About Heather D.

Background check: Last verified 10/03/2016
Heather passed a background check on 10/03/2016 that included the following:
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Heather teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: July 2005
Last sign in: Yesterday

Overview

I have been playing the violin since I was eight years old, and singing since I was nine. Beginning only as a hobby, I quickly became bored with my steady diet of classical music. Finally, I found the right teacher, and began learning alternative styles. She directed me to the Mark O'Connor Fiddle Camps, where I studied with top violinists from every genre, including folk, jazz, rock, and many more. By the time I reached high school, I couldn't imagine what else I would do with my life. I auditioned for and was accepted into various city youth orchestras, honors orchestras, and county orchestras. I also continued to sing, and auditioned for and was accepted into various honors choirs, including city youth choirs and All-State Choir. While studying classical styles with Juilliard graduates, I also continued with my alternative styles, performing as a guest artist with Grammy Award winning rock violinist Mark Wood and the world famous folk group, "Barrage."

I graduated with honors with a Bachelors in Music and Teaching Certification from West Chester University of Pennsylvania. I spent three years teaching fifth and sixth grade orchestra in a North Carolina Middle School. Today, I am a Graduate Assistant at West Chester University, working on my Masters in Music Education with a concentration in Performance. I believe music, just like life, is boring without variety. That's why I not only perform a variety of styles, but I teach a variety of styles as well.

*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid back teacher who is strict when necessary. I lay out my expectations in the first lesson, and reinforce those expectations throughout each of the following lessons. I have goals for my students, but I also want to know their goals as well. I'm always looking for my students' input on what they would like to learn and in which areas they would like to improve. Rather than forcing my students in the direction I want, we work together to achieve common goals.

When teaching via Skype, my communication is clear and concise. For younger students (ages 5 and 6), I do request a parent to be present in case any hands-on adjustment of the instrument is required. I utilize my camera so that everything I am trying to convey is visible from all angles, and so students can clearly see what I am talking about.

Classical music is still an important part of my curriculum; it is the genre from which all other music has stemmed. If my student is not interested in classical music, we will learn other styles in addition to classical styles so that my students will not become bored. I also supplement my lessons with music history in order to teach the context behind the pieces.

My students also learn music theory, music history, and the context behind the pieces they are studying. As a whole, I keep my lessons interesting, well-rounded, and well-planned.

*** Studio Equipment ***
At the moment, I am unfortunately unable to teach from my home.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect my students to have their own instrument, music stand, method book or music, pencil, tuner, and metronome. I also encourage students to keep a practice notebook where they can take notes at the end of their lesson on what they need to practice for the week.

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in classical music, as well as rock, Celtic fiddle, and other alternative styles.

Photos and Videos

Recital, Spring 2012, West Chester, PA.

Experience

Graduate Assistant

Aug 2016 - Present
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

I am a teacher's assistant for various strings classes, helping to teach undergraduate Music Education majors. I am working towards my Masters in Music Education with a concentration in Violin Performance.

Violinist

Sep 2014 - Jun 2016
Florence Symphony Orchestra

I was a first violinist with the Florence Symphony Orchestra in Florence, South Carolina.

Orchestra Director

Aug 2013 - Jun 2016
Robeson County Public Schools

I taught fifth and sixth grade orchestra. My students learned the basics of the instruments, music theory, music history, and techniques required to help them mature as people and musicians.

Long Term Substitute - Orchestra

May 2013 - Jun 2013
Appoquinimink Public Schools

I was a long-term substitute for the orchestra director of Appoquinimink Public Schools, teaching grades 4-8.

Education

Bachelor of Music

Aug 2008 - May 2012
West Chester University of Pennsylvania

General

Aug 2006 - Jun 2008
James River High School

General

Aug 2004 - Jun 2006
Unionville High School

Languages Spoken

French

Professional Proficiency

Certifications

North Carolina Teaching Certification

Jun 2013
Commonwealth of North Carolina

Teaching Certification in Music

Pennsylvania Teaching Certification

May 2012
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania

Teaching Certification in Music

Affiliations

National Association for Music Education

Jan 2014
NAFME

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.

American String Teachers Association

Sep 2008

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.

Write a Review

7 Reviews on Heather D.

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Amanda McVay Oct 10, 2015
Violin · Online
Verified Student
My daughter is a new student that has never held a violin before. She has made tremendous progress over the last month.
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Kristina J. Sep 28, 2015
Violin · Online
Verified Student
My daughter likes Heather's personality. She seemed to learn quite a bit from her. Recommend!
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Denis D. Jul 8, 2015
Fiddle · Online
Verified Student
Clear, structured, competent... knows what she is talking about.
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Rajita G. Dec 7, 2014
Violin · Online
Verified Student
Heather has been teaching my daughter for over a year. She taught her many of the basics this first year and built a great foundation. She concentrated on technique and posture. She was patient with my daughter when she was not getting her bow hold and was available outside the class schedule to show her.

Heather taught my daughter to love violin. Heather is a great teacher.
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Gina F. Aug 5, 2014
Cello · Online
Verified Student
After struggling to find a local cello teacher for my 7th grade son, I decided to take a chance and have him try an online lesson with Heather. I am so delighted with the results! Heather is a fabulous teacher! My son not only improved after the very first lesson, he began to feel more confident in his ability to play. Heather is a knowledgeable instructor who is enthusiastic, patient, encouraging, and very kind. I highly recommend Heather! Also, I love the efficiency of lessons via Skype . . . . no driving anywhere, I can pop in/out to listen and watch, and lessons can easily fit into a busy schedule with multiple children. Very pleased!
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Ashley B. May 8, 2013
Violin
Verified Student
excellent teacher

Heather is great with young children. My 6 year old son has been taking lessons with her for the past month. She is patient and keeps it interesting for a 6 year old. She is great with positive reinforcement. The lesson location is clean and inviting. Heather is professional and helps me (the nonmuscian) help my son.
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Susan M. Apr 13, 2013
Violin
Verified Student
Excellent teacher!

Heather has been an excellent teacher so far. When I broke my arm 4 weeks ago, Heather provided exercises & lessons that helped me continue learning while I could not play. She makes learning the violin fun. We even play a game with flash cards to learn how to read the music notes. When I learn them all, I will earn a musical surprise. I really look forward to my lesson every week!
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