Nilla gives her instructions according to the Gertler Method, deriving its name from the well-known violinist André Gertler, the teacher of many world famous violinists. It is a unique method that corrects flaws and imperfections on a fundamental level. In three to five months you will have a completely new technique: no bow-shaking, no left hand tensions and no intonation problems.
Tensions disappear with the right technique
The Gertler Method is founded on relaxation. Tensions in the bow arm limit the musician and results in perceptibly lower quality. In the long run tensions also lead to pain that may become permanent. Many musicians take beta blockers to relax, not a very good idea. The only safe way to get rid of your tensions is to change your technique. The Gertler Method gives your violin a richer tone, full of nuances. It also gives you a foundation for developing your music making.
Only a relaxed body can think and make music freely – Nilla Pierrou
You start without using your left hand
70 % of the technique lies in the handling of the bow, and much of the work of change will take place in the bow arm. You start completely anew, with open strings, and then, gradually, you build up a whole new technique. You learn to relax, to feel the articulations, and you get to know the weight of your arm. The left hand is not used until the right arm has learnt to relax (after a couple of weeks). After that the building up starts with Kreutzer’s études, with Gertler´s own ideas how to use them.
Her restart took her far
The best of talents can be ruined without the right teacher. Nilla herself had problems with tensions before she came to Gertler. “With his method I realized that I played with my talent and my temperament, but my technique was completely wrong. I had to relearn, and without that restart I would never have been a worldwide soloist or been rewarded all those important prizes.”
To whom is the method suited?
The Gertler Method suits all talented violinists, who want to develop their playing. However, Nilla only accepts students under the age of 30.
Nilla can rightly boast about her students: those having received their diplomas are all active violinists today. Among them are two concertmasters in the Netherlands, one in Canada, Germany, France, Italy and one in Sweden. One of her students is André Rieu, today a famous violinist with his Johann Strauss Orchestra.
Here is a letter from another of Nilla’s students, Sonja Haering:
Lieve Nilla (mag ik U nog zo noemen?)
Ik weet niet in hoever U zich nog aan mij herinnert. Maar ik denk nog heel heel vaak aan U en uw waardevolle lessen.
Ik heb vier jaar lang les bij u gehad in Maastricht en ben ook enkele keren bij u in Brussel geweest. Het is zeker niet de gepaste manier om u op deze weg te bedanken maar
ik ben al een tijdje naar u ‘op zoek’ om u van harte ‘dank u wel’ te zeggen voor alles wat ik van u heb geleerd.
Ik hoor soms nog uw woorden letterlijk in mijn oor:). De dingen die ik van u heb geleerd zijn goud waard voor mij als muzikante, als leerkracht voor mijn leerlingen, voor mijn begrip van muziek en zelfs als mama van mijn kinderen.
Hopelijk stelt u het goed en bent u gezond en gelukkig !
Heel hartelijke en lieve groetjes