Clayton Haslop's - Kreutzer for Violin Mastery Program.

October 4, 2006 at 06:49 PM · Clayton Haslop's - Kreutzer for Violin Mastery Program.

Has anyone tried this program or know anything about it?

What about Mr. Clayton Haslop??

Comments and thoughts please…


[Editor's note: In the interests of full disclosure, Haslop has been a sponsor on]

Replies (37)

October 4, 2006 at 10:37 PM · Sounds interesting.

I really enjoyed reading about the Milstein anecdotes. Naturally, the first thing I did was put the violin on my chest and play Paganini #16! Some of the high notes were a bit uncomfortable, and I ended up doing my 10ths across three strings instead of two. But if I can get through the entire Caprice that way, so can a lot of folks.

I've already done the entire Kreutzer book several times, so I won't be buying the method. But everything Mr. Haslop says seems true, particularly the sight reading part.

October 5, 2006 at 04:18 PM · Haven't seen the materials, but his ads stress the need to develop rhythmic integrity to the highest levels, and he's dead on about it.

January 14, 2007 at 12:39 AM · I just received v.1&v.2 of Mr. Haslop’s DVD course “Kreutzer for Violin Mastery”. I’ve viewed them twice and tried some of his techniques. I’m not in the position to review the material simply because I’m not experienced enough in the subject matter and that I haven’t seen other DVDs to compare with. I can only give you an armature’s initial response, and I hope this is somewhat helpful.

Mr. Haslop has his own system of practice, which involves visualizing, breathing and counting out loud. Intellectually, his system makes good sense to me, but I’m not sure when I’ll be ready to adopt this system, as it requires a fundamental change to the way I used to practice.

With respect to techniques, the instruction is clear and to the point, although it would be nice to see a bit more discussion on each etude, in terms of what to do and what not to do. The set comes with a few pages of written notes on each etude. These notes are very useful, but seem to me a bit too brief.

Unless you are very advanced, I don’t think this set is meant to replace one’s own teacher. The set of two volumes is not inexpensive, but I’m happy that I’ve bought it and I’m looking forward to v. 3 & v.4.

January 20, 2007 at 04:45 AM · I recently got parts 1 and 2. I'm glad I did.

August 3, 2007 at 07:35 PM · seems kind of expensive (couple hundred for just the first two volumes)... I bet I could learn much more, and have a more personalized experience, with my teacher at that price

August 5, 2007 at 03:38 PM · I have purchased the Kreutzer v. 1-4 sets and the Bach/Kreisler set. I was disappointed in that I do not think that the amount of information on the DVDs is worth the price. Though sound and useful, it is mostly advice that we have all heard before. I think that the material would be most valuable for those who have done Kreutzer long ago and are deep into repertoire. As an intermediate player, I think that I probably have wasted my money.

August 10, 2007 at 03:01 PM · I congratulate Mr. Haslop on a job well done! This is an ambitious project in the undertaking. He is an outstanding teacher -- one of USA's best kept secret (but hopefully for not too much longer)! I can see that he clearly wants to pass on his wonderful knowledge. There are only a few former Milstein pupils around, including Oliver Steiner and Dylana Jenson.

I have examined this dvd's that a friend purchased and was impressed. It was nice to see that Mr. Haslop and I shared similar teaching ideas. The video is very well organized.

For people who seemed unsatisfied, I'd respectfully ask that you re-examine them. There is alot to be said and this is a video that you can't just "turn on, watch, then expect to miraculously turn into a Milstein, Jr.". You need patience and need to work hard. I think if you follow Mr. Haslop's suggestions, you'll find that your practice time of the Kreutzer etudes will be cut in half.

In addition, if you feel that you're already a "Kreutzer expert", then try to take the technical principles from these videos and apply to other etudes and repertoire. These principles just are not for Kreutzer. The successful students are the ones who can take Mr. Haslop or any teacher's ideas and "apply" them.

If you're still so unsatisfied, then perhaps you should make your own Kreutzer dvd series and give us your perspective.

Thank you Mr. Haslop for your wonderful contributions. Your dedication is so much appreciated. You're a teaching genius!

