I’m so happy to be back in town after an absolutely brilliant week at Juilliard’s Starling-Delay Symposium on Violin Studies. It’ll certainly take more than one post to pass along the wisdom shared by so many great violinists and colleagues, so let’s start off with one of my favorite events — Sarah Chang’s master class.
To begin the week, world-renowned soloist Sarah Chang offered not just her expert violinistic advice on major repertoire, but a prime example of positive teaching at the highest possible level. She frequently used questions to help students identify their individual musical intentions for each phrase, thereby giving students the confidence to present their own artistic interpretations with conviction. Meanwhile, her upbeat encouragement, quick humor, intelligent teaching process, and warm smile made her master class both a tutorial on technique and musicality as well as one on how to inspire your audience!
In talking about her own legendary teacher, the incomparable Dorothy Delay, Sarah Chang mentioned the importance of making disciplined learning fun. As one of the most skilled child prodigies in musical history, Sarah Chang still confessed to having watched an hour of TV after school every day — “Saved By the Bell!”