The People


The Colourstrings Association (founded in 2009 in Helsinki, Finland) has  evolved (2021) into a limited liability company Colourstrings Worldwide Ltd. 

The main purpose of this company is to organize, facilitate and co-ordinate Colourstrings© Teacher Training courses, and lectures in co-operation with various partner organizations around the world. 

It is devoted to the the Colourstrings© methodology, the internationally established and successful string teaching method developed at the East-Helsinki Music Institute, by Géza and Csaba Szilvay.

To keep up a consistent high standard of teaching, Colourstrings worldwide Ltd. has developed a four step teacher training system with the unique Colourstrings© Certification, awarded at each step of achievement.

The highly experienced teachers of the training team have gained their own education, directly from the founder of the Colourstrings© methodology Géza Szilvay and are his closest colleagues. They are the successors of Géza Szilvay and dedicated to continue to make Colourstrings© accessible to as many teachers and children around the world as possible. 

Our pedgagical philosophy 


It is essential, particularly in the early years that instrumental learning and teaching is of highest quality as these formative first years are crucial for the child’s future in music. 

We cannot know who wants to choose the path towards professional education and therefore every child has the right to receive the best possible fundament. 

To enable children to joyfully express what they hear and feel inside – based on adequate technical skills – is the core of our pedagogical thinking.  

Training Team

Yvonne Frye

1996 became a cornerstone in my life: I met Géza and Csaba Szilvay for the first time. I was a young violin student at the Hochschule für Musik Detmold were I studied with Prof. Helge Slaatto and John Lambos. The Szilvay brothers came to give a 5 day workshop on their method Colourstrings. Being at that young age I was not really sure if I want to become a teacher but curiosity and interest for string pedagogy was already very present.

After the first day I was absolutely fascinated: the depth and the musical quality of the material and how well all technical, musical and theoretical steps were built. I knew: I want to teach with this method and I want to know as much as possible about violin pedagogy in order to serve my future students the best way I could. My own upbringing with the violin hasn’t been the most excellent and I had to learn very many basics at an almost too late stage. I wanted to do it better with my future students.

During the next years I was flying several times to Helsinki to observe Géza’s teaching and I was reading much about different violin methods and teachers.

Before I dedicated myself fully to teaching, I completed my artistic studies with Prof. Helfried Fister at the Kärtner Landeskonservatorium in Klagenfurt, Austria.

After some years of teaching and playing in different orchestras and chamber music groups in Germany I got 2007 an invitation from Géza Szilvay to teach at the East Helsinki Music Institute – the cradle of Colourstrings.

A dream became true.

Soon after, I started to lecture about Colourstrings and also about violin pedagogy in general.

2009 I became a part-time teacher of violin pedagogy at the Sibelius Academy and since 2021 I am a lecturer of violin pedagogy at the Sibelius Academy and responsible for developing a modern, research-based violin pedagogy.

I want to bring the art of teaching to young violin students to ensure that many generations of children will have well educated violin teachers.

As a lecturer of violin pedagogy I am travelling around the world, giving teacher training seminars and pedagogical lectures at various renowned institutions:  Münster Musikhochschule, ESTA Germany, ESTA Austria, AUSTA Australia, Sibelius Academy Helsinki, Bundesakademie Trossingen, Hochschule für Musik Hans Eisler Berlin, USA – Jacobs School of Music in Bloomington, Boston String Academy, Chile (Foji), South Africa, Poland, Spain, Greece, Switzerland, Denmark etc. In addition, I am teaching chamber music for young musicians and I am giving masterclasses for young violinists.





Noora Voima

For me personally Colourstrings is most of all about creating a foundation for a lifelong relationship to music.

As a 6 year old (1991), enthusiastic violin student I was lucky to begin my musical journey with Colourstrings.

The passionate musical atmosphere of the East-Helsinki Music Institute and it´s orchestra, The Helsinki Strings, inspired me to make music into a profession.

After graduating from high school, I moved to Austria to study violin (performing arts) with professor Helfried Fister. During my studies home and abroad I became more and more fascinated with teaching. Colourstrings was naturally the way to go in making teaching ”art”.

