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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 o
f 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!
...
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 music. 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,

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.
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.

Charles M. Maple Plain, MN

About Charles

*** Studio Equipment *** Studio above the garage with 3 different lesson studios with a fantastic waiting area. Free Wi-Fi *** Specialties *** Bluegrass, Blues, Rock, Classical, Country, Honky Tonk Chuck M. (Fiddle - Mandolin - Guitar - Bass) with his uncompromising integrity, exceptional talent and unwavering leadership started teaching at an early age of 17; he has continued to showcase his talents on and off stage by helping many new aspiring students to be great musicians and performers.  He teaches private lessons on all the following instruments:  guitar, violin, fiddle, mandolin, bass, vocal, music theory and song writing. Currently performing with No Grass Limit, Chuck also plays with the nationally recognized band "Tangled Roots" which has released three recordings ...

Reviews

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David J. January 29, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
I have been taking lessons from Chuck for 4 years and he is the best teacher. Has a great way of breaking down the lessons and explaining them well.
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Bradley S. January 29, 2015
Acoustic Guitar · In studio
Chuck Made every step so easy, he's very good at explaining complex ideas in a really simple way.

It seemed like the knew exactly where I was at mentally with learning, and knew my limits, but pushed me to learn what I was actually capable of learning.

Chuck is very knowledgeable, he's been playing professionally for the last 20 years and it shows.

Excellent communicator, Excellent teacher, and explanor, patient with me, even in the times I didn't practice, and I know he could tell.

Very pleasant and easy going demeanor, and top player in MN.

Surprised the cost to go to him was as low as it was. I felt like I got an incredible bargain.

Thanks for Everything Chuck!

Playing my first gig tonight!
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 Essential Elements for Strings) *** Specialties *** Classical, Bluegrass, or Irish fiddling lessons!

Reviews

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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.
Carol F. Minneapolis, MN

I have over 35 years experience teaching students of all ages and levels how to enhance their lives through music. It is my belief that ALL people have an innate ability to learn music, and it is my privilege to help them do so.

About Carol

I teach students from Beginner to Advanced, and have had excellent results working with students with ASD as well.

Rachel R. Osseo, 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 am so excited that you are exploring the possibility of taking lessons with me. I am actively accepting students and I'd love to have you on board!

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In-Person, Online, or DIY: What’s the Best Way to Learn Violin?

Before you begin your violin lessons, you'll need to make a decision about the type and location of the lessons. Here are some helpful tips from Brooklyn, NY teacher Julie P...   So you or your child wants to learn how to play the violin, but you’re not sure if you want to work with a teacher in-person, online, or maybe just go the DIY route? This article will help you think through the pros and cons of each option. By the end, you should have a better idea of which way is the best wa … Read More
In-Person, Online, or DIY: What’s the Best Way to Learn Violin?
Before you begin your violin lessons, you'll need to make a decision about the type and location of the lessons. Here are some helpful tips from Brooklyn, NY teacher Julie P...   So you or your child wants to learn how to play the violin, but you’re not sure if you want to work with a teacher in-person, online, or maybe just go the DIY route? This article will help you think through the pros and cons of each option. By the end, you should have a better idea of which way is the best wa
What Are the Best Violin Brands for Beginners?
When you’re first starting to play an instrument, it's important to find a compromise between affordability and good quality. It’s not always smart to buy the cheapest model available, as not only is this likely to produce a poor sound and hamper any incentive to practice or progress, but it's likely to lose a lot of value on the resale market - it's worth bearing in mind that student models will be resold at some later date, whether you're moving onto something better, or to another instrument
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One of the main concerns that violin students and their parents typically have is purchasing the right-sized violin. Obviously you can't give a five-year-old a full-size violin and expect him or her to be able to handle the instrument. And once kids are in their teenage years, trying to keep up with growth spurts can be extremely difficult, especially considering how much violins cost. Even adults can run into problems when selecting the right size. Fortunately, after a little research, selectin
Setting the Right Goals for Violin: 4 Questions to Guide You
Before you start learning violin music for beginners and all of the violin techniques you need to know, it's smart to write down specific goals you'd like to achieve. Here, San Francisco, CA violin teacher Carol Beth L. share some guidance to get you on the right track...   Teachers, students, and parents of younger students come to the table with different expectations about violin lessons. Even before beginning the lessons, it is important to talk about those goals to make sure ever
Introduction to Violin Music Notes
The violin is often considered by musicians to be one of the most challenging instruments to learn. Its roots trace back many centuries and it was clearly a definitive instrument in shaping classical music all over the world. One of the reasons it is considered a difficult instrument to learn is that it's a fretless string instrument, making violin music notes appear to be inexact, yet fingering must still be done with precision. The reward for learning this sweet-sounding elegant instrument, ho

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