I know of quite a few violin teachers who insist that students be able to sing in tune before accepting them. For a while I could see what they were getting at, although as a child I was always a self-conscious singer, convinced that what was coming out of my mouth was not what was in my head. This idea was consolidated a couple of weeks ago: At Easter I began teaching an adult learner who swore she was tone deaf, completely unmusical and definitely couldn't sing. We did a little aural work, and although I'm not sure I believe in tone deaf, she did indeed have trouble singing back a played note. She also found singing Happy Birthday difficult. This doesn't matter. The crux of the story is that I realised a few weeks ago that she has perfect pitch. And despite some trouble with singing, and the belief that she is unmusical, her intonation on the violin is unusually good. The point of this post (I will get to it eventually) is that from this experience I believe that it is a mistake to judge someone's aural facility according to whether they can sing 'in tune', and I'm wondering how many potential violinists are slipping through the net due to this way of measuring aptitude. Does anyone have experience of this *cough* technique, or any thoughts on this issue?
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