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When a new student comes to me from a different teacher, I want to assess their strengths and their weaknesses, and determine what to focus on. I also want to get a sense of their personality, their level of sensitivity, their taste in music, find out what inspired them to want to start learning the violin...Depending on their age and experience with the interest, I might discuss many issues with the student and their parents, including practice habits, their expectations, my expectations, potential difficulties, and repertoire. But these things also may come up later on.
I have a Bachelor's in violin performance from a top notch music school, and have been playing the violin for 33 years. I have taken a lot of lessons! I began formally teaching children and adults alike, while at the Conservatory. I have been teaching for 20 years.
I charge $60 for a 45 minute lesson. Price is less if lesson takes place at the conservatory.
I began teaching formally in Boston while I was in music school. I was offered a teaching job at a music store, and accepted.
Over the past 20 years, I have worked with students from 5 years old to 88, brothers and sisters, parents and children, groups, individual, students from many ethnicities and cultural backgrounds. I have taught in after-school music programs at elementary schools in Greece, at music schools in Greece and the U.S.
I took my daughter to Alameda this weekend to stay with my best friend and her two kids. I enjoyed watching the children interact with each other, and enjoyed doing things that I don't get to do too often....spending time walking around Alameda, going to the movies, going out to dinner, visiting the ocean, watching my daughter ride on her scooter and getting enthusiatic about the simplest of things...
It is really important to find a teacher who has gone through training, preferably graduating from a reputable music school, or trained with a reputable teacher. Music education majors are not the best musicians. And though the best musicians may not always be the best teachers, it is so important that they know proper technique and can be the example! (If you have never done it, you can't understand it, therefore you cannot teach it.) Ideally, the teacher will be, or have been at one time, a good player, and have as much experience as possible teaching people from all ages.
Students should be comfortable to express themselves with their teacher. They may not enjoy the repertoire, they may struggle with how and what to practice. They might be overwhelmed with the expectations from the teacher and need a lighter load, or they may want to be given more to practice during the week. As long as the student is respectful, the teacher should work with the student to keep the lessons positive and inspiring. I encourage open communication.