After finishing my pedagogical degree (2009), I have been teaching at the East-Helsinki Music Institute together with all of my wonderful Colourstrings colleagues. Besides teaching we are working on making Colourstrings recognized and available to teachers and children around the world.

I hope that our enthusiasm for Colourstrings will inspire you to dive into this musical treasure!




Pirkko Simojoki

Pirkko Simojoki is currently a viola teacher at the Sibelius Academy and the Metropolia University in Helsinki, and the music institutes of the cities of Espoo and Porvoo.

She started playing the violin at the age of five with Géza Szilvay and changed to study the viola with Matti Hirvikangas at the age of fourteen. She pursued her studies at the Sibelius Academy receiving her artistic diploma from there in 1996. She has since studied the viola with professor Yuri Gandelsman at the Rubin Academy in Tel Aviv and conducting with the Finnish conductor Jorma Panula.

From 1993 to 2001 Pirkko Simojoki played in the Finnish National Opera Orchestra, first as a tutti player and later as section leader.

Ms. Simojoki has been the conductor for several youth and children’s orchestras and is currently working as the conductor two children’s orchestras at the Porvoo Music Institute.

In addition to teaching viola and conducting orchestras Ms Simojoki is also an acclaimed teacher of music pedagogy specializing in positive approaches to teaching music to children.



Géza Szilvay


Professor Géza Szilvay, born in Budapest, Hungary, is the originator of the meanwhile internationally renowned and successful Colourstrings teaching method which at present comprises 42 publications. He has developed the method step by step from the very beginning of teaching small pupils, adding exercises constantly. By integrating the development of musical hearing, musical intellect and emotional world of the child to his teaching of violin technique he applied the principle of reinforcement of perception through joint functioning of the senses. Right from the start he added group teaching to individual tuition and established string orchestras. His 1972 founded and conducted The Helsinki Junior Strings orchestra (now known as The Helsinki Strings) has become renowned through 38 international concert tours worldwide and 28 published recordings under Fuga, Finlandia, Apex and Warner labels.

Szilvay’s way of teaching the violin had soon a strong impact on the musical education in Finland and a large percentage of his students over the years became professional musicians. He inspired young parents and little kids all over the country with his TV programme “Minifiddlers in Musicland” in 55 series being broadcasted in the 1980’s by the Finnish Television YLE. As author of the screenplay and performer-tutor throughout the series he smuggled in violin teaching whilst visiting the various places of the “Musicland” with his little pupils.

Géza Szilvay gained international recognition not only as violin pedagogue and creator of the Colourstrings method but also as educator and conductor of children’s and youth orchestras.

He has given more than 200 lectures and workshops on his teaching method and philosophy not only in Europe, but further afield in China, South Korea, Taiwan, Japan, USA, Canada and Australia.


Csaba Szilvay

Csaba Szilvay, born in Hungary, is a worldwide renowned cello pedagogue and – together with his brother Géza – founder and long-term conductor of the Helsinki Strings.

He studied the cello at the Béla Bartók Conservatory and the Budapest Music Academy as a student of professor Antal Friss. After having received his diploma in Budapest in 1970 he studied at the famous Sibelius Academy in Helsinki with Prof. Erkki Rautio.

Csaba Szilvay has taught the cello at the Jyväskylä Conservatory in Finland from 1971 to 1976, the East Helsinki Music Institute since 1976, and the Sibelius Academy since 1978.

Csaba Szilvay and his brother Géza Szilvay have gained international recognition both as string pedagogues and as conductors and educators of children’s and youth orchestras. They are authors of the Colourstrings method based on Zoltán Kodály’s philosophy, which at present comprises 40 publications, and they have given hundreds of lectures on this teaching method and philosophy all over the world.

In recognition of their work for youth culture they were awarded the Knight Order of the Finnish Lion in 1981, The Culture Prize of Finland in 1983, The Hungarian State Award for Cultural Activity in 1990, the Culture Prize of Helsinki and the Fazer Music Prize in 1995, the Pro Musica Award in 1999, and the International Kodály Prize in 2007.The President of Finland decorated him with the White Rose Knighthood in 2011 and he received the Hungarian State Award (Magyar Érdemrend Tisztikereszt) from the President of Hungary in 2013.

Csilla Tuhkanen

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