I love to teach the violin and fiddle. I really enjoy working with adult beginners to help them discover music. You are never too old to learn! My specialty is working with young children and youth to establish a wonderful foundation for the student. I work to incorporate, into the lessons, a strong sense of musicianship with both the violin and fiddle. I am a structured teacher, one that is helpful, friendly and fun to work with. In working with young children, I encourage the parent to be involved with the lessons...to partnership, so that the child will progress and have an enjoyable experience. I use a modern approach in selecting books for each student.. books that inspire and encourage the student at his/her skill level and age. I discuss the various books with the parent and together we make a decision on the books used to help the child learn in his/her best way. Having taught several string instruments during the past 15 years...I understand the importance of passing on musical knowledge to brave adult beginners and to children and their parents who are starting out on a musical journey. . Music lessons can be a wonderful "corner stone" to help build confidence, creativity and explore new beginnings in learning a musical instrument. Music lessons also boost reading, math and critical thinking skills. Lesson are but a series of building blocks that bring joy and confidence to the young and old. Believe in music for life! Come take lessons and we will explore a musical journey together on the violin or fiddle.
In the past 10 years, I have taught violin and fiddle privately at my home studio and at various music camps, festivals, violin workshops and classrooms around the US. I continue to take private, classical violin lessons and go to music education seminars and workshops. In addition, for the past 20 years, I've attend music camps and week long workshops around the US. These camps, workshops and festivals focus on the various violin both for adults and children and for fiddle, traditions such as Old-Time (Southern) Appalachian, Scandinavian, Scottish and Bluegrass. Several of the workshops I go to yearly focus on classical violin playing and teaching for both adults and children. I play in a community string orchestra on a weekly basis for the past 8 years with a classical repertoire. I also continue to take private fiddle lesson with a classically trained violinist who is a professional fiddler. I'm continually learning so that I can pass information on to my students. Come "fiddle" with me and learn this exciting instrument.
I am now retired from nursing having spent 30 years in the nursing education field.
I would enjoy working with you or your child to help you or the child discover the joys of music making tailored to your goals on the violin or the fiddle. Besides teaching, I'm involved with my husbands business, Bobs Violins and Bows. We restore, setup, rent and make violins. We also repair and re-hair bows and sell new and vintage restored bows. Our shop helps students as well as professional players. If you decide on lessons, please get in touch with us BEFORE you rent or purchase an instrument for the student .For children we have smaller size instruments. My husband is a professional luthier and sets up all instruments so you will be learning and playing on a good student violin. We recommend renting an instrument instead of purchasing one to make sure the student wants to continue to play and learn. For children: Violins come in fractional sizes and the child needs to be measured correctly to ensure a proper size. If an instrument is too big, this can lead to discouragement with not being able to play. If you sign up for lessons with me, contact us first before you purchase an instrument so that we can measure the student for the proper size. Learning to play on an instrument that is professionally setup and of the correct size will help the new student progress and they will have an enjoyable experience. Playing on a violin that is too big for a child can lead to injury or frustration for the student and parent.
*** Lesson Details ***
My violin/fiddle lessons start out with the basics for beginners. For a beginning student, the basic approach to good technique for the instrument is essential in developing tension-free playing. To give you an idea of the basics: how the violin and bow are held, good posture, producing great tone with your instrument, learning basic music theory (major and minor scales, arpeggios and note values), sight-reading music, aural training (learning by ear), rhythm, learning how to tune the instrument and instrument care. I always teach the violin parts, some history of the instrument and how to care for your instrument and put it away after each practice. I also teach the student how to practice and we go over a hand written practice sheet at the end of each lesson so they have a lesson plan from which to work on at home. If the student is a child, I review this lesson plan with the parent and encourage them to be active with the student during the week of practice.
