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Hot Strings in the Chilly Twin Cities

By Greg B. - Minneapolis Violin Teacher

As a recent transplant to the Twin Cities, I have been finding out just what a Midwest winter means. Although I’m from New York, spending the last 6 years living in Miami and Los Angeles didn’t help me prepare for the chill here. But there have been some performances this winter that have been so blazing, they warmed me right to the core. If you are a student aspiring to take violin lessons in Minneapolis, you have some excellent talent to emulate.

This city has hosted many stellar string players, true musicians that redefine the possibilities of the instrument. First on my list is Andrew Bird, violinist and songwriter. His performances in December at St. Mark’s Episcopal Cathedral were remarkable. Bird combines his violin prowess with guitar, singing, and whistling, all of which he runs through a looper in order to create an orchestra of himself. His latest CD, Useless Creatures, is worth checking out if you haven’t heard it.

Next comes a local favorite of mine, Jelloslave. Consisting of 2 cellos, tablas and a drum kit, Jelloslave blurs the boundaries between jazz, Afro-Cuban, Indian and even pop to create something spectacular. With infectious grooves and soaring melodies, this quartet will engage you for the whole performance. Finally, there’s the Galactic Cowboy Orchestra, a unique band that starts with progressive bluegrass before launching off into jazz, world, and rock compositions. Lisi Wright, the band’s violinist, fits right in with the electrified ensemble, improvising catchy licks one second and rocking out the next.

As an instructor teaching violin lessons in Minneapolis, I encounter many beginning students who are frustrated with their supposedly slow progress on the instrument. All their friends that play guitar are able to crank out pop songs in no time flat, and they can barely manage to get through Old McDonald. But the violin should not be compared to the guitar or any other instrument. It is a unique tool with its own advantages and disadvantages. For musical neophytes, an instrument where the only fixed pitches are four open strings can make the violin appear unapproachable. But just as Rome was not built in one day, violin mastery is not attainable in a month. It's important for the student to keep focused on their improvement, day by day, week by week. If you are able to enjoy the experience of discovery and the knowledge that comes with diligent practice, then the end goal becomes much less critical to the ego. Keep this in mind the next time you hit a roadblock during your violin lessons in Minneapolis.

No matter what your taste in music, there’s sure to be a great concert this winter that will warm you right up. So get out there, explore the diverse music scene in the Twin Cities, and take violin lessons in Minneapolis!

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Anna C.

Shakopee, MN

About Anna

Hi, my name is Anna. As an orphan, I grew up in Hungary in a foster home. At a very young age I was already exposed to music. It kind of blew me away. I didn't know how something could be so beautiful, and it was like a miracle for me. Then and there, I knew that something special was waiting for me ahead. When I was 3, I didn't talk for a long time, but I did do one thing: sing. At that point my life has totally changed. I began my long journey. My foster parents got me in to a music school, called Janos Patzay Music School. I knew immediately what I wanted to be. I built my whole life on mus
ic. It always filled up a very special place in my heart,it still does, and it always will. I started to learn the violin when I was 5 years old. Being in a music environment always gave me strength, made me feel safe, and made me stronger as a person. I decided to learn more, and to grow, I must never give up on my dreams. After elementary school, in 1998, I went to Bela Bartok Music High School,and graduated in 2002. I continued studying music at the University of Miskolc Bela Bartok Institute of Music trough 2004-2008. Those four years were some of the best years of my life. In college, I changed my major to viola instead of violin. I am never going to forget the day of my diploma concert (April 27,2008, Sunday). It was wonderful. All the hard work and studying got me here to this point. I had no family being there for me all these years, nothing really, only God and music. Knowing the fact what I wanted kept me going in the hard times. In 2003, I met with a pastor from the United States who were on a mission trip in Hungary, in the orphanage I lived. Nothing can describe it, not even words what we had. I felt like I always knew her. I used to say I was born in a wrong place in a wrong time. After my diploma concert she and her husband adopted me. Today I am able to say that I have a family,a real family with true love. So, I came here to study English (ESL) at the University of Minnesota for a year and a half. Not having time for me to practice and not have music around me for a little over than a year,it made me really sad. I was depressed, and I thought I am going to get crazy. Music was totally cut out from my life. In 2009, I finally had my music back. I was enrolled in Crown College for 2 years. I attended the school's chamber orchestra and quartet, and I also attended other classes as well ( English, drawing, painting, and piano). I have been in different chamber groups through all of my schools (duet, trio, quartet, symphony orchestra, chamber orchestra). I also studied how to teach violin ( teaching techniques) for four years in college. I observed teaching methods at the Beni Egressy Music School once every week. In my fourth year of college, I was also teaching little ones, and after my diploma concert I also had to do a diploma teaching.

