ABOUT COLOURSTRINGS

It is essential, particulary in the early years, that instrumental teaching is of the hightst quality. These formative first years are cruicial for the child´s future in music.

The Colourstrings Method developed by Géza Szilvay and Csaba Szilvay creates a firm musical foundation for the child. At the very beginning of learning to play an instrument the child will master the elements on which all of the later musical and technical requirements are based. The children receive "a musical parcel" which encompasses technical skills, a trained ear for music, a deep understanding of it, as well as outstanding ability in the expression of music.

The Colourstrings Method is built on the philosophy, ethnomusicology, and pedagogy of the great Hungarian composer Zoltán Kodály.

Helsinki Junior Strings: J. Turina, La oración del torero

Conductor: Géza Szilvay

The COLOURSTRINGS method

... creates a firm musical foundation for the child, which means child-centred music teaching. In 40 years of successfully teaching this method was developed further and refined. The philosophy and method does not form or mould the child to the need of the instrument but rather domesticates the instruments and the instrumental teaching to meet the child’s need.

Colourstrings is not limited only to teaching manual dexterity movements made by the two hands but tend also to give the whole music as an “art-package” to the child, where the developing of instrumental technique, the musical hearing (with the help of the relative Solmisation), understanding (music theory) and the musical emotions occur in equilibrium all the time.

Colourstrings involves many senses in learning any new idea. To teach more complex notions, the instrumental school will make use of Colour- and Picture symbols.

To see and to hear goes hand in hand. Thus the learning is deeper and more lasting.
But also musical writing and reading is connected from the very beginning with playing. While playing and reading movements are connected with intellectual processes. Playing and instrument thus develops also to an intellectual activity.

CHARACTERISTICS OF THE DEVELOPMENT OF THE INSTRUMENTAL TECHNIQUE

 

-- Natural Harmonics --

As a first method in the history of string pedagogy Colourstrings is using systematically natural harmonics to develop the first technical skills on the instruments.

Aletta (6 years) plays „natural harmonics“

-- Octave Harmonics --

Aletta plays octave harmonics

Through e.g. octave harmonics the child becomes acquainted with the whole fingerboard.

Also for the development of the bow technique the regularly use of harmonics is very useful: The flutelike, intensive and pure sound of a harmonic can just appear, if the child’s bow stroke is straight, with the right amount of speed, length, pressure and bow hair.

-- Changing Positions --

The arm is doing changes of position movements at a very early time and the child learns immediately a very free and relaxed handling of the instrument.

Aletta plays quint and octave flageoletts

-- Numer Pizzicato --

Aletta plays “Number Pizzicato” (last line)

Another focus is the pizzicato of the left hand. Colourstrings introduced as a first method the “Number Pizzicato”: Not just the little finger is plucking but in turn all fingers of the left hand (a higher string with a higher finger and a lower string with a lower finger). Thus the children learn before stopping the string to move the fingers independently.

Aletta plays “Number Pizzicato” and arco (first line)

-- Relative Solfa, Inner Hearing --

Unique in Colourstrings is also the systematic connection between learning the instruments and relative Solmisation. The use of the relative Solmisation (movable DO respectively LA as the Major and Minor tonic symbol) facilitates transposing in all registers starting from any finger. The child hears inside the next tone step before playing it.
The fingers are led by the ear. This promotes a very good basic intonation.
Without problems Colourstrings children can play scales even in Fis major or B flat minor.

Aletta sings the notes in relative Solfa. The "inner hearing" helps to transfer the sound to the violin.

-- Transposition --

Aletta transposes a childrens song to a high position

The relative Solmisation serves also a very free handling of the instrument because the child can discover already at a very early stage the whole fingerboard with the help of transpositions.

A free playing position can be easier developed.