- Teaches students:
- Ages 5+ and special needs
- Teaching since:
- August 2010
I'm Sam, and I've been playing the viola for 17 years, and teaching for a total of 7-8 years. I'm at graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, but I'm a native born South Dakotan. I'll tell you a little bit about myself and my philosophies as a teacher.
I love sharing what I've learned with students, and I'm particularly interested in teaching students what they want to work on, but also giving them the tools that they need to hone their facility. I teach from either a traditional standpoint, or from Suzuki books in order to teach technique through Dr. Suzuki's repertoire selections.
I know that playing a stringed instrument is quite challenging, so I do prefer students who are willing to commit to lessons, and a time that we meet each week. Committing to a time aids in students preparation for lessons, as individual practice is crucial if you are looking to advance in your craft.
I always hope to open the eyes of my students and teach that confidence, determination and hard work can not only progress them in learning an instrument, but with most skills in life. Most importantly I never want my students to feel that music is a burden! I want them to always enjoy themselves when they are practicing or performing.
I don't provide instruments or the accessories that go along with it, so please be prepared to have those things before our first lesson. I may also provide a list of sheet music to order after our first lesson if I feel we do not have the necessary materials.
I only travel to homes in the city of San Francisco for lessons at least an hour in length. If you live outside of the city in the Bay Area, you are more then welcome to find a time to come to my studio for lessons.
I do not teach beginners online (via Skype), as I believe it is vital to have an instructor in the room in order to make physical adjustments to maintain proper bow hold, posture, and left hand positioning. I'm more than happy to teach intermediate-advanced students online!
My Performance Bio:
Sam N. is a native born South Dakotan who began his viola studies at the age of ten. He began taking private lessons at the age of fourteen with his teacher Carol Knowles. Eventually, he continued his studies in South Dakota with San Francisco Conservatory alumni Kate Weeks. Sam is a graduate of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music where he studied with Jodi Levitz. He has participated in master classes with Helen Callus, Jay Liu, Jonathan Vinocour, Jerzy Kosmala, Hank Dutt, William Goodwin, Jackie Schwandt, and Kelly Hall-Tompkins. Mr. N. was the principle violist of the South Dakota All State Orchestra from 2007-2009, principle violist of the J. Laiten Weed Honors Orchestra from 2008-2010, and a member of the Black Hills Symphony from 2006-2010. In 2008, he was the 1st prize winner of the Lucy Palermo Weed String Competition, and won South Dakota's ASTA viola division. Two years later, he received the Henry Charles Smith Award in the SDSO's Young Musician's Competition, and also claimed 2nd prize in the BHSO's Young Artist Competition. In 2011-2012, he was also invited in to the Orlando Chamber Soloists Apprentice Program. Sam is also the former principle violist of the San Francisco Youth Orchestra which toured Germany in the summer of 2012. Featured performances took place in the concert halls at the Gastieg in Munich and Berlin Philharmonic and at the Rheingau Musik Festival. In 2013-2014 Sam was the principle violist of the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra. He currently performs all around the Bay Area as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral player. His main mission is to revive interest in Western Art Music so that is once again accessible to the every day human.
Learning and preparing orchestral repertoire for performance.
My 9yo daughter has been taking lessons with Sam for half a year now and she really enjoys her lessons- she actually wants to practice playing her violin and learn. We have in-home lessons and Sam is always on time. If you're thinking about lessons for yourself or your child, I would definitely recommend Sam!+ Read More
Sam seems very comfortable teaching kids and is a confident teacher that makes the student feel at ease. He has very practical tips and focuses on the students well being and encourages them to try their best!
Having studied with different teachers for various instruments my whole life, I must say that Sam was one of the best I've encountered. His unique way of teaching adult students has helped me grow both technically and musically. Sam is punctual, respectful, and his passion for music is definitely contagious. I highly recommend Sam to anyone who is serious about studying music.+ Read More
Sam has prepped our daughter for an audition for SOTA and after all their hard work, we are over the moon that she had been accepted. Sam's lessons had played a huge part in her doing well in her audition. He picked a complex piece for her solo which I felt had slow and fast movements and tempos, as well as emitted both a lighthearted and melancholy mood. The piece felt much like a roller coaster ride of sounds and emotions all in one piece. Sam has been and continues to be such a great fit for our daughter.+ Read More
Sam has been the viola instructor for our daughter Ava (12 years-old) for over a year now. We can't say enough good things about Sam. He's punctual, easy to work and talk with, flexible with his schedule and gives wonderful feedback on how Ava's doing. He is patient, mild-mannered, attentive, encouraging, supportive, and he really makes the most of the time spent teaching Ava. It didn't take more than a few lessons until we can hear an improvement in Ava's playing. He nurtures the passion she has musically and his support as an instructor helps motivate her to become better with each lesson. She practices on her own without being reminded as she wants to be able to even make the slightest improvement between each lesson. It's great and we're lucky to have found the perfect instructor for Ava the first try:) Thank you! Sam:)+ Read More
Great ideas for Alex to work on scale technique and reminders for holding form.
Enjoyed the experience.
My family loves Sam! What a treasure! He has so much skill, talent and patience. 5 Stars is not enough
I'm one of Sam's adult students, and have taken 3 lessons from him. He's incredibly skilled and a joy to learn from. Sam's an excellent teacher for a few reasons: he's the epitome of a patient teacher (learning a stringed instrument requires a LOT of patience), he's punctual, and he's focused yet flexible (he's got a good sense of what you need to learn, but is willing to customize his lesson for you). I've enjoyed learning from Sam and am looking forward to more lessons!+ Read More
Sam is real professional. He knows how to communicate with you, and where to focus on as your weakness part... I can say that his passion about violin, effected me a lot.
Sam is great..very patient and makes the lesson enjoyable.
Samuel is a wonderful instructor. My daughter is 5 and is having a wonderful first experience. He's professional, on time and patient.