5. Advice & conclusions

I believe that everything you do in life affects your playing. If you don’t eat or sleep properly, you don’t have a calm mind which makes you tense. Mind is the “Key.”

I have changed my mind a lot about how to teach the violin. Before I wouldn’t have taken notice of a lot of things and I would also have given importance to other things that I now think are secondary. For instance: I cannot ask a pupil to play in tune if he doesn’t have a good overall position of his body and his instrument. I have to teach him how to do that starting with his head all the way down to his feet. I would play games with my students to help them to be relaxed in that way, to be alive. Of course, I would also help them to alter their chin rest or shoulder rest if needed. A child cannot do it by himself. You always have to explain to them why you are altering something and in the end they have to know how to do it alone.

For other people going through similar changes I would say that, above all, they have to make music. If they make music immediately they get more relaxed, happier, more open in their upper body. They have to face the problems with happiness and not with panic or apathy. They have to know that it takes a long time. Don’t get impatient or angry. You need to know that you won’t go backwards but only forwards. If you are having a bad time, after that is coming a big step forward.

Don’t worry – have fun!

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