Chris Heins

Chris H.

Waldorf, MD

About Chris H.

Background check: Last verified 01/17/2017
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Chris teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: February 1988
Last sign in: 3 days ago


I have been teaching private violin for over 20 years, and private viola/cello for about 10. I have taught in Charles and St. Mary's County Public schools. I am a member of American Strings Teacher's Association, National Association for Music Educators (Maryland Music Educators Association), and the Music Teachers National Association (Music Teachers Association of Charles County). As a teacher, I'm very student oriented. We move at your pace. The more you practice, the faster we move. I do encourage learning to read music, but I use multiple ways of teaching to reach my students. Everyone learns in a different way. My primary job is to see you achieve your goals in relation to your instrument. I also encourage that you take every opportunity to perform. There are many groups in the area that allow for different ages and styles of music. I can help you understand what is going on behind the music and hopefully see what the composer was hoping to convey, if that is something you want to know. When I was a student I always wanted to know "why?". As a teacher, you will know why if I do.

*** Lesson Details ***
I try to keep my lesson area as stress free as possible. It's OK to make mistakes in my studio. I would like you to bring a notebook to lessons as well as your music and instrument. I write as much as I can down because if you were like I was during lessons, I would forget everything I was supposed to be watching for after 3 days. Like I said above, we move at your pace. The more you practice, the faster we move. Questions are a good thing. It shows interest. But sometimes you just have to stop asking questions and just take the leap of faith.
We start with note reading as well as proper form and the parts of the instrument. We also deal with general care. I will tune your instrument every time you come in for lessons until you learn how to tune it yourself. We will review the day before, I will check on what work you've done and then move onto the next song/ technique etc. After we learn how to pluck the first 8 notes, we start with scales and bowing.

After that we move through the "usual" routine. Scale, etude, song(s) or school test songs, audition requirements etc.

I try to keep the same routine because for some students it's easier for them to focus if they know the lesson is going to move in a familiar way. It's reassuring. After we become proficient in the basics, we move into whatever genre you would like to play, within reason. If you are in the school orchestra we will work towards you getting an A.

I would say I'm more laid back when you are not preparing for an audition. Auditions require a lot of work and I want you to do as close to perfect as possible. I become fairly demanding during that time.

In about 6 months, you can play almost any tune you can hear on the radio. Explaining where you could be gets fairly technical and I might as well be talking like Charlie Brown's teacher.

NOTE: If you want to do music recording, you need to be doing that at my home studio. I use Garageband. If you need a different program than that like digital performer, or final cut or any other program, I am not the teacher for you.

*** Studio Equipment ***
at the away studio: music, music stand, stool, piano, laptop, tuner, metronome.

at home: music, music stands, chairs, computer, laptop, keyboard, microphone, tuner, metronome.

pictures of the away studio are posted.

*** Specialties ***
I am familiar with Paul Rolland's work, Valerie Bobbett Gardner's Violin Virtuosity, as well as Guillespie's. I was brought up Suzuki but haven't been trained in Suzuki. I have taken classes on how to teach to a variety of students so I could hold a teaching license in the state. I do participate with (Canadian) The Royal Conservatory of Music Music Development. This is active in the US also.

Special note: If you are allergic to cats, you will want to take lessons at my other studio location, not at the home.

Photos and Videos


Strings teacher
Aug 2007 - Jun 2010
Mechanicsville Elementary and White Marsh Elementary

Taught beginning violin, viola and cello to 3rd and 4th graders. Taught intermediate strings to 5th graders.

General Music Teacher 0 to pre-k
Aug 2003 - Jun 2004
Mt. Hope/Nanjemoy Elementary

Taught babies and parents songs to perform together (ages 1 month -2 years). Taught 3 and 4 year olds songs related to their units in school.

Strings Teacher
Aug 2001 - Jun 2003
Malcolm Elementary School

Taught beginning strings to 5th graders.

Orchestra Director
Aug 2001 - Jun 2002
John Hanson Middle School

Taught how to perform in an orchestra. Student ages were from 6th to 8th grade.


Master's of Arts in Leadership & Teaching
Aug 2002 - Apr 2005
College of Notre Dame (MD)
Music Performance (violin)
Sep 1998 - May 2001
St. Mary's College of Maryland


National Association for Music Education
May 2010

Founded in 1907, NAfME is among the world’s largest arts education organizations. NAfME advocates at the local, state, and national levels; provides resources for teachers, parents, and administrators; hosts professional development events; and offers a variety of opportunities for students and teachers.

Music Teachers National Association
Apr 2005

The MTNA was founded in 1876 with the goal of advancing the value of music study and music-making to society while supporting the careers and professionalism of teachers of music. With nearly 22,000 members in 50 states—and more than 500 local affiliates—the MTNA is the preeminent source for music teacher support, where members embody like-minded values and commitment to their students, colleagues and society as a whole, while reaping the rewards of collaboration, continuity and connection throughout the lifetime of their careers.

American String Teachers Association
May 1996

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.

9 Reviews on Chris H.

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Brenda Mar 9, 2017
· Violin · In studio
She's very knowledgeable and patient even with an older learner.
Tim Jan 11, 2017
· Cello · In studio
We both had a fun and pleasant first lesson with Chris. Set everything up and got the basics down.
Callie Jan 11, 2017
· Cello · In studio
Great, fun first lesson. Chris taught me the rudiments of the instrument and set up (and more
Importantly gave me some guidance on setting up) the cello. We did some basic exercises and looked over some of the theory materials. Overall a very comprehensive first lesson for this beginner!
Jeffery B. Apr 4, 2016
· Cello · In studio
Ms. Heins provided a welcoming and comfortable introduction the teaching style, lesson goals and mechanics of cello. I found the class inviting and encouraging.
Leo T. Oct 6, 2014
· Violin · In home
Truly 5 stars. Very articulate and patient with children. Awesome teacher!!!
Vara S. Feb 20, 2013
· Violin ·

Ms. Heins is an amazing teacher. I have been learning Violin from her for over two years now and I love it. She explains things clearly and if I am stuck on a piece she helps me out. She encourages me to do my best and participate in different competitions and activities. I love playing violin with her.
W. B. Feb 13, 2013
· Viola ·
Awesome Instructor!

It's evident she cares for her students....very patient with my daughter, my daughter has been under her care for about two yrs now, even sparking her interest to play another string instrument!

I cannot say how appreciative our family is of Ms. Heins and would certainly recommend her.
L M. Feb 10, 2013
· Violin ·
Excellent Teacher

Taking private lessons with Ms. Heins is great. I have learned a lot and the lessons are very enjoyable and the teaching environment is very comfortable. Ms. Heins always gives my parents an update of my progress after each lesson, which they are really impressed with.
James W. Feb 8, 2013
· Violin ·

Ms. Chris is awesome. My son started taking lessons to see if he really liked the violin about 3 1/2 years ago and fell in love with the violin. I do believe he likes it simply because he has an AWESOME teacher. She pushes him when he needs to be pushed and encourages him to audition for performances. He has done a wonderful job and we highly recommend Ms. Chris Heins!
Chris Heins
Chris H.

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