called "low context". The USA and Germany are more like this. Of course there are gradations between the extremes, and also high context sub-cultures exist within low context national cultures, and vice versa.

Very often, people from high context cultures think those from low context cultures are stupid, or humourless because they don't understand the subtleties of meaning that come with different contexts. A lot of British humour is based on things happening in wrong contexts - the whole ironic aspect of British humour, for example. Or leg-pulling. Or self-parodying bombast. Mock self-importance, that may be a double bluff (eh, Mr de Keyser?).

Equally, those from LC cultures may think HC people are mad, eccentric, unfathomable, rude etc. These differences can also lead to offence being taken where none was given.


May 7, 2009 at 01:47 PM ·


May 7, 2009 at 02:37 PM ·

 Were some of the videos taken down?

May 7, 2009 at 03:30 PM ·

This has certainly been a very entertaining thread!

May 7, 2009 at 04:17 PM ·

Hi, Paul de Kayser. I agree that sometimes, pedegogy clases can be a waste of time or stupid since a great teacher is born but if I take the analogy with physics (because I study sciences in college), I can understand the why of pedagogical courses for a few persons and physics teacher would need some!  All the physics tachers at my school and those of the ones I know in other school are really poor pedagogs...   A neuro-psychologist told me that often, the type of head it takes for physics is a type of head which is not really good at verbalizing their thoughts (thus teaching).  These guys do anything to avoid to respond clearly to questions, they always say everything is the students fault (and many students are hard-working in the class, stay up at night to study etc).  They are not able to slow down and to explain one thing in many different ways. Thus, I think pedagogy courses were invented for these kind of brainy geniuses who sorry for the word totally "suck" at teaching. 

Again, I take physics as an example and am still convice good physics teachers exists but it can not be just an isolated event that all those I know + those of people I know from other schools all seem to be like this.  I think pedagogy classes should be given to some teachers who need it (like many physics teachers, I said many not all!).  Would it help?  It's better to try than to not to!

I respect your view and I just wanted to share why I think some pedagogy classes could (possibly?) be useful in some situations!


May 7, 2009 at 04:25 PM ·

High C vs LC, what a concept :) 

spare the classical musicians.


May 7, 2009 at 04:52 PM ·

yes yes yes yes yes yessssssssssssssssssssss. now you are waking up. this is it. england is a great country. it has produced this kind of satire for centuries. i adored all 3 black adder series and went to a n english school where this kind of speak was the why am i using this kind of technique on youtube with violin lessons? it is not a hoax it is dead serious.........

May 7, 2009 at 05:15 PM ·

Mr de Kayser,

You write: why do i have to stoop so low in order to give out biographic details? And you mentions your father, your wife and your own background. But not your real name. It is of course not always a bright idea to give out too much personal information on the net, but you are giving away a whole bunche but not your name?

And regarding the Perlman vs. You videos. A teacher is not someone that knows facts, it is someone who makes the student understand them. It really doens't matter if Heifetz himself was your student, your videos show no improvement on your students, Perlman's videos on the other hand show a clear improvement.

If you are a serious and a good violin teacher, which you might be - I don't know, these videos for sure doesn't show it, your youtube stream doesn't compliment you.

May 7, 2009 at 05:18 PM ·

1. We can't criticize Mr. de Keyser's personality because he is British.

2. We can't criticize his violin *playing* as he is a violin *teacher*. (And his famous students are?)

3. We can't criticize his violin *teaching* in the videos which he uploaded to Youtube since they are only excerpts, taken out of context, from longer lessons.

So I'll leave off criticizing the misunderstood and mistranslated King ('the best violin teacher in England'), and concentrate on criticizing myself for playing into his game.

All this attention on his videos is I'm sure great for business. I'm sure when this thread runs stale, he'll come back with a few more one-liners about how stupid and unmusical Americans are to get things flowing again. 

Though the majority of viewers will be turned off, he only needs to reach the few who are in need of eccentric, overly-opinionated authority figures in their lives. (Since he's in London, he's wise to aim the condescending generalities at Americans... how many Americans would actually travel all the way to England to study regularly with him?! He know his audience.)

