Whether you're 3 or 103, if you're playing viola (or starting to play!) I hope you're EXCITED about it!! Over the years, my students have said that their lessons are/have been their favorite times of each week. I believe learning to play viola should be full of joy, learning, thinking, and feeling. Bring that joy alive for yourself by partnering with me as your musical guide. I bring over 30 years of experience and pure joy to my work, and I'd love to share that with you!
I've been in and around music all my life. I started violin at age 5, part of the first generation of Suzuki violinists in the United States. I've loved being a professional violinist and violin teacher for over 30 years! And I've also founded and directed three community music schools in Newburyport, Boston, and Manhattan.
I hold Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Violin Performance, and I'm lucky to have had wonderful experiences during my formal training! In my undergraduate years, I was awarded a full 4-year scholarship for string quartet and chamber music playing, which was invaluable as a real-world training. In graduate school, I was fortunate to learn so much as a Teaching Assistant for undergraduate violin students.
I have also been an innovator in musical education, and I've felt honored to coach numerous already gift
ed violin teachers who have sought me out to improve their techniques for best teaching practices. From my 30+ years of private violin teaching and observing how children learn, I developed a super fun groundbreaking class in New York City for 2.5 to 5 year old beginners called Crackerjack Kidz! And a few years ago, I wrote a text to accompany young students and their families.
I continuously work to be a master teacher dedicated to the very best methods, using a variety and combination of techniques and strategies tailored to the student's musical success and enjoyment.
My specialties include music-based early childhood development, adult beginners and continuing learners, intermediate and advanced players, and chamber music coaching.
I welcome you to start your family's musical journey with me!
*** Lesson Details *** While each lesson is different, we always try to spend a little time warming up, making sure we're comfortable and free of tension, reviewing what we've worked on, and layering in new concepts each time. We also learn age appropriate music theory (the "why's" of how music works), we exercise our imaginations, and we learn how to effectively practice.
We learn to think, solve problems, hear the music in our minds, and coordinate our bodies to play beautifully! Along the way we learn skills for life, the joy of accomplishment, and love of ourselves and others!
Whether you're a toddler or a senior, violin can always teach new things and help students appreciate more about themselves and the world!
*** Studio Equipment *** Music room with keyboard and computer. Parents can sit it on lessons, and are enouraged to do so with young students.
*** Specialties *** I'm a classically trained violinist and a master teacher with over 30 years of experience. I've been teaching Suzuki violin to children ages 3 and up for my whole career, and I'm also extremely comfortable with traditional methods for beginner, intermediate, and advanced students of any age.
My specialties include: music-based early childhood development adult beginners and continuing learners intermediate and advanced players chamber music coaching.
Comprehensive and fun lessons focusing on musicality, technique and music theory for all ages.
Dear students and parents,
Hello and welcome to takelessons.com! My name is Jessica and I am classically trained violinist with over 20 years of playing experience. I was born and raised in Baltimore, Maryland and recently relocated to Saint Louis County with my family. Music has always been passion of mine since a very young age, so it was inevitable that it would end up being my career. Naturally, a love for teaching the wonders of music followed suit!
I always try to form a great rapport with my students and parents from the very first lesson. For younger students, I encourage my parents to take an active part in both lessons and daily practice, as is encouraged by Shinichi Suzuki.
I've been teaching violin and viola professionally for over 12 years now. My experience includes teaching private lessons at students homes as wel
l as at various music schools, summer camps and festivals. A few advanced students have even attended and performed in some of these aforementioned festivals! I am always encouraging my students to go above and beyond.
A bit of background about me: I started my music studies at the age of 7. Lessons and orchestra were literally the highlight of my childhood. I ended up attending the Baltimore School for the Arts for high school, and went on to receive my Bachelor of Music Performance degree from Shenandoah University and complete further studies in England, Northern Ireland and Maryland (UMBC graduate certificate). I am also a registered Suzuki Violin/Viola teacher and have attended many teachers workshops in order to gain the knowledge and experience necessary to work with any and all types of students, including those with learning disabilities, such as ADD and FAS.