I live in Shakopee, and I've been married for over three years now. I made a little music studio in my home, that's where I teach most of my students. I have a couple of music stands, and I have my own instruments (violin, viola). I will be able to teach in Shakopee, and in Victoria. I would be teaching from published repertoire, and my own as well. I would be more than happy to answer any question as it appears. I'll be always available at my email.

It was a long and hard journey, but I never gave up. I became what I wanted to be, what I always dreamed of. With God's love and with music, everything is possible.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a kind of teacher (person) who is more laid back, make sure everything and everybody is comfortable, yet challenging and expecting good work. I like to make a lesson be worth it: as for me and as for the child. I use a combination of fun and work together, because I think it's important for the student to feel relaxed and also have a good time.
I am really patient with my students, while helping them master new songs and techniques. I understand that every student learns in a different way that is unique to them, and I will do my best to discover each student's learning style. I do not ask for perfection, but I do drive them to do their best.This is my motto: "Do the best you can", and "Be the best you can be".
I am a classically trained musician, and I believe that it's really important to have a strong foundation of learning the basics: reading notes, rhythms, a little bit of music theory etc. Everything else builds on this, for example, like learning and playing different styles or genres in music. You have to know the basics in order to be able to play them.
In each lesson, I will have assignments for the students to work on throughout the week: 1-2 songs for 30 minute lesson, 2-3 songs for 45 minute lesson, 3-4 songs for an hour lesson, and I will always ask for a specific scale at the beginning of every lesson. How fast or slow we can move forward, and how much we can learn it's really depends on the students. These assignments will be showed first (I'll play it to the student), then we work on them together. I'll make sure they understand what I am showing and telling them before leaving. I will also have technique exercises, and music theory sheets for students.
I take practice very seriously. The amount of time I recommend is varies according to the student's age and skill level.
Students will have a recital twice a year. They will show what they have learned through the two semester. I also encourage students to share their talent in community and school talent shows, at church, at family gatherings, and for friends.
Note: I do have cats in my home. If you or your child has a problem with cat allergies, I can teach in Victoria, give lessons in our church.

*** Studio Equipment ***
The In-Studio lessons are taught in a finished basement which has been converted into a studio. Music stands and seating available.

Fellowship Church: Lessons in sanctuary.

*** Travel Equipment ***
Student should provide their own instrument, music and stand

*** Specialties ***
I primarily perform classical, so I would be most comfortable teaching the classical repertoire.
...

Reviews

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Jodanne T. December 7, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Anna has a wonderful rapport with our son. This, I'm certain, has greatly improved the quality of the lesson and his willingness to practice. In the very short time (year and a half) that he's been taking violin, he is playing better than many of the longer studied kids in his string orchestra at school, due to the tutelage of Anna.
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Jodanne T. June 2, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
We have been very impressed with Anna and have also received feedback from our son's orchestra instructor that she must be fantastic based on the progress our son has made over the last school year. Thank you, Anna, for all of the encouragement and instruction you've given to our son.
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Anna C.

Anna C.

Shakopee, MN 55379
(2)
starting at
$35 / 30-min
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Zach A.

Minneapolis, MN

About Zach

Graduate of University of Minnesota with Masters in Viola Performance. 9+ years teaching experience. Member of the Duluth Symphony and Principal Viola of the Buffalo Community Orchestra. I teach at my home studio near downtown Minneapolis and in Coon Rapids. References available on request.
...
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Zach A.

Zach A.

Minneapolis, MN 55411
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Josephine L.

Minneapolis, MN

Beginner through intermediate.
All ages.

About Josephine

4 Years professional teaching experience

Loves to play and teach classical, bluegrass, and Celtic genres!

Lessons catered to meet your goals!

Beginners - Intermediate

Learn to read music, sight read, theory, history, and play with passion.

*** Lesson Details ***
Lessons catered to your needs and goals!

Learn Classical, bluegrass, or Irish fiddling.

