PEOPLE

Roger Rose

Friday, 28 February 2014

The British luthier and pedagogue on what he would tell his younger self

Although I consider one of my strengths to be my versatility, I would tell myself not to be so conservative in my beliefs

Although I have always continued making instruments and bows, I have spent most of my career teaching the making of stringed instruments. An essential part of teaching, to me, is about allowing students to achieve their full potential. I often encourage them to go for it and believe in themselves.

I would tell my younger self to believe in my own intuitive way of working. Although I consider one of my strengths to be my versatility, I would tell myself not to be so conservative in my beliefs.

There are many ways to approach a subject and the method we are taught can influence our work for years to come. One doesn’t want to reinvent the wheel too often but by being more adaptable we can find our own way of working, which will feed into our approach in facing challenges in the future.

My own making is very intuitive but informed by research, so to develop a way of working allows me to have complete faith in what I do. That doesn’t mean that I am always right — as confidence
grows, it allows us to accept another person’s point of view more readily.

One of life’s dilemmas is that confidence comes with age, although as one grows older, one is more aware of one’s limitations.

Roger Rose is chair of the British Violin Making Association

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