Mikaela Holland

Mikaela H.

San Francisco, CA

Lesson Details


Levels Taught:
Elementary, Middle School, High School, College
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Mikaela teaches



Mikaela passed a background check that includes a SSN verification, national criminal record check, and sex offender registry search. Learn More
Mikaela delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4 to 65 and special needs

Teaching since:
March 2011

Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music, Jacobs Scholar
Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance - 2007-2011

I work with each student to create a personalized experience that will best suit your individual goals and needs. My teaching focuses on providing each student with a solid foundation of technique which is suited to children and adults who wish to play violin as a hobby, but also to those who wish to pursue violin at a professional level. This technique will not only allow you to create the beautiful violin sound you have always dreamed of, but will also do so in a way that is healthy for your body in the long term.

In lessons my students develop skills not only in violin playing, but also in musicianship, music reading, ear training, music theory, leadership, collaboration, and self-discipline.

For beginning students, I teach using the suzuki books, however I draw from my many years of experience as a successful performer to supplement this system for long term success. For students who have surpassed the Suzuki level, I teach Russian School technique. My own training is largely Russian school, influenced by Heifetz and modern European tradition.

*** Travel Equipment ***
I provide music books for compensation, though I expect students to rent or purchase their own instruments.

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Music Teacher and Second/Third Grade Teacher
Oct 2012 - Present
St. John of San Francisco Orthodox Academy

I am the head of the music department at a private K-12 school in San Francisco. I teach group violin classes to middle and high school students, and I design and administer the curriculum for general music studies in the elementary school. We present music performances twice a year and students study music theory, ear training, music history, and music appreciation. I also run an after school violin program at the Academy.

I also have the pleasure of teaching core subjects to a combined second and third grade class.

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Dec 2002 - Present

Mikaela, has been sculpting her career as a musician since her first public performance at the age of 5, a year after beginning her violin studies. Audiences and critics alike have found her remarkable in her “poise; depth of expression; light and fluid technique; and her beautiful old world sound”.

Mikaela graduated sigma cum laude from The Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University at the age of 20. She was accepted to both the Performer Diploma and Bachelor of Music programs at 15 as a Jacob’s Scholar, one of a handful of elite students selected each year to receive a comprehensive merit scholarship for their studies. She earned her B.M. in Violin Performance under the tutelage of Professor Alex Kerr, former concertmaster of the Royal Concertgebouw Orchestra.

In the summer of 2009, Mikaela studied and performed at Master Class series’ with eminent international violinists including Andres Cardenes, Shmuel Ashkenasi, Ida Haendel, and Joel Smirnoff, at Keshet Eilon, Israel, and Banff, Canada. From the ages of 11 - 16, Mikaela delighted in spending her summers studying and performing at the Aspen Music Festival and School where she studied with Sylvia Rosenberg, and Dr. Won-bin Yim, amongst others. She also performed in master classes for Robert McDuffie and Cho-Liang Lin. Prior to attending Indiana University, Mikaela studied privately with University of Washington professor Ronald Patterson, himself a former student of the legendary Jascha Heifetz.

During her time at Indiana University, Mikaela consistently excelled as an orchestral musician, winning concertmaster of Indiana University’s top orchestra for two consecutive years. As concertmaster, she worked with such conductors as Arthur Fagen, Kevin Noe, Uriel Segal, and Alex Kerr. She also collaborated on various projects including the production of Mark Adamo’s Opera “Little Women”. Mikaela also performed in numerous chamber groups, receiving guidance from Yael Weiss, of the Weiss-Kaplan-Newman Trio, and Alan DeVeritch.

Mikaela made her solo orchestral debut at 10, performing Mozart’s “Turkish” Concerto. A Seattle native, she has since made her mark as a compelling soloist with orchestras around the Pacific Northwest, including the Seattle Symphony for a sold-out audience at Benaroya Hall, the Northwest Sinfonietta, Bellevue Philharmonic, Coeur d’Alene Symphony, Sammashish Symphony, Seattle Youth Symphony Orchestras, and the Eastiside Symphony, consistently eliciting resounding standing ovations. Her performance with the Eastside Symphony resulted in an invitation for a return engagement in which her riveting interpretation of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto evoked tears of emotion from both audience and musicians. In July 2007 she gave a dazzling performance of Waxman’s pyrotechnically difficult “Carmen” Fantasie as a soloist in the Seattle Chamber Music Society’s “Emerging Artist Recital”. In May, 2008, she brought the magic of Prokofiev to Louisville audiences as she performed with the Louisville Orchestra.

Mikaela holds top prizes from competitions in Washington, Oregon, Idaho, British Columbia, Kentucky, and nationally. At 11 years old she performed with The Northwest Sinfonietta, distinguishing her as their youngest and only winner ever, invited to perform a full-length concerto. At 12, the Vancouver (British Columbia) Kiwanis recognized her with a scholarship for “the most promising violinist whose playing expresses natural sensitivity and feeling”; and at 13 she was honored as 2nd place Winner in the National Finals of the Music Teacher’s Association competition. Acclaimed for her eloquence and imaginative artistry, her aspiration to make the beauty of classical music more accessible to the world has inspired her to perform more than 100 outreach concerts of her own design, offering both solo and chamber repertoire for people of all ages and backgrounds.

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Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance
Sep 2007 - Dec 2011
Indiana University; Jacobs School of Music


Fluent / Native Proficiency


Barbara and David Jacobs Scholar (Comprehensive Merit Scholarship)
Aug 2007
Indiana University, Jacobs School of Music

Photos & Videos

Performance from 2012
Photo by Mikaela H.

Photo by Mikaela H.
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3 Reviews

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Margot B. May 17, 2016
Violin · In home

Our daughter had her first lesson yesterday and loved it and Mikaela. She said it was the best day ever and can't wait for her next lesson next week! Mikaela obviously has experience teaching children and make our daughter feel at ease and comfortable. Most of the first lesson seemed to be focused on proper instrument and handling, which makes sense. It can take years to undo poor posture and position if not begun correctly. Mikaela explained what she was doing and why, and made sure our daughter understood everything as she went along. Thank you for a first great experience!

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Daniel S. Aug 3, 2014
Violin · In home

Mikaela is not only an excellent musician but an outstanding music teacher, a rare combination. I have been taking violin lessons from her for quite some time now, and I am amazed at how much of a difference she has made in my efforts to pick up the instrument as a total beginner.

She has great observational abilities to immediately notice errors in form or movement, all the while maintaining calm and complete patience. She also has gift for suggesting corrections with analogy and imagery that has been very helpful in my experience.

I would highly recommend her.

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Piotr K. Jul 26, 2014
Violin · In home

From the very first lesson, I was really impressed by how much insight Mikaela could provide for even the (seemingly) simplest phrase or section. She has very deep knowledge about music in general and the mechanics of violin playing in particular.

Every time I perform something for her, she points out each of the hundred things I'm doing wrong. More importantly, she also explains exactly why whatever I'm doing is not working and what steps are necessary to fix it. Her advice is very specific and actionable, and whenever I follow it I notice an improvement.

Despite having my playing constantly destroyed by her remarks, I don't feel discouraged. On the contrary, every lesson leaves me energized and inspired to keep practicing.

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