Music lesson with your smartphone? Why not!

As a violin teacher I probably would have been horrified had someone suggested to me the use of a smartphone during the violin lesson. But a recent event changed my mine.

Good bow hold!My very talented violin student, whom I started to teach last fall, had problems with his bow hold. For a month we just couldn't get it right. His fingers were moving all the time, the litttle finger kept slipping. We couldn't get it right.

Two weeks ago he asked me if he could bring his smartphone and if I can take a photo of him holding the bow. As a music app developer, I am open to using modern technology but this was a surprise. I wasn't sure whether it was a good idea. He was testing out different bow holds, while I took photos of each bow hold. Afterwards we sat and compared the images. He asked me which one was the correct one, he saved it and the otherds he deleted. A week later he came to the lesson with a very happy grin. His bow hold was perfect! The photo on his smartphone was the key: he would look at his bow hold in the mirror and compare it to the photo on his smartphone.

The method worked! He currently plays the Rieding violin concerto op.35 and the sound is so much better!

The other day another student suggested we video record his left hand. It showed him a prespective he never usually sees! He used the footage to analyze and correct his fingering.  

Using a smartphone in a music lesson is not necessarily a turning point in musical education, but it does help in providing the student a new tool to understand and improve his technique. When a situation comes up again, and I believe my student will benefit from it, I will certainly use it again.

What do you think?


Founder of Let's Play Concertos, violin performer and teacher