September 2011

Teacher Talk

A series of teaching-articles in the Strad Magazine

How do you help students avoid stage fright? Peter Dufoy, London, UK
Boris Kuschnir: There’s a simple yet effective psychological trick that can help a lot, although it sounds counter-intuitive. During the lesson, the teacher should try to give so many instructions – such as about different forms of vibrato, bow division, bow changes, dynamic versatility, phrasing, glissando, volume – that the students has to take care of them the whole time they play. Keeping in mind that the music should always come first, the more instructions the student has to take care of, the less time they have to be nervous when they perform.