April 2011

Teacher Talk

A series of teaching-articles in the Strad Magazine

How do you determine what repertoire is best for a student?
Erika Burns, Seattle, US
Boris Kuschnir: It is important to establish the purpose for which repertoire is being allocated. In the case of preparation for a competition, a solo performance with orchestra or a recital, repertoire should be chosen to be of maximum interest and effect for the audience in question, and should play to the student’s strength. If the aim is to develop specific aspects of the student’s playing, the teacher should select the repertoire with the same precision as a good doctor prescribing medicine for a patient. The correct choice of repertoire is essential for the technical development of a violinist, and even more so in helping them become a fully rounded musician.