Ask the Teacher - Ulrike Danhofer
The Vienna-based pedagogue explains why it’s important to foster students’ individual musical personalities
Do you use the same teaching style with all your students?
Definitely not! One of the most interesting things about teaching is getting to know the personality of each student and seeing how differently each brain is working. It’s not easy to adapt one’s teaching style to each student but I find it very inspiring. For example, one of my performance students is an incredibly musical, fast and spontaneous violinist who is hardly aware of what she does with her fingers. I help her to work on certain passages very carefully but I also have to take care that I don’t destroy her natural talent by giving her too many instructions. On the other side, I have a pedagogy student whose brain wants to stay in control at every moment, which inhibits her freedom and speed. I try to help her to create a sense of easiness in her playing, using flexible movements, because when making music it is essential for the thoughts and the body to flow together.