Our method

Colourstrings

Paving the path for successful future playing

“The success of the ‘colour-string’ method – – have proved that this innovative style of teaching can have a strong and encouraging impact on musical learning. Minifiddlers will – – enable the teaching for wider society.”

Esa-Pekka Salonen

Patron of Minifiddlers

Music Director of the San Francisco Symphony, Conductor Laureate for London’s Philharmonia Orchestra and the Los Angeles Philharmonic, Cofounder of the Baltic Sea Festival

Watch Esa-Pekka & Geza talk about music education

Keep the child’s motivation strong, prevent the pitfalls of violin playing and make teaching both efficient and child-friendly

The early years of violin playing are essential as they lay the basis for the future. That’s why children deserve high-quality music education and the first instrumental teacher has an enormous responsibility.

At the same time, it’s important to try to make learning as joyful and motivating as possible to encourage the children with their new activity.

Chasing too fast progress in the beginning can lead to technical and ergonomic problems. Correcting these shortcomings afterwards may take years, and they may also ruin child’s motivation to play and lead to a drop-out.

The Colourstrings method was created by Prof. Géza Szilvay – teacher of the Minifiddlers violin lessons – first for private use for his own children. His desire was to create a child-centered violin tutor system, which nevertheless meets the expectations of Zoltán Kodály: harmonious and constant equilibrium between the development of musical hearing, instrumental technique, music theory and emotion. Singing, hearing, playing, reading and understanding should be inseparable.

Decades of success - the colourstrings history
“I made efforts to eliminate those instrumental, technical, musical and theoretical difficulties and hardships that so often spoil and render unhappy the early years of violin playing.”

Prof. Géza Szilvay

Creator of Colourstrings

Violinist, teacher and conductor, the President of ESTA (European String Teachers Association)

Watch Geza talk about THE Colourstrings method (20 mins)

Benefits of the Colourstrings method

a

Motivation

Children prefer colours to plain black. Colours awaken and maintain interest and make the learning process easier, more enjoyable, deeper and longer-lasting.

Rhythm, pitch, intervals and other elements of musical grammar are introduced and explained visually. These pictures and illustrations bring complex musical ideas within the child's sphere of understanding.

The method uses game-like elements, colours and characters to make playing joyful and more understandable for a little child, without compromising high pedagogical standards.

B

Ergonomics

If the child starts with the stopping motion (to press the left hand fingers down on the fingerboard) too early, when the basic positions (violin hold and bow-hold) are not yet properly established, both hands may suffer from stiffness.

In the Colourstrings system intonation is introduced to the children by using natural harmonics. The octave natural harmonics will enable the child to get acquinted with the whole fingerboard. This will create a relaxed and free left hand, while the bow stroke movement will be similarly light and flexible.

c

Note reading and visual presentation

Colourstrings takes away the burden of note reading. At first, the notes appear on the pages in harmony with the coloured pitch (in order from the highest to the lowest: yellow, blue, red and green), and reading is helped by the colours.

Afterwards we use one-line and two-line systems. Gradually the two-line system is placed on the stave system (five-line), and finally the children reach the standard note notation.

Rhythms, pitch, intervals and other elements of musical grammar are introduced and explained visually.

d

Intonation

Colourstrings uses the relative solmisation with the concept of movable DO. Relative solmisation is a device that enables children to transpose the already well-known songs with considerable ease. It creates ear-led, independent fingers (with various finger patterns), develops intonation, and enables mobility (change of positions) on the instrument. Its continuous use will lead to an early mastery of the whole fingerboard.

e

Musical expression

From early on children are encouraged to play chamber music together with the teacher and other children. This allows even the very beginners to participate in music making, which not only develops the musicianship and emotions, but also creates the joy of playing together. Children are also encouraged to improvise. There is a rich repertoire of chamber and orchestral music that supplements the Violin ABC books.

Watch Geza talk about the Colourstrings method

During 50 years the method has constantly been refined and enriched. An astonishingly high number of children have become soloists, chamber musicians, orchestra players, music teachers, and high-level connoisseurs of music with the help of Colourstrings.

Decades of success - the colourstrings history

Minifiddlers Violin Pedagogy Courses – a complete guide for the first years of violin playing with the Colourstrings method

Minifiddlers Violin Pedagogy Courses offer a complete curriculum for the first four years of violin playing. The educational content and learning path are developed together with the creator of the Colourstrings method, Prof. Géza Szilvay. All courses are recorded with a real group of pupils taught by Géza.

The courses suit for music schools & institutions, violin pedagogues, students and families. You can use them as a complete pedagogical basis for the violin lessons, or just taking some parts to compliment your own teaching style.

Minifiddlers Violin Pedagogy Courses give practical instructions and tips for teaching, exercises and repertoire for both senior pedagogues and pedagogues who are still in the beginning of their career. The videos are also excellent for supporting a child’s practicing at home.

Check the minifiddlers violin pedagogy courses