August 10, 2007 at 05:03 AM · This is the best review on Clayton Haslop's Kreutzer DVDs I've ever seen. It's very helpful, especially for those of us who have bought the DVDs but may not fully appreciate them.

August 10, 2007 at 02:14 PM · "Seems kind of expensive" and "Not worth the price" are unfair statements to Mr. Haslop for all the effort he has put into these dvd's.

As for the price, one should consider factors such as planning time, production time, distribution time, etc. I am very confident that Mr. Haslop dedicated a good 5-10 years for just planning alone, and a huge chunk of time went into production and goes into distribution. So put yourself in Mr. Haslop's shoe. Would you think it's atleast "fair" to ask for the price he's charging for all that effort he went through to give a gift to the world? I really do not think the price he's charging is all that bad, considering you're getting material that you could have only had if you had direct lessons with Milstein.

Second, DVD's should be viewed to try to get an inspiration or with the idea of hopefully learning something you haven't known before. I think too often people buy these type of instructional dvd's thinking that it can replace a live lesson. I don't think even the best DVD's can replace a live lesson. I'm sure Mr. Haslop has 1000.x. more to offer as a teacher in a live setting. So the DVD's should be viewed as an opportunity to get an introduction to his teaching method and approach. If you like it and are hungry for more, you should attend his masterclasses or take lessons regularly with him. Everyone has different technical strengths and weaknesses and it's impossible for Mr. Haslop to address everything. What he's doing is that he's addressing unorthodox solutions to "common" issues. Now, this is what a great teacher is all about!

Finally, if you still don't get it or are not convinced, then everyone has a different learning style and maybe Mr. Haslop isn't for you. Just because it doesn't work for you, doesn't mean it's a bad material and it won't work for everyone else. A more fair statement would be something similar to what Yixi said in one of the previous posts.

April 17, 2008 at 03:11 AM · I think its a great course, and fun. I have the Kreutzer and Paganini courses :-)

April 17, 2008 at 01:34 AM · I asked our fine arts librarian to buy a copy for the university library and he immediately agreed! (I'd wanted a copy for myself but it's a little pricey...happy to get the U to buy it instead!) It looks like an incredible set of DVDs and I'm looking forward to working with it when it arrives. Of course I am a nerd and do get pretty excited about etudes anyway...

April 17, 2008 at 04:35 AM · Greetings,

I have bene meaning to write areview of this for some time and haven@t bene able to figure out exactly what to say because it isn`t a simple thing at all.

First of all I would say that Clayton Haslop is a person of great integrity and ability is genuinly trying to give people somehting importnat and useful. Anyone suggestion to the otherwise is simply cheap and lacking in basic understanding and/or manners.

People do complain about the price and tend to make quick judgements about being ripped off whihc I will come back to. But firts I would say that I think mr Haslop cam einto the market at an unfortunate time when abousltely free and very succinct lesson are suddenly being offered for nothing on youtube and it has tended to create something of a negative attitude towards MrHaslop which he doesn`t deserve. It is not really a fair comparison because one is not actually looking at quite the same thing.

Although I have not explored Mr Haslops discs to the full yet I would say that in briefwhat he is tryng to get across is much broader and simpler than a focused ten minute step step lesson on spicatto. He is actually trying to define and teach a radically diffenret approach to the instrument that is very powerful and -very simple- You cannot make complex ten minute lesosn palns out of something simple and profound if that thing really only takes a litlte time to explain. Why not then just produce one ratehr cheaper cd? Part of the answer is that a point made succinctly and bnot repeated over a broad span is not always well learned. I think Mr Haslop`s point is that one is trying to adjust to his simple and effective approach while working on the Kreutzer and the primary methodof learning he is using is example. He isn`t ging to be stopping every few bars and saying @do xyz` because he is working on getting across a whole sense of playing. This doesn`tman ther eis no detail. On the contray there is one bit of advice in approaching a speifc passage which I found an absolute gold mine and have used many times since. That nugget alone makes the money worthwhile. am not sure about the value of having a slowed down performance to watch or even an accompaniamnet (which certainly pumps up the price) but Mr Haslop belives them to be of great signifcance and he is a teahcer and player of suffcient stature ot make that opinion while worth working on.

