Relationship with an instrument?

said: Mar 1, 2010
 8 posts

Recently, I overheard a teacher mentioning a student has a good “relationship” with his instrument. What exactly does this mean?


“Amateur parent seeking professional parenting advice.” :)

Diane said: Mar 2, 2010
Diane AllenViolin
244 posts

I’ll take a stab at that one….

An instrument can be like a bio-feedback machine. Whatever you do to an instrument, it will make a sound. If you don’t like that sound then you have to do something different. If you are open to hearing the sounds you are making and are able to make adjustments with your body—sometimes miniscule adjustments—in such a matter that brings out the best sound then perhaps you’ve got a good relationship with your instrument.

Of course the context in which the comment you overheard would give a much better clue about what this person was talking about.

Videos of student violin recitals and violin tutorials.

said: Mar 2, 2010
 8 posts


Come to think of it, the comment was made regarding to the playing position and, hence, the sound from the student’s violin. Not necessarily referring to playing every single correct note (although that’s important too). I suspect you have hit this one on the nail. :)



“Amateur parent seeking professional parenting advice.” :)

Laura said: Mar 2, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
358 posts

I agree with the analogy, and if you would allow me, I could add one more:

It’s similar to when someone is said to handle a car well. It responds well under their touch, and the skill of that driver is evident in the smootness and agility of the ride. In the case of a musical instrument, the evidence would be in the sound of the music.

Of course, it helps tremendously if the car is of sufficient quality to respond to the input of a skilled driver—which is why we should try to avoid cheap quality instruments as best possible.

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