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Need help regarding violin instructor/teacher experience sharing
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estudy
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March 15, 2013 - 1:22 pm
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Hi all, I'm doing a research topic regarding Suzuki-trained violin teacher and non Suzuki-trained violin teacher. Appreciate if anyone here can share your experience with me by answering some of the questions below:

1. Are you a Suzuki-trained Teacher?

2. How do you know about Suzuki method?

3. Are you using Suzuki Violin book in your teaching?

4. How do you teach? Are you teaching using Suzuki syllabus method flow or mixture with other method books?

5. Do you think the Suzuki book is helpful in teaching beginner elementary age student (7 – 8 years old)?

6. What is your perspective of a trained Suzuki Violin Teacher and non-trained Suzuki Violin Teacher when they use the same Suzuki Violin Book in teaching the beginner?

7. Base on your experience, what kind of major problem that you encountered during teaching beginner elementary age student (7 - 8 years old) by using Suzuki Violin Book?

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Picklefish
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March 15, 2013 - 2:07 pm
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estudy said
Hi all, I'm doing a research topic regarding Suzuki-trained violin teacher and non Suzuki-trained violin teacher. Appreciate if anyone here can share your experience with me by answering some of the questions below:
1. Are you a Suzuki-trained Teacher?

I am not Suzuki trained but am taking training with the goal of getting the Suzuki registration with the Association of Americas.

2. How do you know about Suzuki method?

I had always heard that the Suzuki method was the best way to learn violin, I thought it was just common knowledge.

3. Are you using Suzuki Violin book in your teaching?

Yes I am, do.

4. How do you teach? Are you teaching using Suzuki syllabus method flow or mixture with other method books?

I teach out of the Suzuki books, Brian Wicklunds Book and Mark Oconnors books depending on the interest of the student. Summer break for instance is all about fiddlin and having fun.

5. Do you think the Suzuki book is helpful in teaching beginner elementary age student (7 – 8 years old)?

More important than the method is the teachers ability to connect and convey to a child that young. Any progressive method is as effective as the teacher/ student/parent triad is. I have come to learn the Suzuki method isnt the end all be all approach. I will say that the songs are fun to play and easy to learn. That is encouraging to young people. They like to do what they feel that they can do.

6. What is your perspective of a trained Suzuki Violin Teacher and non-trained Suzuki Violin Teacher when they use the same Suzuki Violin Book in teaching the beginner?

It all comes down to teaching style, the method is a means of drawing in the students. Many teachers supplement the methods with other arrangements, etudes, studies etc. Any method however new to the student gets old for the teacher so new music keeps everyone fresh. Just because someone has been through the Suzuki program doesnt mean they are following it to the T also. And, many non Suzuki students make wonderful teachers. One thing is constant though, the Teacher must teach with and from Love, the student must want to learn and practice, the parent must help teach the student at home and create a loving encouraging environment. Thats the true Suzuki method.

7. Base on your experience, what kind of major problem that you encountered during teaching beginner elementary age student (7 - 8 years old) by using Suzuki Violin Book?

The problems are they stop wanting to learn because its hard. Posture is bad because they are learning still etc...The beginners dont use the book by the way. Sight reading music isnt introduced until book 4 as I understand it. The method is initially learned by ear. The public schools fail in this regard because its easier to teach a child to sight read rather than spend the time needed to teach by ear. I understand why they do this but still. In my opinion. The books exist for the parent to follow along while the child is playing and to help the child when they make a mistake. Very few Suzuki programs have this level of parental involvement. I have a parent who is scared of the instrument and refuses to take part in practices. She does however take notes and is very encouraging to her child. So we make concessions where we have to.

 

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlerman
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March 15, 2013 - 6:08 pm
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estudy said
Hi all, I'm doing a research topic regarding Suzuki-trained violin teacher and non Suzuki-trained violin teacher. Appreciate if anyone here can share your experience with me by answering some of the questions below:
1. Are you a Suzuki-trained Teacher?

No

 

2. How do you know about Suzuki method?

It's very well known in the violin world.

