Mary O'Brien

Mary O.

Saint Cloud, MN

About Mary O.

Mary teaches: Ages 5 and up
Special needs
Teaching since: June 1980
Last sign in: Within two months


One of my earliest memories is of listening to my older sister practice her violin. My mom used to have her play for me when I cried. It always worked to help me feel better, and music has the same effect on me to this day! I remember wishing I was old enough to play myself, and I was very excited when I started playing the piano when I was still in Kindergarten. Along with taking orchestra classes in school and attending fine arts camp over the summers, I took private lessons throughout high school. I have had the pleasure of playing with several orchestras and symphonies, including the Anchorage Symphony Orchestra and the Tifereth Israel Community Orchestra in San Diego. Although most of my training has been in classical music, I have expanded my horizons to include Blues, Rock, Celtic, and Country music. I have had a wide variety of experiences on stage and in the studio, and I have had fun sharing my knowledge with students of all ages!

*** Lesson Details ***
For the past year I have had the pleasure of teaching private violin and music lessons with Take Lessons and at the Chula Vista Academy of Music. While enjoying the benefits of being a musician and private music teacher, I have also spent the last twenty years working as an elementary school teacher. I currently have a Special Education credential, and most of my experience has been with teaching students, with special needs, in small groups or on an individual basis. My classroom experience has taught me to be patient and to persevere. I have been successful at helping many students overcome challenges to meet their potential.
My approach is positive in which I focus on student's strengths and give praise. The curriculum is simple and sequential so that students may build on prior skills. One of my greatest goals is that students feel successful every step of way! I believe my love of music is contagious.

*** Studio Equipment ***
one bedroom condo...big space in in dining room...keyboard, Yamaha...88 weighted keys

*** Travel Equipment ***
I would expect the student to provide an instrument, music, and a music stand.

*** Specialties ***
I was trained as a classical violinist, but I have experience with several types of music, including Blues, Rock 'n Roll, Irish, Country music.

Photos and Videos


Private Music Teacher

May 1981 - Present
Mary's Music Lessons

I have been teaching private lessons since I was a teenager. I teach from my home studio, which is centrally located near several freeways. I am also willing to travel to students' homes. I am reliable, and my schedule is flexible to accommodate students' needs.


B.S. in Special Education and Elementary Education,

Sep 1986 - Jun 1989
Oregon State University, National University(continuing education)


Level II Teaching Credential in Mild to Moderate Disabilities

Mar 2014
CA Commission on Teaching Credentials

I recently renewed my credentials. I also have experience with teaching regular education in grades K-12.

Write a Review

2 Reviews on Mary O.

Michelle Apr 28, 2016
Violin · In home
Verified Student
Mary has been an excellent and patient teacher! As an Adult with no prior experience it is scary to think about learning something new but she makes it easy and I feel accomplished in just a few short weeks. I would highly recommend her.
MindyL1 Jan 29, 2012

She's so friendly! Went at my own pace. Looked forward to her lessons.
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