Ask the Teacher - Francisco Cabán


The Puerto Rican pedagogue shares his advice on practising, coping with nerves, and teaching students to teach themselves

Who are your students?

Undergraduates and postgraduates at the Puerto Rico Conservatory of Music. I also teach some younger players in the preparatory division, so my students are aged between 10 and 24. I enjoy this range, taking them through the transition from elementary technique to intermediate and advanced playing. It’s a big period of development in a student’s education, covering all the fundamental techniques.

What are the most common technical problems you see?

Bow distribution and shifting. In the past it used to be bow hold, but over the years this has improved. Many of the conservatoire’s graduates now teach, and students arrive better prepared.

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