Teaching an artistic violin vibrato

UNCG Author/Contributor (non-UNCG co-authors, if there are any, appear on document)
Rebecca B. MacLeod, Associate Professor (Creator)
The University of North Carolina at Greensboro (UNCG )
Web Site: http://library.uncg.edu/

Abstract: Vibrato is an essential musical element in string instrument playing that enhances and facilitates expressive performance. However, the acquisition of a beautiful vibrato remains one of themost difficult skills for a young string player to obtain and for instructors to teach. There are many reasons that vibrato is a difficult skill to master. The vibrato motion is complex and canonly be executed if the fundamental instrument position and left hand position are established.In recent years a group of researchers, including John Geringer, Michael Allen, and myself, embarked on a systematic investigation that explored some of the central issues debated by string pedagogues. Through a series of investigations we explored elements of string players’ vibrato including: pitch center, continuity, initial direction of motion, finger employed, positions/ pitch register, dynamic level, instrument type, and performers’ experience level. Although many questions remain, results from these studies provide interesting information to teachers that may be beneficial when describing and designing instruction relative to vibrato. In this article, I will focus on the outcomes of a case study that investigated the vibrato of one of the former concertmasters of the New York Philharmonic. This investigation provides some important information that can help us identify the component motions of a violin vibrato (Allen, Geringer, & MacLeod, 2009).

Additional Information

North Carolina Music Educators Journal, 64 (1), 24-26.
Language: English
Date: 2013
music education, violin, vibrato

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