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1 Teaches 2 Learn: Private Music Teaching and You – Eloise Hellyer

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Available Now. The ABCs of Violin Teaching and Playing.

For teachers, students, and parents. Over 400 
pages of masterful pedagogical techniques. Featuring a special bonus section  exclusive interviews with leading teachers and performers. A comprehensive guide to teaching the violin, with insight from legendary and diverse musicians who provide unique, candid commentary. See what acclaimed violinists have to say about their own teachers and the art of teaching. Music isn’t optional; it's vital. And Eloise Hellyer's book is a must read.

"A book that will resonate for generations to come." 
Jerry Elias

"...Countless stories that give fascinating insights into teacher-pupil-parent relationships and the process of practicing and learning... it would undoubtedly be of interest and benefit to teachers of any instrument." 
Celia Cobb, The Strad

"Here is the definitive book for us all to learn about the human, relational elements of teaching - an absolute must for every serious string teacher." 
Bonny Buckley

"I cannot recommend it highly enough and I wish I had been able to read it twelve years ago when I first started my violin teaching studio..." 
Matthew Z.


Hellyer - 1 Teaches 2 Learn -Eloise Hellyer

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Gerald E
4/15/2022 10:53:00 pm

A Must Read for Violin Teachers!

This new book on violin pedagogy, "1 Teaches 2 Learn," should be on the bookshelf of every violin teacher and anyone who is simply considering being a violin teacher. Let me correct that: It should be on the bookshelf of every teacher, regardless of their chosen subject, and while I’m at it, of every parent, too. "1 Teaches 2 Learn" is in two parts. The first is Eloise Hellyer’s comprehensive investigation of what it takes to be an effective violin teacher, from big-vision principles, like what it means to be creative or how to communicate musical ideas, all the way down to nitty-gritty issues, like how to practice efficiently and how to deal with a practice-resistant child. Hellyer, herself an accomplished violin teacher, challenges the reader the same way she proposes to challenge students: by asking tough questions, making you think, forcing you to reevaluate previously held assumptions. Even with those notions with which one might disagree, she is doing what a first-rate teacher does: actively engaging you, creating a forum for constructive thought and intelligent response. In other words, making you listen. In a nutshell, Hellyer makes the strong case that a violin teacher should not be teaching an instrument; a violin teacher should be teaching a student. On the surface that might seem to be a subtle, almost inconsequential distinction, but the more one makes one’s way through the book, the more profound the difference grows. The student-teacher relationship is paramount; it is a synergy in which outcomes, whether they’re positive or negative, affect both parties. The second part of "1 Teaches 2 Learn" is a compendium of interviews, mostly of world-class violinists like Gil Shaham, Shmuel Ashkenazi, Robert Mann, Gidon Kremer, and Salvatore Accardo, all of whom provide ample corroboration for many of Hellyer’s first part contentions. Hellyer, a persistent, perceptive interviewer, draws out a continuous stream of nuggets of wisdom from these giants of the violin world. There is a lot of valuable, behind-the-scenes insight told in stories that range from the humorous to the heartbreaking. What one learns is that there is an almost limitless diversity of ways to play the violin and understand music, but there are certain universal common denominators: the vital importance of the first teacher, the critical role of the parents, the conscientious discipline necessary to master technique, and perhaps most of all, the almost desperate commitment to communicate a profound message to the listener that can be expressed in no other way than through music. Either part of "1 Teaches 2 Learn" would be an invaluable addition to violin pedagogy. Put together, it is a book that will resonate for generations to come.

Diana B
4/15/2022 10:51:00 pm

Violinist/Private Teacher

I came across Eloise's book and the title called my attention, "1 Teaches 2 Learn" because you really learn more than your students when you teach. This book has thought me so much about teaching than I initially expected. I love how practical the book is to teach you the craft of teaching, it covers all the necessary aspects to be a great violin teacher, most importantly it tells you the real meaning of teaching and it is very inclusive. In my opinion, any violin teacher should have access to this treasure! it compiles the experience of so many years in a very comprehensive way. Thanks to the author for releasing this gem!

Lauren H
4/15/2022 10:50:00 pm

400+ pages of ideas, insight, teaching anecdotes, and interviews

In 1 Teaches 2 Learn: Private Music Teaching and You, Eloise Hellyer offers helpful perspectives, anecdotes, and insight formed over her decades of experience as both a violin teacher and parent. Written from the heart, Eloise’s take on fostering positive musical outcomes is recommended reading for music teachers at any career stage. As a teacher myself, I especially appreciate Eloise’s emphasis on prioritizing students’ well-being and helping families develop true joy for musical study. As other reviewers have mentioned, this is really two books in one — Eloise’s guide to teaching, plus previously unreleased interviews with performers and teachers (!). Many thanks to Eloise for the chance to read an advance copy!