 

3. Are you using Suzuki Violin book in your teaching?

No

 

4. How do you teach? Are you teaching using Suzuki syllabus method flow or mixture with other method books?

Not I. I use a combination of all the great things that have been taught to me over the years by some of the greatest teachers. I feel as though I teach the best of what I have learned.

 

5. Do you think the Suzuki book is helpful in teaching beginner elementary age student (7 – 8 years old)?

It could very well be but there is plenty of opposition also. Usually in regards to young people not becoming very good at reading music.

 

6. What is your perspective of a trained Suzuki Violin Teacher and non-trained Suzuki Violin Teacher when they use the same Suzuki Violin Book in teaching the beginner?

Obviously the trained Suzuki teacher will most likely teach it more correctly but it need not be 100% true. Depends a lot on the teacher and their ability to convey that which is important. It also, depends on what you mean by trained. A person can also be self-taught. Would this be regarded as trained or untrained?

 

7. Base on your experience, what kind of major problem that you encountered during teaching beginner elementary age student (7 - 8 years old) by using Suzuki Violin Book?

None since I don't use the Suzuki book. However, with younger children it seems the most difficult aspect of teaching is to keep their attention up.

 

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

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Tyberius
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March 15, 2013 - 6:31 pm
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My daughter is 11. She's been playing about 4 years. She started with Suzuki for a 5 months and disliked it so much she stopped playing. She cried before going and for a young 7-8 year old, stressed out about it enough she made herself sick. Then, by chance, a fiddle instructor was introduced to us. My daughter has happily played for the past 3 years and is quite good in spite of her Suzuki training. We have gotten violin instruction for her since Thanksgiving. So, in addition to her fiddle instruction, she is getting a violin lesson by a non-Suzuki teacher.She is well rounded in her ability and skill set. She is MY personal sounding board for play and tone.

I have taken 5 lessons in my life of about 10+ months of play. 3 of them were form a Suzuki instructor (not the same one my daughter had). To me, it seemed to go rather slow and too much emphasis was put on the notion, if its not Suzuki, its not violin/music. So, I stopped taking lessons altogether.

That's my experience with Suzuki. Now, I would go try again, as the instructor i chose did not have any adult students, much less one of my mindset of asking "too many questions" and not accepting "because that's how its done" as an answer.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Picklefish
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March 15, 2013 - 7:11 pm
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I love this story Ty, its so true all over and why Suzuki has many detractors. The teacher is so important.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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estudy
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March 15, 2013 - 10:01 pm
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Thank you for sharing your experience :)

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Composer
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The only credible teacher/book teaches the construction of a scale system. Fiddlerman.com is the only online site that does this rather than the Suzuki emotional intelligence nonsense. Otherwise, intonation and rhythmic errors will propagate. I think even Sevcik is a mess in this regard...the scale system coming later on instead of right away. I just wish Fiddlerman would not use external drones (same as using an electronic tuner) in teaching scales.

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Fiddlestix
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March 16, 2013 - 9:48 am
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Suzuki simple for simple minded people.   facepalm 

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Tyberius
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March 16, 2013 - 12:35 pm
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---> estudy

Don't just think all Suzuki instruction is bad. It did, even in those few short lessons, teach me how not to bow with bad habits. It also taught me how to tune my violin by ear. I am sure for the long term student, one would of course become proficient with the instrument. I would also add this. Regardless of the quality or length of instruction, the drive and dedication of the student will ultimately produce the players level of skill and ability. A self taught/internet based teaching is no match for a good seasoned instructor one on one with you (not counting Skype as that is 1 on 1). However, that being said, no level of instruction will positively assist a player who either dreads going to their class or loses the happiness or joy, the inner fire, or drive to play music altogether.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Composer
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March 16, 2013 - 1:40 pm
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"A self taught/internet based teaching is no match for a good seasoned instructor one on one with you"

 

So an instructor tells me a note I just played was out of tune. What good is that? An electronic tuner could have just as easily told me the same thing without charging me $50/hr. The fact is the two main references on violin (flesh art of violin playing and galamian princples of violin playing) contain everything you need and tell you what to practice EXCEPT

 

the ear training part is completely ignored. Whats a perfect 5th? The fact that nearly everyone is using electronic tuners even with an instructor is telling. It demonstrates that ear training is yet another hugely time consuming practice area that wannabees just don't want to deal with.

