Violin and Music theory
Adriaan completed a BA-Mus degree at the University of Pretoria and is the violin teacher for Global House of Music. He conducts violin lessons both online and in person. He is currently completing a Suzuki teacher’s qualification. Adriaan enjoys composers from the romantic era; Mendelssohn, Bruch and Paganini. Bach’s genius in harmony and sensitivity and Mozart’s witty elegance also influenced him.
Starting off in several youth orchestras, Adriaan now performs with the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra and Capital Chamber Orchestra as well as various string ensembles. He is currently the substitute concertmaster for the Pretoria Symphony Orchestra. A highlight of his career was a solo performance for Kyknet’s Sandra op ‘n Drafstap.
Adriaan credits music for developing many skills – music comforted him and facilitated personal growth. Making music with friends and colleagues created opportunities and memories. Performing taught him to deal with pressure and stress.
As a teacher
Adriaan finds satisfaction watching his students grapple with challenges and persevere. Students’ satisfaction and joy, once they overcome these, is the greatest reward. He recognises the ability playing an instrument has to reduce stress, foster self-discipline and express emotion. Hand-eye co-ordination and abstract thinking are also enhanced.
Adriaan dabbles with musical arrangements and winds down with Netflix in his free time. During holidays he engages in woodwork projects and goes camping.
What I teach
EVERY CHILD CAN LEARN
More than fifty years ago, Japanese violinist Shinichi Suzuki realized the implications of the fact that children the world over learn to speak their native language with ease. He began to apply the basic principles of language acquisition to the learning of music, and called his method the mother-tongue approach. The ideas of parent responsibility, loving encouragement, constant repetition, etc., are some of the special features of the Suzuki approach.
As when a child learns to talk, parents are involved in the musical learning of their child. They attend lessons with the child and serve as “home teachers” during the week. One parent often learns to play before the child, so that s/he understands what the child is expected to do. Parents work with the teacher to create an enjoyable learning environment.
The early years are crucial for developing mental processes and muscle coordination. Listening to music should begin at birth; formal training may begin at age three or four, but it is never too late to begin.
Children learn words after hearing them spoken hundreds of times by others. Listening to music every day is important, especially listening to pieces in the Suzuki repertoire so the child knows them immediately.
Constant repetition is essential in learning to play an instrument. Children do not learn a word or piece of music and then discard it. They add it to their vocabulary or repertoire, gradually using it in new and more sophisticated ways.
As with language, the child’s effort to learn an instrument should be met with sincere praise and encouragement. Each child learns at his/her own rate, building on small steps so that each one can be mastered. Children are also encouraged to support each other’s efforts, fostering an attitude of generosity and cooperation.
LEARNING WITH OTHER CHILDREN
In addition to private lessons, children participate in regular group lessons and performance at which they learn from and are motivated by each other.
Children do not practice exercises to learn to talk, but use language for its natural purpose of communication and self-expression. Pieces in the Suzuki repertoire are designed to present technical problems to be learned in the context of the music rather than through dry technical exercises.
Children learn to read after their ability to talk has been well established. in the same way, children should develop basic technical competence on their instruments before being taught to read music.