Violin pedagogue Eta Cohen, who developed a pioneering teaching
method for beginners, has died at the age of 96.
Born in Sunderland, UK, to Jewish immigrant parents from Lithuania, Cohen studied the violin locally and began teaching after leaving school at the age of 17. She taught privately and in schools, where she became a pioneer of class teaching. After deeming the available tutor books inadequate, she began methodically writing down lessons for her students and organising the material. This work became the basis of the first volume of the Eta Cohen Violin Method, which was published when Cohen was 25.
During the war, Cohen taught at schools including Cheltenham Ladies College. She also took lessons with Max Rostal and Carl Flesch. She continued to develop her teaching method, producing three more volumes, as well as repertoire books and duets. The method was most recently republished in a sixth edition by Novello in 2012.
Over the course of a 70-year teaching career, Cohen lectured extensively in Australia, the US, the UK and Europe, and published articles about string teaching and playing in leading journals. Her many pupils included violinist and El Sistema adviser Marshall Marcus, Munich Philharmonic concertmaster Julian Shevlin and Hallé concertmaster Lyn Fletcher.
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