I love to teach string instruments and have many years of experience. I have a degree in violin performance and have played with the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric opera, numerous other orchestras and perforing groups. I teach classical technique which can be adapted to any style of playing. In addition to teaching at home, I have taught in the schools, and have founded and led several youth orchestras. I have a friendly and encouraging approach to teaching but am also able to give the structure necessary to help students advance to their full potential. My wife is a musician as well (voice) and has taught for many years, so the two of us love our teaching and take mutual interest in encouraging each other's students.
I enjoy seeing my students advance on their instruments and develop a love for their music. I enjoy seeing how encouragement and positive reinforcement free a student to tackle challenging things.
Mr. Fizzell is a great teacher, and he's always very encouraging and understanding to the student. He's been my violin teacher for about five years now, and in that time he's helped come along way with my playing and has taught me a lot about violin and music theory. I would definitely recommend him for anyone wanting to take lessons.
My daughter has taken violin lessons from Mike Fizzell for many years. He is very encouraging, teaches good technique, and is very patient. I asked my daughter what she liked the most about Mr. Fizzell and she said, "You can just tell he loves what he does." She always looks forward to her lessons.
I appreciate that he puts detail into the pieces that I learn. He focuses strongly on technique and intonation, making sure it sounds beautiful and well put together. Mr. Fizzell also knows how to be strict and encouraging at the same time, making you feel proud of the work and effort you put into learning.
When starting with a new student, I like to hear how the student became interested in music, chose this particular instrument, what musical styles the student likes and is familiar with, and what the student would like to accomplish. Learning a musical instrument is a very personal experience and I like to make sure I am helping the student develop according to his or her personality, ability, and life circumstance. If the student already has experience, I will assess playing level, what physical playing skills the student has achieved well, and what areas the student needs to begin focusing on. I discuss these things with the student and explain how we will address them as we begin moving toward his or her goals. If the student is a beginner, I explain how the first few months will look, what skills we will cover, and what the student can expect to be playing at the end of that time. I also take an assessment of the student's instrument, giving instructions about care and maintenance, and any other items that might be necessary to make sure the instrument is going to work well for the student.
I began taking lessons when I was in junior high school. I advanced quickly and began teaching when I was still in high school while studying with a violin/viola professor at the University of Colorado. I performed with numerous groups while in high school including a string quartet that won the Colorado All-State High School String Quartet competition, and an orchestra that toured Europe. I earned a Bachelor's degree in violin performance from the University of Texas at Austin, served numerous times as concertmaster of the University of Texas Symphony, and took teacher training while teaching with the University of Texas String Project. I have also played with the Austin Symphony Orchestra, the Austin Lyric Opera, and several other orchestras around Texas.
My current pricing for lessons is $30 for a half hour lesson, $45 for a 45 minute lesson, and $60 for a 1 hour lesson.
I started teaching in high school when some fellow students asked me for lessons. I then taught and received teacher training with the University of Texas String Project while on scholarship at UT. Upon graduation I developed a studio of students at home while teaching orchestra in the Austin Public Schools.
I have worked with students of all ages (5 yrs. through adult) from various socio-economic backgrounds, and at all playing levels. I have taught in both public and private schools as well as the homeschool community. I have taught students interested in using the instrument for recreation and enjoyment only, as well as students that have gone on to be music majors in college and become professional musicians. I have taught students interested only in classical music as well as students interested in playing other styles. I have taught professionals in jazz and pop styles that wanted to study with a classically trained teacher who could help them improve their technical ability. I teach new beginners as well as those with years of experience.
I have several students that exceeded my expectations in recent recitals and auditions. I am proud of my students' accomplishments. I also performed recently with a former student (who happens to be my son!) at a national gala in Washington D.C.
Students should look for a teacher with lots of playing experience who loves playing the instrument, loves teaching, has the ability to understand different personalities, learning styles, and life circumstances, is encouraging, loves to see students make progress, and has the ability to give structure to the student so the student can have the discipline to make satisfying progress.
Students should have an idea in their minds of what their reasons are for wanting to take lessons. Lessons are a financial investment, and there must be an investment of time and effort practicing in order to have satisfying progress. Students should have an idea of what their goals are, and be able to communicate these to prospective teachers. For instance: (1) I am a student in school and want to do as well in the school music program as possible. (2) I am an adult just looking to have a little enjoyment with a musical instrument. (3) I have tried this instrument before, didn't continue, or didn't do as well as I would have liked, and would like to give it one more effort with a good teacher to see if I want to keep it in my life. (4) I am a student who wants to get into a school playing group and need to develop the skills to do so. (5) I might want to become a professional musician and want to develop along that trajectory. There are of course other possibilities, but whatever a student's circumstance, effort will be required in order for it to be a fun and satisfying experience.