 

How many people here are practicing this:

http://fiddlerman.com/wp-conte.....Violin.pdf

I bet hardly anyone.  Why is that?

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Picklefish
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March 16, 2013 - 1:50 pm
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Composer said
"A self taught/internet based teaching is no match for a good seasoned instructor one on one with you"
One on one instruction is the best overall learning environment in my opinion and Ive just recently found a skype instructor that is good at teaching over skype which would be a good second if the first isnt available.
 

So an instructor tells me a note I just played was out of tune. What good is that? An electronic tuner could have just as easily told me the same thing without charging me $50/hr. The fact is the two main references on violin (flesh art of violin playing and galamian princples of violin playing) contain everything you need and tell you what to practice EXCEPT

A good instructor will motivate you. Will play along with you and show you all sorts of cool things you might not or would take a while to figure out on your own. Will show you the shortcuts to proper learning rather than the long way. Will greatly reduce your learning curve. Will teach you to play by ear and improvise. Will show you scale studys and etudes that are relevant to the current composition you are studying and not just random or work through the book for the heck of it. Will guide you through a progressive learning of skill sets necessary for your improvement. Will etc....my fingers got tired. Did I mention makes it fun!?

A poor instructor will string you along, let you work through books and mundane exercises with no directions, happily take your money and eventually cause you to hate what you are doing and give up.

 

the ear training part is completely ignored. Whats a perfect 5th? The fact that nearly everyone is using electronic tuners even with an instructor is telling. It demonstrates that ear training is yet another hugely time consuming practice area that wannabees just don't want to deal with.

 

How many people here are practicing this:

http://fiddlerman.com/wp-conte.....Violin.pdf

I bet hardly anyone. 

ME ME ME ME ME!~ Not that particular one but I have the practice journal from the violin site and thats one of the many things it says to do. yay me!!!

Why is that?

its hard, confusing, and most people dont see the benefit. Boom!

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Tyberius
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March 16, 2013 - 1:51 pm
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Composer you don't have to convince me on being self taught. On your example, I find major flaws. The $50 per hour instructor can tell you  WHY you are playing the note bad or wrong. They can show you how to play it properly, show you better form, hold, and often give people a drive they normally don't have. Lets face it. If you have to go mow your yard every weekend, clean your dishes every day, do your laundry every other day or so, make your meals 2 to 3 times a day it all gets monotonous. You start to pay the kid down the street, you get a dishwasher, the laundry piles up, your house looks like a barn. Sure, its all still useable and liveable, but not very healthy, habitable or enjoyable. If someone HELPS you with all this, it gets done quicker, more efficiently and you often will enjoy it more. A self driven person does it all anyways. Some people just need a boost.

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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DanielB
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March 16, 2013 - 2:14 pm
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Why is that?  Because it is more fun to play songs, than to work on elements that build skills so what one plays sounds better.  A normal human tendency, to seek pleasure/fun when playing for recreation.

But yeah, one of the problems with self-teaching (and remember that I am self taught on more instruments and for more years than most), is that the person will not usually naturally select the activities that will improve their sound in the long run.  If they don't hear an immediate "boost" to how well they can do "Twinkle Twinkle" or whatever, any scales or exercises they come across will be rather quickly discarded. 

It takes a bit of discipline to spend time each day on scales or exercises or ear training or whatever.  That discipline will tend to be pretty scant with folks that are self teaching, because it isn't particularly fun (not when compared to stuff like tackling a new song).  Even folks who can understand the value to it will tend to find a baffling assortment of advice on the internet or in books.

Consider that even on this forum, if someone says they are trying some new practice exercise or something and that they think it maybe is actually helping, they'll likely get a bunch of conflicting (though intended to be helpful) advice, ranging from that it is a useless exercise to what book explains how to do it better (in someone's opinion) to other people saying that you don't really need to work on such things if you are musically talented in the first place.  LOL  It is just not conducive to developing or sticking with a practice routine that might bear results, even if they manage to find one.

