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How do I know if I have picked a good teacher for my daughter?
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pky
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July 10, 2011 - 11:53 pm
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My daughter just had her second lesson. My sister reminded me that I should pick a good teacher for her as it would be difficult to correct her if her first teacher did not teach her right.

At the beginning, I wanted my daughter to take piano lessons and I have been looking around for a teacher but I never let her try any out.

I know her teacher through a music program at my daughter's childcare center. She is the only violinist I know in town. One day, I went to one of her educational music workshop for parents, I decided to let my child take lesson from her. I like her, she is very gentle, calm, and graceful. When she taught music to a group of young children, her style was very unlike another teacher we had. I felt she truly knows music, not just to make money.

After two lessons, I felt she understands children very well and my daughter likes her.  But, as I have no one else to compare, how do I know if I have picked a good teacher for my daughter?

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Oliver
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July 11, 2011 - 10:32 am
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You may not know but your daughter does. 

Is she happy and making progress? 

There is a violin fable that "wrong" teaching can cause horrendous habits. That's mostly a myth.  I can't imagine any certified teacher who would not correct problems very early.  (Nobody ever says what the horrendous habits might  be?).

coffee2

I also want to add that I think there should be a good "chemistry" between student and teacher which can't be measured but becomes evident as time goes by.

When you come to a fork in the road, take it.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 11, 2011 - 11:11 pm
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

OK,

You are wise to concern yourself.

One way of knowing whether or not she has the right teacher is to educate yourself. Learn as much about playing the violin as you can. Watch videos and tutorials, maybe even learn to play violin yourself. Reading these forums can also teach you a lot about what is right and what is wrong.

I would be glad to look at her progress a half year down the road to see whether or not there is any evidence of bad teachings. Make sure that she is not tense when playing. Relaxation is very important to avoid bad habits.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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July 11, 2011 - 11:26 pm
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Fiddlerman said:

OK,

You are wise to concern yourself.

One way of knowing whether or not she has the right teacher is to educate yourself. Learn as much about playing the violin as you can. Watch videos and tutorials, maybe even learn to play violin yourself. Reading these forums can also teach you a lot about what is right and what is wrong.

I have been on internet everyday reading about violins, and on your websites, reading the forum and videos. I am considering to learn some myself, still need to get a violin for myself:)

I would be glad to look at her progress a half year down the road to see whether or not there is any evidence of bad teachings. Make sure that she is not tense when playing. Relaxation is very important to avoid bad habits.

 Thank you so much! If she is still into it, I will definitely ask for your help!

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Jauniba
Central Florida
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July 15, 2011 - 8:50 pm
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I have a 5 year old and 7 year old and they are both taking violin lessons. Your role as a parent is hugely important because you'll need to guide her to make sure she doesn't do things wrong during practice too. For me....sadly, I don't always do the best job....I feel like my role in helping them practice is at least as important as the teacher's.  I feel lost sometimes, and I play myself. Hopefully I am not making them hate it.

We started off doing Suzuki, then I thought I would kill myself if I had to hear those songs again. My son disliked learning by ear, and he really couldn't do it at all. It just was a terrible fit. He couldn't remember the songs, even after I'd played the Suzuki CD in the car for MONTHS ON END. It was frustrating and I kind of sensed we were going nowhere fast. Perpetual Motion was like a perpetual disaster.

I then met someone on facebook through friends and we switched to him. He is a cool eastern European teacher and he had them reading music -- both of them, as my daughter had started playing by then too -- within a few months. But it was an hour drive each way and that got old fast too.

Now we are going to start yet another teacher. She's Russian. She's closer to home. I likes my strict old school European teachers....that's for sure.

Anyway, the Annie Moses Band has a fabulous training video for little violinists that will help you teach you how to teach your daughter. They are a lovely family of great musicians, if you don't know them. They travel around and give concerts too. I learned much from them - both about technique AND about methods of teaching.

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Jauniba
Central Florida
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July 15, 2011 - 9:04 pm
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Oh, I see he has really good videos on here. Yeah, watch these for sure.

Love the one on tuning. I never even thought about placing the pegs in specific positions when changing the strings.

 

Always something to learn. Thanks!

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pky
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July 16, 2011 - 12:34 am
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Juaniba,

Thanks for sharing your experience. I agree that practice is very important. I play different instruments but never play well because I didn't get to practice, only before and/or after my lessons. It was difficult. It is difficult for my daughter to practice, too. She is in preschool from 8 to 5, by the time we arrive home, finish dinner, take a bath, it's usually past 8:30pm, and by then she is tired and ready to go down. Since she goes down after 9pm, then it's difficult for her to get up early.

