Violin Lessons

Violin Lessons

5.0 (1)
1 hire on Lessons.com
40 years in business

About this pro

My teaching method is unique and different from other teachers because I teach students how to play the violin pain free and in a manner that is organic and body balanced. I spent time living in England to learn this approach quite specifically. This approach is not taught in America.

As a concert violinist and by the age of 22 I had a lot of pain related to violin. This is common. I was told that "Pain is just how it is".

I was unwilling to accept that answer, because it meant not playing the violin past the age of 40 if I were to continue in that much pain.

At this point, I was performing with the Los Angeles Opera Orchestra and my back was on FIRE by the end of each rehearsal or performance. I had headaches, migraines, constant massages and chiropractor bills etc...

Realizing that I either find a solution or will have a shorter concert violinist life, I opted to find a solution to the pain.

I found a teacher in England who teaches about body balance in relation to the violin. When I found her, I took time off of being a concert violinist to live in England for several months specifically to study this completely different approach to playing the violin. It was not the traditional methods I grew up with with my traditional private teachers.

In ten weeks with this teacher in England, I was transformed both in my approach to my relationship with my violin AND my pain: I arrived in England with all the standard pains concert violinists experience: Migrains, headaches, neck pain, back pain...

in ten weeks of lessons, I was pain free. I remained in England to really make the internal transition so my new habits could really gel. Then I came back to America and resumed being a professional violinists - this time, pain free. I have not had a violin related migraine or headache since, and that fire in my back from violin related muscle spasms has never returned.

I never expected to pass anything I was learning onto my students. When I went to England, it was something I was doing for myself. It was my self learning. I could not have conceved how I would change my teaching approach and techniques.

However, my time in England, that experience was so transformative and life changing for me as a person and as a concert violinists, it changed my entire teaching approach. I could no longer, in good conscious, teach the traditional methods I had grown up on.

The teacher who taught me these techniques has since then passed away, and I do not know of any teacher in America who spent time in Englad studying this approach.

Further, since then, I added on techniques unique to me that enhanced the approach and made it even easier to have instant results of ease, success and enjoyment for any level of student - even a beginner.

DO I TEACH BEGINNERS? YES!

I love to teach beginners because it is a blank canvase and I can start them off this way without having to undo any other habits they would have had otherwise.

DO I TEACH ADULTS? YES!

Lately, it seems like there is an influx of young adults between the ages of 18-30 coming in. Plus, mothers are coming in who want to be a good example to their kids they are having take lessons. My oldest student is a retired man in Sante Fe who takes lessons twice a week to keep his mind active while he ages. Over the years, it has turned into geriatrcis violin, but it goes to show how no one is too old or too young to learn. And, it is never too late to start.

DO I TEACH RETIRED PEOPLE? YES!

DO I TEACH MOMS WHO WANT LESSONS SIMPLY TO SET GOOD PRACTICE EXAMPLES FOR THEIR KIDS? YES!

Many teachers do not treat all students equal. Many teachers only want those who are competitive and will be a good "name promotion" for the teacher. As a result, those who are young adults and older are actually taught differently and with less attention than the younger ones with promising futures.

That is not right. It is SO important for me to give the same level of attention, care and detail to adults like I would a kid who might go somewhere with it. I treat everyone equally, because everyone has a body that deserves to play the violin pain free and who deserves to enjoy their hobby passion.

In fact, for those who join my studio BECAUSE it is their hobby/passion they want to learn or develop more, it makes it more enjoyable for me as a teacher as well. A person is here because they sincerely want to be. They are 100% teachable in that frame of mind.

COMMON QUESTION: What do I recommend for length of time a student wants and how many lessons per week?

ANSWER: That is individual. Your comfort zone will determine that. Some students ask for two lessons a week. Two of my students currently attend twice a week. Once a week they come in person. Once a week they have an online less. Other students ask for 90 minute weekly lessons with me -- while the remaining students are the more traditional 60 minutes per week.