On the other hand, start work on a new song, and there will generally be much encouragement. 

Students taking music in a school environment get a grade for the work, even if they don't understand the reason for the exercises and etc they are required to do.  A person paying for lessons is at least a bit inclined to follow the advice of their teacher because hey.. they are paying for those lessons, and they assume the teacher knows what they are talking about.  Self-taught folks work without such guidance or reinforcements/rewards, and so will tend to be more scattershot in their approach in most cases.

 

"This young wine may have a lot of tannins now, but in 5 or 10 years it is going to be spectacular, despite the fact that right now it tastes like crude oil. You know this is how it is supposed to taste at this stage of development." ~ Itzhak Perlman

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March 16, 2013 - 2:39 pm
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Tyberius,  its a fact that it takes about a year of practice just to get comfortable with the violin no matter how good the instructor  The people entrapped  in the setup-vibrato loop don't want to deal with the reality that intensive scales and arpeggios practice based upon a proper foundation of knowledge is the only way to make steady progress.  The "You must get an Instructor" meme from people who can't be bothered to read a book is a self delusion that a lot of foundational dull practice can be skipped by worshipping mystics like Suzuki.  The Suzuki convert always jump straight to dessert (vibrato).  When they discover it isn't going well, then they believe its a setup problem.  LOL.

What does a good instructor really do?  Not much, just sits there, and says 'that note was flat, start over'...'too fast, start over'....and then forces you to think for yourself by throwing a few curveballs you haven't seen at the existing level of proficiency.  In other words, nothing but maintaining accuracy of rhythm and intonation.

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Tyberius
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March 16, 2013 - 2:59 pm
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I concur about 98% of that. Also, you forgot to mention one of the most important things. (as did I until now). That $50 a lesson can go a long way towards good  elixir, wine, beer or mixed concoction (of your liking) to go along side of your self teaching. Now, I know of NO Suzuki instruction class that has that as a requirement. And that, my friend, just won't do.  ;)

"I find your lack of Fiddle, disturbing" - Darth Vader

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Picklefish
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@Composer - the premise for your argument is False and therefore your argument is not logical. You say broad generalizations and wrong characterizations that paint the instructors as a whole and you cant do that. I am offended by the carelessness of your remarks.

As a Suzuki student my first inclination was not vibrato. I feel it is a learned skill and attempt to show it as such. Vibrato has its place in music and is not unnecessary at any stage. Learning vibrato at its earliest stage has taught me to really relax my left hand which has quickened my fingering in a way that scales and variations couldnt do.

I never once assumed it was a set up problem and my adjustments to setup on my violins have always been in the search for the best sound possible for that instrument.

As someone who teaches beginners and persues correct instruction with a passion I can tell you that I do not simply sit there and call out the bad notes. Lol, what a joke. Im sure some teachers do, Im sure the majority dont.

 

There are more than one way to learn and to say that one way or another is the absolute best way assumes incorrectly that we all learn the same way at the same proficiency. Heres a news flash for you that might shed light on the learning curve

http://ideas.time.com/2011/10/.....-we-learn/

 

I hate scales and their dirivitives for the purpose of being just scales, yet I love practicing them in the context of a fun tune. This makes them no less effective or essential. This is music.

Im glad you found a groove that works for you, but its not the end all be all despite  your passionate opinion.

"Please play some wrong notes, so that we know that you are human" - said to Jascha Heifetz.

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Fiddlerman
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March 19, 2013 - 12:16 am
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I am actually appalled at how many teachers won't teach adult beginners. I have had students that are advanced performance degree majors and freelance professional violinists but I'll gladly teach an adult beginner if they want me to. Granted, I charge more than most beginner teachers but I'm not above teaching anyone, as long as they have the will to learn. Sometimes I get extremely busy and have difficulty finding time but that is completely different from turning down a student.
I get pleasure out of teaching all levels and am always happy that the student wants to learn and wants to get better.

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

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Fiddlestix
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March 19, 2013 - 2:56 am
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Fiddlerman said
I get pleasure out of teaching all levels and am always happy that the student wants to learn and wants to get better.

 

 

 

And it show's, Pierre.   clap

 

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