In sum, it may not be for someone who want detail up the wazzo but is actually not able to see what is being taught in broad strokes, nor is it necssarily for a hard up studnet who is speding their money on a good teahcer who has a diffenret approach. But if one s willing to make some financial commitment and kepe an open mind then it is an importnat conreibution to the extant violin pedagogy cannon.

I hope this review is fair.:(



April 17, 2008 at 09:41 AM · Great review Buri!

What dvd set did you buy, and what level do the students using this have to be in (at least?)?

April 17, 2008 at 11:24 AM · I recently started the Kreutzer series. It has changed my practice routine, and even early on there has been at least one valuable nugget, to use Buri's description. On that note, Buri and Sung-Duk gave good reviews. Not just favorable, but accurate.

Maybe some are like me; they look at adverts with lots of small typeface, tightly-spaced copy with more than a bit of doubt. Often in that format more is promised than can reasonably be expected to be delivered. I would suggest to anyone thinking about taking the plunge, but not sure, get part I. The cost is about what one would pay for a month's private lessons here.

April 17, 2008 at 10:58 PM · Greetings,

Mattias, I have the full set of Kreutzer disks.

The cheap answere to your question is that onbe could begin this series when one is ready to start Kreutzer. However, the question of when to start Kreutzer is getting harder and harder every year as far as I can see. Is it fairly early on (as advocated by Bron who doe sit all twice at differnet levels) or is it an advanced manual/professional`s hand book or combination?

I think one needs ot havce pretty solid basics in place to begin. But on the other hand Mr Haslop is arguing that a lot of this can be simpified and rethought. Perhaps it is accesible to a more beginner level if they have already worked at hgis begniiner series which I am not familiar with.

All I can say is I think that from a kind of lower intermediate stage onwards up to profesisoanl level there is plenty of food for thought including your mums meatball recipe. I think it will get more useful for me now I am getting older and my hands are beginning to feel their age.



April 18, 2008 at 01:14 AM · Haslop has now introduced a beginner series - according to his emails.


April 18, 2008 at 02:31 AM · Mr. Haslop has also begun a monthly Allegro program for lower intermediate players who may not be ready for Kreutzer. If in doubt, this may be for you. I've decided to try it out in hopes of solidifying my foundation while also working on Kreutzer - I have his Kreisler/Bach DVDs as well.

April 19, 2008 at 11:38 AM · Weeeelll, I didn't tell the full story. An embarrassment of riches I suppose. I have just about all of his stuff, including the first few months of the beginner course. I will probably order more of the beginner course eventually.

I wanted to see his fundamental approach to violin, right down to the beginner level. OK, OK, I'm a violinist fundamentalist :-)

I haven't ordered the intermediate Allegro Players DVDs but might look into it. I justify the amount I spend because, at the moment, I'm not paying for many violin lessons. Also, deep down I feel that his lesson material is worth the price.

The way I see it is that, as Buri says, it's a total outlook on how to play violin, and I love the simplicity of it. There is no one available to me locally or even further afield, at the moment, who represents his approach - namely, a Milstein type bow hold, and no shoulder rest approach - which isn't a big deal in the final analysis, but I do like to see someone playing the way I play.

There's more to the attraction of his approach than just the bowing and shoulder rest thing. For me, he clears up a lot of the technical 'baggage' I feel I've been taught over the years. I would define that as 'overly fiddly, overly complex technical instruction', like being told you must move the left elbow around every time you change string, or complex movements of the bow hand fingers (much of this from very advanced players, too). Clayton says a lot of this sort of thing is unnecessary, at least to him. His approach, coming from a master who has done, and continues to do it all, is a breath of fresh air to me. Thanks Clayton!

April 19, 2008 at 08:32 AM · Jon you're ideally positioned to tell us which course has best bang-for-buck as far as presenting principles and giving a reasonably comprehensive overview of his 'system'?

April 19, 2008 at 12:03 PM · In my opinion it is all equally good bang for buck Andres, but I'd recommend getting the Kreutzer, parts 1 and 2, and the 'Dynamic Breathing' DVD which doesn't cost much and outlines the approach to holding the bow and violin. This will give you a good idea of the principles. The beginner course is a great overview of the basic approach to technique. Of course, it may not be for everyone, but I love it.

