I am proud to present here the results of my master’s research on violin education in middle childhood. With this paper, based on study of relevant literature in the field of development psychology and the training of young talents and on my personal experience of over 20 years, I hope to contribute to a deeper understanding of the opportunities and challenges of our profession, music education to young people. I realize that many of the things I have written down could be open to debate. However, I hope this paper can be a source of inspiration for others, a building block in the study of music teaching on which others can build further.

There are many people to whom I wish to express my gratitude here. In the first place my parents, who gave me the opportunity to take violin lessons and who have supported me all through my career. Then my teachers, Piet ‘t Hart, Jaring Walta and Qui van Woerdekom, who taught me the profession of violin playing and violin teaching methodology, and gave me the tools for my further career.

I wish to thank the Royal Conservatoire for giving me the opportunity to become a teacher of violin and violin methodology and thus allowing me to discover and develop my real passion, violin teaching to younger people. Further to that, I thank my students, present and past, and their parents, for the trust they have had in me and the opportunity they have given me to develop myself as a teacher. In the last years, when illness limited my physical abilities, the support and confidence I received from the school and the students was a great help and comfort to me.

I thank my students for allowing me to use their pictures as illustration in this paper: Anna, Annabel, Adinda, Carmen, Ceder, Dette, Diana, Drummado, Hadewych, Job, Kaya, Kayra, Laura, Marcel, Merlijn, Pieter, Resa, Salome, Tove and Ysé. And I thank Casper Schipper for the technical support with the research catalogue.

I owe special thanks to my husband, Ab Vos, who has always supported me in my work and whose unremitting physical and mental support has enabled me to continue my work in spite of my illness. I thank Martine van der Loo for her kind willingness to act as supervisor for my research. And last but not least I wish to express my gratitude to my brother-in-law Dries van Loenen, without whose invaluable assistance I would have been physically unable to write down my findings in the present paper.

chapter 1. introduction