ASK THE PROS | Violinist Lewis Kaplan – "What Are The Biggest Life Lessons Teaching Has Taught You?" [ADVICE]

Joanna Huang was keen to know what the life lessons that music pedagogues' teaching experiences have taught them. We threw the question over to Juilliard veteran, Lewis Kaplan

Lewis Kaplan

VC member Joanna Huang from Taiwan was keen to know what the major life lessons that music pedagogues' teaching experiences have taught them.

We threw Joanna’s question over to The Juilliard School and Mannes School of Music esteemed violin faculty member, Mr Lewis Kaplan.

"Hi Joanna,

Thanks for the question.

I would say humility, responsibility ... and inspiration.

I am awed by the potential and possibilities within every student.

I feel the art in teaching is the ability to look into the soul of the student and see what is there and how to develop that person's special and unique abilities.  

The responsibility that I mention is the realization that you as a teacher are having a profound effect on the student's life and future. This is an enormous responsibility.  

As a mentor we cannot and should not play God but we must be humble knowing that so much of a student's life is being formed and shaped in our hands.

We speak often of inspiration. Of course this too is an important factor in teaching and guiding a student. Setting an example through dedication and concentration is essential if one is to rise above the mundane and mediocrity.  

Imparting the broadest possible musical knowledge as well as a sense of humanity is always a challenge.  The concept that one must always do better and imparting that to a student is a life lesson.  

All of the above is formidable but the reward is seeing a former student who one has not seen for years and hearing them say ... "every day of my life I hear your voice".

- Lewis"


A student of Ivan Galamian, Lewis Kaplan has served long term teaching positions on the violin and chamber music faculties at New York's Juilliard School and Mannes School of Music | From 1964 to 2014 he served as Co-Founder and Artistic Director of the Bowdoin International Music Festival - and he currently presides on the jury of a number of prominent international violin competitions 


Caprice Variations for Unaccompanied Violin |SHEET MUSIC|

George Rochberg

Edited by: Lewis Kaplan

Publisher: Galaxy Music

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