International Minifiddlers is a distance education project in violin studies developed in Finland by Caprice Oy. In International Minifiddlers acclaimed violin professor Géza Szilvay teaches groups starting from 4-6-year old children in Finland and around the world with the Colourstings method. Children are taught systematically on a weekly basis starting from the very basics of violin studies. The pedagogues of the children are instructed throughout the project. The Finnish students of Géza Szilvay are from the East Helsinki Music Institute.
Caprice Oy uses some of the latest online teleconferencing technology for the project. The weekly sessions of International Minifiddlers are documented for national and international broadcasting.
International Minifiddlers promotes children’s culture and children playing music worldwide. The project gives music pedagogues around the world an opportunity to explore the Finnish high-standard musical education in detail. Through International Minifiddlers a worldwide network of talented music pedagogues and young musicians is created.
Conductor Esa-Pekka Salonen has addressed his support for International Minifiddlers in a public reference. He feels that the project presents a crucial musical opportunity for remote communities around the world and sees the potentiality of the project virtually boundless.
The project is in cooperation with the University of Helsinki Music and Brain Research Group.
Professor Géza Szilvay and his brother Csaba Szilvay developed the internationally renowned and successful Colourstrings method for teaching the violin in the early 1970’s. The Colourstrings method teaches children music through colours and pictures. It has spread worldwide and is one of the most popular elementary teaching methods nowadays. The Szilvay brothers have won several awards for recognition of their work.
Professor Géza Szilvay is a violin pedagogue who has had a strong impact on the musical education in Finland. He is especially known for his promotion of children’s musical culture.
Géza Szilvay was born in Budapest in 1943. He studied the violin at the Béla Bartók Conservatory and pedagogics at the Budapest Music Academy where he graduated in 1966. He also studied law and political science at the ELTE University in Budapest and took his doctor’s degree in 1970. Szilvay has taught the violin at the East Helsinki Music Institute since 1971 and at the world-renowned Sibelius Academy in Helsinki since 1978. In 1984-2013 he was Principal of the East Helsinki Music Institute and in 2009 named as Professor by the President of Finland Tarja Halonen. In 2013 Szilvay was awarded with a Knighthood by the President of Hungary János Áder.
The countries involved in the project include Alaska, Australia, Denmark, England, Faroe Islands, Finland, Germany, Greenland, Israel, Italy and South Korea. The number of participating countries is constantly increasing.
Caprice Oy has developed musical distance teaching in cooperation with distinguished violinist Pinchas Zukerman since 1997 and is a pioneer in the field in Finland. The company provides expertise and services on distance teaching and consultation on the technical execution of distance classes. The clientele includes music institutions, universities, teachers, musicians and broadcasting companies around the world.
The first distance teaching class was arranged in 1997 from New York to Helsinki with Pinchas Zukerman in cooperation with the Helsinki Telephone Association that time. Many young talented artists participated in the class. Since then, the company has arranged distance teaching master classes with other famous artists such as Hagai Shaham, Yuval Yaron, Gary Hoffman, Monica Groop and Ralf Gothóni.
Find more Colourstrings books and other material published by Fennica Gehrman
Find more information about the Colourstrings Method in the website of Colourstrings Association