B.A.(Hons). M.MUS (Catholic University of America)
Performer, teacher, string pedagogue
Born in Melbourne, Fintan studied in Cologne with Helfried Fister, Christoph Poppen and the Amadeus quartet and completed his Masters degree with Robert Gerle in Washington, DC. Fintan played as a member of the Melbourne Symphony for many years and now performs as a recitalist and chamber musician.
Fintan’s research focuses on string pedagogy and his educational multimedia works have received fine reviews in The Strad, Stringendo and American String Teacher.
The website Violin Bow Technique + provides a comprehensive view of Fintan’s approach to learning violin, and his demonstration and commentary on the ‘40 Bowing Variations’, Opus 3 by Otakar Ševčík can be found at New Ševčík Variations
Fintan directs the Melbourne String Ensemble, a youth orchestra specializing in small ensemble repertoire and chamber music for strings. He has worked as a guest conductor for many youth orchestras including: the Conservatorio de Musica de Manresa, the Escola Superior de Música de Lisboa and Junges Kammerorchester Stuttgart.
Fintan is the Chair of the Victorian Specialist Examining Panel for Strings for the Australian Music Examination Board and has edited eight books of graded violin repertoire for the board. In 2020 he is rewriting the A.Mus.A and L.Mus.A series 10 violin syllabuses for the AMEB.
Fintan is a leader in the development of teacher training and instrument specific pedagogy both inside and outside the university system. Since 1994 he has developed and taught string pedagogy courses to undergraduate and graduate students at the University of Melbourne and Monash University. He has supervised numerous post-graduate students and presented over 350 seminars, summer schools workshops and conference presentations throughout Australia, the Asia-Pacific, Europe and the North America.
Fintan believes that students need to actively engage in the lesson if they are to make continual long-term progress. His teaching practice leads students to ask questions so that they can learn how to teach themselves. It is important that they develop an understanding of how the principles of playing relate to their own stage of development, to their own physique and their own motivations and goals.
The results of Fintan’s research can be found on the Violin Bow Technique + website. His work with Skype and Zoom as a teaching tool and experience giving masterclasses and seminars including in relatively remote parts of Australia and the Asia-Pacific has led to the publishing of 20 CD and DVD recordings. These recordings include Violin Bow Technique, Violin Left Hand, the Violin Alive series, Bridges, and The Soul of the Viola and have received glowing reviews in journals such The Strad and the American string teacher.
Fintan sees the importance of working with disciplines such as psychology, drama as well as sports training in order to develop rounded musicians who have healthy and satisfying careers. His collaborations with psychologists, health scientists and body use professionals have led him to publish peer reviewed articles on these topics in journals such as the British, the Australian and the International Journals of Music Education.
Fintan currently teaches at the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School and the University of Melbourne.
Fintan has edited eight books of graded violin repertoire for the Australian Music Examinations Board and published peer reviewed articles in the British, the Australian and the International Journals of Music Education.
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