*** Lesson Details *** While I am a registered Suzuki violin teacher, I do not teach solely out of a certain method or "by the book"; I choose and mold every lesson depending on specific, strengths, weaknesses, etc. If you are a more advanced, serious player, more intensive lessons and repertoire will follow suit.
I am comfortable teaching all ages and levels up to advanced. Use of games make learning the violin fun and accessible for young children. Older and more advanced students receive a more technical, intensive and advanced approach. Coaching and weekly help on school assigned materials (orchestra/string class music and homework) Classical, Jazz, Gypsy and Fiddle styles are all introduced and studied to give students a rounded technique. Music theory (reading and understanding music) is incorporated in lessons. Repertoire is diverse and exciting. Various approaches for the visual or aural learner. Guaranteed to keep you or your child engaged and interested!
*** Equipment and Studio Lesson Details ***
-If you are coming to my home for lessons, please be sure to bring your instrument and any books you may already have.
**Please note, there are three cats in the house. They are usually isolated to a different part of the house during lessons to ensure there are no unnecessary distractions and to help minimize potential allergies (studio is also sprayed with allergy reducer spray and vacuumed regularly). All are UTD on shots. Please call and ask to schedule a "trial" lesson to see if the animals interfere with allergies.
New students: You may park on the cul-de-sac next to the house and walk down. I have a trial 1/8, 1/4, 1/2, 3/4 size violin to use for the first lesson if your child is a beginner. After the first lesson I will send an email explaining what materials and equipment I recommend you buy to help you sound your best.
Places to rent or buy instruments will be recommended upon request.
*** Cancellation/Reschedule Requests *** 1) At least 24 hours notice is required if you need to cancel your, or your child's, lesson. You will be given the option to take a credit that will automatically roll over to cover future unpaid lessons on your calendar, or the option to reschedule for a different day within a week of the canceled lesson.
2) If you find that you need to cancel with less than 24 hours notice you will be given the option to make up your lesson within 7 calendar days of your originally scheduled lesson time. If you cannot do a makeup lesson, this will result in the lesson being marked as "missed" and will still be charged as if you attended the lesson.
3) If you do not show up to your lesson scheduled at my home studio and no notice was given, the lesson will be marked as "missed" and will still be charged as if you attended the lesson.
4) If I need to reschedule or cancel a lesson for whatever reason, you will be given an option for a makeup lesson or given a credit that will automatically roll over to cover future unpaid lessons.
5) I require two weeks notice to discontinue lessons if you would like to receive a refund or be exempt from paying future tuition.
6) All lessons are billed ahead of schedule and must be paid in advance in order to keep your lesson slot.
*** Specialties *** Suzuki Violin/Viola Method Music Theory Tutor Genres: Classical, fiddle. Experience teaching ages 4-Adults.
Being a violin and viola teacher for the past 25 years, I love imparting to my students the how-to of tone production, and can teach from beginner all the way to auditions. My teaching experience covers over 3 decades. Your tuition includes participation in my monthlyu master class Saturday mornings. If you are online, you may Skype in and perform or observe. I am of a direct teaching lineage to the legendary Clara Schumann. My students have won competitions. Have a teaching channel on-line, that shows the proof of my work. If you follow my micro-management and practice directions, you will succeed with your goals!!
I am a career musician, and conservatory trained violin, piano and vocal instructor with over 40 years teaching experience, and a resume spanning many pages. I also am a well endorsed composer and public speaker. Furthermore, I LOVE teaching! I am a competition judge, member of National Music Teachers Association, and Suzuki Association of the Americas. I have proven results, as documented on my students YouTube channel. With my instruction, you will learn quickly and most importantly, correctly, saving you time and resources as you reach your musical goals. Fact: One of the only activities that activates, stimulates, and uses the entire brain is music, so let's get started!