I typical beginner classical lessons follows this structure:

-warm up and scales

-Theory (All for strings theory workbook)

-Etudes (Essential Elements for Strings)

-Songs and classical pieces (Suzuki or Essenti
al Elements for Strings)

*** Specialties ***
Classical, Bluegrass, or Irish fiddling lessons!
...

Reviews

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Breana L. April 17, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Josephine is just the violin teacher I was looking for!

Every lesson includes scales and etudes along with a couple of songs to work on. Her teaching is attentive to detail and well-rounded (spot-on technique, music reading, easily-digestible theory, etc.), while still really fostering enjoyment in playing and slow but steady growth. Whether you’re looking for classical violin, fiddling, or bluegrass, Josie will help you learn whatever you want to learn!

I definitely recommend a longer class time if you can do it - a few extra run-throughs of each song and scale make a big difference in your muscle memory and ability to practice efficiently on your own.

Of the few violin teachers I've had in my sporadic years of playing violin, Josie has inspired me to play the most, and I know I will continue taking lessons with her for as long as I can. Highly recommended!
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Sourav B. July 30, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Josephine teaches violin to my 8 year old son Kanishk, continuing for over 7 months. She is great with my son and very patient with him. She is very professional and guides my son to do his best. My son is doing great and we have increased the session from 1 to twice weekly.

She has a very positive attitude towards my son and always encourages him with good feedback.
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Josephine L.

Josephine L.

Minneapolis, MN 55428
(2)
starting at
$28 / 30-min
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Rachel R.

Maple Grove, MN

I absolutely adore teaching violin to beginners. As a cellist, violin comes naturally to me. If you would like an introduction to the violin from someone with broad background knowledge and a passion for teaching, you've come to the right place!

About Rachel

I've been teaching private lessons for 8 years. I teach elementary music at Hamilton Elementary in Coon Rapids. I am so excited that you are exploring the possibility of taking lessons with me. I am actively accepting students, especially vocal students, and I'd love to have you on board!
...

Reviews

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Brian O. July 24, 2015
Cello · In studio
Verified Student
My son is learning a lot and is excited each time to go to his cello lesson.
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Grace July 21, 2015
Cello · In studio
Verified Student
My daughter says she is very nice
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Rachel R.

Rachel R.

Maple Grove, MN 55311
(2)
starting at
$24 / 30-min
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Trevor H.

Saint Paul, MN

Learn classical styles in a supportive environment! You'll see differences after just a few lessons! I specialize in classical violin, typically use Suzuki and Wohlfahrt. You'll learn how to read and play music by ear and gain a solid foundation and understanding in technique and music theory. If you have any orchestras or competitions in mind I will help you prepare for any auditions. I love working with students of all ages and experience levels and I can't wait to meet you!

About Trevor

I began playing violin at the age of 4. I took private lessons for over 15 years. I have performed in numerous musical theater productions in the Twin Cities and Red Wing. Credits include Phantom of the Opera at The Sheldon Theatre in Red Wing, and Eagan Community Theater productions of The Boyfriend, Peter Pan, Wizard of Oz, Oklahoma! and many more. I was a member of the Mississippi Valley Orchestra, and served as concertmaster for the ISD 191 StringWerks Youth Chamber Ensemble. I played String Bass for Eagan High School Jazz Band and Wind Ensemble as well. I’m currently a member of the Minne
sota Renaissance Festival’s popular Irish Folk band “Four Pints Shy”. I went to school for performing arts and switched majors to String Luthiery (building and repairing violins and other stringed instruments) at Red Wing Technical College. I have an extensive knowledge of violin performing arts and repairing them. I stick true to the statement that "violin is my life".
...

Reviews

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Will July 29, 2015
Violin · In studio
Great teacher and a fabulous stand partner. Knows the music and is always prepared. Great with kids too.
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Jean July 29, 2015
I was a music director for a large Catholic Church. I started working with Trevor when he was just 14. Through the years he played the violin on Sunday morning during Mass, weddings, funerals and special Liturgies. Trevor is familiar with all styles of music from classical to contemporary. And he is a great site reader, a wonderful skill to have when I would change things up in the middle of Mass. Trevor plays the violin with deep, rich sound. And I think a good teacher is often someone who is a performing artist as well. And that's Trevor. I recommend him highly.
Silhouette-80
Andrew July 29, 2015
Violin · In home
I found Trevor to be competent, genial, and very knowledgeable about playing the violin. I highly recommend his tutelage.
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Trevor H.

Trevor H.

Saint Paul, MN 55103
(8)
starting at
$25 / 30-min

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