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The Violin Scene in the San Francisco Bay Area

By Helena G. - San Francisco Violin Teacher

So, you’ve taken violin lessons in San Francisco, you’ve worked hard and developed great skills, and your last recital got you a standing ovation from friends and family – congratulations, you are living your violin dream…almost!

Are you ready to showcase your talent and hard work to a larger audience? The San Francisco Bay Area is full of venues to get out and shine, regardless of your chosen music style. If you are taking violin lessons in San Francisco and love classical music, you may want to try out at one of the fine Youth Orchestras in the Bay area. They will require auditions, so you better brush up on your Bach, Beethoven and Mozart! A few Youth Orchestra offering brilliant opportunities for young musicians (usually ages 9-18) are El Camino Youth Symphony, Peninsula Youth Orchestra, San Jose Youth Symphony and Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra,

If you crossed the threshold of youth and entered adulthood, rejoice! You have wonderful opportunities in the Bay Area, no auditions required! Check out the Redwood Symphony, South Bay Philharmonic or South Bay Community Orchestra (offered at Mountain View Senior Center, but you don’t need to be a senior to join). Those who prefer fiddling, pop or other alternate styles may take advantage of numerous Open Mic opportunities every day of the week somewhere in the Bay Area. Go ahead and unleash your inner star!

If you are taking violin lessons in San Francisco and looking for a violin camp, consider the Bay Area Summer Music Camp or Lark Camp. With so many opportunities, the Bay Area is the violinist’s jewel of the West Coast!

About Kylie S.

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San Francisco, CA
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I've been teaching violin for over ten years, and I've always found that a strengths-based, supportive stance is the strongest filter through which to receive the challenging material and feedback you'll be getting as you learn to play this difficult instrument. I will point out your strengths, so you can nuture them, and build on those strengths to a solid technique and explore them to find your unique musicality. I am your coach, and I am here to see you succeed!

About Kylie
I have been teaching music for over ten years, and my performing experience ranges from solo appearances with orchestras across the country to intimate chamber performances. I have studied under such renowned teachers as Anton Miller, Eugenia Choi, and Gregory Fulkerson, and my pedagogic education includes study under internationally renowned Suzuki educator Teri Einfeldt. I have held music directorships in ID and CT, and my students have won awards for their playing.

I am deeply interested in the ways in which experiencing and making art can act as a transformative power in an individual's
life, and, by extension, in broader cultural contexts. I hold two degrees from the prestigious Hartt School of Music, and have experience teaching both children and adults.
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Reviews
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Penelope G. August 30, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
I think Kylie is very sweet but I am giving a poor review due to (1) small space - which was one windowless non-soundproof room in a music store and (2) receiving two emails just now that she has canceled the next 2 weekends.
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Prince June 4, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
I've had a great first lesson. Learned a lot from Kylie. She understands me, her student, and like gauges my level and where to start improving my ability to play the violin. Very fun to be with, great sense of humor !
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Avi K. May 31, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
I'm very happy to be learning the violin with Kylie. She is highly skilled as a violinist, very engaging as a music instructor, and very compassionate as an educator/person.
She has helped me find a passion and skill for music i did not know i had. I come to every lesson excited to show what i've been practicing, and leave inspired to practice more.
She is also a very interesting person to talk to.
I'd whole-heartedly recommend Kylie as your music teacher! ^_^ Good luck!
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Kylie S.

Kylie S.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(5)
starting at
$35 / 30-min

About Kristen K.

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Berkeley, CA

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About Kristen
My name is Kristen K. and I am an accomplished violinist and teacher from Lexington, Kentucky. I began my musical studies at age 7 and quickly discovered my passion and love for music. As a young musician, I attended numerous summer music festivals, participated in the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. I was a winner of two concerto competitions, which gave me the opportunity to perform solos with the youth orchestra. I continued my studies at the University of Kentucky as a Violin Performance major and it was there that I discovered my love for teaching music! After completing my performance
degree, I decided to also pursue a Bachelor’s in Music Education. During my college career, I served as a teaching assistant in the University of Kentucky String Project, I taught group and private lessons at several local middle and high schools, and also maintained my own private violin and viola studio. I was also awarded the McCracken Scholarship Award for Excellence in Music Education. The most rewarding part of teaching has been seeing my students continually improve and reach their goals!

