Every student is unique. And each student has different reasons for playing the violin, as well as different goals he or she wishes to reach as a violinist. Some wish to follow a strict Suzuki-based protocol using the traditional Suzuki books. And that is often a good place for us to start.
Others want to participate in competitions and gain entry into the finest youth orchestras (and even one day conservatory). For these students, it is important eventually to graduate to more difficult literature taken from the standards of the classical violin repertoire. For these students, learning the violin music of Brahms, Beethoven, Mendelssohn, and others, is key.
Each student also has his or her own musical tastes, preferences, and style. From Brahms Violin Concerto to the Beethoven Kreutzer Sonata, from Harry Potter to Lord of the Rings, from Gospel Music to jazz, and from Irish Folk Music to Disney classics to bluegrass, it is truly a joy to watch students come alive when they play what they love.
But playing the violin is a science as well as an art. And the aspiring violinist should learn to play without tension and, as much as possible, with a natural and functional positioning of the hands, arms, and upper body. After all, tension is for strings, not for students!