Music Studio Of Diane Gastfreund
I have a Conservatory degree in both violin and piano and have performed all over the world including the White House, Carnegie Hall, Kennedy Center, the Vatican, Paris, England, Wales, Moscow amongst many other places. I have received two awards from the President for my work in keeping children off drugs and alcohol through the arts. My students play in symphonies, win scholarships and just enjoy what they are doing. Since I judge music competitions, I can see what other teachers are working on as well as what their weaknesses are so I can better help my students. Most important is that my students regardless of their age truly enjoy playing.
I have always loved music and have been lucky to both teach and perform. No matter what the age of a student, I feel I am always refining the way and methods of my teaching. I am not trying to train musicians but rather teaching students to love music for life. I so enjoy watching my students achieve their goals. I make lessons positive and never have negative input. When a student is happy and feels good about his/her playing it is so rewarding for me. I love it. Every student is different so my approach to each student is different which is important. I am passionate about what I do. I do not have to teach music but do it because of the love I feel for music in my heart.
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Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
In the first lessons I try to ascertain what the students goals are and what their needs are. I have been trained in both the Suzuki method and the traditional method so I can mix and match techniques depending what will work best for the student. Every person is an individual and should be treated as such.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
I have a Bachelor of Music Degree from the Boston Conservatory and another degree and Masters degree from the University of Maryland. I also have taken several classes at the Suzuki Teaching Training Institute. I performed as a first violinist with the Washington Symphony Orchestra and Concertmaster of National Medical Music Group. In addition to my piano and violin performance and training, I spent 20 years studying harp. I was appointed an ambassador for the Boston Conservatory to help seek out new talent.
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
I do have a standard pricing system however take into consideration certain situations like if a parent looses a job or if there is a hardship. I charge $35 for a half hour lesson or $60 for a one hour lesson.
How did you get started teaching?
I started teaching while I was a student at the Boston Conservatory and taught violin utilizing the traditional method. Realizing there was a trend towards teaching young children violin utilizing the Suzuki method, I spent 3 summers studying at the Suzuki Teacers Training Institute so I could become a certified Suzuki teacher as well.
What types of students have you worked with?
I have worked with all kinds of students. Currently the age range of my students is 4-68. I have had a few with special needs that have worked out well but I expect parents to advise me of this in advance. I have recently started teaching 2 year olds music appreciation along with piano.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
I have been judging the Young Artists Award of Maryland and the child that placed first was a student who I encouraged in a positive way and have her confidence s so she would believe in herself. At her performance she received a standing ovation. I took other students to this performance and one student told me that night he stayed up to practice Twinkle Twinkle.
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Not to just look at cost for a lesson but the quality of the lessons and the success rate and retention rate of the students.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What are their personal goals and objevtives. For example do they want to perform just for self satisfaction and enjoyment or do they want to perform to compete. Does this student have any personal issues like extreme shyness, for example, that music can help the student overcome. With my adult students, they usually like to play for the fun of it because they never had lessons when they were younger or quit when they were young.