In addition to teaching, I also am an avid performer. I have been a member of the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra for 7 years and was a member of the University of Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. I perform as a soloist, in chamber groups, and in orchestras regularly at various events and concerts. In the past few years I have attended international chamber music festivals in Prague, Czech Republic and in Lucca, Italy. I have also had the opportunity to perform with some of the world’s most renowned musicians including Itzhak Perlman, Midori, and Gil Shaham in additional to performing in the Kennedy Center in Washington D.C. and in Carnegie Hall in New York City. Studying music has provided me with many wonderful opportunities to learn and to grow. It is my goal to help students really love and enjoy playing music and develop the skills that allow us to share the magic of beautiful sound. Maintaining a high level of mastery as well as continuing to learn about the art of teaching are fundamentally equal and of highest priority for me. Through teaching music, I hope to inspire students and help them reach their potential.

*** Lesson Details ***
My teaching style is relaxed and understanding of where each student is at, while always maintaining a quick pace for learning new skills and always expecting the student to put forth their best effort. I am very encouraging and positive. I work with each student and his or her parents to determine short and long term goals and try to best provide the materials, instruction and motivation to achieve those goals!

*** Studio Equipment ***
Lessons in the living room, well lit, piano, music stands

*** Specialties ***
I specialize in teaching classical music but I also teach bluegrass and fiddle. I particularly like the Suzuki Method for beginning to intermediate students, but when they become more advanced I begin to incorporate concertos and sonatas.
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Reviews
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Josie January 13, 2017
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Kristen is very patient and sweet with our daughter who is pretty new to violin.
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Alex April 23, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
Great experience. Kristen is patient, organized, and observant. I look forward to my future learning experience with you.
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Keisha S. January 21, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In studio
Very inspiring
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Kristen K.

Kristen K.

Berkeley, CA 94704
(16)
starting at
$27 / 30-min

About Samuel N.

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San Francisco, CA

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Teaching students about:
-scales and arpeggios
-proper bow technique
-left hand facility
-Etudes
-Intonation
-Repertoire
Improving these skills can greatly increase the enjoyment of playing in students.

About Samuel
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 sele
ctions.

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. In my experience, if you do not commit, or put in individual practice, you will not see results.

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. 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'm also unable to 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.

*IN REGARDS TO THE "ASK A QUESTION BUTTON"*
Please refrain from using this button unless you are truly interested in lessons with me, live in the city of San Francisco, and your question cannot be answered by my profile information. If you have questions about payment, please contact the TakeLessons support team as I do not deal with payment directly. This saves me a lot of time that I need for other aspects of my life, and shortens my daily to-do list. Thank you for your understanding.

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. In 2013-2014 Sam was the principle violist of the San Francisco Conservatory Orchestra.
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Reviews
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Alexdrea C. January 11, 2017
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Great ideas for Alex to work on scale technique and reminders for holding form.
Enjoyed the experience.
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Kiley M. October 27, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In home
My family loves Sam! What a treasure! He has so much skill, talent and patience. 5 Stars is not enough
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Chris P. July 1, 2016
Verified Student · Viola · In home
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!
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Samuel N.

Samuel N.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(6)
starting at
$30 / 30-min

About Seth B.

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San Francisco, CA

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Want to learn the violin? Do want to learn classical, celtic or jazz styles? I am a teacher and performer from the Bay Area with seven years teaching experience on the violin. I work with my students to build their skills and make the instrument fun no matter what you're playing!

About Seth
Seth is a teacher, performer and composer from the Bay Area. He has been teaching privately for the past seven years on a variety of instruments. He has performed in Vienna, Paris, San Francisco, Berkeley and Sacramento with classical orchestras, and as a soloist and in multiple bands.

***VIOLIN***

Seth has experience with the Suzuki Method, but teaches using his own style that is geared towards each student's strengths. He has helped his many students achieve proficiency on the violin.

It is Seth's belief that music was made to be made with others. He accompanies his classical stud
ents on the violin, and his traditional students on the mandolin. He teaches his students with an emphasis on ensemble playing, to prepare them for orchestral and chamber music, not only solo playing.

Seth studied violin classically with William Barbini, Catherine Heusner-Willefert and Florie Brown. He has taken classes led by fiddlers Alasdair Fraser, Jeremy Kittel and Mark O'Connor.

***MUSIC THEORY***

Seth studied Composition at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music under Elinor Armer. He has studied traditional harmony, counterpoint. His own compositions feature traditional and 20th century harmonies, serialism and free atonality.

