Brett: the violin, the piano, the banjo and the guitar are not as easy to play as they used to be because the quality of the parts has been reduced and they are easier to make too. When I was in school I had to practise twice as hard as normal because the violin and the piano were harder to get good at. Now they are harder to play because they take so much effort to make. It does help to get better at the violin though.
Do you have a preference when shopping for instruments?
Brett: The thing that is important for me is the price, because I’m not going to buy a high end violin for less than £1000. I want a good instrument for less than £1000. Then it’s all about the craftsmanship and the knowledge that goes along with the job, so that is very important too. As to the style of music, I don’t consider it important. My style is classical music, so music is not important to me for the most part. I’m into rock, jazz, classical and everything under the sun.
What is another thing all musicians should learn?
Brett: I’d say know what a string is and what the string tension is. When I first started playing violines they were very tight, much too tight. Now they are tighter. That’s because they are getting tighter because I play the violines fast. So to make sure that I’m not putting too much tension on my strings, I need to learn what a string is, what that string tension means and what the string tension can be like.
Do you like teaching? I know you like to teach?
Brett: I love teaching and to be a teacher is a great job and something people have to do! To my knowledge I am the only teacher in the world for string instruments, that I know of.
How does your teaching style differ from that of other teachers?
Brett: When I began training as a teacher I had to be very careful and I didn’t enjoy that aspect of things at all. I don’t like teaching too much when I’m teaching a student, because that means you can’t get anything out of it. Now when I teach, it’s really a good job as you are getting a great experience and if you can find out things from the student then you can also learn something from it too. As a teacher you can learn a lot just by learning from the student.
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