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18 January 2011

Violin-making: Teachers fear their Students but don't Quit Teaching Jobs

Violin-making students whom I met in the last two or three years in Italy, Japan and Mexico complained to me on their teachers "hiding too many secrets" from their students. I think this is true and I think this is sad.

It puzzled me every time I heard this story. If the fears of those teachers are unbearable why don't they quit teaching or ask a psychologist? Do they teach NOT for the passion of teaching but rather for the monthly paycheck? Is education of their students somewhere at the end of their list of priorities? I think, today it's not a good idea to put education at the end.

My apologies to the honest and responsible teachers! I do not want to hurt anyone! Mine were honest and responsible both towards the future of their apprentices and to the reputations of their own shops. But the less ethical teachers do exist and something needs to be done about it.

The chances are the schools won't be able to tackle this problem effectively. In any case, not overnight. However there is something each student in violin-making - and not only in violin-making - have fully under one's control and can start any time. This control is called self-education.

Self-education through:
1. libraries
2. access to the museums
3. access to the private collections
4. access to the musicians and researchers
5. practice and experimentation
6. setting goals
7. achieving goals
8. verification against the set ideals
9. setting new goals
10. repeating the cycle

If you happen to take onto the path of self-education your secretive teachers or colleagues might label you a "researcher", "an amateur", and the whole hoard of not very pleasing nicknames. If this happen - and it is very likely to happen - thank them and do not turn you away from your path. Before you realize it, you will find yourself standing in front of your goal.

The above list is what I was doing myself. I am doing it today and I will do it in the future. Of course I do not know if I will actually achieve them but it does not matter.

May your creative spirit thrive!


P.S. This blog-post is a part of my private message to a student in violin-making.

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