I also bought the beginner discs because it was basically an outline to teaching the instrument according to Mr Haslop's principles of violin playing. Sort of like lessons in giving lessons, IMO.

I think Buri's (and Sung-Duk's) points above are very true. In my years of violin lesson adventures I have picked up a thing or two regarding modern approaches to technique. As far as I can tell, he does present a fairly innovative approach.

April 19, 2008 at 09:31 AM · I'm wondering why only Clayton Haslop made a violin teaching DVD.

What about Itzhak Perlman or Giuliano Carmignola?

July 27, 2008 at 04:57 PM · My only hesitation in buying his products is the overbearing self-help salesspeak on his website. I'm guessing it's modeled on self-proclaimed fitness guru Matt Furey's website, since Matt Furey is in his Links section. (On a whim, when I was feeling particularly dumpy one day, I purchased one of his packages and was ashamed of myself when it arrived in the mail. It was unprofessional to say the least.)

That site is for jock wannabes; I would think a violinist of Haslop's pedigree might want to appeal to an audience of more refined tastes. Or maybe he's just in it to make a buck. Can't blame him, but I do wish he had an alternate site for snobs like me who don't want to be whipped into a consumer frenzy with a book-length NLP sales pitch.

Anyone want to put their used copy on ebay? ;)

July 27, 2008 at 05:44 PM · Alex,

Like you I was a bit offput by the exaggerated marketing approach, but rest assured that the Clayton Haslop you meet on the DVDs is wearing a different hat altogether. His approach is low key and nothing but sincere - a true professional and dedicated teacher with the chops to back it up. As an added bonus, he's a really nice guy and makes himself available for questions from his subscribers.

August 11, 2008 at 03:06 PM · Well, I'll have to agree. I ordered his "Dynamic Breath Control" DVD out of curiosity, then sent him a question about it and he responded within a couple of days. That says a lot!

As for the DVD, while it in some ways felt too basic for me (I'm an adult intermediate player), he made a couple of points which I feel will lastingly improve my playing. And as everybody knows, "that one thing" can be momentous.

August 11, 2008 at 03:31 PM · How about questions related to other pieces you might be learning? If you get his stuff he is kind of, sort of becoming your teacher... so can you ask him questions about any other material or just that on his DVDs?

December 9, 2008 at 08:27 PM ·

Mr. Haslop is offering his instructional materials at a lowered price right now.  Has anyone tried the 'Allegro Players' series and what is your opinion?

December 10, 2008 at 01:32 AM ·


Alex,  I too tend to be turned off by California guru style selling.  However,  I have all the Kreutzer DVDs and I consider them to be good value and very helpful.  I wrote quite a detailed review and then some words of critique about some of the comments he has recieved. For example,  someone on anther list was quite rude about the fingerings in the Kreutzer,  claiming there was no proof they were Milsteins.  Mr Haslop has always said they were his so it wa s astupid point to beign with. However,  the comment typifies the kind of `If I have the low don on what Milstein did then I can be like him ` mentality of a rather shallow person.  (I wodner if he honestly thought CH studied the Kreuze rwith Milstein or that M even taught with them?)

  I think t is importnat to really sit back and reflect on what CH says a great deal. It sems simple but it is importnat and i have turned back to his ideas in many situations and found they were what was needed. He doesn`t spell out things in great detail bt soemtimes importnat ideas just  need more space. 

If you can get the Allegro cheaply then I wuld go for it.



December 10, 2008 at 09:31 AM ·

I really like that part of Mr. Haslop's site where he talks about the importance of rhythm. That to me just speaks volumes about his experience and understanding of the really critical things that allow musicians to function in a professional setting.

