I have studied with Wanchi Huang at James Madison University for six years. At JMU, I earned a Bachelor of Music and a Master of Music, both in violin performance. I am currently working on a doctoral degree at Catholic University of America, studying with Jody Gatwood. When I was a student at JMU, I taught several students privately. The students ranged from retirees to JMU faculty and students to adolescents. I am now teaching at Baltimore Talent Education Center, where I teach violin in small groups and individual lessons. The students at BTEC range from pre- kindergarden through high school. I also have festival experience. I have been a student at Brevard Music Center, Heifetz International Music Institute, BayView Music Festival, and I was a Teaching Fellow at Interlochen Arts Camp. Through my experiences both as a student and as a teacher, I understand that every student is a little bit different. Every student has different strengths and weaknesses. Every student has a different learning style. Every student has a different way of understanding things, a different way of processing information, and a different personality all together. It will be my job as a teacher to get to know each student individually and use my teaching methods to teach the student how to play the violin and help him or her to reach his or her goals.
*** Lesson Details ***
I am a laid-back person. I am easy-going, enthusiastic about violin playing and about teaching and learning music, and I am very patient with my students as well. However, I am also very demanding. I explain and demonstrate objectives in a very precise way, and I demand a lot of detailed work from my students, inside and outside the lesson. I explain specifically what I want the student to do. By the end of every lesson, the student will have specific things to work on for next time. I expect each student to make practicing a habit, and practice regularly what has been discussed in the lesson. I try to make the lessons as pleasant and as laid-back as possible. But I become more firm, serious, and strict when a student either is not making an effort or does not practice enough outside the lesson.
I start students off with the Suzuki method. We work on techniques to hold the violin properly, hold the bow properly, and get a decent sound out of the violin, without too much physical tension. A student begins by learning to play by ear. After he or she is comfortable playing by ear, we associate the notes that the student hears and plays on the violin with written notes on a page.
We also work with the Paul Roland methods so that the student can learn the violin in a basic, rudimentary way. It involves a lot of repetitive patterns, back and forth motions that are slow and round, and avoiding excessive tension. This will give the student the tools that he or she needs to learn how to play the violin in a short period of time.
In three to six months, a student who is a beginner will be able to hold the violin and bow comfortably, create a decent sound on the violin, and play the Twinkle Variations, and maybe a few other songs.
If the student has played violin before, then in three to six months, he or she will have had some rehabilitation to get rid of tension and force, overcome some bad habits he or she may have developed, and review the fundamentals of violin playing. I will improve the student's approach to the violin, and by the end of the three to six months, he or she will have a better idea on how to practice and play the violin.
*** Studio Equipment ***
Piano, seating for parents in the living room,
*** Travel Equipment ***
I will provide a stand.
I will expect the student to have a violin, rosin, and a pencil.
*** Specialties ***
Suzuki Method- a starting point, particularly for kids, but for people of all ages. It is a good way to begin learning the violin by playing by ear, developing a strong, clear tone, and bringing out one's individuality through his/her musical development and his/her ability to be expressive.
In a matter of time, I want the student to get used to reading music, in addition to playing by ear. This can be done through the pieces in the Suzuki method or through other music.
Eventually, I take the student off of the Suzuki method and work with him or her on classical repertoire.