Ask the Teacher - Pauline Scott


The violin pedagogue shares her methods for helping her students improve their sound and articulation

What were some of the things you took from your lessons with Ivan Galamian?

To begin with I didn’t know what was happening – I just did what he said. We did a lot of scales, but they didn’t have to be complex or fast: it was about organising the bow, listening to the sound, the importance of the contact with the bowing arm. Many people apply a lot of pressure, which kills the sound. He wanted to develop what he called the springs, in order to become more sensitive and aware of the contact of the bow on the string and get the best resonance. It had to sound like a bell – to have that clarity. A lot of what he said was about the balance of the arm, using weight rather than pressure – although pressure can be added.

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