the gift of permission to fail

  One of the main challenges of learning the violin is the lack of instant gratification.  You will not be able to play perfectly after one lesson. Or two, or a month’s worth. As a student, you may spend several weeks practicing nothing but bow holds, or playing a single note on an open string…

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…

how to become your own teacher…

In my own musical journey, I have been deeply blessed to have the patient, knowledgeable, and supportive input of many great teachers. By walking beside me, encouraging what was good, challenging what was lacking, and helping me change the way I approached violin playing, they brought me to a level where I can comfortably realize…

Why we need both a Suzuki and an O’Connor method….

… I was prepared to not make a comment on this at all, but recent discussions about violin pedagogy and which method books to buy have reached a level of passion and vitriol I usually associate only with religion and politics (and that usually sends me looking for the door.) For those of you too…