An annual Masterclass of violin which was organised by the HKPO was held last Saturday. My boy Bruno was very lucky that became the one of six performers in the Masterclass. He attended the first Masterclass four years ago that was organised by HKPO as well. Three days later, Bruno will be sixteen years of age. It is a great chance for a junior violin student to obtain valuable opinions from a Pro. Musician. Mr. Leung Kin Fung who is the First Violin and First Associate Concertmaster of HKPO conducted the Masterclass. Bruno accepted my suggestion to fill the name of a piece "Sonata in F major, 2nd Mov." by Grieg in his application form. So, he spends his time to play it everyday. He kept it going for a month. He received a confirmation to his application thru' an email two weeks ago. Wow! I told my son. Mr. Leung might remember you and want to know how your progress after a year. You had to pay more effort on it ....I asked him few questions 'Do you know what Sonata is? Do you know who Grieg is? When and where he wrote this piece? What did he tell you through the piece? How do you interpret this piece?' Obviously, he failed to answer. Supposed that a teacher should provide such relevant information to a student whatsoever by any ways. However, most teachers are likely disregarding this work. This is one of my focal points.
So, I collected all such information to him last Wednesday. It benefited to him when playing this piece. The important day came last Saturday, I woke him up at seven thirty in the morning. He started to play as for warm-up purpose in order to perform the piece better in the Masterclass. In additional, he also played the piece one more time before Masterclass started. It seemed to be perfect and everything looked smooth. He started to get nervous. Dull playing and mistakes could be heard during performing the piece. A simple question was pointed out for his dull playing, asked by Mr. Leung 'What's the accent beat with a time signature of 3/4?' He could not reply with a clear answer. E.g. accent the first beat only. There were two more issues that listed out by Mr. Leung - unwanted glissando and unnatural bow hold. Regarding to the bow hold, it made me extremely surprise. Bow hold is a basic technique. That issue was pointed out to Bruno in Leung's Masterclass four years ago and commented again last year in Leung's Masterclass again. So, I strongly reminded Bruno to settle this problem with his teacher when the lesson had started (after summer holidays 2012). I helped my son to search some videos thru' internet for his bow hold topic e.g. Violin Masters - O. Shumsky, D. Oistrakh, J. Heifetz, Perlman, etc. After few lessons passed, Bruno told me that problem was solved. His teacher did review his bow hold. I advised him again that the bow hold was still looked a little bit different from what my findings ....Anyway; student should suffer from the teaching of a teacher. This is my 2nd focal point. What's right or a proper method? Bruno learned violin when he was 7 years old. He should learn the right thing and do the right thing right from the start. Mr. Leung was saying 'a natural bow hold' and I did find the about sayings from other violin masters - for fingers, heel to tip, wrist, etc. How come much more students fall into such so-called bad habits!
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