PEOPLE

Monica Wilkinson

Tuesday, 05 November 2013

A multitalented string pedagogue provides inspiration for the UK-based violin teacher

We teachers are our own most valuable resource


My hero is Joan Pope, a 78-year-old Dalcroze teacher from Australia. She’s also a performer, director, choreographer, academic and many other things. She has incredible energy and you never know what’s coming next in one of her classes — she always seems to have a mischievous twinkle in her eye. But she gets people to lose their inhibitions, and they want to do things for her because she shows such appreciation and engagement with what they’re doing.

Joan gets people to make connections between physical movement and music in unexpected and often profound ways. She encourages people to experience how they use their bodies away from their instruments, and she also draws on people’s experiences and relates them to music, so that they understand more about the music and the emotions in it. I’ve seen her making links between music and stories, myths, science, the natural world — anything that people want to bring to her.

I feel inspired by Joan — she’s given me the confidence to believe that we teachers are our own most valuable resource, and we must all draw on our own experiences.

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Photo: Louis Brown

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