Note: Janet is no longer teaching in Chester (more info).
The violin is one of the most beautiful and versatile of all musical instruments; but to be played well it demands fine coordination and a combination of fairly complex skills.
Ideally, these skills should be slowly and carefully nurtured from the beginning, so that a sound, efficient and reliable technique is established. If the player feels physically comfortable and technically secure, then there will be no barrier between the instrument and the player’s musical ideas, which will be freely expressed through the instrument.
This is the ideal – but, as with many ideals, there is usually a gap between the ideal and the reality; and sometimes that gap is pretty wide.
Janet’s teaching of the violin and viola fosters a sound technique with ease:
- sound both in the sense of ‘secure’ and ‘good quality sound production’;
- ease meaning physically comfortable, relatively effortless, and using balance in preference to force.
Janet nurtures these qualities both with beginners, and also with advanced players who have encountered problems with their playing.
Sometimes, problems arise out of unnecessary physical or mental tensions, of which the player may be unaware. Sometimes, problems arise from badly directed movements.
Whatever the cause, Janet has experience with helping people to identify and change their unhelpful habits into more efficient, useful ones. She usually does this by working to reduce tension patterns that interfere with a player’s movements. As these tensions are eliminated, the technique becomes easier and more effective.
The specific training she has had that guides her in this work are:
- The teaching of the Hungarian violinist, Kato Havas, author of A New Approach to Violin Playing and Stage Fright
- The Alexander Technique: a system that helps anyone (not only musicians) learn to use their body (indeed, the ‘whole self’) well. Alexander Technique improves posture, releases tension and develops awareness… visit Janet’s Alexander Technique website.