Plumsteadville Violin Lessons

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Blythe Q.

Lawrence Township, NJ

My beginning students use the Suzuki Violin Method books and later transition to a series of étude books and repertoire selected depending on the student's level. I teach beginning students a modified version of the Suzuki method but incorporate note-reading and theory skills from the very beginning. I focus on a relaxed and natural hold of the violin and bow to avoid tension and technical problems that can lead to injury. Students who learn to hold their instruments correctly progress more quickly and are better able to express themselves artistically. I work with my students on development of their aural skills, concentrating on pitch accuracy and a sensitive ear. I accept violin students ages three and older pending an evaluation by myself and the student's parent of the student's maturity.

About Blythe

My name is very unusual, so some students have difficulty pronouncing it. You pronounce the "y" as in "sky" and the "the" as in "breathe". My name has only one syllable. Don't worry if you're still having trouble with it--I'll help you out at our first lesson.

I grew up in southeast Michigan and have been in love with music for as long as I can remember. I started violin lessons when I was three years old and at five I became the youngest student ever accepted into the studio of James Waring, now-retired violinist with the Detroit Symphony Orchestra. Under Mr. Waring, I developed a sol
id virtuoso technique and worked on chamber music as well as solo and concerto repertoire for the violin. While I was an undergraduate student at Westminster Choir College, I continued my violin study with Dr. Mia Wu.

After six years of violin study, I added piano lessons. I studied with Catherine Rollin, an internationally-known teacher and composer. Ms. Rollin's practical approach to technique and musicianship has been extremely influential in my own teaching, and I use her exercises and compositions with my students. I studied a wide range of repertoire with Ms. Rollin but my very favorite pieces were those by Bach, Chopin, and Debussy.

I sang in choirs throughout my childhood and began taking voice lessons in high school. I eventually decided to study voice performance at Westminster Choir College, where I completed my Bachelor of Music degree in 2004 and my Master of Music degree in vocal pedagogy and performance in 2008. While a student at Westminster, I performed the soprano roles of Ifigenia in Handel's Oreste, Amy in Mark Adamo's Little Women, and Janthe in Heinrich Marschner's Der Vampyr. I have coached with Daniel Beckwith, J. J. Penna, and Dalton Baldwin, and was privileged to sing in the Westminster Choir and the Westminster Symphonic Choir under Dr. Joseph Flummerfelt. With the Westminster Choir, I recorded the album Heaven to Earth and performed in Lakmé and I Capuleti e i Montecchi at the Spoleto Festival U.S.A. in Charleston, South Carolina. I also performed Handel's Messiah with Sir Neville Marriner and Nicholas McGegan, Mahler's Symphony No. 3 with Sir Michael Tilson Thomas and Lorin Maazel, Berlioz's Requiem with Charles Dutoit, and Beethoven's Symphony No. 9 with Lorin Maazel.

I have taught in the Princeton area since 2008, maintaining a studio of about twenty-five voice, piano, and violin students. In addition, I sing as cantor and soprano section leader at Queenship of Mary Catholic Church in Plainsboro. I live with my husband, Jerome, in Lawrenceville and I love to knit, crochet, and sew when I'm not teaching or performing.

*** Lesson Details ***
Violin students MUST bring their own instruments to the first lesson. Piano students must have their own pianos when lessons begin. I strongly recommend an acoustic piano even for beginning students, but a full-size (88 keys) touch-sensitive electronic keyboard is also acceptable. Voice students are encouraged to practice with a piano or electronic keyboard but may use an online keyboard to check pitches if they do not own a piano. TakeLessons can put you in contact with me if you have questions about purchasing or renting instruments.

My goal in teaching is to foster a love of music and a passion for the arts. I focus on developing my students as musicians in general and on a relaxed technique that will allow for the best possible artistic expression.

I have found that my students who practice regularly find their lessons rewarding and enjoyable and tend to make significant progress. That said, not every student decides to take lessons because he or she wants to become a professional musician.

Violin and piano students should practice every day. Voice students should practice six days a week, taking one day to rest their voices both from solo practice and choirs or any other activities that involve significant vocal use.

I encourage parents of younger children to attend lessons and help their children practice. It doesn't matter if you aren't a musician yourself. Just encouraging your child to focus and to remember what he or she worked on at the last lesson will help enormously.

