Angeline Branson, violinist, originates from Bordeaux, France where she graduated from the Conservatory of Music with a gold medal in violin performance, a silver medal in chamber music and a teaching certificate in solfege & musicianship.
At the age of eighteen, she obtained a teaching position at the Pessac School of Music in France, and she started her performing career as an orchestra violinist with the Bordeaux Opera.
She later continued her musical studies at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music, where she studied with Zaven Melikian and earned a Master’s degree in violin performance. She played with the Western Opera Tour and the San Francisco Opera.
But her greatest satisfaction comes from teaching the violin. She was a teacher at the Lycée Francais (French Highschool) La Perouse for ten years.
Today, she lives on the Peninsula with her husband, her energetic fourteen year old son and her even more energetic Wheaten Terrier.
I have been Angeline Branson’s student for more than a year. I came as a “returning adult” student – someone who’d studied through high school, then stopped for many years, and had resumed playing only in the past few years. Over the course of time, I’d managed to invent many “bad habits” in technique. Angeline has an uncanny way of figuring out what’s going wrong and how to address it. After only six months with her, I was getting many positive comments from friends on how much better my bowing had become. Although I still have much work to do, I can hear a marked difference in my playing and so can my friends. Angeline is knowledgeable and patient and good at making suggestions aimed to improve my playing. I recommend her very highly.
Ms. Angeline is Super! Looking for a right music instrument teacher is extremely difficult. I am so lucky that we started with an excellent instructor, Ms. Angeline Branson. My son loves Ms. Angeline, she is a very talented and passionate violinist, and she has a gift for teaching. She is engaging, motivational, and she puts in a lot of effort in picking nice music pieces, coordinating chamber music and recital, and CM exams. Ms. Angeline also has a reward program for kids who do well or practice a lot. This is a big help for beginners! My son loves going to violin lesson and enjoy practicing. Huge THANKS to Ms. Angeline!!
When searching for a violin teacher the thing to keep in mind is that similar to variations in individual proficiency in playing the instrument, there is a wide range of abilities in violin pedagogy. Angeline is an experienced and dedicated violin teacher who is passionate about everything pertaining to the violin. This review will deal primarily with my child’s interaction with her as a beginner, after having started with another teacher, although she is probably a great teacher for students at several different ages and levels. For beginners, learning and cementing the elements of proper form as a matter of habit for violin playing is critical since it dictates all aspects of sound production from the instrument, and if the student manages to progress in playing it is also necessary to prevent physical injury. Angeline places a great deal of emphasis on getting beginners to hold and play the instrument using correct form, using all of the bow, in as relaxed and tension-free a manner as possible. This is, of course, easy to say but hard to do. To teach this requires a great deal of persistence from the teacher, determination from the student and patience from both parties. She does a good job of communicating how all of these at first seemingly arbitrary details of form are connected to the function of playing the instrument with a sound that one wants to hear. Where Angeline’s experience as a teacher helps is that she has seen all the diverse approaches (not necessarily conscious ones) that students will take to shortcut form but she will not let the student get away with them. If need be, they will be corrected in every weekly lesson as the desired elements of form slowly (sometimes glacially slow) take hold. Angeline’s teaching style is very direct, honest, and strict but not mean. Students of Angeline’s have to learn how to accept and utilize corrective criticism, an essential life skill and one of the most important things one can get out of taking private lessons. Although Angeline is persistent on the fundamentals, students are not held back playing the same studies until they are perfect, but rather until the student obtains a basic level of proficiency in the skill that the given study is trying to teach. Students are then taught to apply these skills and develop an artistic aesthetic by learning the violin repertoire relevant to their skill level. They then have the opportunity to perform these pieces at recitals Angeline organizes that are held every 6 months or so. A parent of a beginning student in Angeline’s studio needs to have a level of commitment to their child’s violin education that extends beyond writing a check every month. They observe lessons and at home try to serve as an extension of Angeline, supervising all aspects of their child’s practice. It helps your child immensely as there are too many things to keep track of that are not necessarily intuitive when beginning to learn violin. In summary, as a teacher Angeline will likely help your child get the most out of what they have to offer the violin and what violin playing can give back to them.
My daughter has taken violins lessons from 3 different teachers, Angeline is the best! Even though we live a few cities away from her studio, we have been happily driving my daughter to her studio year after year, almost 5 years now. Angeline is not only passionate about teaching how to play violin with the correct forms, express emotions through music playing, but also learning music theory to understand the basic principles underlying the music played. My daughter has been making steady progress in learning violin from Angeline in the past few years, she is preparing for Certificate of Merit Level 9 as a rising high school sophomore.