Philosophy

Vienna Virtuoso is a social enterprise that aims to advance musical excellence beyond physical, financial, or geographical boundaries. Our motto is “change the world, one note at a time.” Our Focus Lessons are affordable for most students and families, our opportunities to study under Virtuoso Musicians are unmatched worldwide, and through our bespoke Vivaldi, Rodrigo, and Beethoven social programs we offer free lessons for disadvantaged students. Basically, we bring Vienna’s classical music culture and tradition to the digital age.

Values

Discipline

Virtuosos learn consistently and effectively, they challenge and inspire audiences with accuracy, flow, courage, and creativity achieved only through years of rigorous practice

Character

Virtuosos present themselves with honor and integrity in everything they do. Every touch of the piano keys expresses who the player is inside and out, so the best pianists are also leaders

Confidence

Virtuosos believe in themselves even under intense pressure. Stefan Vladar was the youngest winner of the International Beethoven competition and now leads major orchestras worldwide

Passion

Virtuosos have developed their skills to a level only few can achieve. To significantly enhance talent requires tremendous discipline, character, and confidence, but to be world-class requires love

Democratic values are core to the operational principles of Vienna Virtuoso. For example, the low price and sponsorship programmes for physically disabled persons are inclusive of populations not usually supported in the music industry. Additionally, students can vote on each others’ performances, and only those seen as most valuable by the VV community are further promoted.

‘Social business’ is a worldwide movement with a strong following in Vienna. A social business can be considered a for-profit business that has a social and/or environmental aim as the driving force of its market activities. Importantly, Vienna Virtuoso creates a public good but is independent of public money. Education businesses that foster democratic values and make a profit are seen as good for the economy, as job-creators, and as empowering to those involved because they are based in tangible social benefits for the poor and otherwise neglected. The Founder’s Doctoral studies in the field (Lange, 2013; 2014; 2015) have shown how engaging with social business has a positive effect on students’ educational outcomes and how the creative use of intellectual property can benefit institutions who create social businesses.

Vienna is recognized as the World Capital of Music and a European Capital of Culture. Mozart, Beethoven, Haydn, Brahms, Schubert, Strauss, Schönberg, Sibelius and von Karajan are just some of the most historically visible virtuosos who taught and studied in Vienna, and even today the world’s most talented musicians like Lang Lang were first discovered in Vienna. The music conservatories and concert halls here are amongst the most prestigious in the world, and virtuosos from all nationalities, ages, and ethnicities perform and expand their love and passion for music in Vienna daily across the entire city. Needless to say, the supply of world-class music teachers is abundant in Vienna, and we have attracted some of the most talented experts and upcoming stars in each instrument to offer our cutting-edge learning technology combined with the traditional Viennese style and a personalized instructional approach.

Developed by Howard Gardner at Harvard University in the early 1980s, MI Theory has inspired millions of educators and students worldwide. Through decades of empirical research, Gardner made the proposition that there are several „Intelligences“ rather than one, and these include 8 areas of the mind: logical-mathematical, linguistic, interpersonal, intrapersonal, naturalist, bodily-kinaesthetic, visual, and musical intelligences. This well-known theory has serious implications for the overall value of music education, neurologically setting it on par with language and mathematics education. Vienna Virtuoso thus optimises interpersonal, intrapersonal, visual and tactile aspects of the brain to improve the development of musical intelligence.

Developed by Lew Vygotsky in Russia, and now a major theory in the international education literature, the „zone“ refers to the “proximal” space around a learner. One of the implications of the zone is scaffolding of content to match the learner’s current ability and motivate the learner through consistent, reachable goals. Vienna Virtuoso challenges students every lesson with tailored content slightly above their current ability, and builds confidence through peer and instructor modeling. The highest ‘zone’ is the virtuoso level, a possibility for excellence which motivates learners towards a powerful, yet reachable, goal.

We believe that leadership should be supported in all students and instructors. Research has construed leadership as as a set of “competencies” such as: presenting yourself in front of others, taking initiative, modeling behavior, communicating well, taking others towards a goal, and balancing the ‘rational’ with the ‘emotional.’ Leadership is developed through training of the mind and discipline of the body, and music theorists have known this for hundreds of years. Leadership through music can be seen in all major religions and cultures, for example, and is particularly refined in the Classical tradition.

Music education nowadays is just as much about character building towards excellence and being part of a community as it is about becoming an expert. Vienna Virtuoso captures the essence of leadership competencies and develops them socially through music: instructor to student and peer to peer modeling; enhanced listening skills and identification of strengths and weaknesses of performance; presenting oneself in front of an audience; competing with other students to reach a leadership position; and of course learning leadership through being an instructor.

All of the theories above assume a “personalized” type of education that was impossible for most students before the age of the internet. Now there are different online education models emerging that reach thousands of students simultaneously. The daily technology that students and teachers have is literally making education available around the world. Yet the problem of personalized instruction still holds back online education and keeps it inferior to traditional methods. Talent Development Education changes that. It is a new combination of cutting-edge video techniques and Learning Management Systems that creates Focus Lessons, managed through the internet cloud and available in multiple languages wherever there is an internet connection.