Enough already.


May 7, 2009 at 05:34 PM ·

Something to bare in mind is that once the thread hits that magic 100th post it's automaticly archieved.  Will it get there?

He and I have exchanged an email.  I see where Graham is coming from with HC & LC.  with what I posted Buri would have caught on that i was saying don't get overly serious, just chill a bit, dude you can teach and you are accomplished.  I acknowledged that to de Kayser and think he could post / blogg some great info and that I realy meant the complaments that I gave.  I hope that with his previous post about the satire that is posted shows that a unique contex of humor exists and that his horizons have broaden a little?  I've resolved to open my closed mind a bit wider and see just what good things I just may learn from him and let he and his methods speak for themselves.

and in the mean time, please..... lets drop any hard feelings, and get on with it?  Let's pick up learning new things and especially this illusive instrument that we all love....the violin?

May 7, 2009 at 06:42 PM ·

concur with royce.

instead of centering around stereotypes which may get tiresome after couple laughs, there is much more to discuss on empirical violin related issues.  if there is really such a difference across the pond, i for one would like to hear it.  the british tradition is arguably more "homogenous" than american cultures.  to me it does not make much sense to label things,,,american because the melting pot is packed with so many flavors.  take any one of the top 10 american violinists,,,they are really just individuals with american passports. ( i was going to write a similar line on the british top 10 and it dawned on me that, shoot, i don't even know of one!!!!    i am not being facetious or rude but i can't even name one internationally known (to me, duh) soloist from england!  ) 

i put up the thread because to me his approach is unique, aka, odd, wacky, funky, stylish,,,  since i am not a violinist, i can't really judge content.

with a spade, either we build something, or we dig holes and jump in them.

May 7, 2009 at 06:41 PM ·

correct again! i like your humour as well! ther are no english soloists and as i said in one of the videos there never have been and there never will be.....(hows that for arrogance!)

May 7, 2009 at 07:33 PM ·

So, here is the question - why aren't there any "great" British violin soloists?

I suppose we discount Kennedy, Little, Holmes, Sammons and Loveday on principle: they are British, so can't possibly be any good.

But if this is so - why haven't we got any good 'uns?

Then we come to the definition of nationality. Menuhin was as British as Milstein was American. Or Szeryng, Mexican. (As a PS, I hadn't realised that Campoli is regarded as British!!!!!) Then there's Chloe Hanslip - nice player.

Is it a matter of vocabulary? We define good violinists by a certain vocab that was itself defined by the nationalities of those fiddlers we still recognise as great? Is that it?

In most post-bop jazz, we still judge European players by American standards. Few get prizes.

Is it the same with violinists? Is the classical violin vocabulary so infused with what Stoliarsky's students did, that if we hear anything else, it isn't just another accent, it just isn't as good?


May 7, 2009 at 07:32 PM ·

my bad, kennedy i definitely know of, but the others i have not heard of.  i say it as a matter of fact, not to denigrade.

have no intention to let the question sink into a popularity contest.  perhaps it is a matter of marketing,  perhaps it is a different scene in europe? 

May 7, 2009 at 07:36 PM ·

No, Al, it is a serious question.

We Brits have a tendency to be self-deprecating, even when we really are the best (which is more often than we like to admit).

So, even if we were to have great players, I ask, would we shout about it?

I suspect we wouldn't.


May 7, 2009 at 09:02 PM ·

Two of the best known violists of last century were from the UK: Lionel Tertis (England) and William Primrose (Scotland).

You're just looking at the wrong instrument ;)

May 7, 2009 at 09:24 PM ·

Actually I find it strange that nobody has heard of Paul de Keyser. His mum is the esteemed concert pianist and renowned teacher Fanny Waterman who also founded the Leeds piano competition.Fanny Waterman is the author of a series of piano volumes both of technical material and repetoire selections which were highly pooular in the 70's and 80's.Paul de Keyser is also author of of many didatical volumes published by Faber.Iìve unfortunalely only seen a couple of the videos as the audio is out on my computer.Personaly I loved them and in the great tradition of John Cleese and Rowan Atkinson profound thoughts are wrapped up in a magnificant riddle which the student can have fun unravelling for himself.This is all magnificant entertainment and I cant wait for my computer to be repaired so I can see the rest of them.

