BJ Montoya


Seattle, WA

Lesson Details



BJ delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
February 2014

I grew up studying violin under the Suzuki method for over 13 years at the University of Louisville School of Music Preparatory School, my listening and playing skills were nurtured at the young age of five. I performed with the Louisville Youth Orchestra and other ensembles increasing my skills and confidence playing the instrument. A confidence that I can bring out in you as your violin teacher.

Beyond the classical foundation of Suzuki's collection, the violin has afforded me a unique opportunity to express myself in a wide range of musical styles and venues:

* I have supplied harmonies on acoustic covers and classic rock numbers at college open mics and coffee shops.

* I rocked out with an indie-pop band on famous Seattle stages like The Showbox, The Crocodile and Graceland (now El Corazon)

* I had the pleasure of accompanying young cast members of musicals such as The Sound of Music, Guys and Dolls and Anything Goes.

* I even fiddle about with traditional jigs and reels in an Irish style band.

Professionally trained as a designer, I bring a unique outlook to students. I can bring clarity to challenging musical concepts through a variety of tools. And I provide perspective teaching from my broad range of experience.

It seems there is little I have not experienced because of this wonderfully versatile instrument. So I am excited to teach any expression of music you may have an interest in. I look forward to sharing my passion for the violin with you and helping you to gain confidence you desire.

*** Specialties ***
Certified Teacher O'Connor String Method of American Music
Over 13 years as a student of the Suzuki Method.
Over 10 years violinist playing contemporary/folk liturgical music. Have also performed rock, and irish fiddle

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Private Violin Instructor, ASTA
Jan 2012 - Present

Teaches beginning and intermediate level students the foundations of playing violin which include mechanics, ear training, and theory.

Aug 2008 - Jul 2009

Provided technical, design and production support during the schematic, design and construction process. Utilized the creative design process to explore solution from from larger urban concepts to small construction details.


Bachelor of Architecture, B.S. in Environmental Science
Aug 1995 - May 2001
Ball State University
Suzuki Violin
Jan 1982 - May 1995
University of Louisville Preparatory School of Music


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Certified Method Teacher of the O'Connor Violin Method
Dec 2013
New American School of String Playing by Mark O'Connor

The O'Connor Method for string teachers and students is a 10-Book series designed to guide students gradually through the development of pedagogical and musical techniques necessary to become a proficient, well-rounded musician through a carefully planned succession of pieces.

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American String Teachers Association
Aug 2014

The American String Teachers Association, founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA's members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.

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Photos & Videos

Photo by BJ M.

Studio Jam recorded at the Hillman City Collaboratory, 11/ 15/ 2014 - Boil 'em Cabbage Down, Canon in D (Pachabel), Wagon Wheel.
Photo by BJ M.

Photo by BJ M.

Columbia City Home Studio

Photo by BJ M.

Photo by BJ M.

Photo by BJ M.

Photo by BJ M.
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4 Reviews

Write a Review
Regina P. Jan 27, 2016
Fiddle · In home

Solid intro lesson with focus on building a proper foundation. Great analogies, very knowledgeable. Looking forward to future lessons!

Nilanjana G. Dec 16, 2014
Violin · In studio

BJ has been a wonderfully dedicated violin teacher for my 10 year old kid. He is very approachable and understands the student's needs very well. I would highly recommend him.

Carol D. May 17, 2014
Fiddle · In studio

I have learned more in 3 lessons with BJ than I did in a year with my last teacher. He has clear and helpful exercises to fix my bad habits in how I bow. We aren't into actual playing yet, but I expect things will progress well for me.

His place is easy to get to and comfortable. He is prompt, organized and manages to be efficient at fitting a lot of teaching into the time we have. I did shift from half hour lessons to a full hour, as the half hour was not enough time to really finish a topic for us.

I'm very happy with the experience and am so glad to be playing again.

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Greg S. Dec 1, 2013
Music Performance ·

This guy is a true PRO

I have not personally taken lessons from B.J. Montoya, but I am a colleague of his and have created and performed music with him off and on over the last ten years. WHat I can confidently and boldly say is that B. J. is masterful at the violin and fiddle, and truly knows all aspects of the language of music. IF you take lessons from him, you won't just learn songs; you will learn artistry, technique, music theory, ear-training skills, music appreciation, and most of all a PASSION FOR MUSIC - which B.J. cannot HELP but to pass on to his students. I say this because I have always respected and admired his true passion for creative muical expression on the violin.

Besides all that, B.J. is a sincere, super-friendly, and laid-back guy who will help any student - at any level - feel comfortable and at ease. His ability to offer warm support and encouragement - AND make the lessons FUN - will surpass any other violin teacher - I can pretty much guarantee that.

I highly recommend B.J. as a music teacher.

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