Ask the Teacher - Dominic Destefano


The viola pedagogue explains how he helps students to improve their technique

How does a student’s age affect your approach to them?

I vary my teaching depending on a student’s level and personality. I have some 15-year-olds I can treat the same as my college students because they are serious about their playing and want to work hard – and they react well to being treated as adults. But of course there are others who are less mature, or who don’t want to make viola playing their career, and these students need more fl exibility.

How many of your students start on the violin?

I see about a 50 per cent split. The ones who start playing really young generally learn the violin first, and often those who start on the viola begin studying later, at school.

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