Practice time will vary depending on the student. All students should begin their practice with some stretching to loosen up their muscles, followed by the scales and exercises we worked on during their lessons. Students should try to practice fifteen minutes to one hour each day, depending on age. This time may be broken into two or three shorter sessions depending on the student's stamina. If you have just begun taking lessons, an uninterrupted hour of practice may be quite exhausting. You can still practice for an hour each day, but you may prefer to divide your time into three twenty-minute segments. Voice students especially are encouraged to divide their practice into shorter sessions, even if they have been singing for several years. The more you practice, the faster you will progress, and the sooner you will be able to begin working on more challenging and interesting music.

Even if you already know how to read music, we will probably spend some time talking about music theory. Beginning students especially will have a theory and/or notespeller book with assignments each week. If there is something in your theory assignment that you do not understand, you may skip that part and ask me about it at your next lesson. If you finish your assignment quickly, I encourage you to work ahead. Again, the more theory you learn, the easier it will be to learn new music, and the sooner you will be able to work on more advanced music.

Some students choose to take a break from their lessons during the summer months or the holiday season. While it is good to take a day off once in a while and I encourage students to take a week off after a big recital, you will lose a lot of ground if you spend two or three months without any practicing or lessons. If you are really interested in making a lot of progress during a vacation from school, I am happy to work with you twice a week so you can improve even more quickly. I had two violin lessons a week for a summer when I was younger and two voice lessons a week for a few months during college, and it made a huge difference.

VOICE
I teach my students about the anatomy of breathing and tone production, focusing on breath energy and a released sound. I use fixed-Do solfege to teach note-reading and develop the ear. I am careful to assign repertoire that is at my students' level, challenging them musically but not going beyond what is appropriate for their vocal development. This avoids tension and injury and inspires confidence as students study music that they are able to sing well.

I teach classical/opera and Broadway singing styles. I do not teach pop singing. I accept voice students ages fourteen and older. I encourage younger students interested in voice lessons to consider joining a choir and/or taking lessons on another instrument instead. In my professional opinion, the voice is not sufficiently developed before age fourteen and there is a greater risk of injury in private voice lessons. In a choir, children are directed to sing in a healthy way for their age and learn valuable musicianship and aural skills.

I do not accept male voice students. I do not feel that my understanding of the male voice is adequate to provide the level of instruction that I expect from myself. There are many female voice teachers who are comfortable teaching male students, and vice versa. TakeLessons can help you find the teacher who is perfect for you!

PIANO
Beginning students work from the Alfred Premier Piano Course, later transitioning to the Pathways to Artistry series by my former teacher, Catherine Rollin. We work on developing a curved hand position with relaxed wrists and strong finger joints. I use technical exercises to teach artistic expression rather than teaching these two elements separately. Beginning students count and sing note-names out-loud to integrate theory and note-reading with their playing. I accept piano students ages five and older. I do not accept piano students younger than five because their hands are often too small to play comfortably.

VIOLIN
My beginning students use the Suzuki Violin Method books and later transition to a series of etude books and repertoire selected depending on the student's level. I teach beginning students a modified version of the Suzuki method but incorporate note-reading and theory skills from the very beginning. I focus on a relaxed and natural hold of the violin and bow to avoid tension and technical problems that can lead to injury. Students who learn to hold their instruments correctly progress more quickly and are better able to express themselves artistically. I work with my students on development of their aural skills, concentrating on pitch accuracy and a sensitive ear. I accept violin students ages three and older pending an evaluation by myself and the student's parent of the student's maturity.
...

Reviews

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Maya B. September 4, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Blythe was friendly and easy going around my young daughter and had her playing noted on her first day!
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Nihi & Neth August 27, 2015
Piano · In studio
Blythe is the best teacher I've had. She has been teaching my brother and I for 2 years now, and still is. She is funny and at the same time serious. She calls our lesson "torture" but it's really not. She teaches us really well and makes having piano class SUPER fun! She helped me LOVE piano!!!!
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Wendy C. March 6, 2014
Verified Student
Wonderful

Blythe is a wonderful teacher,as well as person. She has made taking piano something my dauhter looks forward to every week. She is quite an asset and a great find!
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Blythe Q.

Blythe Q.

Lawrence Township, NJ 08648
(4)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
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Amber R.

Blue Bell, PA

Since 2008 I have maintained an active music studio teaching both violin and viola! My lessons are designed around you and your goals for music. I use a combination of Suzuki method and traditional (meaning you'll learn how to read music right away if you can't already) My lessons are catered to your needs, but warm ups, scales, etudes and repertoire are the building blocks of my lessons. Technique is a huge part of the way I teach--so you'll definitely get a solid understanding of how to play beautifully and accurately! I'm a relaxed and gentle teacher, and I'm never going to have anything but a smile on my face, so there's no need to feel stressed or nervous.

