Founder's Blog

The most important ingredient in teaching

When I was signing up for my first semester of classes in college years ago, someone told me to pick my classes based on the teacher. No matter the class, if the teacher is passionate about it, take it.

That was good advice. I hated math in high school, but I discovered I loved calculus my freshman year because of an amazing professor.

Part of my work is training other violin teachers.

I work with teachers who want step-by-step guidance on how to move their students through the FiddleQuest curriculum. And I work with teachers who chafe at the idea of a prescribed approach to teaching.

Finding the right ‘recipe’ of songs, skills and expectations for a student is more art than science. The sheer number of variables can be overwhelming — age, practice time, fine motor skills, parent involvement, ear-hand coordination, motivation….

The advice I received in college still holds true — the most important variable for learning is the teacher’s passion.

If a teacher is really interested in what they are teaching, that energy will pull the most recalcitrant student along.

While I provide a structure for teachers based on a typical student and typical teacher, I try to help teachers tune into what really motivates and excites them about music and teaching.

If a teacher is passionate about improvisation, then move that up the priority list. If they are passionate about sight-reading, then move that up the list.

The most important thing your student will take away from their 30 minutes a week with you is your interest, curiosity and passion about what you are teaching.