I began playing the violin in 3rd grade in my school general music class and instantly fell in love with it. I begged my mom for private lessons and after a year, she finally caved in. By my freshman year in high school, I had decided that I wanted to major in violin performance in college and make a career out of being a classical violinist.
I went on to earn my Bachelor of Music in violin performance from State University of New York at Purchase. During my freshman year, I began teaching private violin and viola lessons at the Westport Music Center in Connecticut. I quickly realized that teaching is very fulfilling and that I loved sharing my passion and knowledge of the violin with others. While in undergrad, I also won my first job in a part time professional orchestra, the Ridgefield Symphony in Connecticut.
After completing my Bachelor's degree, I went on to earn my Master of Music from Boston University, also in violin performance. During the two years I lived in Boston, I continued teaching privately and playing freelance gigs in the area.
I then moved to Connecticut and ran my own private violin and viola studio for two years. Also, I played in the Greater Bridgeport and Waterbury Symphonies and worked in the Westport and Fairfield Public School systems teaching strings in the elementary/middle schools. Although I did enjoy doing this, I realized that teaching private lessons enables the one on one environment that leads to an amazing amount of progress and is preferable to my style of teaching.
Before I moved to San Diego, I lived in Rhode Island for three years. I taught at the Rhode Island Philharmonic Music School and St. George's School in Providence and Newport respectively.
*** Lesson Details ***
I have several different method books I use while working with students. I think it is very important to use books that are age appropriate, so I spent a lot of time finding different books that would work for beginning younger and older students. Once students have enough basic knowledge, I supplement the method books with solos. Solos are always more fun for students to play and I find that this helps keep students interested and motivated. I also spend time during the lessons, not only teaching students how to play, but teaching them how to practice. Many students are never taught how to practice and then they are not sure what to do when they get home. Teaching students practicing tools is a very important aspect to me as a teacher. If a student knows how to practice effectively, they will be able to make substantially more progress than if they do not. With young students, I find it also helps to explain to parents how their child should be practicing so they can offer helpful pointers at home if the student gets off track. I openly encourage parents to ask me questions and even sit in on the lessons if they would like.
I believe that being an excellent music teacher is about more than being extremely proficient on your instrument. While this is one important aspect, it is equally important to approach each student according to their individual needs. I tailor my methods and materials for every lesson so each student can make the most progress possible. I also firmly believe music lessons should be fun and promote students to feel good about their accomplishments. Encouragement and a positive learning environment are the key components I utilize to make this happen. I also think it is important to balance teaching technique with making music. I work with students on how to properly play the instrument but also focus on listening to what the music should sound like. I find this helps students stay more interested and engaged with what they are learning.
*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide some sheet music students will need, especially when they first start. Students will need to provide their own instrument and music stand.
*** Specialties ***
I am classically trained, which is the genre I am most comfortable with. With my younger students, I often try to incorporate Disney songs and fiddle tunes to keep the lessons fun.
I would think that Allison would be good with any age and capability, but my daughter is 7 and just beginning. Allison is a perfect teacher. She makes good use of every minute, yet is fun and pleasant. She constantly gives positive reinforcement. My daughter really likes her and so do I!
Allison is very patient and perceptive when teaching. She is great at observing and correcting my mistakes. She gives great advice on how to make my playing better. Most of all, she is a nice and competent teacher. I plan to continue my lessons with her in the future.