‘Where else can there be thriving, yet undiscovered hubs of violin making?’: Letters to the Editor June 2022 | Premium ❘ Item


A selection of letters The Strad receives each month from its readers around the world: June 2022 issue

You have to see it to believe it

Jacqueline Vanasse’s positive experiences teaching a student with Down syndrome (Opinion, January 2022) reminded me of my time teaching a student with dyspraxia. His parents had suggested he try playing a musical instrument in order to join the school band, as he was struggling to make friends and was showing signs of withdrawal. He took up the violin and found it difficult, given his difficulty with coordination – even keeping the bow on the string seemed like a challenge, and he had trouble sitting still. After a few months someone suggested that the violin might not be the right instrument and that he should try the cello. That’s when he came to see me and very quickly found that it suited him. His progress was made by leaps and bounds, and I am convinced that it was simply because the position of the violin prevented him from seeing the instrument in front of him, while the cello allowed him to improve his coordination. Soon he was in the school band and had moved on to lead cello before leaving school. I hope other teachers can have this kind of positive experience with one of their students in the future.


London, UK.

A cautionary tale

It’s extraordinary for me to hear colleagues talk about “the post-Covid era” as if it were something that actually existed. Unmasked orchestra rehearsals usually take place in the present day; hand sanitizers are often not provided even though they are so cheap; and onlookers seem blissfully happy to take no precautions at all…


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