Teaching by visualization and comics


This demonstration offers practical exercises on how to utilize visualization and mental images with students. We will leverage the Amazing Violin Comics and harness the power of mental images, utilizing our capacity to visualize learning patterns.

Mental images serve as potent tools for learning, as they assist in creating a visual representation of the information being learned. When we generate mental images, various parts of our brain are activated, including the visual cortex, responsible for processing visual information. This activation aids in better understanding and retention of the information.

Moreover, mental images facilitate the formation of connections between different pieces of information. For instance, when learning about the various parts of a flower, crafting a mental image featuring its petals, stem, and leaves helps in comprehending their interconnection and collaborative functioning. Additionally, mental images enhance emotional engagement, resulting in a more vivid and memorable learning experience. This emotional involvement transforms the process from mere intellectual processing to a meaningful and easily memorable experience.

Images can significantly support the recall and retrieval of information. By visualizing the mental image created during the learning process, we can more effectively recall the information learned. In summary, mental images are powerful learning tools as they activate multiple areas of the brain, facilitate connections between pieces of information, engage emotions, and aid in the recall and retrieval of information.

The Amazing Violin Comics presents 124 ideas for teaching and learning stringed instruments. Towards the end of the demonstration, we will explore new ideas for cultivating successful practicing habits. Please remember to bring your instrument with you.

This recording is only for reference and consultation by the participants of the ESTA Porto 2024 Conference. All contents are protected by copyright and its violation is a crime. Illegal downloading and sharing of content or part of it is strictly prohibited

About the speaker

©Michalis Gonalakis

Lauri Hämäläinen, Violin and Viola

Lauri Hämäläinen is a Finnish-Swedish string teacher from Helsinki, Finland. He initiated his education in the first Swedish-speaking music class in Helsinki and graduated as a performing musician and music teacher from the Turku Conservatory (2000), The Royal College of Music in The Hague (2002), and the High School of Music in Rotterdam (2004). In 2019, he continued his studies with Ulla Magnusson in Sweden.

Lauri has served as a violin, viola, and orchestral music teacher at The Northwestern Music Institute in Helsinki, the Espoo Music Institute, and the Avonia Music Institute in Espoo. He has played the viola in various orchestras and groups, founding The Allegros String Quartet, Duo Humoresque, and the Finnish-Japanese chamber orchestra La Tempesta. Lauri has contributed as a violist in the Swedish Theater in Helsinki, The City Orchestra of Lohja, The Amsterdam Symphony Orchestra, Continuo Chamber Orchestra, The Allegros String Quartet, and the Elite String Quartet. Additionally, he has recorded music for films, commercials, theaters, artists, and documentaries in Finland.

Lauri is the author of Violin Friends and Viola Friends teaching materials, creating arrangements for string orchestras and composing original works for violin, viola, string trio, and string quartet. He also crafted the music for the multimedia show “Instrumental Impressions of Helsinki,” with all compositions distributed through Universal Edition.

“The Amazing Violin Comics – Tips for practicing and mental images for learning string instruments” is the first publication globally to integrate visualization, mental images, and violin teaching through comics, released on July 12th, 2023.

Actively involved in the music community, Lauri is a member of the String Teachers Association in Finland (SJO), the Finnish Viola Society (SAVS), The American String Teachers Association, The European String Teachers Association, and The European Chamber Music Teachers Association.

Publications like Violin Friends aim to infuse enjoyment and effectiveness into the learning and teaching experience, fostering happiness through collaborative music-making. Lauri has conducted workshops in string teacher conferences across Finland, Sweden, Estonia, the UK, Spain, and Turkey.