About Amber

Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance from the University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ 2013
Masters of Music in Viola Performance in progress at Temple University, Philadelphia, PA 2015

Ms. R. began her studies on violin at an early age. After studying violin for 10 years, she made the switch to viola and never looked back! She performs internationally--most recently traveling to the Isle of Man for the Lionel Tertis International Viola Competition as a finalist to compete in the 2013 competition (this is one of the two international competitions in the world for viola!). In July of 2014,
Ms. R. will be returning to perform at the Interharmony International Music Festival in Arcidosso, Italy. She has studied as well as performed in Shanghai, Beijing and many other cities across China. Ms. R. is currently a graduate student at Temple University in Viola Performance as well as a freelance musician and private teacher of the violin and viola. Her principle teachers include international viola soloist, Hong Mei Xiao and Kerri Ryan of the Philadelphia Orchestra. Other interests in no particular order include ancient history, philosophy, astronomy, Earth science, veganism, quantum physics, traveling, spirituality, anything interesting and following her heart always.

When we first meet, I'll ask you to play me something so I can get a feel for where you are...whether its a scale or a piece you have been playing. If you don't know anything that's fine too! My lessons are designed around you so every lesson is a different depending on the student, however, below is an example of the materials generally covered.

Example Lesson
1. Warm up (scale, open strings, or finger exercises)
Address technical issues--tone production, posture and set up, various bow exercises, intonation, etc.
2. Positions
3. Etude
4. Repertoire
5. Recap

It might sound like a lot--but don't worry I'll have a smile on my face the whole time and be working with you and encouraging you to do your best!

After 3-6 months:
Read notes (if you can't when you first come)
Count rhythms
Have a correct set up
Full tone
Developed ear
Scales
Greater finger facility
Repertoire

*** Studio Equipment ***
Stand, Metronome, Tuner, Music (but eventually you will have your own) You will need to provide your own instrument.

My preferred teaching methods are Suzuki and Sassmannshaus, Mark O'Connor Fiddle Book (violin and viola)

Recital Opportunities
Studio recitals are held biannually in December and June! They are a great chance to perform for friends and family, as well as meet the rest of the studio. You do not have to perform, but are certainly encouraged to : )
(Location varies, but usually they are held at a local church or university)

*** Specialties ***
Classical, Folk
...

Reviews

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Matt September 9, 2015
Violin · In studio
Amber is an excellent teacher that has an individual approach to all her students! I learned so much in a short time and now I feel that my skills are improved. I appreciate music even more after being thought by Amber! I would recommend her to anybody in any age to study violin/viola with Amber.
Thank you so much!
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Bette Q. June 23, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Amber was able to give me instruction so that I can learn the notes and guided me on what I need to have to improve my skills.
Silhouette-80
Shannon T. November 2, 2014
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Amber is a great instructor! She is patient and creative in her approach to teaching new techniques. Lessons are always fun yet challenging. I would recommend Amber to anyone considering taking violin or viola lessons!
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Amber R.

Amber R.

Blue Bell, PA 19422
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min
Profile_41915_pi_thomasjwest

Thomas W.

Downingtown, PA

I can help beginning students on violln learn the basics.

About Thomas

Thomas J. W. is an active music teacher, composer, adjudicator, and clinician in the greater Philadelphia area. He has over fifteen years experience as a concert band director, marching band director, jazz improvisation instructor, choral director, private instructor, and marching drill writer. His directing career has included small rural band programs, small metro programs, large high-achieving suburban programs, and non-profit youth bands. In addition to his band compositions, he also has over forty unpublished vocal arrangements to his credit, most written for use with collegiate men's a c
appella groups.

Thomas has a Bachelor of Science degree in Music Education from The Pennsylvania State University. He holds a teaching certificate in the states of Pennsylvania and New Jersey and has taught at the secondary level in both states. In addition to both instrumental and choral ensembles at Penn State, Thomas was a student leader in the Penn State Blue Band and a member of the brass section of the Cadets of Bergen County Drum and Bugle Corps in 1993 and 1994. He served as an Associate Director of the Warren Junior Military Band of Youngstown, Ohio from 1995 to 2005. He also served as a visual staff member for the renowned North Penn Marching Knights of Lansdale, PA for one season in 2004.

He is a current adjudicator with Drum Corps International and Cavalcade of Bands. He is a member of MENC, PMEA, NJMEA, ASCAP, CASA, Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia, and the National Band Association. He appeared in the Marquis Who's Who Among American Educators in 2004 and 2005, an honor rarely bestowed upon teachers, as students who appear in the Who's Who Among American High School Students must nominate them. He currently is a music teacher at the Center for Performing and Fine Arts of the PA Leadership Charter School in West Chester, PA and resides in Downingtown, PA with his wife and two sons.