Bonny B
4/15/2022 10:48:00 pm

An absolute must for every serious string teacher

As a teacher, have you ever wished there were a manual for teaching violin? I certainly have, even after many years of teaching string orchestra in the USA and China, offering private lessons on three continents, and starting a music school in Germany. Here is the definitive book for us all to learn about the human, relational elements of teaching—an absolute must for every serious string teacher. Eloise has put her life-long experience teaching violin into this labor of love, a 100% practical, effective, and easy to understand reference for all string teachers. You might even find yourself saying “aha!” a dozen or more times, with more wisdom and insight into how to actually handle the difficulties that arise than in any other book on violin teaching around. Besides being perhaps the most essential and pragmatic string teaching resource available, there are interviews published here for the very first time with thirteen salient violin artists and one pop star, in which they describe their own experiences learning the violin and connecting with people through music. In addition, it’s easy to navigate her digital edition with the ToC link at the bottom of each page to get you back to the Table of Contents. You will simply love to devour this book. Your teaching practice will thank you for it.

4/15/2022 10:46:00 pm


I recommend this book to anyone pursuing a musical career. This book is a MasterClass in teaching music. Eloise compiles over half a century of musical experience into an easy-to-read text. The interviews are priceless, as is the wisdom that Eloise imparts. This book teaches people that teaching offers excellent rewards. I recommend this book to anyone thinking about teaching music.

Minna A
4/15/2022 10:43:00 pm

The philosophy of teaching music to kids

As a background: I have two kids playing instruments, one of them also plays the violin. My children have studied music according to the Suzuki method and I have now 8 years of experience in being the “home teacher” for my kids. I have been reading the Violin Teachers Blog - 1 Teaches 2 Learn (http://www.violinteachersblog.com/1-teaches-2-learn/) for years. I have always thought that Eloise Hellyer is one of the wisest voices on the Internet. She writes in a light, brave and spirited way even on controversial issues. She is not afraid to handle any subject that may rise when kids study music. So, I had high expectations when I started to read the book and boy am I glad I did. Even though Eloise Hellyer has already shared a fair share of her wisdom in her blog, this book takes it all to the next level. The first part of the book contains a whole philosophy of teaching music to children. However, the book does not stop there, it also gives tons of advice on practical problems you will encounter. I believe that Eloise Hellyer is right when she says that music teachers should talk more about how listeners perceive music performances and what kind of approaches to performing are helpful for musicians and less about the technique of the instrument. Technique is of course absolutely vital, but sometimes music itself gets lost when you just look at the technique. The second part of the book is a parade of incredibly interesting interviews. You will get to hear how famous violinists and pedagogues have started to learn their instruments and what were their first teachers like and how they perceived their early music studies. From a parent’s perspective it’s really interesting to learn how all these people have started their musical paths. Be warned, after reading this book you may expect a lot more from the music teachers of your kids than you did before!

Matthew Z
4/15/2022 5:49:00 pm

Must-read for all private teachers

I had a chance to read an advance copy of the book from Eloise. I cannot recommend it highly enough and I wish I had been able to read it 12 years ago when I first started my violin teaching studio. It would have saved me immeasurable frustration and helped focus my own expectations, as well as those of my students. Really, it's two books in one: 1) Practical and wise advice gained over decades of private teaching; a guide to enjoying successful private teaching as a nearly spiritual pursuit. 2) Interviews with great violinists and musicians, that rivals "Violin Mastery," by Martens in its candor and depth. As a successful and full-time private teacher, I've admired Eloise's blog (www.violinteachersblog.com) for some time. Her writing is always very thoughtful and well-reasoned. For the most part, all of us teachers want to find joy in our interactions, spur creative thought, and motivate our students. Teachers as a whole are at least starting to move past the era of strict authoritarian-style teaching. What good does it do to crush a student's spirit, have them enter the studio in fear, or leave in tears? What good does it do to only teach those students we deem "talented?" For teachers: there's a pathway towards finding joy and discipline in lessons without pulling your hair out, becoming an alcoholic, or losing sleep. There's a pathway to finding joy in music with casual students and serious students alike. Eloise makes it her goal in the work to show the way forward. The book should be required reading for every music student at college, and every private teacher, especially those that started teaching accidently, or for the extra income, rather than as a calling. The private teacher and student relationship is often a challenging one to navigate. When should we drop a student? When should we apply pressure or just exercise patience? Private teaching is a long-term commitment, and the perspective of Eloise's many decades of teaching is invaluable. I'm sure that all of my violin students will take joy in reading the interviews, especially the interview with Chloe Trevor, who is a fantastic role model for young students.