Looking for a Violin Pedagogue or Professor proficient in written assessment

February 6, 2018, 2:09 AM · Hi, on behalf of a friend, I'm looking for a violin professor or pedagogue who can assess my friend's violin technique, artistry, musicality, and readiness for conservatory audition through his video performance. The parents basically want a written assessment of my friend's violin playing. Of course, they'll be paying for the service. By the way, my friend is located in Hamburg at the moment. Although location doesn't really matter, It'd be great if the professor is located in Hamburg, Germany. Please give me a PM. Thanks!

Replies (13)

February 6, 2018, 2:14 AM · Not really helpful, but a curiosity on my part:

Is there any reason your friends teacher's opinion is not good enough for their parents?

Edited: February 6, 2018, 4:00 AM · Unfortunately, I'm not well informed about whether he has been working with a teacher ever since he moved to Hamburg a month ago. He has recorded a video of himself for auditions, I think his parents would like someone that can assess and express very well in written form, just to satisfy their lack of information about their child's playing.
February 6, 2018, 6:01 AM · The ACMP (Associated Chamber Music Players) has a link that provides professional coaches for chamber music groups. No that the association ins international (formerly "American") one of those pros might be available to do that.
February 6, 2018, 8:13 AM · May I respectfully suggest that your friend would be far better off playing for someone local who is knowledgeable, and that I am sure such a person exists in Hamburg. First, because a local professional will be better informed on what is available to students at various levels; second, because one can assess much more accurately in person with the ability to move around and look from different angles, and third because an important part of such assessment would be how quickly the student can react to instruction, which is impossible to determine from a video. There are minor considerations as well such as sound--how much of an apparently poor sound is due to video sound quality? How much to an inferior instrument? The first thing I do when a student's sound bothers me is play on their instrument myself to see what its limitations are. And so on.
February 6, 2018, 12:20 PM · I agree with Mary Ellen.

Also, if the student can, they should take a trial lesson from anyone they might be interested in studying with in college.

February 6, 2018, 1:40 PM · Just submit a link and he'll get some opinions. Many of us have been in this business for decades, and most of what he'll hear isn't exactly rocket science.

I actually think he'd be better off having several opinions from the experienced on this site with consistency of those opinions in mind, rather than just one person's opinion. For example, if 5 people agree his intonation needs work, or he rushes, or isn't making good phrasing, then that should tell him something. That's why orchestras use a committee, and not just one person, in assessing a candidate.

February 6, 2018, 3:06 PM · The assessment isn't for the player, but for the player's parents; a report from someone with impressive credentials.
Edited: February 6, 2018, 4:27 PM · Ask at the Hochschule für Musik in Hamburg: https://www.hfmt-hamburg.de/startseite/
Edited: February 7, 2018, 12:07 AM · Maybe they have had a family talk and have made a compromise that if a really respectable outsider values his playing high and can see him being able to become a competent professional, the parents will pay for the music school? Maybe take a loan for it? Parents are probably not musical so they cannot do the evaluation themselves.

His teacher wouldnt do as she would not be objective and a site like this wouldnt do as it probably wouldnt be as accurate as someone good hired to do the job. I think it is a good idea as then all of them would know if there is a good chance and worth the investment or maybe better to pick some other as major.

Money issues are very important for many and it is impossible to require that the student and the family know enough to be able to answer the question ”is it possible for me to become a good professional violinist?”

Obviously I dont know anyone, but Im sure people here have more ideas on whom to approach, right?

In my country it si far more simple, if one gets in the only university who teaches classical music, then one has a very good chance of being a good professional. But if one gets into one of the secondary education colleges, then one has a good chance if one wants to teach, otherwise it is a unlikely.

February 7, 2018, 1:31 AM · Thanks, everyone. I think my friend's mother will join this discussion soon. They're not so tech-savvy, we'll see how it goes from there.
February 7, 2018, 9:38 AM · I think getting a professional opinion is a great idea. My point is simply that one shouldn't limit oneself to just one of those opinions, no matter how respected the expert is.

When I was looking at schools and taking lessons here and there with various well-known teachers, it was really quite amazing what a range of opinions they had of my playing. One famous teacher said I certainly had the chops for a major orchestra. Another one listened to me for 5 seconds and said I should just quit. Of course with some students it's pretty obvious in 5 seconds or less. Unfortunately, I was in that "pretty good" category I'm always warning everyone about....I've come to the conclusion that I'm either A. better than I actually sound or B. not really as good as I sound.

Edited: February 7, 2018, 9:57 AM · I don't disagree that getting more than one professional opinion is a good idea. I just think that if the question being asked is readiness for conservatory admission, it's best to include people familiar with the particular conservatories being looked at. This is a very U.S.-centric board.

I also think that there is no substitute for an in-person evaluation, and I am positive that there are qualified experts within easy reach of Hamburg.

I see this question as being different from the unfocused sorts of "do you think I could be a professional?" questions that I and others do not hesitate to weigh in on. In the latter, there is often enough information in the OP to answer in the negative. There is no information in this post at all beyond the strong suggestion that the student in question is a serious violinist, and that any opinions provided will be used not only by the student but by his parents in making life-altering decisions. I am comfortable telling a high school student playing Bach a minor that she is very unlikely to be competitive for orchestra jobs in the U.S. in the future. In-person factors would not likely change that assessment. I'm not at all comfortable watching/listening to a video from an excellent student in another country and passing judgment on imminent conservatory choices. That's when an in-person audition by someone familiar with the in-country (or at least in-continent) options becomes much more necessary.

February 7, 2018, 12:15 PM · My guess is that a video might be very useful in determining whether the student is clearly unready, or it's worth seeking out a detailed in-person assessment of specific strengths and weaknesses and likely best schools.

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