Keiko Tokunaga
New York, NY
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Keiko Tokunaga

Keiko T.

New York, NY
Profile-background-check Background Check
This teacher successfully passed a thorough criminal background check with SterlingBackcheck. This badge verifies trusted teacher status.
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Teaching Locations:
Profile-location-online Online
Levels taught:
Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Even though most of my students are children between the age of 6 and 18, I love teaching adults because we can build up meaningful relationships and have intriguing conversations through music! I am fully equipped to teach from absolute beginners to semi-professionals who had chosen a non-music career path. Let's work together to achieve your goal, and make beautiful music.

About Keiko T.

I served as a violinist of the Attacca Quartet, a NY-based string quartet that performs all over the world from 2005 to 2019. In addition to concertizing, I teach students of all levels wherever I go; I 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. I am also very fond of working with adults with or without experience- I usually end up being great friends with them.

I often encourage my students to work on a solo repertoire of an appropriate level, as well as an ensemble piece that would help them develop their 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!


Write a Review
32 Reviews
Profile-location-online Online

I have had the pleasure of learning from Keiko for the last several months--she is a wonderful teacher and provides helpful tips on improving my technique and skill level. While I've always been interested in picking up the violin, working with her has sparked an even greater interest and drive to do better. I am certain anyone will benefit from and enjoy taking classes with Keiko!

Posted Jun 17, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

We have been very lucky to have found a teacher as talented as Keiko for my son.
Keiko is passionate about teaching, pays attention to details, and loves to help students with problem-solving. we are thrilled to have found Keiko and would highly recommend her to anyone.

Posted Feb 25, 2021
Karalii R.
Profile-location-online Online

I’ve always wanted to learn how to play the violin but did not have the opportunity to learn when I was young. I started to teach myself how to play the violin about four years ago. At 26, I realized that I wanted to take private violin lessons in hopes how to play properly and improve my skills. Keiko is an absolutely wonderful instructor! She is very patient, friendly and flexible. We have been taking virtual lessons together for about a month now and I already notice a significant improvement when I play. I look forward to continuing to learn from her!

Posted Feb 15, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

She is excellent teacher! She is clear & goes over basics really well. My daughter loves her.

Posted Nov 25, 2020
Yuko Hayashi
Profile-location-online Online

Ms. Keiko is a wonderful teacher and also one of the greatest violinists in my opinion.
Luckily, my 6-year-old son could take her lessons and he totally changed in many ways.
He loves violin, but used to practice it for just only 1 hour a day. Once he started learning from her, he was really inspired and started to practice really hard. Now he practices at least 2 hours and more!
I was really worried because it was online lesson so I was wondering if he could concentrate for 60 minutes, but Keiko considered how my son was feeling and understood him well.
She praised my son to encourage improvement and so my son tried to do his very best during the lessons. We are very honored that my son could take her lessons and he’s practicing seriously to get better everyday!

Posted Oct 4, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Special attention to detail with tremendous patience, always finding alternate ways to solve a problem, always with a smile!

Posted Jun 27, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Extraordinary patience and always upbeat, gives the student so much more confidence!

Posted Jun 20, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Beyond any possible expectations!!!

Posted Jun 13, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

She is a talented instructor! Patient and helps you understand difficult areas of any piece.

Posted May 15, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Keiko is a great teacher, very supportive and encouraging, and definitely patient. She is obviously very accomplished, and so it translates well into her teaching.

Posted May 15, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Very professional and nice teacher!

Posted May 8, 2020
Vanessa V.
Profile-location-online Online

We were hesitant to try online lessons but so happy we did! Keiko is a virtuoso with a gift in teaching. She has amazing ears and her corrections are to the point. She holds her students to a high standard and yet she is positive, encouraging, patient, and friendly. My daughter learned a lot from Keiko and was so inspired and motivated!

Posted Jan 29, 2020
Edmund D.
Profile-location-online Online

Keiko is very patient and kind. She made several suggestions for me to modify my technique to improve my sound. Even though I had difficulty with it, she encouraged me to keep going at it. I am excited for our next lesson.

Posted Jun 20, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Instructing doesn’t get any better than Keiko!! Absolutely! Patience, taking time, review all absolutely great!! Look forward to next session!

Posted Jun 19, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's Studio

Keiko is a really amazing violin instructor. Not only is she a pleasure to work with, but she instills you with the confidence that she knows exactly what she’s doing, and can help you pick up everything you need in order to excel at violin.

Posted May 28, 2019
Profile-location-online Online

Keiko is a fabulous instructor!

Posted May 7, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's Home

Keiko is an amazing teacher!!! She's been teaching me for many years now, and it's been great! She's taught me ever since I was an absolute beginner. She's helped me win international violin competitions that gave me opportunities to perform in Carnegie Hall. She recently prepared me for an audition for a prestigious music school, which I got accepted into. Her lessons are fun and interesting, and very, very helpful.
Highly recommend!! \ (•◡•) /

Posted Apr 26, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Jan 30, 2019
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Jan 3, 2019
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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!!

Posted Dec 29, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Dec 21, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Dec 18, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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!

Posted Dec 12, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Dec 11, 2018
Profile-location-studio Teacher's 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.

Posted Dec 10, 2018

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 !

Posted Dec 10, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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.

Posted Dec 2, 2018
Profile-location-home Student's 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!

Posted Nov 12, 2018
Tabitha J.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Jun 13, 2021
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Feb 4, 2021
Izzy K.
Profile-location-online Online

Posted Sep 23, 2020
Profile-location-online Online

Posted May 9, 2020

Photos & Videos

11 Photos & Videos


Violin & Viola Instructor
Sep 2011 - Present

Fordham University

Sep 2008 - Present

The Juilliard School Pre-College Division

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


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



Fluent / Native Proficiency


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Grammy Award
Jan 2020

Recording Academy

First Prize
May 2011

Osaka International Chamber Music Competition


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.
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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