Chris Heins
Waldorf, MD
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Chris Heins

Chris H.

Waldorf, MD
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This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
I do a variety of styles in music for the violin. I use whatever method (book or teaching style) is needed to teach what the student needs to learn. I have been teaching violin for 25 years. Depending on age, we will start in either Essential Elements or Suzuki. All beginners will start the bow after they can read the first 8 notes. All intermediates will be able to play 2 octave scales from 3 sharps to 3 flats as well as well into Wolfhart book 1. They will also be able to shift into third position cleanly and will be starting on vibrato. For Advanced players, we will be working on Concertos, sonatas, and partitas if they wish to go classical. IF they wish other styles, we will have started that in intermediate. All students will have an opportunity to go through the music development program, if they are interested.

About Chris H.

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.

I do encourage that everyone has at least a shaped sponge(excluding cellists). This will help you hold the instrument correctly with fewer chances at injuring your neck or left shoulder.

*** 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.

***Online lessons***
I have just added online lessons. I prefer to do these with experienced students, meaning not just starting out. The reason for that is that the student needs to have already have their instrument taped and has learned last hand basic form. (holding the violin) I can tune online and teach bowing online, but the left hand is special and needs constant adjustment when you are just starting out.

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

Online lessons are done mostly out of my home studio. They may also occur at studio A.

at home: music, music stands, chairs, computer, laptop, keyboard, microphone, tuner, metronome. I also will have an iPad holder so I can do white board as well.

at the home studio: music stand, chairs, laptop, tuner, metronome, keyboard, iPad.

The A studio is located in St. Mary's County of MD.

The home studio is located in Charles County, MD.

*** 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.
Also, if you have special needs, I know how to deal with some of them but not all. If the student can't sit up in an armless chair, or can't move either of the arms. I don't know how to teach the instrument to someone that can't do either since the student needs both arms and the neck/ head.

IF you are contacting me with questions, please include either take lessons or lessons in the subject area so I can find you faster. I get a lot of junk mail and it is easy for me to miss a note from you.


Write a Review
12 Reviews
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Ms Chris was great my daughter really enjoyed her first lesson. Ms Chris was easy to work with and made my daughter comfortable that she felt free to ask questions and make mistakes without worry. My daughter is looking forward to the next lesson.

Posted Oct 13, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

If you’re looking for a dedicated, knowledgeable and patient strings teacher, you will love Mrs. Heins. Both of my sons have been taking lessons from Mrs. Heins for several years (one for viola and one for cello). They have learned so much under her instruction, such as earning All-County and All-State honors. They also practice their live performance skills twice a year during informal musical concerts. Mrs. Heins also offers participation in the Royal Conservatory Music Development program, which can earn your child credit for college. She is a gem and should you choose her, you won’t be disappointed.

Posted Mar 27, 2018
Deborah H.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Had a wonderful time with my teacher she restrung my violin and I got a trade in for an adult si and adult size because I had purchased one for ciao but I got it at music store where she works and they gave me another one with the trade-in and I only had to pay $50 I had a nice time with Miss Hines I even was so excited to go into my lessons I get it two hours earlier and she excepted me so that was good she had time to string the restring the Valium and not show me a lot of things that I needed to do and I’ve also purchased the first book so I’m I’m really excited

Posted Mar 25, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

She's very knowledgeable and patient even with an older learner.

Posted Mar 9, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

We both had a fun and pleasant first lesson with Chris. Set everything up and got the basics down.

Posted Jan 11, 2017
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!

Posted Jan 11, 2017
Jeffery B.
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Apr 4, 2016
Leo T.
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Truly 5 stars. Very articulate and patient with children. Awesome teacher!!!

Posted Oct 6, 2014
Vara S.


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.

Posted Feb 20, 2013
W. B.

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.

Posted Feb 13, 2013
L M.

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.

Posted Feb 10, 2013
James W.


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!

Posted Feb 8, 2013

Photos & Videos

5 Photos & 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.

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