International Minifiddlers was created when Maarit Rajamäki, CEO of Caprice, met Géza Szilvay, Professor of Violin. Together, they launched a distance learning project that evolved into a comprehensive educational tool for the next generation.
"Finland has always had strong classical music traditions, but concerns have recently arisen about the current situation. Through our solution, we want to help music teachers to develop their teaching practices, support children's practising and to take Finnish musical education abroad," says Rajamäki, a professional violinist herself.
Esa-Pekka Salonen, one of Finland's most successful conductors, is the patron of the project.
High-quality musical education regardless of location
The programme is based on the Colourstrings musical education method, developed by Géza Szilvay and his brother, which helps children to learn the violin by combining colours and visual perception. Distance learning occurs through video conferencing technology: Szilvay coaches violin teachers and their students in various countries in real time. The teaching programme is equally suitable for those aiming to become professional violinists and for hobbyists.
"Our target audience includes the children's parents, music schools and universities. We also offer distance teaching for teachers and private students," Rajamäki says.
Among the users of the distance teaching programme is Guo Hua Xia who teaches young violinists in Alaska. He praises Rajamäki and Szilvay for their contribution to violin education.
"The distance teaching programme has enabled us to master the most professional teaching and practising method in the world," he says.
Distance teaching programme raises interest in China
The product development of International Minifiddlers and Caprice's business development was supported by the Tekes Learning Solutions programme. Rajamäki thanks Tekes for its financial support and help in finding international partners.
"The productisation phase takes us four years. As this is a financially challenging period, funding is vital to us. When we were finally able start to build sales channels, Tekes helped us to establish international networks. For example, we were able to make a pitch at a Slush event and travel abroad. These opportunities opened many doors and accelerated important business negotiations," she says.
Caprice's learning solution has evoked particular interest in China, where one in every two children plays a musical instrument.
"In Asia, the benefits of the violin to a child's cognitive development are well known. Our programme and method are raising a lot of interest there. We are now planning an online store for the Chinese market. Technology will finally allow us to take top expertise anywhere, enabling the export of high-quality Finnish music education", says a delighted Rajamäki.
For further information, please contact
CEO Maarit Rajamäki
maarit.rajamaki (at) minifiddlers.org
Tel. +358 40 772 3452
Summary of the 19th Colourstrings session
Lesson recording. These lesson videos are used alongside, and as the basis for, real-time distance lessons.
International Minifiddlers – violin lessons based on video conferencing
Géza Szilvay's interview and excerpts from distance lessons, Cisco Baltic Edition
Text: SST Viestintä