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String Teachers: Business as Usual . . . or a Breakthrough Year?

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 18, 2017 11:08:22 AM

It’s time for a new school year, an opportunity for a fresh start in your studio. A new crop of students is arriving, and many of your students are returning. And each student is different, with different strengths and weaknesses, different commitment levels, and different motivations. You’ve got lots of students to teach, and they need to cover a lot of ground quickly. Fortunately, you have your method books, your supplements, and especially your own experience and good sense, and that has always served you well. For most of your students.

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Topics: Violin, Viola, Cello, Teaching, String Community, Method Books, Bass, Teaching Aids, books, Pedagogy

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 6: Good Habits Begin Early: Caring for the Instrument

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 10, 2017 2:28:41 PM

In this final part of the breakthrough blog series, Val Jaskiewicz offers a reminder to teachers that a student is responsible for their instrument and that learning good habits early on will prevent them from hitting barriers later on. Caring for an instrument, after all, is an important aspect of being a string player, and one that at times requires encouragement from the teacher.

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Topics: Teaching, Instrument Care, Humidity

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 5: Books That Help Focus Any Teaching Method, for Parents and You

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Oct 4, 2017 11:10:33 AM

In the previous parts of this blog series, we looked at some books and methods created by string teachers, who have years of experience in helping violin, viola, cello, and bass students in overcoming difficult obstacles that would otherwise prevent them from moving on in technique and musicality. When it comes to methods and etude books, there can sometimes be gaps in content or direction that make it difficult for students to really master a foundational technique, habit, or concept. Writer, violinist, and product expert, Val Jaskiewicz, recommends some books that can add focus to any method your student is using!

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Topics: Parents, Practice, Teaching, Method Books, books

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 4: Breaking Through Physical and Mental Barriers

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Sep 28, 2017 11:43:56 AM

In the previous part of this blog series on teacher-made solutions to common string student obstacles, there were four books featured that are very useful for helping students feel motivated to practice well. In this part, two different kinds of books are presented which can help students who feel overwhelmed by a mental or physical barrier to their playing. 

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Topics: Practice, Teaching, Method Books, Advice, books

String Teachers: Students Need A Breakthrough? Part 3: Books for Practice and Motivation

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Sep 25, 2017 6:00:00 AM

As was mentioned in the first two parts of this series (featuring accessories for common left and right-hand problems), each student is different with different strengths and weaknesses, different commitment levels, and different motivations. For those students that need some special attention or have some challenges to overcome, where do you find the time to investigate the solution, find the right book or product, and apply it to their unique issue? At SHAR, we’ve discovered the answers from an obvious source: From other teachers! After all, teachers know best, and because they are teachers they love sharing what they know! Teachers know that most habits are learned during practice, not at the lesson, so motivating a student to practice the right way is as much a challenge as having them "get it" at the lesson. These books by other teachers can help your student make a breakthrough!

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Topics: Practice, Teaching, Teaching Aids, books, motivation

String Teachers: Students Need a Breakthrough? Part 2: Right Hand Accessories

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Sep 18, 2017 7:00:00 AM

As was mentioned in Part 1 (featuring accessories for common left-hand problems) of this series, each student is different with different strengths and weaknesses, different commitment levels, and different motivations. For those students that need some special attention or have some challenges to overcome, where do you find the time to investigate the solution, find the right book or product, and apply it to their unique issue? At SHAR, we’ve discovered the answers from an obvious source: From other teachers! After all, teachers know best, and because they are teachers they love sharing what they know! Here we explore some fantastic inventions for teaching proper right-hand bowing technique.

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String Teachers: Students Need A Breakthrough? Part 1: Left Hand Accessories

Posted by Val Jaskiewicz on Sep 11, 2017 3:59:08 PM

It’s time for a new school year, an opportunity for a fresh start in your studio. A new crop of students is arriving, and many of your students are returning. And each student is different, with different strengths and weaknesses, different commitment levels, and different motivations. You’ve got lots of students to teach, and they need to cover a lot of ground quickly. Fortunately, you have your method books, your supplements, and especially your own experience and good sense, and that has always served you well. For most of your students.

Read More

The German Violin-Making Tradition - An Intro

Posted by James Engman on Aug 21, 2017 4:21:54 PM

While Cremona, Italy, is generally accepted as the birthplace of the violin, instruments by the great Cremonese makers quickly found themselves in the hands of skilled German craftsmen, who happened to live in a geographic and economic sweet-spot for violin making. German instruments have always made up a good portion of instruments available in the market, and the tradition goes back much further than the post-industrial era that German manufacturing is commonly associated with. Knowing some of the history of German violin making and the important towns and makers is vital for anyone beginning the process of finding and purchasing a fine instrument. The names of German makers, workshops, and towns are standard vocabulary for dealers, luthiers, appraisers, and players alike.

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Topics: Music History, Used Violins, Fine Instruments, German Violins

String Players Should Know About The French Violin Making Tradition!

Posted by James Engman on Aug 16, 2017 1:14:33 PM

The history of the violin is a bit like the evolution of a migratory species. It didn't come about all in one place or all at one time; various factors influenced it's changes over centuries, and in many ways we are still writing the violin's history today, all over the world. Still, there are pivotal moments in the history of the way violins are made. One very important time and place in the influence of almost every instrument made today was 19th-Century France. Knowing a bit about violin-making in France might help you to know a bit more about your own instrument, and will certainly help anyone interested in buying a fine violin, viola, or cello to understand the wide variety in age, style, sound, and price of what's on the market.

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Topics: Education, Music History, Violin Making, French Violins

3 MINUTES A DAY TO RADICALLY CHANGE YOUR PRACTICE SESSIONS

Posted by Christine Goodner on Aug 7, 2017 3:50:11 PM

Author, mom, and Suzuki teacher Christine Goodner previously writes on her Suzuki Triangle blog, about how parents (not the physical space) are their children’s practice environment. Here she shares with us the the 3 minute process that can radically change how productive and positive your practice sessions with your child are. She writes... 

I consider these few valuable minutes to be the most important thing you can do that will set up your practice environment for success. This is a practice I developed with my own children and I go through it mentally before each student that I teach as well.

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Topics: Suzuki, Parents, Education, Practice, Teaching

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