Ask the Teacher - Roy Sonne


The Pittsburgh-based pedagogue asks his students to be adventurous and to watch clips on YouTube

What age groups do you teach?

Most of my students are between 10 and 18. I also teach a few adult amateurs, which is very rewarding in a different way.

What is the first thing you do with a new student?

We talk for a few minutes about their violinistic experience and then I ask them to play a piece of their choice. From that I get a good sense of where they are. Then I usually focus in on some aspect of their basic set-up that needs to be modified or developed, using routines for holding the bow and violin that I’ve developed from those of Mimi Zweig. Then I go to a scale or study that ties in with the set-up routine and I assign a new piece of music that ties in with the technical issues that we are already dealing with.

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