Former pupils have asked me to talk about the violin school of André GERTLER, my last Maestro. But I think this is something extremely difficult, and Gertler himself considered it to be so when I asked him the same thing. I said, “Maestro, why don’t you write all about this school or methodology, about how to play the violin?” And he always answered: “I don’t think I could synthesize in a few pages what I think about the way to play the violin, because even if I always maintain a common line, each pupil requires a different treatment”. He added to this, in answer to another of my questions, that he didn’t want to make an edition with the fingerings and bowing, for example. of the Sonatas and Partitas for violin solo by BACH. “What I find to be good today, may no longer be good tomorrow because I have found something better.” 

Both answers seemed to me at the time very intelligent, and as the years pass, I continue to believe this. After reading many books on different schools, I think it is impossible to describe in words, without having the pupil in front of me, exactly what we want in each specific case, even if we accompany it with photos. Some will react in one way, and others differently. 

For this reason, please don’t think I will be tempted to “describe” our “school”, methodology or the “way to play”. I would rather talk about the “philosophy” of this school, as I have always done up to the present. And as I write, I realize that all that comes to mind responds to some personal, very personal, beliefs that are the result of having arrived at this stage of my life. I do not want the ideas that I will outline to influence anyone. I don’t pretend to pontificate, but only to make the reader reflect on my words. 

In the first place, I have always differentiated between pupils and disciples. Pupils come, stay for a while and go on, probably having learned a lot, and later carry out their professional life, more or less successfully. However, disciples, and I consider myself a disciple of Gertler, continue in constant evolution but always based on the training we received in inheritance from the school, with each of us contributing something new, due largely to the different problems our pupils have presented to us. 

The teaching of an instrument is something truly exciting and delicate, since the sensitivity of the pupil is constantly in play. The teacher must try to guide the pupil without suppressing or crushing his personality. Assisting him, on the contrary, so that he can progess freely although naturally, within the boundaries set by knowing the different styles (demands in this respect are constantly escalating as the means to acquaint us with other periods also increase.)

595 andre gertler violin