Havas teaching DVD review
Here is a review of Kato Havas's teaching video published in an English
music magazine, Fiddle
On Magazine. Thanks to them, visit their website and you can
this interesting magazine.
The New Approach applies to violin
& viola players of all
levels and styles:
folk, beginners, professionals
Approach"on the causes
and cures of physical injuries in VIOLA playing
Published by Kato
Havas in 1991; reissued as a DVD.
Reviewed by Deborah Henderson
Kato Havas developed from a child prodigy
in the 1950s into a highly
respected string teacher with impressive endorsements from the likes of
Yehudi Menuhin. Her method was developed in particular to handle
tension and stage fright, and to encourage good tone from the start.
For beginner or established player, fiddler and classical player alike,
the re-issue of her 1991 teaching video gets to the basic causes of
tension and injury in violin and viola technique. Taking as her
point the easy, natural virtuosity of the Hungarian gypsy violinists,
she shows in a clear, step-by-step manner how to develop a tension-free
approach to the instrument and the bow, based on "Balance and
Relaxation" - using natural body movements instead of the muscular
contortions many of us remember from our youth!
The result is a released bow and violin hold which avoid a wide range
of tension-related ailments such as tendonitis, bursitis and carpal
tunnel syndrome. The end result looks (and don't let this deter the
more classically oriented players) much closer to a "folk fiddler"
handling of the instrument, which facilitates rather then inhibits real
Click on the picture
for a bigger view
In true Hungarian style, singing and mime are also essential parts of
the wider learning process impressively demonstrated by a couple of
Although not a treatise on the details of violin technique, the DVD
shows - and nothing can beat seeing how it's done - enough to enable
one to develop one's own practice exercises, with a little thought.
If you feel in need of more detail on the method, her books are also
still in print (search Kato Havas Bosworth online), but the DVD does an
excellent job of capturing the essence of the principles involved.
Further details can be found on her website www.katohavas.com or from
the distributor www.monicacuneo.com; there is also a link to the DVD
page via http://www.viola-in-music.com/fiddleon
If you've enjoyed watching the videos of Kato
Havas workshop, then you can't miss this teaching video on
DVD. If you've ever been looking for it, you know
that it is very difficult to find. Now from here you can get it easily
and if you've read her books, you'll find this video great because you
actually see what's written in the books and it will help
you to understand it much better.
To learn more
about the New approach, go to this page on Kato
Havas workshop and read Kato