College Violin Studio

Ching-Yi is a dedicated pedagogue who has given masterclasses throughout the North America, Asia, and Europe. She is currently Associate Professor of Violin at Western Kentucky University, where she teaches undergraduate and graduate applied violin lessons. Her responsibilities are mostly one-on-one mentoring, which includes weekly private lessons, masterclasses, technique classes, and guiding students through solo and chamber music performances. The primary objective of private lessons is to facilitate the maximum advancement of each student’s performing abilities. Dr. Lin accomplishes this by reinforcing the fundamental principles of violin playing, including right-hand and left-hand techniques, bow speed and division, and various bow strokes, in addition to teaching etudes and major works for the violin.

     WKU Pre-College Strings Program

Ching-Yi also teaches and directs the WKU Pre-College Strings Program. This program offers youth age 5–18 the opportunity to study the violin, viola, and cello from beginning to advanced levels. There are currently over 80 students, 6 faculty members, 4 piano accompanists, and 10 undergraduate and 2 graduate teaching assistants involved with the program. 

After assuming the directorship of the program in 2011, Dr. Lin added group classes to provide a more holistic approach to students’ musical education. Currently, students of comparable age and skill level participate in one of the Program’s nine different group classes. Students engage in not only a broad variety of music learning, but also playing chamber music and instruction in music theory. Many more performance opportunities were created, including group recitals, graduation recitals, and concerts at nursing homes, churches, and other local venues. Group classes and performance opportunities enable students to develop confidence in playing with and for others, foster a greater sense of rhythm, increase attention span, and promote communication and performance skills. Group classes also give students a sense of identity as instrumentalists and provide a social outlet within a musical context.

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Pedagogy/Program Development

The WKU Pre-College Strings Program ties directly into the teacher training system that Dr. Lin has implemented connecting college music-education majors and pre-college students. She has designed a pre-college program in which college string majors are given the knowledge and hands-on experience necessary to begin a successful career in teaching. Dr. Lin currently oversees ten selected string majors, who participate and assist in the program by observing lessons, teach group classes and private lessons, and help with marketing the program. They gain valuable information on the details of operating and teaching in a strings program, from how to engage a four-year-old beginner to communication skills for addressing parents in a lesson setting. In addition to providing violin, viola, and cello students with teacher training, the program also allows piano majors to accompany group classes. They become familiarized with string repertoire and gain the specific skill set needed to successfully accompany a young student.

There are many advantages to growing and maintaining a successful pre-college strings program within a university setting. Showcasing the high level of achievement and performance abilities of young students promotes the university through added public exposure. Such close involvement with a university also offers the university a valuable recruiting advantage when these students are making decisions about college enrollment. Through the program, students have access to excellent facilities and are afforded numerous performance opportunities in large venues. Many of our past Pre-College students have gone directly from the program to enrollment as university music majors or minors. In addition, appearances at area businesses such as Jackson’s Orchard and Barnes & Noble help to promote the Pre-College Strings Program and Western Kentucky University, exposing parents and children alike to the many benefits our University has to offer.

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