Thomas will happily work with students on the autism spectrum or students with ADD.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are tailored to the needs and interests of each student. If a student is involved in school music ensembles, we will work with their lesson books from school in addition to material outside of the books, including SmartMusic, Noteflight, and teacher-created materials. We will focus on building proper tone production and individual technique - something that often is difficult to learn in a large ensemble setting.

I am capable of starting a beginner student on any band instrument including percussion, any classical string instrument (violin, viola, cello, string bass), and piano. I can begin a student on drum set and work with them through their first method book, but I would then recommend they find a specialized drum set teacher after a period of six to twelve months.

For advanced students, I work from selected conservatory etude books on developing advanced skills and can work with students on audition pieces for honors bands/orchestras or college auditions.

My lessons are a half-hour once a week, with the option of working for 45 minutes or 60 minutes.

*** Specialties ***
music, band, orchestra, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, saxophone, trumpet, french horn, trombone, euphonium, tuba, violin, viola, cello, string bass, piano, Percussion
classical, jazz improvisation
...

Reviews

Thumb_88032_pi_20160308_121829%5B1%5D
Warren G. April 12, 2016
Clarinet · Online
Verified Student
Great lesson, Thomas took the time to take a song I wanted to learn to play and create notes so I may play them.
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Olivia M. January 6, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Today was our first lesson with Tom. He was very pleasant, professional and made my daughter feel
Very much at ease. She is looking forward to her next lesson!!
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Mark McKibben November 15, 2015
Cello · In home
Verified Student
Tom is absolutely wonderful!! I highly recommend him.
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Thomas W.

Thomas W.

Downingtown, PA 19335
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
306930_8khgbvcfwcsx8lf92d2c

Nicholas U.

Allentown, PA

Students of all skill levels are welcome. I tailor the lesson type to the student rather than use a cookie-cutter approach.

About Nicholas

I am a second generation music teacher for piano and violin. I have been teaching for over 15 years as well as playing both instruments for about 30 years. I have an Associates in Music. Making lessons both fun and educational is what make my students successful in their instruments. My lessons are custom made to how the student learns, not cookie-cut. We also do bi-annual recitals in October and April to showcase the students' accomplishments.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are both fun and educational at the same time. I compromise with my students by having us each pick a piece
to play on top of the usual learning pieces. My students play anything from Katy Perry to 80s music and rock ballads and in between. I use John Thompson and Fingerpower as well as a notespeller for piano and String Essentials for violin. Many of my students can play with both hands after six months. We do recitals each year to showcase the past year's achievements in their pieces.

*** Travel Equipment ***
For either instrument I pick up all books and supplies ahead of the lesson. I have my own violin and music stand that I use to assist in teaching.

*** Specialties ***
John Thompson, Suzuki, popular music, Gospel, New Age, and anything in between
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Nia N. April 10, 2016
Piano · In home
Verified Student
Always punctual. Adapts well with children.
Silhouette-80
Alea B. October 3, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
1
Silhouette-80
Aidan B. October 3, 2015
Piano · In home
Verified Student
1
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Nicholas U.

Nicholas U.

Allentown, PA 18101
(7)
starting at
$30 / 30-min
Profile_48511_pi_photo

Emily S.

Philadelphia, PA

Violin is my primary instrument I can teach violin students from the very beginning to the college level. I will happily work on any style of violin music with you!

About Emily

My name is Emily, and I am looking for students of all ages and abilities! I have been playing violin for 14 years and have a degree in violin performance from Temple University's Boyer College of Music. I have taught violin in various music programs in the Philadelphia area. I can also teach viola and piano from the beginner-intermediate level. I have a very encouraging and positive teaching style, and you will have fun as you learn and explore new things about music!
...

Reviews

Silhouette-80
Anje C. October 15, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
I am still at the beginning of my lessons but I enjoy very much. She is a very nice person.
Silhouette-80
Lana T. September 4, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
She was very patient with my 5 year old and accommodating towards our schedule.
Silhouette-80
Vickie C. August 31, 2015
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Emily is a wonderful teacher! She is very patient and professional. Her interesting small techniques usually helped me to understand the music better. I have recommended her to my other friends and they all like her. A lesson with her is an enjoyable experience.
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Emily S.

Emily S.

Philadelphia, PA 19130
(8)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

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