Blackbird's Music Store

Blackbird's Music Store

5.0 (6)
4 employees
10 years in business

About this pro

Of all the reasons to study music with me, I think my ability and willingness to respond to my students needs and goals is primary. Every student is going to have a different learning style and varying ability to be self-directed. Some are just learning the instrument, and some are learning music as a whole (which is actually a tricky thing to teach on a violin, but I'm pretty good at it :)). 

I have been teaching for 12 years, and draw from the teaching traditions of Suzuki and Montessori, as well as old-fashioned western pedagogy.

Also, I am well versed in any genre or style that brings you joy!

Sharing in the struggles and triumphs of my students. Studying music spurrs personal growth in amazing ways, and it's an honor to be there to witness it.

Read more about this pro


Minneapolis, MN 55407
Email verified
Phone verified

6 Reviews


  • Jude and Peter

    Top-notch instruction in a laid back, caring atmosphere. We really appreciate the low-pressure feel and the instructors' flexibility with rescheduling when needed.

  • Chuck Leyda

    Charlotte is capable, friendly, and tailors her lessons to fit my daughter's musical goals. Mary works hard for her but also has a lot of fun. Highly recommended!

  • Kristin Green, mom of a violin student

    Charlotte is an excellent teacher.

  • Susan Gonzalez

    My grand daughter has been taking violin lessons with Charlotte Matis and her experience has been excellent. Charlotte is always patient and positive which always works well to get the best from her students.

Show all reviews


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

First we will figure out how music fits or is going to fit into your life. What needs is this going to meet? What and with whom (if anyone) are you going to play? Usually we talk about this while I put tapes and stickers on your violin.

Secondly, we'll try some things to see where your strengths and weaknesses lie, what kind of challenge level is good for you, and what an appropriate pace is likely to be.

Students fall on a continum of needing structure, detailed instructions, and specific goals on one end, or aquiring skills in an organic, messy way a-la immersion style. Often children fall closer to the latter camp and adults closer th the former... but not always!

Once I've gotten a feel for your needs, we will pick a book or two and we're rolling! 

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

My training is actually in repair, giving me some extra insight into some of the trickier issues having to do with the instrument itsself. As of Spring 2020, I am about half-way through my undergrad at Metropolitan State University, working towards an Individualized Studies BA in Violin Industry and Education.

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

As of now, lessons are $25 per half hour. I believe strongly in making the study of music accessable for most families, and the "classroom environment" is pretty casual.

How did you get started teaching?

I was a pretty advanced player as a young person, but broke my arm in a bicycle accident which put me out of the running to be a classical violinist. I remember when I got back to lessons after the cast came off my teacher asking me what exactly I thought I was going to do with myself, considering, and I told her I wanted to teach. (She approved.)

What types of students have you worked with?

My students have ranged from little kids to seniors, professional musicians to brand-new amateurs, and classical music lovers to old-time fiddlers. 

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I was working with a teenage girl who I have had as a student for many years, and is a very good player, on improvisation. This requires a very solid grasp of music theory, and a great deal of confidence (not a thing teenage girls are known for). There just isn't time to think through each chord- you just have to have put in the time on training your fingers and go for it! It was wonderful to watch her slowly learn to trust her gut and her fingers, and start gradually gaining confidence that she could play without music!

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Teachers and schools vary wildly in their level of training, what they can offer, and what their policies are. If you are going to work through Suzuki book 7 and will rarely miss a lesson, a school might be best with it's ability to offer formal recitals with piano accompaniments, etc. 

If you need flexibility and/or are not studying classical exclusively, an independant teacher may be a better fit. And if you want to perform, definitely find a teacher who has performed in that genre. 

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

What kind of music do they want to play?

Do they need schedule flexability?

Can the teacher offer performance opportunities and/or chances to play with other students?

What are their tuition policies?