William Fitzpatrick - violin expert

The Many Stories of Bill Fitzpatrick: The Conservatoire de Levallois-Perret

How different can be a teaching method

In this new video of this series, Prof. Fitzpatrick tells a story about teaching at The Conservatoire de Levallois-Perret and realizing common approaches sometimes don't work as expected.

Released on May 18, 2022

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DISCLAIMER: The views and the opinions expressed in this video are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the views of Virtual Sheet Music and its employees.

Video Transcription

It was my first week at the Conservatoire de Levallois-Perret and right after each student played I asked them what they liked to eat, what music they liked, you get the idea... I'm sure thought that I was totally crazy. But after that week I realized that we had very little in common in our approach to the violin and so I worried about the direction I should take and that's when I got the idea to tell them something irrefutable... that being to not press the string to the fingerboard. So I did this week 2 and then the 3rd week lessons started but the first student was still pressing so I asked if I had been clear and they said "Oui Monsieur, but if I don't press there is no sound!". And so with that counter argument my new class and I began arguing through my first year at the conservatory!
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Comments, Questions, Requests:

Tosh * VSM MEMBER * on May 18, 2022 @10:39 am PST
Question: Is there any difference in the quality of tone/sound between the 2 ways...i.e., pressing v. not pressing down on the string? There is a photo of Henryk Szering's fingers showing (temporary) deep grooves on his finger tips caused by pressing down on the string. I had a teacher who pushed the idea of pressing down on the string quite hard. I noticed that when he played the Brahms concerto on a radio broadcast, he had a bit of trouble shifting up and down...which made me think his idea was not a good one.
William - host, on May 24, 2022 @12:32 pm PST
Hi and thanks for the question about a difference in the quality of sound. Ms Delay spoke of a ping like sound that occurs when you don't go/push all the way to the fingerboard. The clarity produced is both appreciable and efficient. To my ear it simply "sounds" clean.
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