Students have come to me with many different objectives and situations, including
· A 7-year-old learning violin for the first time
· A middle school student who’d taken some violin lessons but wanted to learn more about fiddling techniques
· A retiree who wanted to improve her playing in a community orchestra
· A law student who was performing duets at a recital given by her school’s chamber music club
· A science fiction fan who fell in love with violin when he heard the theme song from the tv show Firefly
No matter what your musical goals are, I’d love to work with you. My goal for all my students, no matter what age or level of experience, is to help them use music to communicate effectively with their audience and with each other.
Beginning students will hone their listening skills at the same time as learning to read music. Posture and technique are emphasized to minimize the risk of injury and maximize physical comfort. I think it’s never too early to talk about musicality and expression – my favorite question to ask students is “How would you sing this phrase?”
For beginners, I use a combination of method and repertoire books including Suzuki, I Can Read Music, Strictly Strings, ABCs of Strings, and Violin Music by Women, supplemented by additional repertoire tailored to each student’s interest. More advanced students work on scales, etudes, solo repertoire and music for school or community orchestral and chamber ensembles. I help prepare students for recitals and auditions as needed.
Because of the individual nature of teaching, there is no such thing as a “normal” lesson! A very young beginner might spend ten minutes listening to a song they’re learning while walking in time to the rhythm, then practice their bow hold, then experiment with playing at different dynamics. An older beginner interested in how music works might be assigned a music theory book to study the circle of fifths. Many of my students love fiddle music, so we might discuss how bow technique differs between the classical tradition and the world of Scottish dance music.
I encourage all my students to attend concerts, listen to violin pieces, and read books about music theory or history to deepen their understanding of the big picture. Young students will gain habits of diligence, focus, critical thinking, communication, and problem-solving. (Adult students get the same, for that matter!) I expect everyone to commit to regular practice, knowing that playing music is more enjoyable the better you get.
I teach out of my home studio in Cambridge, MA. Please contact me using the form below for lesson rates and scheduling. I look forward to hearing from you!