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Life lessons

The French soloist talks about developing perspective, what teaching has taught him and how he learns from his own students

I wish I had started to teach sooner. Helping my students look at their problems in a different way, I can hear myself repeating advice I was given 20 years ago. I’m 43 now and for the five years I’ve been teaching I’ve been digging around inside my brain and revealing information I’d forgotten was there. Some of it didn’t necessarily make sense at the time but revisiting it has helped me understand its worth. Adapting what I learnt in order to take account of someone’s physical characteristics – the size of their hands, for example – is another route to seeing things afresh, and I’m always thanking my students for helping me to make progress myself.

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About The Strad

We talk to the members of the Belcea Quartet and ask why more young people are turning to period performance. Students of Kató Havas pay tribute to the late violin teacher, and there’s a look at asymmetric instruments. Plus a Mendelssohn Masterclass and Renaud Capuçon’s Life Lessons.