Ask the teacher - Mary Condliffe

condliffe

The Cardiff-based double bass pedagogue explains why her students’ health is her biggest concern

What ages and standards do you teach?

I teach both children and adults from beginner standard through to conservatoire level. I love teaching adults because they have such a thirst for knowledge. What you say can open up a whole new world for them and they really appreciate your help. Youngsters tend to take it for granted that you’re there to teach them, but it’s lovely to see them getting pleasure from their playing. They’re easier to read – you can see when they love it and when they’re not enjoying themselves.

How do you start a beginner?

I get the pupil comfortable with holding the bow and moving it, making sure they’re relaxed and not gripping. I aim for a flexible hold where students can move their fingers and thumb, and control the bow. It is important to make sure they have the right size bass and stool. When the student is perched on the stool, both feet should be comfortably flat on the floor. 

Already subscribed? Please sign in

Subscribe to continue reading…

We’re delighted that you are enjoying our website. For a limited period, you can try an online subscription to The Strad completely free of charge.

  • Free 7-day trial

    Not sure about subscribing? Sign up now to read this article in full and you’ll also receive unlimited access to premium online content, including the digital edition and online archive for 7 days.

    No strings attached – we won’t ask for your card details

  • Subscribe - online subscriptions from £4.50/month

    No more paywalls. To enjoy the best in-depth features and analysis from The Strad’s latest and past issues, upgrade to a subscription now. You’ll also enjoy regular issues and special supplements* and access to an online archive of issues back to 2010.

 

* Issues and supplements are available as both print and digital editions. Online subscribers will only receive access to the digital versions.