Teaching Philosophy

 

My teaching is:

  • Student-centered

We are all individuals, with different backgrounds, interests, and unique learning patterns. I strive to create a program of study that focuses on the student's needs using a body of knowledge taken from great violin and viola pedagogues: Shinichi Suzuki, Ivan Galamian, John Kendall, Paul Rolland, Elizabeth Stuen-Walker, and Susan Kempter.

  • Long-term goal directed

Identifying wrong notes and telling a student to learn a new piece is something almost anyone can do. More difficult is to understand your skill level now and how it will affect your study for the next 5 or 10 years. For example: flat pinky on your bowhold? This creates tension in the bow hand and will affect later, more advanced strokes such as spiccato, sautille, sound production, etc, not to mention bringing on repetitive stress injury. 

  • Develops mind and body

Why do I teach the things I teach? Asked this question, many teachers (not just violin or music teachers!) will say "because I was taught that way".

 

It's hard to get away from that answer, but I think we should have good reasons behind the methods we use.

 

My teaching draws on my own experience, of course, but also on a knowledge of human anatomy, child development, cognition, and motivation theory. I know why I teach most of the things I teach, and for the others, I'm still studying and developing different approaches.

 

  • Focused on enjoyment but also hard work

My philosophy: We enjoy things we do well. How do we come to do things well? We work hard and we practice.

 

The learning process should be fun. How do we make it fun? Avoid frustration, intimidation, and feelings of "I'll never be able to do this". This is achieved by taking very small steps, each just slightly more difficult than the last, and practicing each until it is mastered. The other key is to use skills already learned to introduce new skills.

Contact

sigridkarlstrom@gmail.com

Lessons at:

  • My home studio in West Haven, CT

  • The Neighborhood School in New Haven or Guilford, CT

  • The Suzuki School of Westport, CT

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