Seth teaches music theory from the ground up, beginning with chord constructing and going all the way to formal analysis.
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Reviews
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Terese B. January 31, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Seth was very patient and taught me a piece in one hour.
I enjoyed the lesson very much.
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Asha M. January 20, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Seth is amazing. The very first lesson with my daughter was a huge success - and ever since then, she always looks forward to her lesson with him.
Seth is very professional, caring and engaging. He makes learning the violin fun! I would highly recommend Seth as a violin teacher.
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Mizuki October 28, 2015
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Seth is patient and kind with my daughter.
She's looking forward to having next lesson.
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Seth B.

Seth B.

San Francisco, CA 94102
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

About Matthew R.

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San Francisco, CA

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Though I am primarily a viola player, I work with my violin students on technique before usually "giving them away" to a trusted violinist.

About Matthew
I am a classically-trained viola and violin player in the San Francisco Bay Area. I am currently working towards my master's degree at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. I have had plenty of experience teaching students of all ages and try to empower all of my students to be the best they can be!
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Reviews
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Halli November 30, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Matthew makes it fun while learning. He is patient with our daughter. It's so lovely to hear the violin playing in our home.
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Dominic September 11, 2016
Verified Student · Violin · In home
Matthew is quite simply an outstanding teacher who has reignited my teenaged son's passion for music and playing his violin. His thoughtful, intelligent, tailored lessons are ones that our child look forward to each week-- even on the weekend! Matthew is a true gem.
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Tasha L. August 13, 2016
· Viola · In studio
Matt is a wonderful, engaging teacher with a natural talent and passion for music, which he easily instills in his students. Whether studying violin or viola with him privately, or performing with him as his colleague, Matt is a consistently inspiring presence and cannot help but influence everyone who comes in musical contact with him. I cannot recommend Matt more highly!
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Matthew R.

Matthew R.

San Francisco, CA 94114
(4)
starting at
$40 / 30-min

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How to Play Violin Pain Free: 11 Easy Tweaks to Reduce Shoulder, Neck, and Back Pain

How to Play Violin Pain Free: 11 Easy Tweaks to Reduce Shoulder, Neck, and Back Pain

Do you experience pain or discomfort when you play violin? Here, Portland, OR violin instructor Naomi Cherie S. shares her tips to teach you how to play violin pain free... If you've been playing violin for a while, you know that it can be a lot of fun! You've probably also noticed, however, that it isn't always the most comfortable instrument to play. Due to the positions and poses necessary to play this unusual instrument, you may feel sore and stiff after practice. Like most physica … Read More

How to Play Violin Pain Free: 11 Easy Tweaks to Reduce Shoulder, Neck, and Back Pain
Do you experience pain or discomfort when you play violin? Here, Portland, OR violin instructor Naomi Cherie S. shares her tips to teach you how to play violin pain free... If you've been playing violin for a while, you know that it can be a lot of fun! You've probably also noticed, however, that it isn't always the most comfortable instrument to play. Due to the positions and poses necessary to play this unusual instrument, you may feel sore and stiff after practice. Like most physica
Top Five Violin Brands for Beginner and Intermediate Students
Is your child just starting to take violin lessons? Below, violin teacher Delilah B. shares her top five violin brands for beginner and intermediate students… Are you thinking about purchasing a violin for your child? Choosing the right violin brand for your child can be difficult, as there are many options available. While you want to stay within a certain budget, you also don’t want to compromise on quality. What’s more, you want a violin that’s going to last and retain its value.
Basics of Violin: How to Set (and Reach) Your Goals
When the violin is played properly, it can move listeners to cry, dance, laugh, and experience a wide range of emotions. Violins are played in all types of music, from classical to hard rock to pop. And while it may initially seem challenging to learn to play this popular instrument, mastering the basics of violin yields beautiful and inspiring results. The Importance of Goals When you are first beginning to explore your interest in violin, it can be helpful to sit down and set a few goals b
50 Easy Violin Songs for Beginners [Video Tutorials]
When you're taking violin lessons, it's important to find some easy violin songs to help you practice, boost your confidence, and improve your skills. With this list from San Francisco, CA violin teacher Carol Beth L., you will never run out of songs to play!  Whether you're playing violin for yourself or for your family and friends, it's helpful to have some relatively simple, familiar songs on hand. Perhaps those around you will even want to sing along. Whatever the occasion, here
Which of These Famous Violin Players Are You? [Quiz]
Do you love playing the violin? From Heifetz to Perlman, there are dozens of famous violin players who have helped inspire us all. Whether you’re just starting to learn the violin or you’re a seasoned professional, chances are there’s a certain violinist who you’ve channeled more than others. Find out which of these famous violin players is your alter ego in the quiz below! Be sure to share your results with your fellow violinists. Which of the famous violin players did you get? If y

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