The name "Maple Strings" is more than just a name for a violin and viola studio. It embodies my entire philosophy of teaching.
The journey from a beginning musician to an accomplished, expressive performer is a long and exciting journey. Using a tree as a metaphor, one can understand the musical journey from beginner to master.
The life of a maple tree starts with the humble beginnings of a winged seed.
The seed of musical inspiration finds its way into people in many ways. Some are inspired by friends and family, others by going to concerts, or perhaps even while going on a YouTube dive! Whatever the source of inspiration, this musical seed contains the potential to take root and grow within you.
When this seed is given the right environment of nutritious soil, water, and sunlight consistently over the course of years, it will sprout and begin its new life.
Maybe you've purchased or rented an instrument, started music in school, or are simply excited about the idea of violin lessons or viola lessons. You've taken your first step and your musical journey has begun.
I hear many people say things like, "I'm not very musical" or "I just can't carry a tune."
I'm here to tell you that EVERYONE can develop musical ability if they want to. Yes, you can learn to play the violin and viola! The key is to create the right environment to support your growth.
In the coming images, we will look at the four essential elements of this learning environment: The Soil, Water, Sunlight, and Time required for musical development.
Soil: The Home Environment
The student must have:
A safe space at home where they are loved unconditionally and their needs are met.
Positive encouragement and direct involvement in their journey from family and community members.
An adequate space for daily practice.
A social outlet for connecting with other musicians of varying ages and abilities.
The ability to regularly listen to music. Music is a language and can only be learned through regular listening.
The student must consistently explore their curiosities, take in new information, and overcome increasingly difficult challenges through daily practice.
Shinichi Suzuki said "Knowledge does not equal ability. Knowledge plus 10,000 times equals ability." I can provide the knowledge, you must do the 10,000 times.
The student must be guided by an experienced, qualified instructor who helps fuel their inspiration and guides them along their own unique path to artistry.
I have spent over 20 years studying and performing this music and over a decade teaching it. I am committed to life-long learning and to sharing what I have learned with eager students. See the "Method" and "Meet Mr. B" tabs to learn more about what I bring to the lesson experience.
Trusting the Process
We cannot crack the seed in order to speed its sprouting and neither can we stretch the trunk of a sapling to hurry along its growth. To do these things would only harm the natural growth that inevitably comes with the proper environment.
Our bodies and minds learn new abilities only through consistent, attentive action over days, months, and years. Show up, give it your best, and you will learn!
When consistent individual practice is guided by quality instruction in a nurturing home environment over time, growth will come as surely as the colors of Autumn.