Making of an Artist: Rafi #6

Filmed 1.5.2017

Rafi is learning Perpetual Motion here, which is a landmark in Suzuki Book 1- once students can play this song fluently, I introduce note-reading. I have yet to meet a violin student who does not like this piece- it goes fast, has a hypnotic quality to it, and just feels "violinistic". The fingers keep busy in a way that you feel quite accomplished playing it. If you can play this piece at a good tempo with the bow and basically in tune, it means a major hurdle has been crossed- the young student has got the hang of the basic coordination of the right and left hands.

Learning to read music comes rather quickly at this point since the student doesn't have to focus so hard on the technique of creating beautiful notes. The ear has been trained to listen so adding a visual demand of note-reading does not tamper with the attention needed to listen to what's actually being played.

This sequence of some physical violin mastery and then reading contrasts with the way I was taught- many years ago I was taught to read from the beginning, and it took a long time for me to change some unhealthy technique I formed as I just stared at the music. I also could not hear my faulty intonation. Your first impression is formative- and for me much of my attention was focused on the music sheet, not necessarily on what was coming out of my violin! 

Rafi and I are reviewing some earlier songs with piano accompaniment. Review is always a good idea and can be more enjoyable after the hard work required to learn new songs.