On Sparks in/and Music


In my years of teaching, I have come across many students who fit into these categories:


(A) Student who expresses interest to take violin lessons

(B) Student who is made to take violin lessons


Generally, a type A student progresses at a much faster rate compared to a type B student.


Occasionally, a type A student would evolve into a type B student when he/she realises that homework is also given for violin lessons. That is a most crucial period for parents, who have to make the decision whether to let the child get his/her way in order to avoid homework!



For both Type A and Type B students, the first initial “spark” happens when they realise that they sound alot better on the violin after a violin lesson with me. In many instances, type B students will turn into type A students, and of course, that makes everyone happier in the course of learning! The difficulty is in maintaining the practice required to retain what they have learnt in the lesson and to further improve from there.


Both Type A and Type B students would improve drastically only when they realise their potential and are willing to work to better themselves,  for the sole purpose of self-improvement, and not for the next computer game.


But this is not something that happens overnight.


For one of my students, it required sterling results in her ABRSM exam to propel her to practise on her own without “parental reminders”. She has since garnered a morbid fascination with etudes in order to “improve on violin technique and play more challenging and fun pieces”.


While we await that “spark”, here’s an interesting article I came across online for the geeks in all of us.


In summary:

“Music training, with its pervasive effects on the nervous system’s ability to process sight and sound, may be more important for enhancing verbal communication skills than learning phonics, according to a new study. Musicians use all of their senses to practice and perform a musical piece. They watch other musicians, read lips, and feel, hear and perform music, thus, engaging multi-sensory skills. As it turns out, the brain’s alteration from the multi-sensory process of music training enhances the same communication skills needed for speaking and reading, the study concludes.”


Till the next post!

In the meantime, please keep the messages coming in. Would love to hear from you ! :)


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