Building Up Dexterity in the Left Hand

Hey you cool cats and kittens (that intro doesn’t date this article at all…)  – this post is response to a really good question from one of my students asking about building up finger dexterity.  One of the biggest mistakes a developing violinist can make on their way to mastery is approaching technique with too…

Learning truth from two artists…

Recently, I was privileged to attend two lectures by two creative artists, deep thinkers, and people of color who have struggled to expand the white-centric art world’s definitions of who is worth listening to. Favianna Rodriguez spoke at UCLA’s Visual and Performing Arts Program on February 6, 2019.  She grew up in Oakland as the…

Lessons from “The Song of Jigglypuff”

Recently, I’ve been thinking about all the ways music education or music lessons are portrayed in books, television shows, and movies. These narratives can tell us a lot about what music lessons can do in people’s lives – and provide important examples of what to do – or not do, to really contribute to someone’s…

Learn like a Punk Rocker

One of my favorite things to read is memoirs and biographies of musicians. I just finished reading Clothes Clothes Clothes, Music Music Music, Boys Boys Boys by Viv Albertine, best known as the guitar player for The Slits. In both their music and their image, The Slits challenged so many preconceptions of what women were…

free and creative from the beginning

A teacher is always continuing to learn, and must always be open to new ideas and challenges. Learning is a lifelong process of continuous evolving and tweaking how we do things. I once heard in a class that one of the more important sentences for a teacher is, “I used to think ___ but now…