Whether starting young children, as young as three, working with teens or adult cello students, I begin each lesson as an adventure. Every student has the potential gift of music within them. Having a solid understanding of technique but also knowing that words are limited, I have evolved an imaginative, creative and visual approach which I find ideal in allowing my students to tap their own inner imagination and potential.
“Because no tone is produced from a stringed instrument without a physical action on the part of the player, the study of movement is necessary and frequently the most baffling of string teaching. To express in words how to move the human body in order to achieve certain results can be the most challenging part of a string teacher’s job."
“The use of mental imagery and fantasy in teaching appears to help tap the inborn creativity of the student’s mind. Unlike some other subjects in which instruction focuses on the presentation of facts and the encouragement of logical thinking, music teaching lends itself to the freeing and developing of the imaginative potential…”
- Phyllis Young
My teacher, Margaret Rowell, like her colleague Phyllis Young, used imagination and visualization to teach. Using tangible objects, like door knobs and rubber lizards, and common experiences in touch and motion, such as bear hugs and vaseline shifts, she encouraged and opened the mind to easily attainable possibilities.
It is this approach that I use, always looking for possibilities, always encouraging the student to find their own understanding of balance, internal rhythm, and creativity in producing a rich, generous tone and personal interpretation, whether it be “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” or the Brahms F major Sonata.