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I have played the violin for eleven years, and have a Bachelor's degree in philosophy. I studied biochemistry until taking a semester to study violin with Barbara Gorzynska in Vienna, after which I found an interest in the processes of learning and authentic relationships to one's activity. This time abroad was certainly a large influence on my teaching style, as I learned a great deal about the violin for one, but moreso was my education in philosophy. This study clarified for me the belief that a relationship to one's sound is the most important element of the learning process, as a teacher can only offer suggestions of new things to try and practice- the actual learning happens through the the student's sound teaching them themselves.
I began teaching in 2017 at the Arboretum Music School in Waunakee, though I left that position for my studies in Vienna. Since then, I have only occasionally taught in my home, and moreso spent time exploring my own relationship to music, my body's relationship to the instrument, and to my sound. This is what I would encourage my students to do as well, to view the process as much as exploration as learning. The real learning happens in the exploration, though especially when starting out it feels like the learning happens moreso from the guidance. I do hope to be a good guide, and am eager to try my hand at it, and would love to see the exploration unfold!
I like to teach with the music from the Suzuki books and then the Bach Sonatas and Partitas, out of an interest in teaching with actual music as opposed to scales or etudes, but I also introduce repertoire from outside those books, and isolate sections of standard violin repertoire for learning. This has the advantage of always keeping music in our ears as we play (by this I mean, we do not lose the sound of music in the sound of the violin as I feel can happen in overtly technical exercise), which is essential to growing an authentic relationship to one's sound and, by extension, to learning new ways to improving one's sound. I do encourage technical exercise, however, as it is useful in developing technique for new sounds. I also value duetting between student and teacher, to engage all of the senses in the learning process and to encourage a sense of play in all contexts of learning, which seems to me to be very important in technical freedom and loving the process.
My teaching style reflects the fundamental idea that learning to play the violin is not a linear process. The bow hold is learned through a good bow stroke, and the bow stroke is learned through a good bow hold. Every element of playing the violin can be cast in a reciprocal relationship like this, and in reality it is even more complicated, as it is not simply two parts leaning off one another but all parts. That is why I encourage a sense of play in playing the violin, as in the immediate relationship to one's sound, one is thinking of the whole, while they might be focusing on one part or another. This preserves the natural dependence of each part on the rest, and gives the students an everchanging sense of the whole which is essential to learning and, to me, is one of the greatest pleasures of learning the violin, as well as one of the most useful skills in life at large beyond making music.
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