May 7, 2009 at 09:53 PM ·

ATTN: Paul de Keyser dba Nicholas Garibaldinos
 re: your comment  "concerning my inability to use the great and wonderful v, com site. it rejects emailaccounts other than school accounts and i am independant"

this cannot be true otherwise very few if any of us would be onboard. I'm sure Laurie could assist you in this regard should you so choose

May 7, 2009 at 10:09 PM ·

why do you keep on implying that i am a liar? i have said twice now that i am independant of institutions and only have a hotmail account which is unacceptable to set up on violin .com. i have already intimated in private and now in public that i am not prepared to continue dialogue at present with the people on this site. i feel you are incapable of reasoned discussion without recourse to insult and innuendo. to those who are the exceptions i am fully prepared to have fruitful discussion via hotmail and or camera. please get in touch and send a message to my you tube account.. i am going abroad for about ten days.

May 7, 2009 at 10:09 PM ·

Al- Thank you.

May 8, 2009 at 12:37 AM ·

Good Grief Paul,

When I safd this cannot be true I was not calling you a liar; merely offering a suggestion whereby you could join the group.  The sight is not exclusive to schools only.  Individuals join all the time .

May 8, 2009 at 12:45 AM ·

If I may say a few words to clear the air.. This is copied from the registration page.

Thank you for your interest in registering with Please read the following requirements before proceeding:

  • You must register with your real first and last name when registering with Your name will be used to identify you on all posts made to the site. If you are not comfortable posting information online under your real name, please feel welcome to continue "lurking" on the site, but we respectfully ask that you not register.
  • In order to confirm the identities of those who register with the site, we do not accept registrations from,, or other free e-mail addresses. Please use your ISP, employer or school e-mail address to apply. (You may change it later.)
  • Unless noted below, the information you submit will be published on We do not sell or rent our registration database to any other source. Please see our privacy policy for more information.
  • Members who submit comments, blogs and other content to must follow our Guidelines for Writers. New registrants must wait between 24 and 48 hours before they are allowed to post to
  • reserves the right to deny membership to anyone, and to terminate any membership, remove any content or to terminate the entire service, at any time. Individuals who submit false information on this form will be banned from the site.
  • If you have a spam filter on your e-mail account, please "whitelist" e-mail from before completing the form, as we will e-mail a randomly-generated password to you. You may change that password later, after you log in to the site.


Hope this help clear the misunderstanding.

May 8, 2009 at 12:49 AM ·

why does the site require a scool email acount and expilicitly say that hotmail is unacceptable? why did i telephone to my student to come and set up his account and then wait twenty four hours for the password and a further twenty four hours before i could blogg publicly? does the site have a telephone no.? no it doesn't; so like a good little english boy i obeyed the instructions of the great free big apple regulation setters and here i am.(going to isatnbul for ten days the most beautiful city in the world!) leisure friends no violin.

May 8, 2009 at 12:56 AM ·

lyeyen thank you! my position is vindicated. can someone who understands computers deal with this. i cannot i neither understand nor have the patience . i do have a hotmail account though. perhaps someone could get in touch with the manager and ask him her to make an exception for the king?

May 8, 2009 at 01:02 AM ·

i dont know what an isp is. i am employed by the K-ng of K-ngs and He neither has nor needs an account and i am not a school boy so as you can see i am a complete misfit in  the usa. i apologise for this

May 8, 2009 at 01:09 AM ·

ok, all joking aside, here is a real question from clip violin 3 part 2...

no, not about the la la la la la in the very beginning. could be testicular compression but i won't ask.

in the clip there is a discussion and a demonstration about finger placement/alignment to get a ringing sound.  can someone elaborate on that and explain it with a little physics principles or something?  (the camera work is little too action packed for my eyes:)


May 8, 2009 at 01:15 AM ·

I've been following this discussion  with great interest and amusement. Actually I am saddened that it has taken a hostile turn because  he has so much to offer. I think we could all profit from the exchange even if some people don't like his teaching style.
Anyway, I have been watching his videos with great interest and finding a lot of worth while material. It's very interesting, for example,  what he has to say about close half steps in the Wieniawski Legende compared to the Mozart G Maj. Concerto.  Also, what he says about the mechanism of applying bow pressure has given me food for thought.

