Tzeng Violin Studio
I offer private lessons and group chamber classes for all ages. I focus teaching not only classical music and techniques but also other types of music and improvisation skills which support diversified creative musicianship skills. We have two yearly recitals to showcase the music we have covered.
I love when I see the lightbulb click with a student and they grasp a concept or perfect a piece of music. It really makes me happy to see my students grow as musicians and also gain confidence and learn to mature in their personal lives through learning the violin. Everything is circular. I teach my students and they also teach me. My passion is teaching.
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
I've always had an eye for zoning in on the essence of what makes a particular violinist sound the way they do. When I encounter a new student, beginner or experienced, I tend to have a knack for seeing right through all the chaos of their movements and energy and come up with a simple solution that solve the underlying problem. That's been my gift. I'm very happy to say that, this way, I've helped not just my students, but also professional colleagues and friends in unlocking their potential. I teach all my students that in order to truly learn, understand and perform music, they need to look beyond the basic five senses. What's really cool is that everyone has an innate ability to do so. But it takes awareness and the right process to tap into that. When it clicks, it's the most amazing thing. I have literally heard parents gasp and laugh for joy in the middle of lesson when their child makes that breakthrough! And I have seen a grown up musician friend cry when my method helped him solve a technical problem he deemed impossible. What can I say? Musicians are sensitive!
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have studied extensively with Anne Crowden, as her private student for 10 years. Beyond the fundamentals and advanced technical materials, she guided me through so many amazing opportunities that brought me all over the world. I was also coached throughout the years in prestigious music festivals, quartets and orchestras. Ranging from chamber groups to San Francisco Youth Symphony, and concertmaster of the San Francisco State University Symphony Orchestra and Palo Alto Philharmonic, and various professional solo opportunities, I have had an extensive experience as a musician. I have also been teaching as a full time violin teacher since 2008. I've had students as young as 3 years old and adults as well. I have come to develop an intuitive understanding of exactly what my students need for them to succeed.
How did you get started teaching?
It started out as a natural progression of a young violinist. I was recruited early on to help out teaching. And I quickly developed a passion for teaching. It's the most amazing thing to watch my students grow up as musicians, and as human beings. I feel truly blessed that I was given a privilege to build a wonderful community of students and families.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have extensive experience working with children, teens, adults, and even senior citzens. I have a particular love for teaching young children, as we seem to connect very well.
I have been obsessed with digging into the details of what goes into playing a violin. In the recent years, I have tapped into some amazing research and discovered ways to teach my students how to incorporate senses of equilibrium and proprioception into their playing. It's something we all have, but sadly neglected in traditional teaching methods. I am constantly experimenting and perfecting methods to bring out the true violin sound. I am very excited about how well it's coming along. There's a night and day difference compared to my previous attempts. My students and I are like sound geeks. We love it!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
I believe it's absolutely essential that there has to be a connection and understanding between a teacher, a student, and the parent. Learning music is a lifelong process. It takes tremendous effort, dedication and faith in order to effectively collaborate on this exciting journey! Seek out teachers in the area, or sometimes even beyond our immediate area. I have a friend musician who continues to travel a great distance to his old teacher because he connects very well with him! Find out what their teaching philosophies are. Do their current schedule and professional goals complement your child's needs and goals? There is a perfect teacher for every student out there. Check out the trial lesson, and ask questions!
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
Oftentimes, I find that parents or adult beginners who are considering violin lessons are not familiar with what's involved in learning to play a violin. Naturally, there are tons of questions you'd probably want to ask! Please ask away, and I'd be happy to answer as best as I can. But there's something far more important that need to be addressed at this stage, I believe. When you come to the trial lesson, keep an open mind. And allow yourself to observe and ... LISTEN... Listen to the sound. Listen to your child's laughter. Or perhaps even your own! Listen to the sounds I demonstrate. Listen to the scratchy sounds you first make. It's a really fun first step, actually! You will laugh about it one day. It's the most beautiful experience you can think of. It's true what they say. Music is a gift of Life.