“Success comes in 1% increments.”
As a violin educator, I make it my mission to break down the process of mastering the violin into clear, understandable, and relatable concepts.
I find creative, strategic, and adaptable shortcuts that not only help my students unlock more effortless technique on the instrument, but also help them reach their performance potential under pressure. Through the process of achieving mastery on the instrument, I also help my students find more compelling artistry in their playing, as well as achieve maximum practice efficiency.
I believe in the power and effectiveness of group accountability and as such, leverage the advantages of online group instruction for the motivation, diversity, inspiration, and sense of community it provides for my students.
My teaching philosophy centers around Four Pillars, which are each key to mastering violin-playing and musicianship:
I draw on my extensive training over the course of three university degrees with renowned Canadian-Hungarian pedagogue Lorand Fenyves (1918-2004), as well as post-doctoral studies with contemporary pedagogues such as Burton Kaplan and Nathan Cole.
Combining my technical training with my decades of performance experience around the world, and with knowledge of cognitive science, “inner game” sports psychology, somatic training in Body Mapping, Alexander Technique, and Feldenkreis, movement training in Pilates, yoga, and Latin dance, as well as martial arts training in karate, I help my students succeed on the instrument by adopting a holistic, mind-body approach to their learning.
Using these multiple methodologies, I adapt and attune to my students’ individual goals, needs, level of understanding, learning style, and body morphology to create effective technical and postural solutions that help my students find the technical ease they desire.
I concretize the concept of ‘musicality’ and the process of becoming more “musical” by first defining it: taking it from an abstract, artistic concept and breaking it down into learnable, actionable, creative (and fun) strategies. This helps demystify the art of musical interpretation for my students and assists them in creating more intelligent, rewarding, exciting, and more compelling interpretations.
My method of teaching musicality may be categorized under a two-pronged “whole-brain” process. I encourage both left-brain analytical skills that encourage understanding of historical context, form analysis, music theory, and harmony as well as right brain-based imagination skills that emphasize creativity, story-telling, and the defining of character, colour, texture, and emotion.
I also emphasize harmonic understanding (often under-utilized by solo instrumentalists) and believe that harmony can be used as a “secret weapon” in developing intelligent musical interpretation and deeper artistry.
I coach my students who wish to perform with more confidence by drawing on my martial arts background, personal training with a peak performance coach, as well as my decades of competitions, auditions, and performing in orchestra, chamber music, and solos. I combine sports psychology, neuroscience, and martial arts philosophy to help students boost their confidence on stage, conquer performance anxiety, reduce over-thinking, increase mental/emotional resilience, and find more strength and grace under pressure.
Most musicians are often not taught how to practice and I address this crucial gap by breaking down the process of efficient and effective practice by addressing goal-setting (micro/macro planning), mindset, mindfulness, and metronome use.
A musician’s performance success relies largely on preparation, problem-solving skills, and reinforcement in the practice room and as such, I help students hone their practice efficiency by sharpening their self-analysis, critical thinking, and diagnostic skills.
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