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Silviu Ciulei: “Every Student Is Different, so You Really Have to Invest In Every Student”


This interview delves into the multifaceted musical journey and pedagogical philosophy of Silviu Ciulei, a renowned musician and educator. Ciulei’s musical odyssey began serendipitously, discovering his affinity for the guitar at a young age, leading to formal training in Romania, Spain, and the United States. As a teacher, his trajectory commenced in high school, evolving through various academic positions until his current role at the University of Florida, where he initiated and now oversees a burgeoning guitar program encompassing classical, flamenco, and jazz styles.

Ciulei’s teaching philosophy is characterized by a personalized approach, emphasizing a deep understanding of each student’s strengths and weaknesses. His focus on technical proficiency precedes an exploration of musicality, guiding students towards developing their distinctive interpretative voices. The interview also provides insights into the distinctive atmosphere of the University of Florida’s guitar program, elucidating its rapid growth and its commitment to nurturing versatile musicians capable of navigating diverse musical landscapes.

In the realm of technique, Ciulei recommends seminal works such as “Pumping Nylon,” Emilio Pujol’s Spanish-influenced methods, and the pedagogical compositions of Carcassi. His emphasis on meticulous hand positioning and posture underscores a commitment to preventing physical strain on students. Moreover, Ciulei advises aspiring musicians to cultivate their artistry by practicing consistently with a metronome, imparting the wisdom that a solid technical foundation is paramount for a successful musical career.

Finally, Ciulei offers valuable counsel to fellow educators, urging patience, individualized approaches, and an understanding of the unique challenges students face in the modern era. He emphasizes the importance of supporting students through both triumphs and setbacks, fostering a sense of connection and understanding in a world where the demands on young musicians are continually evolving.

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ISSN: 2792-8349

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International Journal of Music