Some people have difficulty reaching a teachers' studio. For this reason, I have perfected my ability to teach via Skype or FaceTime. It is an advantage f
or my students to be instructed by a quality teacher. It's worth a try, isn't it?
Please note: I only accept weekly lesson students. Also, due to my performances, I'm not always able to this calendar up to date....so when you request a lesson time, allow me to communicate with you, if we need to adjust it a bit. It almost always works out if you don't mind doing that.
*** Lesson Details *** All the students on my Student YouTube channel who have studied under three years, are practicing 2 hours a week, and you will have a similar result. That's 20 minutes a day, 6 days a week. Students under 5 practice about 5-10 minutes a day.
Please have an assignment book that lies flat, and keep it next to your music books as you practice between lessons. My instructions are very detailed to insure your best progress.
Studio Equipment For on-line lessons, you will need a quiet place, and please test your sound and video prior to beginning of lesson. For students under 13 or so, do have a parent or caregiver taking notes while we work together.
Specialties I have much experience with various learning styles, and in fact, am featured in a documentary made of one of my autistic students.
Stephanie is one of the best teachers you can possibly find through Takelessons. We are extremely fortunate to have found her. She is a successful professional musician who is very strict yet with a kind heart and skills/experiences to steer students through their learning limitations. I had trouble to make my older daughter to practice piano for years, and almost came to the point to have her given up learning. Stephanie changed everything. Now my older daughter is getting not only serious with piano but practicing harder then ever. I am so happy to see the results. Highly recommend her!!!
September 26, 2018
Stephanie is s fantastic teacher! My daughter has thrived and grown like never before. When she wants to push her she expresses complete confidence. This builds my daughters confidence and she flourishes! She is in love again with piano! We drive an hour every week and it is worth it. If you are looking for an experienced teacher who loves to teach Stephanie is the one to go to.
September 12, 2018
Stephanie method of teaching is ideal for me as an older adult...very patient but she challenges me not to take shortcuts and to follow her guidance. Our sessions are very productive yet enjoyable.
Students can expect to learn the basics of holding and creating sound from a stringed instrument; parts of the viola; the string names; note reading; and to have a really great time learning!
About Lisa C.
After playing the violin for over 20 years, Lisa was inspired to share the gift of music with others by her teacher, Susanna Sonnenberg. Lisa has attended the 2017 and 2018 American String Teachers Association National Conferences. She currently performs with the Edgewood Symphony Orchestra, the Pittsburgh Philharmonic, the Pittsburgh Civic Orchestra, and with outreach quartets. Lisa has played in recitals, the Chartiers Valley High School Orchestra, and was accepted to the 2006 PMEA District Orchestra. She has studied with Larry Weiss, Linda Andersen, and others. Lisa can’t remember a time before she learned how to play the violin; it has brought her great joy. Her favorite pieces to play are the Bach Double Concerto in D Minor and The Lark Ascending.
At 8 years old, Lisa fell in love with the violin. Throughout school, she studied w
ith private teachers and played with the school orchestra. At home, her dogs were a great audience.
Lisa went on to study history at the University of Pittsburgh, and later earned her law degree from Duquesne. She never forgot her violin, though, and continued to play in her spare time.
Music adds beauty to the world, and finally, after years of keeping the violin to herself, Lisa decided to share her playing with others. Lisa teaches traditional, classical method. The method books she uses include: Essential Elements for Strings, Samuel Applebaum, and All for Strings, among others. She supplements the technical exercises with repertoire from the Suzuki series. Lisa enjoys playing all types of music, in addition to classical, and teaches these songs, as well. Additional music includes pop artists like Taylor Swift, classic rock, electronic music like Lindsey Stirling, celtic, folk, and just about any other type of music you can think of. As a teacher, Lisa strives to be positive and encouraging. She believes that music should be fun, so her main goal is to make sure her students are having a good time!
I think Lisa is a wonderful instructor who provides clear instruction and also knows pedagogy. She starts with a step-by-step approach to build a foundation. I am an older adult and her warmth and good sense of humor help, too.
