It is my hope for all my students to develop a love of music. Also, to continue their passion for music throughout their lifetime.
Lesson for Children
There are many schools with good music programs like Punahou, Iolani, Moanalua Elementary/Middle/High School, Kaimuki Middle, Kalani High School, etc. However, many public schools don't have any music programs or limited music classes. If you want your child to have music education in their curriculum, please contact me. I can give you more information about schools on Oahu. Elementary schools with orchestras mostly start in the 5th grade. I recommend private lessons starting at age 5. We teach advanced students for auditions, school orchestra, as well as students looking for a just playing as a hobby.
Lesson for Adults
If you are an adult interested in learning to play the violin, it is vital to practice and have lessons. Unlike a guitar, there are not frets on a violin or cello so it is difficult to find the correct note or pitch. Although it is difficult, it will be an exciting challenge that will drive you to continue to play and improve. For those who are seriously interested to people simply looking for a hobby, we welcome you and look forward to meeting you.
Solfege and Music theory (read in Japanese here)
It is vital to learn solfege and music theory when learning to play a musical instrument; as a result, it is even possible to have performances which could move audiences’ emotion. As a point of instruction, I would go through the following policies with more emphasis on performance technique and interpretation of the music.
1. With regards to performance techniques, the instructor’s experience and years of technical training are essential
2. Study music theory and understanding the musical structure along with the ear training.
Since the violin does not have any frets like guitars or ukuleles, it is more like to be played out of tune. This would make the violin not properly resonate, and making it impossible to produce beautiful sounds. In other words, if a person does not pre-hear the pitch in one’s head, it will become difficult to properly sing or play this instrument.
To be able to play this instrument beautifully, solfege, singing the melody aloud and feeling the phrasing and intonation are important. And in order to properly assess the tone that you just played, it is necessary to train your ears to develop the ability to recognize the pitch, rhythm and phrasing. From my experience, a child who has been learning solfege and theory from early childhood develops a higher degree of proficiency in his or her later years. From early childhood, a child who has been singing nursery rhymes in pitch (to a certain extent) with their mothers, or has experienced being in a chorus during kindergarten will gradually acquire the ability to recognize the pitch and phrasing.
I often hear the question “Although I want to learn the violin, should I first learn how to play the piano?” By just playing the piano, there is a chance that one’s relationship with the violin may be weakened. The most important thing is to focus on learning theory and solfege, along with learning how to play the piano, which will subsequently contribute to significant progress being made in the area of performance. In fact, I realized the importance of theory and solfege after witnessing what was achieved by the students who learned under such circumstances.
Occasionally, I listen to young children performing masterfully on YouTube using the keyboard harmonica or recorder, or just singing at kindergarten recitals in Japan. Music is highly regarded in compulsory education in Japan, and all children have access to good quality education. On the other hand, with musical education in Hawaii being included as a part of the arts, there is no requirement to take music classes to graduate from high school. Of course, there are many schools that offer great musical education to those who desire to learn. However, there are many in Hawaii who grow up to become adults without any contact with musical education. Besides the need to have music as a part of one’s life, I believe it is essential to have an interest in music as well as to deeply enjoy music in order to enrich our life.
In my teaching, I bear in mind to have students focus on listening to his/her own sound and to take responsibility for what they have produced. In order to cultivate the students to take responsibility of his or her sound, I would have them sing out the violin phrases or play along with piano to check the accuracy.
It is my belief to listen to the piano’s temperament, imagine the exact pitch, and create fingering. As a result, beautiful sounds will be born, which will evolve into deeper music.
My idea for creating the correct fingering for violin is to listening to the well-tempered tuning of the piano and imagine the correct pitch internally. This will lead to a beautiful sound and even deeper understanding of the music.
Furthermore, confirming the direction of the music, I will play the chords on the piano, and have students play the melody. I also include “site reading exercises” along with the ear training. Also, for expanding the imagination, I will discuss the reason why the composer used the particular note F or why crescendo or cantabile was used. To help students imagination, I often develop a story for the melody, amusing stories, sad stories, love stories, and more. As a matter of fact, the students love these stories so much and they will play unbelievably better. This demonstrates the importance of expanding the imagination.
By creating a connection between image training and music theory in this fashion, one’s understanding of music will deepen.
I would like my students to fall in love with music via the violin, and enjoy music throughout their lifetime. It is my hope that students will use this as a daily motto.