Evan on Teaching

At this point in my life teaching is the most rewarding aspect of my career. It is both exhausting and invigorating. One must be a surrogate parent, older brother, friend, mentor, psychologist and disciplinarian. It takes tremendous energy to inspire and instill passion. But there is no better feeling than seeing that light in a student's eye as they make the connection; the realization that they have actually learned something. That makes it all worthwhile.

My students become part an extended family. We work together, eat together, talk together and often attend concerts together. As Chairman of the Chautauqua Institute String Department in Western New York State, I am able to bring many of them to the summer festival where we continue our sessions together in a beautiful atmosphere surrounded by music lovers. The oppor- tunities to perform and listen are many. In this way we build relationships based on mutual respect, trust and friendship that continue long past our time together as teacher and student.

Here are some basic approaches students should have with the viola.

THE VIOLA IS NOT A VIOLIN! - DON'T PLAY IT LIKE ONE!

The viola responds to bowstrokes much more like the cello. A certain amount of weight, and not pressure, must be involved to create a full-bodied sound.

CARESS - DO NOT PRESS

STROKE - DO NOT CHOKE

A great teacher does not give a student all the answers- he or she teaches the student to teach him/herself.

Self-analysis and self-discovery are keys to the learning process.

A few years ago, Evan wrote an Orchestral Training Essay on Shostakovich's Symphony No.5 in D minor, Op.47.

Click below to access the page.

Orchestral Training Page

© 2003 Evan N. Wilson