May 8, 2009 at 02:21 AM ·

i have discussed this with phycisists and mathematicians. they do not know is the straight answer! but as we all agree that if a string is stopped half way down its length the pitch is exactly one octave higher then  this note can be played either as a harmonic or stopped in the normal way. the timbre difference between these two possibilities is clear to all. now we must be careful here. the fully depressed version is in fact a string "shortened" the nut at the scroll end has been rendered redundant and has been "relocated". in the harmonic version the string is full length (nut to bridge) with what i would call"nodal interference" as well. what i am suggesting is that i strike the string in a percussive manner swiftly and sharply before depressing  the string with all notes so that in effect all notes are treated as a harmonic. as the non harmonic notes begin to scratch i" quick as lightening "depress the string to the bottom changing the timbre from harmoic to stopped. NOW YOU WILL SEE THAT THE VIBRATO SYSTEM I ESPOUSE FOR THE MAIN PART is an alternation vertically between these  two states.( i also use wobblato if the timbre is suitable) for example some "blousy amabile moderato brahms a major sonata" but in classical music almost always the impulse vibrato so that i can hear the alternation between stopped and"harmonic" states. by extension for clarity of bach allegros prestos etc., as there is no time fore any vibrato every note is articulated in this "little hammer like manner" the hammering must be regular in that the same degree of string depression(virtually none) must take place for every note so as not to disturb the bowing. ALSO the opposite!!! when i was talking about my kind of spiccato you will now understand why i said the bow is ON THE STRING only now i am overly hitting the string so that the string disturbs the bow hair into a kind of juddering(NOT SAUTILLE) ALSO while we are at it as all of this is highly complex in order to awaken the interest of a child or not interested teenager as a didactic device i use histrionics . humour. discussing boy friend/ girlf riend gossip; going to cafes and restaurants etc etc. students need time to absorb facts physics maths anatomy ,emotions they have not yet experienced and my hunch is that treating these DEAD SERIOUS  matters as asides or petty little quirks of the king psychologicially renders the student more receptive than this lifeless "lets be serious because the content is serious "approach. recently i witnessed two adults force violating their very ill child with spoonfuls of "delicious calpol" the mother held the legs , the father held open the mouth whilst being bitten and then forced in the medicine which was then promtly ejected on to his jacket. the following day i went and mashed half an adult paracetamol in side some strawberry jam and asked the father to play a game with me. the only rule was to swallow the strawberry whole. he obeyed the king; guess what? yes! you are right the child begged to be allowed to join in the game. we were both extremely solemn in explaining the rule! the child did not see the powdered paracetamol. the following day with more tantrums the mother phoned me to offer me the job of full time child minder for their three sons!( i kid you not) i only look crazy but am not. others look sane but to quote my late ukrainian grand father "oy veyz mir are they farrukt!!!"

all thes ideas are variations on the same idea.

May 8, 2009 at 02:39 AM ·

gosh! we are almost at the summit.  Ooops.....

This discussion has been archived and is no longer accepting responses.

Facebook Twitter YouTube Instagram Email is made possible by...

Shar Music
Shar Music

Yamaha Violin Finder
Yamaha Violin Finder

Pirastro Strings
Pirastro Strings

Corilon Violins
Corilon Violins

Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases
Dimitri Musafia, Master Maker of Violin and Viola Cases

Kestenbaum & Company Auctioneers
Kestenbaum & Company Auctioneers

Brian Lisus Violins
Brian Lisus Violins

Warchal Metronome

Bay Fine Strings Violin Shop

Bobelock Cases


Los Angeles Violin Shop

Nazareth Gevorkian Violins

Potter Violins

Pro-Am Strings

Violin Lab

Wangbow Violin Bow Workshop