I began teaching my son Gabriel how to play the violin when he was four years old. Now at seven he is quite accomplished and able to play the Bach Violin Concerto in A minor with fluidity and beautiful phrasing. Along the way I have learned more than I imagined about playing the violin and have uncovered techniques for the mastery of such a complex instrument.
Before starting Gabriel, I'd had plenty of professional teaching experience. I worked with hundreds of students starting as a teen in my hometown. This continued while I was studying for my Bachelors of Arts in Music and International Relations at Wellesley College and later my masters degree in Violin Performance from Northwestern University. In the following years I played concerts and taught in NYC and even started a violin program in Patagonia Chile as well.
My own performing took a break after I was married and became a mother to Gabriel. The violin which had been my obsession since I was thirteen years old took a back seat to my infant son and I did not want to spend my time playing and practicing anymore. However, I bought him a tiny violin when he was seven months-old. I also trained him not to cry when he fell down, knowing that resilience was going to serve him well later in life, starting with violin study.
My teaching observations multiplied when I started working with my own son because I was able to see the daily advancements and the multifaceted rewards he was getting from music. Learning the violin has greatly enriched his mental and emotional development and I think it is the best activity to occupy his time. Additionally I have experienced the joys and frustrations of being the parent helping my child master a musical instrument.
Now that my second child Rafael has started playing the violin, I think it is absolutely vital to chronicle and share his progress so that other music lovers and parents who may be in a similar situation may benefit. What I couldn't do 3 years ago with Gabe - become computer-savvy enough to blog amidst three children - I am determined to do now with four.
So I invite you to share my discoveries on music making and my search for realizing the human potential we have all been given. This blog is a chronicle on the development of artistry from the point of view of a teacher, musician, parent, and lover of all things violin.