Ask the Teacher - Kristian Kolman
The Slovenian-based teacher says it’s vital for students to fall deeply in love with their instrument
What do you do when you see a student for the first time?
I’m always keen to find out whether or not the child has a real drive to play the instrument, or whether it’s just the determined wish of the parent, and that they’re the driving force behind it. A natural and genuine interest in playing is very important. With a beginner student, I always try to test their level of natural ability.
Can they pick up on melodic or rhythmic motifs when they’re asked, for example?
Teachers need to be very aware of the child’s capabilities and strengths, as these affect how you deal and communicate with them.
Which books or methods do you use?
When I began teaching 15 years ago, I used the Tune A Day series – it was an amazing method for us here in Slovenia. Many teachers found it very effective. For higher levels, the Russian teaching method is popular – it’s very rigid but also very effective. The one problem with the Tune A Day series was that all the songs in it were American, so in 2000 I wrote my own book, called Happy Strings.