Ask the Teacher - Judith Ermert


The concert cellist turned pedagogue discusses how to build students’ confi dence and prepare them for orchestral auditions

Describe your approach to teaching.

The first challenge is to find an approach appropriate to each student’s temperament and talent. I have to understand what’s going wrong in a student’s mind and in their body, and then select what I say at which moment. A lesson should never be an information overflow. It’s a time for creativity, where it’s safe to make mistakes and explore. By giving students the space and freedom to develop their own musical potential and personality, helping them to practise with inner refl ection and imagination, and making them hear what they are really doing (rather than what they think they are doing), I can guide them to independence.

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