As an of my teachers mentioned that part of the reason why his own instructor never wrote a book (or in this case, created a DVD course) is she never wanted people to be able to point at something like that and say "this is what this teacher does." What if we want to change our minds? :P

October 22, 2009 at 10:09 PM ·

This thread is of great interest to me.  I came back to the violin after a 40 year absence.  (I began lessons when I was six and was in some degree accomplished by age 19)  Forget all the reasons for stopping,  I have been back now for about two years.  I started with my own review of the basics, using my old teaching materials.  I got to a certain point, where I leveled off about one year ago.  That is when I came across Clayton's ad in Strings.  Like many of you I was a little surprised at the format as it is very commercial.  But I decided to try the Allegro course on a monthly basis.  I have now completed month eleven.  I must say I took to the DVDs and Mr. Haslop's methods immediately.  My playing has improved in a significant manner.  I am delighted with the results and plan on following up with the advanced courses and the Master Class.  I was recently in Sedona on a short vacation with my wife and while there,  I had the pleasure of meeting Clayton.  He is a bright sensitive man and most caring about his courses and his students' needs.  He is also an amazing violinist.  We have several acquaintances in common the the Los Angeles area. 



October 29, 2009 at 04:10 AM ·

I would like to purchase a used set of the Haslop Kreutzer dvd's.  If anyone has either a whole set or parts of the set and is done with them/it, please send me a personal message.  Thank you.  Tom

April 11, 2012 at 12:03 AM · Indeed, I also would be more inclined to consider purchasing Mr Haslop's course if his website were not so reminiscent of webaites purporting to offer "99 Secrets of the ultra wealthy!" or "Follow these 2 rules to lose 100kgs in a week!".

I'd have hoped the violin community were beneath such crude marketing tactics!

April 11, 2012 at 03:30 AM · Greetings,

I know how you feel. However, in this case I think what is written is simply a genuine expression of his feelings about what he is teaching. I can assure you he is a person of great integrity and there is nothing fake about what he is offering.



April 11, 2012 at 01:50 PM · Well, I haven't bought anything, but I did get on his email list, short messages every few days, nuggets of advice, talk about his studio work etc. He does a ton of session work for TV and movies, pretty demanding in that you're constantly having to learn new pieces and sit down and play them, no time for much rehearsal. If you want to get a feel for Haslop's approach, the email subscription is good.

April 11, 2012 at 03:34 PM · I will not order anything from this site. First because its the usual "rip off talk" I don't respond to anymore. (Not saying it is actually a rip off) Second I think, that the Programm can not keep up with its promises. And third and most importantly, i had teachers who showed me how to deal with the Kreutzer Etudes very effectively and brathing and fundamental exercises, that will change your playing alot, I know that I find them in the Books of Kato Havas, wich cost around 15.- $.

I hope that the material will help you, if you already purchased it, but I would recommend a good live teacher to go through the Kreutzers with. It has more impact, more personal reference and perhaps more specific information too. In my opinion the secret of good playing is not ONE BIG SECRET, I think its more about knowledge of details.

For example the maybe greatest violinist of the last century, David Oistrakh, was known to plan every single shift and bowing in perfect detail.

In fact one of my old teachers was a student of Nathan Milstein too. She had many tricks in her pocket, but after all it is up to you what you make out of it.

But also nothing can replace a good teacher, especially at the "before kreutzer" level. But even after that you will learn only tiny bits from dvd's and reading because most of the things you already worked on in lessons and is a common known knowledge under most professional violinists.

To me the most interesting and helpful knowledge outside of a lesson comes from asking collegues what is their best warm up routine for example, or how they devide their time. This information as valuable as it is, is for free. Sometimes even a lesson can be for free if you show interest.

April 15, 2012 at 02:21 PM · Interesting that, overall, those who have tried the product have positive reports, while those who have not are negative...hmm...nothing quite like an informed opinion.

April 15, 2012 at 09:37 PM · I have met Mr. Haslop when he was living in Sedona, Arizona. He is a very humble and and unusual man. There is no question he is sincere and his courses are very useful up to a point. One needs the hands on of a private teacher to listen and critique.

When we met, we discussed his marketing concepts. They were easily identifiable and associated with a wealth building guru. I am not sure that that kind of marketing works in this industry. It would not in my past world. What happens with his programs remains to be seen, but I hope is successful because of who he is.

April 15, 2012 at 11:58 PM · marjory: you are right, but I am informed about the price. And I don't see too much positive responses. I think, its just too expensive. I understand, that the price might be rational, but why this marketing? Something MUST be wrong there. Not so much information about the content here...

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