Keiko Tokunaga

Keiko T.

New York, NY
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Lesson Details

Viola

Levels Taught:
Beginner, Intermediate
Viola jokes are for losers... I think viola has one of the most gorgeous tone in the entire orchestra family. I can work on solo pieces as well as chamber music / orchestral excerpts of your choice.
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Keiko teaches

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About

Keiko passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Keiko delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 20+ and special needs

Teaching since:
2005

I am a violinist of the Attacca Quartet, a NY-based string quartet that has been traveling all over the world! In addition to concertizing, my colleagues and I teach students of all levels wherever we go; we have given lessons, masterclasses and lectures in the United States, Canada, Mexico, Colombia, Peru, Ireland, Australia, Japan, UAE... good thing we all speak the universal language of humanity: music.

I grew up in Yokohama, Japan, but I decided that I was ready to explore the world when I was finishing up the 10th grade. I moved to New York to pursue a musical life and career. I have Bachelor's and Master's degrees in Violin Performance, as well as Artist Diploma in String Quartet Studies from The Juilliard School.

I have been teaching students of all ages since 2005. Many of them were young children who simply enjoy playing the violin, but I have had several students win domestic and international competitions. While I enjoyed the experience of being a part of numerous children's lives tremendously, I am slowly moving towards teaching adults because my busy tour life does not allow for me to be in town all the time.

With my adult students, I often encourage them to work on a solo repertoire of an appropriate level, as well as an ensemble piece that would allow us to develop our musicianship. I am very friendly and casual, but if you ask me to, I can be very tough (I was raised by a tiger mom.)

If you are a beginner and need help with reading music in general, don't worry- I teach a course called "Ear Training" at Juilliard, so that can be a part of our lessons as well.

I look forward to meeting you and making music together!

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Experience

Violin Instructor
Sep 2011 - Present
Fordham University

Faculty
Sep 2008 - Present
The Juilliard School Pre-College Division

I teach a course that enhances basic performance skills and knowledge for classically-trained musicians.

Education

Artist Diploma
Sep 2011 - May 2013
The Juilliard School
Master of Music
Sep 2007 - May 2008
The Juilliard School
Bachelor of Music
Sep 2003 - May 2007
The Juilliard School

Languages

English
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Japanese
Fluent / Native Proficiency

Awards

First Prize
May 2011
Osaka International Chamber Music Competition

Affiliations

American Federation of Musicians
Dec 2018

A labor union representing professional musicians in the United States and Canada. Founding in 1896 as the successor to the "National League of Musicians," the AFM is the largest organization in the world representing the interests of professional musicians.

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Chamber Music America
Jan 2007

Chamber Music America (CMA) is an American non-profit organization that provides small ensemble professionals with access to a variety of professional development, networking, and funding resources. CMA's regular initiatives include grants, awards, and commissioning programs for ensembles and presenters, a national conference held annually in New York City, and the publication of Chamber Music magazine.

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Photos & Videos

Check out my most recent live performance: 2nd movement of Saint=Saëns Violin Sonata No. 1

November 3rd, 2018
Photo by Keiko T.

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Photo by Keiko T.

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Performing and teaching are my two vices I cannot give up.

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Candid photo from my recording session

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I host chamber music reading parties twice a year at my place.

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I’m a tough teacher!!

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I am also an amateur cartoonist. Not that this will help our lessons but...

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This is my group. the Attacca Quartet. We have been together since 2003.

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11 Reviews

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Kei Jan 30, 2019
Violin · In studio

I highly recommend Keiko as a violin teacher. She would be good with any level and any age student. Keiko is really a wonderful, patient and constructive teacher. She really knows fundamentals and always explain to me how to do things from many different prospective. I work full time and often find myself not ready for the lessons. She doesn't discourage me in any way even if I make really simple mistakes. She is always very positive and somehow makes me wanting to learn more. I am so lucky to have found her.

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Polibio Jan 3, 2019
Violin · In home

A wonderful violin teacher, always with the right solution for the technical and musical challenge. Keiko has a warm and kind manner that encourages confidence, especially for an adult student like me. And I continue to learn from her - in my ongoing lessons and her performances that I attend.

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Rachel Dec 29, 2018
Violin · In studio

Keiko is an awesome instructor who knows her stuff. She really helps and challenges her students to better understand the instrument and how to play it. I definitely recommend her as a teacher as you will learn a lot with her!!

Lam Dec 21, 2018
Violin · In home

Keiko was my son first violin teacher in New York. She was a very experienced and professional violin teacher. She taught my son patiently and gave instruction detailly. My son loved to have Keiko’s violin lesson. It was very sad that my son couldn’t have Keiko’s lesson due to we relocated to our hometown.

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Nerissa Dec 18, 2018
Violin · In studio

Keiko is that rare combination--an accomplished violinist AND a great teacher. Hard to come by... Her passion for music is contagious and, for her students, inspiring. Keiko taught my husband and my daughter. Her approach was different for each and tailored to challenge but never pressure them. Her engaging style and good sense of humor made lessons fly by, and when it came time to practice, motivated them. As a person, she's wonderful too. As a teacher, she's a gift.

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Jessica Dec 12, 2018
Violin · In home

Keiko has been teaching my daughter violin for 6 years. She has taught my daughter from how to hold a violin all the way to winning an international violin competition and performing at Carnegie Hall. She has been an inspiring role model for my daughter’s appreciation of music and passion to learn violin. We often attend Keiko’s concerts and my daughter enjoys to see her teacher perform as professional violinist on stage.

Keiko’s patience and her encouraging way of teaching makes the learning experience fun for my daughter. Her dedication to teaching and her efforts to support young students’ music talent - not only focused on the techniques but also their lifetime love for music - make her the best violin teacher!

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Russell Dec 11, 2018
Violin · In home

You could not ask for a better teacher. I am an adult beginner. Her lessons are relaxed, even fun, but still challenging. Her temperament is excellent, knowledge and teaching skills superb. She also taught my daughter, who improved significantly and enjoyed their interactions. I have no hesitation recommending her for adult or children's lessons at any level.

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Elaine Dec 10, 2018
Violin · In studio

Keiko is a skilled and thorough teacher. She knows how to pinpoint what a student needs and break it down to approach in a practical way. She can talk inspirationally and knowledgeably about the musicality of a piece, but then will show the technique to achieve it. She has high standards yet puts one at ease with her care, attentiveness and warmth.

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Jennifer Dec 10, 2018
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There are many qualities which make Keiko an excellent teacher. She is inspiring , patient creative and practical. As a beginner I am sometimes nervous and a little overwhelmed with the instrument but Keiko is so clear and breaks things down so well that I know how to work. And she plays so beautifully you will be totally inspired !

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Dave Dec 2, 2018
Violin · In home

Keiko is a sensitive teacher who is both fun and demanding at the same time. She acted as a chamber music coach for me and her careful advice helped us a great deal. Highly recommended.

Jill Nov 12, 2018
Violin · In home

Keiko is the most wonderful teacher! Besides being a superb violinist, she is kind, sensitive, and adored by her students. We are all fortunate to be taught by her!

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