October 1, 2015
There are a number of beginners and comeback kids attempting to learn the violin without teacher. Honestly, at one point, I really thought I would be one of them. I’m in my mid 50’s and I had violin lessons when I was a kid. I thought I can practice again through internet teachers like YouTube.
I bought a violin made in China in EBay. At the end of 3 months, I still couldn't play anything with any satisfaction, thinking the violin was not good. I was very disappointed with the violin and myself.
But I couldn't let the idea go. Several months later I started searching prospective teachers. Finally, I contacted Tigran and we decided to give an interview, and Tigran has been my teacher ever since.
At my first real lesson, while he was tuning my violin, I noticed the violin made totally different sound. I was so shocked. It was not the violin; it was me who could not pull the sound from the violin. He gave me something incredibly valuable. He taught me how to draw the bow across the strings without making that horrible scratchy sound that I could not get rid of. It was magical. Maybe that's not a big deal to anyone else, but it was huge for me.
Over the past month, he has given me so many valuable lessons - how to hold the bow, how to practice each challenging skill, tone, timing, what is the best order to learn a piece, how the arm, the wrist, and the elbow should move, and so much more.
I couldn't get those things from a book. Certainly there are books out there that cover it, but I needed timely and simple correction in terms that made sense to me. The speed at which things are absorbed increased exponentially with his guidance.
The best part is, when something isn't right, he knows exactly why. It's almost as if he sits in my practice room with me all week because he nails it every time. Moreover, he knows more than one approach to helping me understand how to fix it.
Everyone can learn, but not everyone can teach. Not only is Tigran a good violinist, he is a great instructor. I know I am often frustrated, but it is never because he doesn't give me what I need to succeed. It's because I don't have enough time to devote to applying the principals he taught.
So here's to all the fantastic violin teachers out there. Even if you don't hear us say thank you often enough, know that you are making a difference in someone's life. And to Tigran, if you ever read this - Thanks!