What moves ia 21 year-old to write a book about learning and teaching a string instrument?

Gwendolyn Masin

A far-reaching musical ancestry and three generations of piano and violin teachers before her, Gwendolyn Masin's first forays into teaching began when she was sixteen. Encouraged by some of the world's foremost pedagogues, many of whom she had the privilege of working with closely both as a performing artist and as a student, Gwendolyn began gathering her observations in her teens.

On her travels, she continuously came across music students and the families of talented children frustrated by antiquated methods or inconsistent approaches to teaching. In response, the virtuoso violinist began the outline of "Michaela's Music House" in which, within a story filled with a colourful cast, the solutions to challenges that musicians face daily can be found.

Gwendolyn's buoyant outlook on life is not only contained in her writing and the creation of a fictive world that leads the reader to open the gates of their imagination but also in her decision to develop "Michaela's Music House" with close friends, gifted artists who have further infused the book with charm, humour and warmth.

In documenting four-year-old Michaela's musical journey from initial violin lesson to debut concert, the author demonstrates the basic skills required for successful violin playing. Her affinity with children apparent on every page, she interweaves magical stories with expert advice on essential techniques ranging from left-hand dexterity to the finest subtleties of an inspired bow stroke. This is a voyage during which fairies can be called upon to dispense patience, lollipop ladies show how to pluck strings, race-cars lead the way to sounding points on the violin, and tea parties are the place to learn about note values. The multiple characters that Michaela meets serve to help the budding young student in learning about the violin and how it can make beautiful music. As the skills and techniques of each new chapter are learned, the reader simultaneously sees Michaela's story unfold, as she also gains in confidence and her love of performance grows.

Michaelas Music House

Michaela's Music House" is an extension of Gwendolyn's combined musical experiences of more than two decades. Her answer as to why she treads beyond the conventional realm of a sought-after musician in writing a book falls right back into step with Gwendolyn's motivation when she performs on stage: "I devised this method so that I can share the joy and excitement of music-making with a broader public. Demystifying that which has been deemed a secret and casting fantasy over that which is factual fascinates me."

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