January 20, 2019, 10:42 AM · Hello all. This will be mainly for people who have been/are at British universities. So my life plan is to go to a normal university first, then go to a conservatoire after to do a masters in violin/viola (haven't decided which). I was wondering about what people think about normal uni instrumental teachers, and if anyone had any suggestions for one.

Thanks in advance.

Replies (3)

January 20, 2019, 5:56 PM · Are you set on going to a particular school yet?
January 20, 2019, 6:53 PM · I don't know how the British system works, unfortunately.

In the United States, some universities, even those without performance programs, can have excellent violin teachers. You can get lucky with an adjunct professor who is affiliated with a local symphony who turns out to be a terrific teacher, for instance, especially if you are currently more intermediate-level and need someone who can build up technique like they would with a kid, rather than an artist-teacher. That seems to apply to you -- IIRC you've been playing Kabalevsky and such.

However, in the US, to direct-audition for a master's, you need to be fully competitive with other audition candidates at that level. I'm guessing that's not different in the UK. That means that for your plan to work, you need to complete your undergrad degree (presumably in a subject other than music?) while also managing to practice a minimum of 4 hours a day. You need to make up for your playing being sub-conservatory level right now, and then push ahead with even more rapid advancement against students who probably have a violin in their hand, between practice and rehearsals, a good 6 to 8 hours a day.

That means that the teacher that you choose needs to be fully capable of delivering what is equivalent to a conservatory education in a compressed timeframe that makes efficient use of every second of practice time. So you need that top-notch teacher who can combine teaching fundamental intermediate technique with teaching advanced technique and artistry. Not easy to find.

The people I know who direct-auditioned into a master's program were already playing at a highly competitive level by the end of high school, and could have gone to tier-one conservatories. Even easing off during their undergrad years studying another subject, they were still fully competitive for a master's program.

January 22, 2019, 7:23 PM · No. No particular one atm.

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