In my studio, I find myself explaining basic skills in many different ways, in order to best help my student understand and master a certain concept. The basic skill’s execution stays the same, of course, but each student’s understanding dictates how I teach.
When it comes to teaching vibrato, however, I find myself somewhat at a disadvantage: vibrato’s main execution is fundamentally the same, but for each student, the mechanics can vary widely- especially when first learning! In my early years on the instrument I benefited greatly from hearing several different teachers explain the mechanics and process- so here I provide something of the same experience for my students, through the wonder of YouTube. These videos are appropriate for both violin and viola players, so don’t be deterred by not seeing your instrument’s name at the top of the video! If you’ve struggled to get the mechanics of the vibrato just right, these videos may be the help you need with whatever’s making vibrato difficult. During the exercises, I encourage you to have our your instrument and follow along with the instruction, just to see if you get any different results. It may be especially beneficial to cycle through more than once!
One final note: these teachers may have slightly differing ideas about the “proper” way to perform an excellent vibrato, but ultimately the correct explanation is the one you benefit from using the most.
Professor V: Violin Lesson #22, Vibrato (Hand/ Wrist)