What are lessons like for a student? I use a simultaneous approach to violin technique, in that everything connects. I teach through the very basics of building skills using a variety of warm-ups, exercises, etudes and pieces (tunes) from violin or fiddle books that are age and skill level appropriate. Together the student and I use hands on learning; listening to tunes/pieces by my playing the tune for them and by using music CD's. I teach sight reading and playing music from notation with skill building work books to read music and basic theory. I have the student play along with me on simple exercises. This incorporates a sense of fun and meaning for the student. I also incorporate ear-training (aural skills) in teaching children and adults, this builds confidence and joy in listening which builds musicianship. . I use a call and response method to help establish skill building in all areas of playing from tone production to intonation (playing a note to correct pitch) to learning tunes and pieces and to establishing rhythms and beginning improvisation. Call and response is: teacher plays and student plays it back. This is a fun way to learn for adults and children. This is creative teaching and learning methods where progress is made by the fact there is no right or wrong way...just individual progress that builds confidence. I'm a flexible and caring teacher in helping develop musicianship skills. I'm a very firm believer in practice and teach the student (parents of children) how to practice effectively. A written practice sheet is sent home. Progress can be accomplished with only 15-30 minutes of focused practice a day. I believe that the teacher is an essential force in developing good practice habits with a student so they can grow individually and really enjoy both learn and making music.
*** Studio Equipment ***
I have a large, sun filled room in my home that is my studio. It is a smoke -free home. I have a music stand, good lighting, chairs, a tuner, metronome, a digital recorder, and several shoulder rests and chin rests to try out for individual comfort and play ability. In addition I have a music library of violin and fiddle books, CD's, videos and student articles of interest that I can share with my students. I also have properly set up violins of all sizes for rental for adults and children. Children need special sizes of violins to learn and play on so they will not become injured playing on an instrument that is too big for them. Buying instruments on Ebay or the net can be a disaster as they tend to not be setup correctly for playing and can also be of poor workmanship and materials. It's best to talk to a trained luthier or someone with knowledge before you buy an instrument. Beware of the VSO's....Violin shaped objects. Come fiddle with me. Stay tuned. Diane
*** Travel Equipment ***
I like my students to have a three ring notebook with folders inside and about 8 protective clear sheets so I can write down their assignment, notes and the handouts can be saved for reference. I give out lots of handouts and charts to help[ the student so they don't have to buy lots of different books. They in turn can write down questions for me for the next lesson. A good music stand at home is important so having a stand and a space for music is important for the progress of the student.
*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching children ages 5 and up. I also love teaching adults. I prefer to use several method (tutor) books depending on the student, their skill level and their age. I use several different music theory workbooks as well, again appropriate for adults, youth or a young child.
I teach classical violin technique for beginners for a solid foundation in violin playing and branch out into fiddle tunes and styles if the student is interested in learning fiddling. Having a good background in violin technique and basic music theory prepares the student for any genres they wish to learn. This also educates them to the proper mechanics of tension-free and pain free playing that is very important for a beginning student. and for success and progress.
Come learn violin with me and have fun while progressing.
Selected by Coursera to be a Community Mentor for the recently start-up of the on-line course. Teaching the Violin and Viola, Building a Healthy Foundation for Young Children and Adults. Assisting students on-line with posted forum questions relating to course material, suggestions regarding resources, answering problems and helping students discover new approaches to teaching violin in studio and in classroom settings.
Attend the American String Teachers Conference in Salt Lake City, UT for 4 days. Took many workshops and participate4d in classes on working with adult beginners and teaching young children. Played in a 50 member string ensemble that was a juried competition…we won a trophy for participation as an adult ensemble. Was able to meet and discuss teaching methods with the author of the violin books I use for adult beginners and youth…"The ABC's of the Violin" and the " Complete Technique for Violin" (new). I was also able to learn of new resources for children's books for help with note reading and theory for young children as there are some wonderful new methods to assist the teacher and parents, who work with the child during practice at theme. I have since joined ASTA and will be keeping abreast of the latest in teaching methods, accessories and instruments for our home violin shop here in No.County.
I recently attended a strings conference in Austin, Texas. This was an intensive workshop on new and innovative ways to teach children learning the violin. We covered teaching tone production, rhythm, sight-reading and how to help young children and youth be better music readers. The workshop also focused on new books for learning the violin: basic music theory, help with sight-reading music, rhythm books for beginners, new books for children and youth on technical aspect of violin playing and new method books that are coming on the market for young children, youth and adults…these method books incorporate a variety of styles, both for classical and fiddle styles to help a student become a well-round musician. Most come with a DVD or CD. One class day was devoted to helping students understand and incorporate practice at home for progress. Many of these new and exciting ideas I will be using in my studio to assist and broaden a students musical journey.