Right now her practice is not too bad, only takes about 15 minutes if she could concentrate. Later, it will take longer, unless I become a stay home mom, I don't see any way to make practice easier for her.

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 16, 2011 - 8:33 am
Member Since: September 26, 2010
Forum Posts: 11717

Wow, 8 - 5 sounds tough. The day should be longer. I can see the problem.serenade

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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July 17, 2011 - 12:40 pm
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Juaniba, Thanks for Sharing!

Each time i get on this website i learn something new, too. Thanks! Fiddlerman and all those who share.

Yes, I agree with Fiddlerman that the day needs to be longer. I guessed one way to squeeze in practice for her would be do it during my lunch break. However, this would not work once she enters kindergarten, because she would probably go to kindergarten that is about 20 miles away from me. Really, I need to be working part time or be a stay-home mom.

 

The other problem is: she loves to listen to music, but she often prefers playing with her toys to practice:) after all, she is just a young child.

 

Fiddlerman,  could you please post a video clip of how you would play a whole song when you perform-- from getting from rest position to play position till you are done with the song and take a bow? Thank you!

The reason I ask is because my daugher's teacher is teaching her postures right now and i had never seen any one playing in an orchestra doing that -- e.g., hold her violin up high like statue of Liberty.

Question:

The video clips that you have for playing natural notes on all four strings, those aren't scale, isn't it? Why didn't we start learning by learning to play scales rather than playing all the natural notes first?

 

BTW, How come we do not have to do math anymore?

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Fiddlerman
Fort Lauderdale
July 17, 2011 - 6:02 pm
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Hey Pky,

Is her teacher a Suzuki teacher? They have there own ideas that are a little unique but not necessarily bad for your daughter. Just make sure she doesn't spend too much time playing without learning to read music or it may be hard for her to get inspired later. This idea of holding the violin way up high when beginning is more intended to get the student to find the proper holding position from the start. Once the student is completely accustom to holding the violin properly there is no need to do this anymore.

I'll try to find time for a video of that nature.

As far as learning natural notes, you don't need to do it that way. You can learn the notes in a scale first as well. Makes very little difference what you begin with only important to realize that different keys have different finger patterns. To play a scale you must play 8 notes which means that you must at least cover two strings unless you can play in positions. Beginners shouldn't start by playing positions so the notes on G, D, A, E are not scales. The notes on G are correct for a G major scale but only cover the first 5 notes in the G major scale. The next three are E F# G.

The reason that you don't have to do the math is because I messed up. I changed permissions for the users that have over 100 posts and somehow didn't change the global permissions. You should be required to do math now if I corrected it properly.exactly Thanks for pointing it out. Once you members get over 100 posts you will have a few new privileges.

"The richest person is not the one who has the most,
but the one who needs the least."

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pky
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July 20, 2011 - 1:17 am
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Fiddlerman,

to be honest, I don't know if my daughter's teacher a Suzuki teacher or not. I will ask her next time we see herembarassed

Is Violin music theory pretty much the same as Piano? If so, in case her teacher doesn't teach her to read music, I could teach her some. I used to be pretty good at music theorysmile

This idea of holding the violin way up high when beginning is more intended to get the student to find the proper holding position from the start. Once the student is completely accustom to holding the violin properly there is no need to do this anymore.

I See.

I'll try to find time for a video of that nature.

Thank you!

Once you members get over 100 posts you will have a few new privileges.

Hmmm...What are the privileges?

 

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Daniel
Dipolog City, Philippines
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July 20, 2011 - 1:53 am
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Actually, there is no "Violin" or "Piano" music theory... it's just plain old music theory. I actually wish my parents taught me music theory when I was a kid, instead of me teaching them now. Basic theory is fine like, note reading, values, rests, accidentals, etc. The "expressions" (I can't remember the proper term (forte, piano, crescendo etc.,) they can wait until later. It is always a good idea to get the fundamentals in music before the instrumental fundamentals.

 

I spent 1 week(collectively) learning theory before learning violin, so when I moved on to violin, it was a breeze to learn, I just had to take the note names in my head to my hand. Probably a good idea to teach her reading when she knows where each finger goes for the note.

 

And the privileges are.... I can edit any post I have ever made, and I don't have to do the math... dancinbunny

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