March 31, 2019
"Old Dog Learns New Tricks"
I couldn't ask for more in a teacher. I am a newbie to the cello and Lisa made me feel very comfortable and also, her teaching style is very clear, logical, starting with the basics and building step-by-step. She has a good sense of humor, too. All said, after only my first lesson, I think my learn a new trick: playing a song or two on the cello. Deb Bisacchi, MEd, MSW
March 30, 2019
Clear, focused, warm and friendly, and very knowledgeable, too.
Every student is unique, so I will tailor the lessons to you and make it fun! I'm passing on to you the training I received from the very best master teachers of the violin. Stringed instruments are challenging, but I believe in enjoying making music at every level, while establishing a strong foundation in good technique. For learning fundamentals of music theory and ear training, we will play various rhythm and improvisational games. I have extensive background in European classical music, and I've also done quite a bit of improvisation, some fiddling, and electric violin and viola. Whether you want to be the next Joshua Bell or the next Lindsey Stirling, I can help you improve your playing. I will help you sing, dance and tell a story through your violin or viola.
Born into a musical family in 1966, I have extensive performance experience as a classical violinist and violist, and I've been composing my own music since 2000. I am very grateful to have studied with some of the finest teachers of violin, viola and chamber music, and I graduated in 1990 from the Curtis Institute of Music in Philadelphia, one of the best conservatories in the world. I've played often with the Philadelphia Orchestra and the San Francisco Symphony, and I was the Concertmaster of the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia for 6 years.
I'd like to pass on the knowledge gained from my years of playing in orchestras, chamber groups and solo concerts. My teachers taught me the most refined techniques of tone production and continually showed me how to make the music come alive emotionally and tell a story.
I've also play
ed a lot of music by contemporary composers, in groups like Network for New Music and Orchestra 2001 in Philadelphia, as well as Left Coast Chamber Ensemble in the Bay area. Some special tours I went on were with the Philip Glass Ensemble and with Tan Dun, the composer of Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon.
My own compositional adventures started in the the late 1990's when I started improvising with a DJ mix in a small club. Since then I have experimented a lot with pickups and electric violin. I've created surround sound collages, improvised music for modern dance, and learned digital audio editing skills. I am knowledgable about Pro Tools and Ableton Live. If you are interested in electric violin, looping or using MIDI effects, I can share what I've learned about these things.
You can make music and be creative no matter what playing level you are on. I believe in having fun as you learn, and I stress learning by example and by ear. Reading music is good, too, but often that gets in the way of listening. We will build a foundation step by step and add on elements when you are ready. Also - I can help you be relaxed as you play. I have never had tendonitis or another occupational injury, thanks to good posture and technique. Body awareness is part of the process. Let's have fun- - you can do this!
NOTE: for students age 7 to 12, I require the parent to be present at the lesson and take an active interest in the student's progress. Also, the child must want to play this instrument.
Gloria has been a wonderful and inspiring teacher over a period of very formative years for me as a violinist. We first worked together for all 4 years of my undergraduate violin performance degree at Mills College from 2010-14, and Gloria helped me develop a lasting appreciation for listening deeply and developing focus for small details. We worked together on everything from solo Bach and Hindemith sonatas to concertos, chamber music, and orchestral excerpts. She has been a lasting influence in my life as a musician, and I will continue to return for musical and creative advice over the years even when I live far away.
I have been teaching violin for six years. Though I am classically trained, my interest in music goes far beyond classical music. I am constantly listening to various genres of music and consider myself a forever learner, loving everything in music from Prokofiev to the Flaming Lips. It is my job to help guide my students through their musical journeys, whether that is helping them get into their regional orchestra or teaching them that one song they've always wanted to learn. I teach out of the Essential Elements or Suzuki Method books. Though my lessons are fun and relaxed I will always give my students that extra push when needed. My goal is to help each student reach their personal success and to instill a love for playing music.