I do not push for any idea of how much time a person needs. It is entirely up to the student. Sometimes I will offer a suggestion if there is a month perhaps an extra lesson will be beneficial. Usually a performance or competition is involved when I make that suggestion. Outside of that though, I let a student lead on that topic.

It is my hope that I have provided you with a good overview.

Because my life has been so extensive in the area of performance and teaching, it is easy to write too much.

I hope that I didn't overwhelm you with too much information.

Hopefully the lengthy overview helps you take the first step towards realizing your passion hobby. :-)

I have played the violin since I was 2 years old. It's my life. My first concert was at the age of 3. I have been on stage ever since (except for the year of Covid when all the venues shut down). I began teaching violin while in highschool.

Now, I am an international violin teacher as well as a local teacher. My time spent living in England learning a specific technique to play the violin pain free has translated into teaching the violin with more awareness to body balance and students who stick with me for years to come as a result.

I love having the chance to meet and help people, plus I love performing locally and internationally.

Anyone can google my name to see just a fraction of what I have accomplished.

Keep in mind though, when you google my name and see some of my accomplishments: some of my greatest enjoyments have how I have been blessed with being able to enhance a students life with music.

True, being on stage with people like Lady Gaga and Tony Bennet is AMAZING.

But, what has filled my heart over the years is seeing the impact I have in peoples lives:

For some adults, I have seen them through their entire retirement years into geriatrics violin. My 86 year old student attends online twice a week because this is the hobby he chose to keep his mind active.

For many kids, I have been in their life from age 7 until they graduate and go off to college. I now have one former student who married, had a kid, and is learning the violin.

For adults, I have many moms who are taking lessons online and in person because they want to set a good example for their children who they just started on some instruments (violin and other instruments).

As a result of what I just described, what fills my heart over the years, there is a sense of life purpose in me on the topic of teaching.

Teaching violin in the organic method that I do, it is a completely different skill than getting on stage and performing for 3000+ people at a time. However, it is something I enjoy equally to being on stage because of the contribution to peoples personal lives as they develop skills I teach them that apply far beyong the violin.

So many students have walked into my home and said, "I applied that thought approach to a stressful situation and it works outside of violin, too!" It was not until I got the feedback of excited students saying how it helped their studies, helped their jobs, helped their relationships etc that I realized I teach a life approach. In other words, it turns out that I don't just teach the violin when a person is in that one hour session with me. My approach can apply to so much in life outside violin.

When I realized that, when I realized the positive impact I was having on kids, adults and seniors, it brought more enjoyment to not just teaching - but to getting on stage as well.

In the end, my enjoyment of what I do as a concert violinist and teacher fuses my stage experience, my life experience and my teaching experience seamlesslsy so my students get a well rounded and enhanced experience.

Thank you for your time to go through everything presented while you make your decision for your next step.

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Credentials

Glassell Park, CA 90065
Email verified
Phone verified

1 Review

5.0

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FAQs


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

The first step is contacting me to set up an interview/consultation - this is free.

The interviewing process helps me get to know what the students needs are and what they are looking for. It also helps me get a feel for if we are even a match. The interview/consultation is a two way street. 

My teaching days are: Tuesday, Wednesday, Thursday and Saturdays.

My teaching locations are: in person out of my home in Glendale, California. I also teach online via Facetime or Zoom. I was already teaching privately online prior to Covid since I have several international students for several years now. Covid extended it to private students who are local, and recently I began teaching out of my home again because I am fully vaccinated and so are those who come into my home.


After the consultation, I schedule the first lesson. It's one more chance to see if we are a good fit. This in person lesson gives the student a chance to see if I am a good fit for them as well.

No Policy & Procedure is signed until after that first lesson and until a student decides they want to commit for a longer term like month-to-month.

If we are both in agreement that we think we are a good fit, then I book the monthly lesson schedule and we go from there.


What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

I have played the violin for 55 years, starting at the age of 2. I have been performing since the age of 3.

