Footage of the April Teacher Training Workshop is now available!

Instrumental 'clones' aren't only the fault of conservatoire teachers

There have been a lot of interesting responses to this article by Nigel Kennedy. I don’t necessarily agree with his assessment. There are loads of fantastically interesting young players with very individual approaches. If, however, there are too many ‘clones’, it’s no good blaming the teachers at music conservatoires. This is much more a concern for teachers who work with children from the beginning.

The formative years in a musician's life are for a lot more than just setting technical foundations. These are the years where a love of music is nurtured; where the musician evolves in spite of technical demands. A teacher who focusses too much on technique is missing a trick. The object of technique is to achieve optimal freedom of expression. If a student is not encouraged to play expressively at the behest of securing a technique, they will only be developing technique for the sake of itself. This is what leads to the ‘clone’ effect. The result can be soulless and robotic. This is something to be avoided from the very start, never mind at music college.