Tools for lessons:
Music Stand Rosin Shoulder rest or sponge Previous method books (if you are not a first time learner) Metronome Pencil
Hello! I am a classically trained violinist and violist. I have been playing violin for 15 years and teaching for 7. I got my Bachelor's degree from the Hartt School of Music in Connecticut in 2017. Since then, I have performed at Woolsey Hall, Ivoryton Playhouse, Playhouse on Park, and the Bushnell Performing Arts Center.
Teaching has become one of my greatest passions. My goal for each student is to inspire their passion for music and to give them a greater appreciation for the arts. I am just as comfortable with teaching someone who has been playing for years as I am teaching a beginner. In our lessons I hope you feel comfortable asking questions and exploring your own voice as an artist. Feel free to reach out and ask me anything, I would love to hear from you!
Great instruction, she had me working with the bow on the very first lesson. Very responsive to students needs, A+ will continue studying viola with phoebe.
April 2, 2019
Miss Phoebe is an excellent, patient instructor for my two young violinists! She is prompt, and has lots of tools in her tool kit to bring about proper posture, tone, sound. She exhibits a very warm kind discipline that makes clear her expectations without being mean about it at all. I think my kids have made significant progress under her tutelage and I would definitely recommend her for any skill level!
August 26, 2018
I'm an adult learner who went through Suzuki book 2 and a few other pieces with Phoebe as my instructor. I spent a month prior with a "bad experience" and hadn't taken lessons in probably 10 years before that.
Working with Phoebe was GREAT. She was very easy to work with and really saw to improving my skills. She was encouraging and very positive. When I had troubles with parts (which was often), she would always have multiple suggestions as to how to practice them to work through the difficulties. She also gave me nudges along when I didn't think I could do certain things too. All in all, I had a great experience working with Phoebe and would have loved to continue to work with her if she was still in my local area.
If you're wondering why not 5 stars, that's more from my lack of experience than any issue with her. The guide says 5 stars is the "best teacher ever". She probably was the best teacher ever for me, but I'm somewhere between beginner and intermediate. Is she a good fit for an advanced student, I'm going to guess that, yes, she is, but I don't know that info personally so I went with 4.
Viola jokes are for losers... I think viola has one of the most gorgeous tone in the entire orchestra family. I can work on solo pieces as well as chamber music / orchestral excerpts of your choice.
I served as a violinist of the Attacca Quartet, a NY-based string quartet that performs all over the world from 2005 to 2019. In addition to concertizing, I teach students of all levels wherever I go; I have given lessons, masterclasses and lectures in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ireland, Australia, Japan, UAE... good thing we all speak the universal language of humanity: music.
I grew up in Yokohama, Japan, but I decided that I was ready to explore the world when I was finishing up the 10th grade. I moved to New York to pursue a musical life and career. I have Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Violin Performance, as well as Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies from The Juilliard School.
I have been teaching students of all ages since 2005. Many of them were young children who simply enjoy playing the vio
lin, but I have had several students win domestic and international competitions. I am also very fond of working with adults with or without experience- I usually end up being great friends with them.
I often encourage my students to work on a solo repertoire of an appropriate level, as well as an ensemble piece that would help them develop their musicianship. I am very friendly and casual, but if you ask me to, I can be very tough (I was raised by a tiger mom.)
If you are a beginner and need help with reading music in general, don't worry- I teach a course called "Ear Training" at Juilliard, so that can be a part of our lessons as well.
I look forward to meeting you and making music together!
Keiko is very patient and kind. She made several suggestions for me to modify my technique to improve my sound. Even though I had difficulty with it, she encouraged me to keep going at it. I am excited for our next lesson.
June 19, 2019
Instructing doesn’t get any better than Keiko!! Absolutely! Patience, taking time, review all absolutely great!! Look forward to next session!
May 28, 2019
Keiko is a really amazing violin instructor. Not only is she a pleasure to work with, but she instills you with the confidence that she knows exactly what she’s doing, and can help you pick up everything you need in order to excel at violin.
