Swider String Studio

Swider String Studio

5.0 (2)
1 employee
28 years in business

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Minneapolis, MN 55417
Email verified
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2 Reviews


  • Chanda Mulligan

    Krista has been my daughter's violin instructor for almost two years now. I am so grateful that we found Krista on lessons.com as we were searching for a violin instructor in our area! She is an incredibly skilled musician and instructor, and my daughter truly loves working with her. Her ability has dramatically increased during the time she's worked with Krista, and we are so grateful for the beautiful music this has brought into our home. Krista is incredibly professional and relatable, and has gone above and beyond to make lessons work for our family, especially during the pandemic. Highly recommend!

  • Michelle K

    Great instructor who has a passion for teaching. She is able to modify her lessons for young kids and all the way to adults. Highly recommend! Easy scheduling and evening lessons available.

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

This is entirely dependent upon the student's age.  For a very young beginner, (3-7), there would be a few weeks of mostly learning the parts of the violin and bow.  Then we could begin to pluck the strings (called pizzicato) and eventually start to use the bow.  I often use the Suzuki books and some Suzuki principals to help aid the learning process for young students.  I am NOT primarily a Suzuki teacher, however.  I use many methods and try to base my method choices on what works best for each student.

If the student is older or is not a beginner, lessons can progress very differently.  Feel free to contact me to help me understand you or your student's situation so that I can give you a good idea of what to expect.

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

I've been playing the violin for 34 years and I majored in Violin Performance at the University of Houston. I've played the viola for 21 years and I must admit that I love it every bit as much as the violin! 

I've been teaching for 28 years (as of 2022). I started teaching in my home in Austin, Texas when I was very young, and taught at Sagemont Centre for the Arts in Houston while in college.  I've coached camps at MacPhail Center for Music in Minneapolis and taught at K&S in Woodbury, Minnesota.  I taught in Burnsville at the Minnesota Valley Academy of Music and for many years, I was violin, viola, and chamber music faculty at St Joseph's School of Music in St Paul.

Many of my high school students have been selected to participate in All-State and my students are involved in both Greater Twin Cities Youth Symphonies and Minnesota Youth Symphonies.

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

Discount Rate for students on Contract Plan:

·         30-minute lessons = $96.75/month

·         45-minute lessons = $139.75/month

·         1 hour lessons = $179.17/month

Regular (no-commitment) rate @ $56/hour:

·         30 minute lessons approx. $112/month

·         45 minute lessons approx = $168/month

·         $48/hour (for 1-hour lessons) = $224/month

How did you get started teaching?

I loved sharing music with others from the time I was very young.  I started teaching little ones to help them along in their school orchestras, and progressed to teaching older, more advanced students.  Since I got my degree, (14 years ago), I generally teach up to college level musicians but often have a student or two in college that want to continue their studies with me.

What types of students have you worked with?

I teach all ages!  I work with some very energetic kids, teenagers dealing with depression, adults struggling to stay sharp and avoid dementia, some kids with behavioral disorders, etc. The most challenging student I taught was partially blind and deaf and had some paralysis in her left-hand!  That was difficult.  But she could play!

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I was particularly happy to hear that the four students of mine who auditioned for higher level youth orchestras all rose a level in rank this Fall. They are all thrilled and their excitement is contagious!

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

While it is esesential to teach technique and musicality, a really good teacher will shape their teaching to you as a person and musician, rather than expecting you to fit into a "cookie-cutter" mold they have for all students.  Be certain they will nurture you and determine how best you learn so they can teach you in a way you can understand and absorb.

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

1) If you don't have an instrument, WAIT FOR A TEACHER'S ADVICE before going to a shop and buying one.  Simply do not order from the internet. Stringed instruments must be chosen by hearing them under your own ear.

2) What method books to you use for scales, pieces, etudes, bowings, double stops/chords... and can you incorporate books I have already bought, or will those not be helpful in the future?

3) Tell a potential teacher what you feel are your greatest challenges with your instrument and ask how the teacher would help you overcome those.

Lessons offered