Helena Gelfor

Helena G.

San Jose, CA

About Helena G.

Background check: Last verified 11/17/2015
Helena passed a background check on 11/17/2015 that included the following:
  • National Criminal Record Check
  • County/State Criminal Record Check
  • Sex Offender Registry Search
  • SSN Trace & Verification
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Helena teaches: Ages 5 and up
Teaching since: May 1990
Last sign in: Today


Classically trained at prestigious Mussorgsky school of music in St. Petersburg, Russia, with over 20 years of teaching experience. I teach Violin, Viola and Piano Performance, Music Theory, Music History, Sight Reading and Ear Training to children and adults of beginning to advanced level. I utilize several teaching methods to best suit the needs of a student and make lessons enjoyable and productive. I introduce my students to a variety of styles while teaching classical techniques for lifetime skills. When not teaching, I play with Nova Vista Symphony (First Violin) ,Campbell String Chamber Orchestra (Concertmeistress), Winchester Symphony Orchestra, and a variety of instrumental Ensembles featuring Klezmer Music, Russian Tangos and Brazilian Choros.

*** Lesson Details ***
My lessons are a balance of fun and focus. My students quickly learn the basics and start playing familiar melodies. I teach memorization techniques to develop a performing repertoire.
In addition, my students develop abilities in rhythm, melody, harmony, understanding of theory, and improvisation. I also help with school orchestra practice and audition preparation.

*** Studio Equipment ***
Dedicated Music Space, desk, piano, recording equipment, music stands, couch for parents to observe and wait or participate.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I expect the student to provide their own violin and bow, music stand and a notebook. Students may also need to purchase sheet music/music books. I will provide basic recording equipment (audio and video), and pre-recorded piano or orchestra accompaniment. A live piano accompanist is available for recitals and pre-recital rehearsals.

*** Specialties ***
Classical Violin, Viola
Fiddle - Klezmer, American, Celtic
Piano - beginning and intermediate levels
Music Theory, Ear Training, Sight Reading, Improvisation.

Photos and Videos

Helena is a part of a Klezmer Band, offering Community Outreach and Education.


Second Violin

Sep 2012 - Present
Winchester Symphony Orchestra of San Jose


Sep 2010 - Present
Campbell Strings Chamber Orchestra

First Violin

Feb 2008 - Present
Nova Vista Symphony

Languages Spoken


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Write a Review

13 Reviews on Helena G.

Christina P. Sep 28, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
She has a great teaching style especially with young children. A very patient instructor. Recommend!
Serena P. Sep 12, 2015
Violin · In studio
Verified Student
Helena is wonderful! She is so patient with both my 6 year old daughter and I. We are both new to the violin but loving it so far!
Dana N. Mar 21, 2015
Viola · In studio
Verified Student
I'm very happy with my first lesson. Helena is very informative, and I really like the way she teaches, with wonderful attention to detail. I'm looking forward to next lessons. Meanwhile I'm practicing!
Debbie M. Nov 11, 2013
Verified Student
Gifted Teacher!!!

If you are searching for an outstanding violin teacher, I highly recommend Helena.  Her students benefit from her many years of teaching and performing experience as well as her extensive educational background.  When you learn musical pieces with Helena she teaches proper technique with just the right amount of music theory to produce well-rounded musicians.  Some of her best qualities are her great abundance of patience that she mixes with professionalism, kindness, a sense of humor, and a great deal of encouragement.  Helena is certainly a violin teacher you will be glad you found. I feel privileged to be her student! Thank you Helena for continually inspiring me to learn and keeping me challenged as well!
Linglin D. Nov 5, 2013
Verified Student
perfect teacher

Thanks Helena for her patience in teaching my 10-year old son.

My son is in intermediate and advance level. Helena makes music materials easy to understand so that he can love it.....
Leanna D. Jun 26, 2013
Verified Student
Beginner Adult

Helena continues to me the best choice for me as an adult beginner on the violin. She is patient, knowledgable and I can't praise her enough. She knows just when I need the encouragement we beginners need. Very happy to have found her.
CrystalD Apr 3, 2012

Helena is a great teacher. She is kind, patient and organized. She also has a good sense of humour which is nice to find in a music teacher. I am grateful I have her as a teacher.
DeepikaP Feb 23, 2012
Amazing teacher

Helena is an amazing teacher.She has got good hold on violin and knows perfectly how to tune to student's needs. Feel lucky to learn from her
JanetP Oct 23, 2011
I couldn't be happier. Helena makes me feel comfortable yet challenges me.
DavidJ Oct 23, 2011
Sudent Feedback

I am blessed to have you Helena as my teacher. You are giving me what I need to get and stay on the right track to learn.Thank you so much for what you have done for me so far.My hope is to become one of your best students.You are a wonderful teacher.Warmest regards,David