Am I using the right violin method?
I've been playing the violin for about 7 months, with some interruptions (4 uninterrupted).
Fist 3 months I had been using 3 methods: Laureoux I, Wolfhart, Hohmann. Then I got new teacher and he continued with Laureoux only. Now it's over and we have been using Hans Sitt v. 1.
However, I find some études pretty difficult for my level, specially ones with flat notes. Do you guys think it is appropriate to my level?
I don't have many references on violin, so I don't know any common sequence of methods used to learn how to play the violin. I'd like to know some, if they are commonly used.
Thank you in advance.
There's no such thing as the "right method." There are many paths to violin proficiency, and there are successful musicians who have come from every background imaginable.
My first teacher used the first two books of Laoureux, along with Hrimaly scales, Sevcik (I forget which particular book), Wohlfahrt, Yost and Sitt, with repertoire pulled from all over. In retrospect I think she was not a great teacher (in terms of giving advice and correcting flaws in my setup), though I think the materials I studied were pretty good. I turn out to be one of those people who really like technical studies.
A good teacher will stretch you. If left to our own devices, many of us would just keep playing things we can play easily and well, thereby never making forward progress. So I would say that if you think some of the stuff is "too hard," that's just about right. Start slowly and increase speed gradually, as you improve. Soon you will be on to new "too hard" stuff!
While there are a lot of "Methods" and each one has it's supporters as well as detractors, the critical part of the learning is the chemistry between student and teacher.
Thank you for all the help.
I'm sure that the adherence to a specific series of books or sequence of materials certainly looks good on paper. I am of the belief that regardless of what sort of dogma gets pushed by individual or corporate interests, there is no static method that guarantees results for every student. My point about the teacher is that any instructor must be able to perceive after a reasonable amount of time with a student the manner in which they must approach their instruction, and what skills the student needs to acquire, and that informs the choice of repertoire.
I agree with Gene that it's not about the books, but if you're jumping around among all kinds of different method books without any kind of indication from your teacher that there's an overall plan, then that's not good either.
Yes Paul, I totally agree. A random hodgepodge of material with no indication as to its goals isn't good at all.
Yes, my first teacher presented me with a to-do list of method-plus-etudes but it lacked focus. I didn't really begin to assemble any proper foundation--any sort of conception of what playing violin meant--until a subsequent teacher sat me down with some Suzuki material (less difficult stuff than I'd been trying and failing to play) and had me focus the technique onto repertoire. Suddenly all of those Sevcik bowing variations had meaning.
I think a distinction could be made between étude books and method books, although one could be embedded in the other.Auer for instance dedicates a whole first book on bowing open strings to teach bowing and rhythm, second book on first position, etc. De Bériot structures his method in terms of positions. I came across books by Maurice Onderet, he structures his on a system of intervals. Suzuki in the faithful pedagogical form clearly is a method. I would suggest that method books, usually in series, lay out a certain plan of study according to a certain philosophical perspective. Within these books, the author will include etudes.