Helena Gelfor

Helena G.

San Jose, CA
100% Satisfaction Guarantee

100% Satisfaction Guarantee

Try the first lesson and if you’re not satisfied we'll refund any unused lessons.

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate

Strong classical Piano foundation and fun popular tunes! I work with my students particular interests and goals.

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Helena teaches



Helena delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 5+

Teaching since:
May 1990

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.

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First Violin
Feb 2008 - Present
Nova Vista Symphony

Sep 2010 - Dec 2017
Campbell Strings Chamber Orchestra

Second Violin
Sep 2012 - Jun 2016
Winchester Symphony Orchestra of San Jose


Violin Performance
Jun 1975 - Jun 1978
Mussorgsky College of Music, St. Petersburg, Russia


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Fluent / Native Proficiency


Amateur Chamber Music Players
Jan 2010

ACMP — The Chamber Music Network is a non-profit organization that facilitates informal music-making by people of all ages and nationalities, from beginners to professionals. Founded as a non-profit organization in 1947, ACMP, originally the Amateur Chamber Music Players, was the idea of Leonard Strauss, an American businessman whose work frequently included travel. Tired of practicing alone in hotel rooms, he dreamed of a network of musicians who could contact each other for chamber music sessions while at home or “on the road.”

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American Musicological Society
Jan 2004

The American Musicological Society is a membership-based musicological organization founded in 1934 to advance scholarly research in the various fields of music as a branch of learning and scholarship; it grew out of a small contingent of the Music Teachers National Association and, more directly, the New York Musicological Society (1930-1934).

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California Professional Music Teachers Association
Jan 2004

CAPMT is the California State Affiliate of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA). CAPMT is a 501(c)(3) non-profit music teachers organization of over 1,000 members, teaching in independent studios, private and public schools, conservatories, colleges, and universities throughout California.

CAPMT offers a variety of state programs for the music student and education and professional opportunities for its members. California is divided into nine geographical districts, some of which are subdivided into chapters. The districts and chapters provide local opportunities for student performances, competitions, evaluations, and for teacher enrichment, education, and interaction.

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Photos & Videos

Welcome to Helena's Harmony Music Studio!
Helena is a part of a Klezmer Band, offering Community Outreach and Education.
Helena's Violin Studio

Helena's Violin Studio

Photo by Helena G.

Accidental Klezmer Band
+ 2 more

20 Reviews

Write a Review
Matthew C. Mar 9, 2018
Violin · In home

She is amazing! My son enjoy the class so much! I truly appreciate it.

Barbara J. Mar 2, 2018
Viola · Online

Helena was a pleasure to work with. It was my first viola lesson in decades. I was not sure how the online lesson would go but it worked well for me. She was so patient and helpful and very encouraging. Look forward to the next lesson!

Ayse K. Nov 14, 2017
Violin · In studio

she loves her job alot .and she makes you love it as well.

Elsa Mar 3, 2017
Violin · In home

My daughter has had multiple instructors over the past 4 years and Helena is her favorite. Her technique and personality make her a joy to work with and Elsa is eager to practice and looks forward to her lesson each week.

Jill Mar 2, 2017
Violin · In home

Helena has great insight and can spot areas that need improvement quickly! She is kind and patient, and a wonderful violin teacher/player.

Joe A. Mar 10, 2016
Violin · In home

I am an adult beginner. Helena is amazingly patient and has clearly mastered teaching the violin. I am very excited that I found her and look forward to having her guide me on my journey to learn such a beautiful musical instrument.

Dawson S. Feb 25, 2016
Violin · In home

She is doing a wonderful job sharing the experience of music with our son.

Christina P. Sep 28, 2015
Violin · In studio

She has a great teaching style especially with young children. A very patient instructor. Recommend!

Serena P. Sep 12, 2015
Violin · In studio

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

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
Violin ·

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!

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Linglin D. Nov 5, 2013
Violin ·

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
Violin ·

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

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

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JanetP Oct 23, 2011

I couldn't be happier. Helena makes me feel comfortable yet challenges me.

ErikaM Sep 24, 2011


Helena is a great violin teacher! she is very energetic, organized, patient and motivates me to keep learning. She is also very knowledgeable in music theory, and knows how to relate it to violin tones/melody as well as proper violin posture. I'm loving my lessons with her.

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AlexN Jun 27, 2011

Great experience

Helena is very good and friendly with kids. She has great teaching method. I am very impressed with the fact that she is always well prepared before each lesson. The amount of materials were just right for young kid and so were the amount of homework. My son is very shy but he now feels very comfortable with her.

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MatthanB Mar 7, 2011

Great Teacher!

Miss Helena is the best teacher I ever had. She knows what I need work on and makes a custom lesson plan for my needs. She is really nice and very knowledgeable. I highly recommend her!

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