I studied with world class teachers such as Jascha Heifetz and had the chance to perform all over the world as both a soloist and a concert master for orchestras.

Countries I have performed in include Hungary, Italy, Germany, Sweden, Denmark, France, China, Japan and others...

After I finished my full scholarship education at University of Southern California in Music Performance, I spent time in England living there studying not just more on the violin, but how to teach it easier and pain free. It helped me both as a concert artist and as a teacher. I am the only teacher in California who has this approach. I give the history to that under a different a different question.


Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I have Coaching prices and Package Proces:

PACKAGE PRICING:

The better value, and most popular, is to become a regular weekly student.

PACKAGE DEAL: for weekly lessons and a reserved time slot each week. $65 per lessons package is $260 per month on the four-week months. No refunds for missed lessons. (Think of it how schools treat it when kids miss a class. Schools do not give refunds for missed classes).

COACH PRICING: Coaching is a per-lesson basis. This is when a person wants maybe one lesson a month or touch ups here and there, not regular weekly lessons. (hence, per-lesson payment).

Coaching sessions are ideal for those who are getting ready for a competition or audition who is here when they feel they need to come in

If a person wants to come less than four times a month, I consider them students I coach and the price is $100 per lesson.

Coached students do not get regular slots, by the very nature of the irregular lesson pattern.

Obviously the package deal of four lessons in a month and the traditional weekly lessons is the best price for $65 per lesson.


How did you get started teaching?

I have been playing the violin since I was 2 years old. I was in Seattle's newspaper as "Seattle's youngest musician". I have been performing all my life.

I also began teaching in Highschool. I didn't expect I would like it, but it has enriched my life to enrich the lives of so many. I write in detail about how teaching has enriched and balanced out my life under the question of what I enjoy most about what I do.


What types of students have you worked with?

My current students range from ages 7 - 86. Several of them are adult students. Some years it is a wave of teenagers, other years it is a wave of adults... it depends on the year. For kids under 7, I recommend the Suzuki method, and then transfer to me at the age of 7 or 8.

That said, 80% of my students stay with me for years to come, even if they move out of state or out of the country and become FaceTime students. It is one of the reasons sometimes there is a waiting list to take from me.


Describe a recent event you are fond of.

Covid has been challenging. Normally I teach violin on FaceTime to students in Colorado, New Mexico, England and Philadelphia. 

However, with the awareness of Zoom, I began holding student recitals on Zoom so the entire family and friends of students can listen to their loved ones performance even if everyone is in a different state.

Just yesterday when a student of mi e graduated out of a book, she performed nationally - via zoom, for all her out of state relatives.

Covid has been tough, but I love the new twists I never thought of before. My student felt SO empowered after her recital. It was beautiful to watch her growth step, even during 2020 Covid limitations.


What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Interview a few teachers. Don't take the first one that responds, even if I am the first one.

Not everyone is a good match in the student/teacher relationship.

Not all teachers are really their for you or teach you according to how you need to be taught.

Talking with a few gives you a better idea what is out there and for personality compatibility. It's important to explore your options.

Look for the teacher who is unique in their approach and has a foundation of success both in their concert life as well as teaching life.

If you select a teacher and have pain, and their response is essentially that they can't fix that violin related pain, call me. I have a method that teaches pain free violin.


What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

Ask yourself, "What is my reason for wanting to learn the violin?"

'Ask yourself, "Can I be consistent in coming to my lessons prepared so my teacher can keep layering on new things?"

When you know your purpose and know you can commit to being consistent, even if consistency is only ten minutes a day, then your next step is to interview teachers and ask the teachers what the approach is of a teacher. When you are interviewing teachers, ask youself "Is there something that makes the teacher unique?"

When you are at that step and actually in the consultation (which teachers usually do not charge for), pay attention to the personality. Pay attention to if you think the one you are having a consultation with someone you might find compatible and one that can cultivate a passion hobby for you? Not all student teachers are compatible. Sometimes a student can learn easier with a different teacher.