The Colourstrings® method by Géza and Csaba Szilvay develops the capacity for inner hearing using singing and relative solmization. It makes use of natural harmonics to teach the left hand optimal, relaxed position, and left-hand “numbered pizzicato” prepares all fingers for stopping motion. The extensive Colourstrings Violin ABC covers tutors and repertoire from the first steps until professional studies.

Based on Zoltán Kodály’s philosophy, the Colourstrings method domesticates the instruments and the instrumental teaching to meet the child’s need. The standard stave system is reached step by step, in a natural, organic way: it initially starts with no stave at all, then introduces the one-line and two-line staves, then the two-line system superimposed within a five-line stave, and finally, the full five-line stave. Besides teaching instrumental technique, Colourstrings books enable a teacher to develop children’s musical hearing (solfa), musical intellect (theory) and enrich their emotional world all at the same time. These integrated elements should be in constant balance with each other: nevertheless, the books introduce only one new component (technical, theoretical or musical) at a time.

Colours and visual presentation awaken and maintain interest and make the learning process easier, more enjoyable, deeper and longer lasting. Instrumental playing is not imposed on the child, who is invited and encouraged through involvement. The ‘creative pages’ at the end of each chapter of Colourstrings books offer space and opportunity for active involvement by colouring, composing, improvising, transposing etc. Colourstrings books are intended to be used not only page by page but with continuous revision and a concomitant expectation of improvement each time: for example, learning to play a piece by heart, with dynamics, in transposition and with different tone colours.

Colourstrings teaching is based on individual tuition. However, the Violin ABC has also been designed to make it useful for group instruction which develops naturally into chamber music playing. The Colourstrings approach to instrumental teaching offers a rich repertoire of chamber and orchestral music that supplements the Violin, Viola and Cello ABC books. Thus several books and supplementary materials can also be used without any previous knowledge of the method.

During 50 years of time, the ever-developing Colourstrings method has brought up hundreds of professional musicians of many generations. It has also inspired other pedagogues, and resulted in several teaching materials for other instruments, such as Colour Keys, Colour Flute and Colourclarinet.

Read more:
Colourstrings Violin ABC: Handbook for Teachers and Parents

The violin teaching system


Minifiddlers offers Géza Szilvay’s online video lessons and courses for violin pedagogues, students and children. They provide a unique possibility to study the Colourstrings method step by step. The 124 Minifiddlers violin pedagogy lessons in English start from the very beginning using the Colourstrings teaching materials, and progress systematically until mastering the basics of violin technique.

The Colourstrings Association (Colourstrings Worldwide Ltd.) organizes and coordinates Colourstrings teacher training courses and lectures in cooperation with various partner organizations around the world. 

The four-stage teacher-training program offers a profound knowledge of the method and enables you to become a fully certified Colourstrings© teacher.