Hello, I am a graduate of Yale School of Music, New England Conservatory and University of Southern California. I have 8 years of experience teaching as a music minor/ non-major violin instructor and chamber music/ ensemble coach at the University of Southern California and Yale University. I have served as a teaching artist at Porterville Summer Strings for two summer seasons, giving individual instructions and coaching violin sectionals, and in September 2020 I will be teaching at the German-Polish Festival for Young Musicians Online. As a teacher, I guide my students to discover their own path in music, form their own artistic vision, and eventually become their own teachers. My teaching focuses largely on developing a good foundation of technique. This includes finding the most relaxed and natural physical set up for each individual, and maintaining a calm and relaxed mindset during practice. However, I believe it is important to always remember that it is music that informs the technique, not the other way around. I am familiar with a wide variety of classical repertoire, etudes, scale systems and exercises. I also often compose and transcribe personalized etudes and musical pieces according to each student’s need and interest. I work with music in different genres based on student interest, including pop, film music, anime music, Jazz standards and more. In my studio, students will be encouraged (but not required) to participate in my group sessions such as studio class and group discussion class. A studio class is where students perform in front of each other and give each other comments, observations, and compliments! I will be the facilitator and guide in a studio class. A group discussion class is where students bring any violin and music related questions they have and we will examine each question as a group. Sometimes I will bring a recording of a performance to present to the class.
A LITTLE BACKGROUND STORY…
I first took up violin lessons when I was four years old.
My cousins were learning to play the violin and my uncle, who worked at the largest seafood market in Taipei suggested that it would be fun for me to try it as well. I fell in love with the violin, and often picked it up to just “play” in addition to “practice”. Later on, I discovered that the two were basically the same thing when approached with the right intention and strategies. The violin soon became my loyal friend; it was the best listener. It always reflected my state of mind and emotions honestly. Of course, there were times of frustration when I would get stuck on the same passage for a long time or when things went well one day and not the next. However, by spending time and energy in the process of searching for an ideal sound, clean intonation, vivid character...I was also searching for myself. I was forging my mind and spirit in ways that also helped me overcome many other challenges in life.
And I want to guide my students to finding their own inspiration and meaning of life through and with music.
I am very happy to whole-heartedly recommend Dr. Mann-Wen Lo as a violin teacher. I have been playing violin for over 60 years as an avocation. I have risen to the position of concertmaster in three of the last four community symphonies I've played in and principal viola in another here in Southern California. That being said, I know that inadequate technique from the many years without lessons was keeping me from realizing my potential as a violinist. I met Mann-Wen three years ago at a concert and have heard her play many times since then. Her impeccable technique and the friendship we had developed inspired me to ask her, in 2018, if she could coach me. We began lessons in person, and when the pandemic made that impossible, we continued quite effectively online. Her strengths as a teacher, at least for me, are her warm patience, her confidence in solving the problems she sees in my playing, and her uncanny understanding of the physics of body movements relating to bowing, fingering and musicality. The amazingly rapid weekly improvements in bowing, fingering, intonation, etc., that I have been experiencing have been very rewarding to me. I am actually excited to work on the selections Mann-Wen has chosen for me each week. If you are at the point in your musical development where you need a coach to help you get to the next level, then I highly recommend Mann-Wen to you. Enjoy your time learning from her. -Roger Johnston
I've been learning with her for over a year and I always enjoyed her lessons. She's able to make a relaxed learning environment while being professional and keeping every lesson structured and meaningful. She gives feedback throughout the lesson, from your gestures to the flow and emotion of your music, which I found very helpful.
Dr. Lo is definitely the most gentle, patient, knowledgable, talented, and responsible instructors in my life. She would teach each student to focus on the different traits and problems specifically of the student. She encourages students to play the violin with confidence. For example, I am born with a relatively short little finger which is not very good for playing the violin. My previous instructor usually just told me that I am not born fitful for playing the violin. However, from Dr. Lo‘s perspective, she taught me how to adjust my body gesture to make up my shortage of little finger. Besides that, Dr. Lo's characteristic in personality also motivates me to be a better person: she is very down to the earth and still stays in a very low-key lifestyle. I feel so privileged of knowing her and being one of her students!