I have been playing Viola for 14 years at the age of only 23. My lessons include the fundamentals of the instrument as well as fun songs and activities to keep the lesson interesting. I have played in my high school top tiered select orchestra as well as our traveling school orchestra which gave me the opportunity to play in places such as Disney World, Boston, MA, and Baltimore, MD. I was also a member of the West Islip Symphony Orchestra in New York as their youngest musician ever and the Pima Community College Orchestra. My knowledge extends further than viola as a concert master in pit orchestra productions and student helper in the two additional orchestras my school offered as a violinist. I have a bachelor's in Law as well as a bachelor's in Italian from the University of Arizona.
Hi all! My name is Amanda. I am a recent University of Arizona graduate with a variety of experience as a musician. I have been in many orchestras including the Sachem High School East Symphony Orchestra (violist and student violinist teacher) (2010 - 2014), Sachem High School East select Chamber Orchestra (2011-2014), Sachem High School East Select String Ensemble (2011 - 2014), West Islip Symphony Orchestra (2012 - 2014), New York All-County Student Orchestra (2011- 2012), Sachem High School East Pit Orchestra (violist and concert master) (2008 - 2014), Pima County Community College Concert Orchestra (2015-2016). I was part of the National Music Honors Society for all four years in high school and performed at the New York All-State level with a total performance score of 96 out of 100. My teaching began in high school as a violin stude
nt teacher in the lower-tiered orchestras. I played and taught both violin and viola. By college I periodically tutored my sibling intermediate viola. I am experienced in both pop and classical music and teaching styles. I have also been piano a classically trained pianist for 17 years and have performed in many New York State Festivals as part of my training. I am extremely passionate about music, but also strongly believe in having fun while learning and practicing.
"Susanna is an amazing string teacher! With a master's degree from Carnegie Mellon in viola performance and 20 years of teaching in public schools, Susann
a is an expert teacher and player. She is great with both children and adults, and she is in a great location. I highly recommend Susanna as both a viola and violin teacher."
"Excellent instructor very professional highly recommended"
"She's the best! My daughter started on violin with the school and then moved on to viola. Finding a viola teacher is no easy task! In fact, finding anythi
ng for the viola - music, strings, etc ... is difficult! But Kimberly does a great job and got her off to a wonderful start. We are so incredibly happy to have Kimberly teaching our daughter. Do not rely on your child's school to teach viola - go directly to Kimberly."
"Tigran is patient and pays attention to detail. I would highly recommend him."
"Andrew is an extremely knowledgeable and talented teacher. He explains technique exceptionally well, has an impressive understanding of phrasing and music
ality while playing, and is very patient and understanding, he has a great sense of humor, while also giving students the right amount of push they need. He has high expectations but they are always attainable for his students, and he is very flexible with each students unique needs. I highly recommend him as an instructor, he is worth every penny and students always see quick and impressive improvement; I know I did while I studied with him."
"We have tried a few instructors for strings and they were not the right fit for us. We finally struck GOLD with Charles! Very professional, not at all co
ndescending with his feedback (this was our problem with a couple others), taught my son things he has not learned in school in terms of correct form/placement of viola, and bow technique. We are very excited for the next lesson!"
"Sam has prepped our daughter for an audition for SOTA and after all their hard work, we are over the moon that she had been accepted. Sam's lessons had p
layed a huge part in her doing well in her audition. He picked a complex piece for her solo which I felt had slow and fast movements and tempos, as well as emitted both a lighthearted and melancholy mood. The piece felt much like a roller coaster ride of sounds and emotions all in one piece. Sam has been and continues to be such a great fit for our daughter."
"Kendra is a kind, patient, experienced teacher. My son has made a lot of progress in only a few lessons. His tone quality has improved considerably and
he really enjoys his lesson time with Kendra."
"Miss Susanna is very nice and very patient- even when I'm being super ADHD! She also doesn't over or underestimate me, which I very much appreciate."