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By Layla Hashemi, Violin Teacher in Washington DC
Are you thinking about taking violin lessons in Washington DC? The DC metro area is one of the world’s most bustling metropolitan regions for the orchestral arts. Whether you’re looking to catch an inspiring event or gain some stage time as a performer, the area is home to a plethora of resources for violin players of all ages and styles.
Listening to good music makes a musician better just like reading good content makes a better writer. Take advantage of the fact that Washington DC has a rich history in the orchestral arts. Below are various venues where students can go to get inspired:
National Symphony Orchestra at the Kennedy Center: If you’re looking for one of the finest orchestra experiences available, look no further than the National Symphony Orchestra (NSO). Founded in 1931 and an affiliate company of the Kennedy Center since 1986, the Orchestra has maintained its commitment to artistic excellence and music education. The NSO has 96 musicians and two librarians, presenting a year-long season of approximately 150 concerts.
Alden Theater in McLean: Looking for something a bit more low-key? The intimate atmosphere of the Alden Theater, located just outside the Washington DC area, hosts regular events and performances. The venue even offers educational programs for audiences of all ages. The venue’s motto, “Small stage. Big talent,” says it all.
Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic: Are you on a budget? All performances at the Washington Metropolitan Philharmonic are $20 (children 18 and under get in for free). The Association also offers a free Summer Chamber Music Series with performances each Sunday in Old Town Alexandria at The Lyceum during the months of July and August. In addition to the Philharmonic, the center is also home to the Youth Orchestra (WMYO) and the Concert Orchestra (WMCO). Established in 1971, the WMYO gives local violinists and string players the opportunity to audition and become part of one of the region’s largest youth orchestras.
United States Army Navy Band: All of their performances are free and open to the public, and they even host 1-3 day workshops throughout the season. Combining immaculate technique with what always proves to be a wonderful program of works, this orchestra is a must-see for anyone in the DC metro area.
Friday Morning Music Club: The Friday Morning Music Club, Inc., has been promoting classical music in the Washington area for over 125 years. FMMC’s public concerts—now held throughout the week—provide members with a host of outlets for their talents as well as delighting audiences in Washington DC, Maryland, and Virginia. All concerts are free and performed as a public service. The Club also fosters the development of local talent through competitions for local students and recitals by student members.
Don’t delay taking violin lessons in Washington DC any longer. The city has an array of resources that can help keep you inspired and motivated.
I teach from the earliest beginner through adult. My violin students are currently performing for different schools and ensembles. When students are performing with orchestras, much time is spent working on that music as well as their regular music.
I've been teaching String Instruments like Guitar and Violin for Beginners and Intermediate level for many years.
In Teaching Violin for my beginner students, we usually review the basics of how to play the violin including how to hold the violin, violin tuning, violin fingering , violin bowing and violin care. My students also do warm-up to strengthen and improve their violin playing with violin scales, violin etudes, and violin exercises.
For my Intermediate violin students, we refresh our memory of the fundamentals of music theory such as how to read violin music, rhythm and key signatures.
I teach violin lessons in English and/or Spanish for all levels. Vibrato Technic, Shifting Technic, Bow Technic, Note reading skills, Intonation, Recital Preparation, are just some of my specialties.
Teaching environment involves building a trusting relationship between student and teacher and setting achievable goals so that students can find success, build self-confidence and discipline, and grow in musicality and enjoyment for the instrument.
Teaching methodology combines the Suzuki Method along with practices from other renown pedagogues, including that of Mimi Zweig (Indiana University String Academy). Specifically, students will learn repertoire from the Suzuki books alongside etudes, sight reading and position reading to build technical ability and habits.
For beginner students, teaching also involves opportunities for piano accompaniment.
My ultimate goal as a teacher is to educate and inspire my students, provoke and develop their interest and love to music and the violin. While not solely using a single method or school, I use a combination of all knowledge I earned as a pedagogue on the multiple continents. I guide each student into the discovery of the most natural, relaxed technique and develop a set of skills necessary to be able to understand, analyze and interpret music of various styles and genres.
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