Violin, Viola & Voice
I work to customize the lessons to fit the learning style of the student. If one way doesn't work, I will rework my approach till I find one that suits the learning style of that specific student. Even if there are multiple students in a family, each student is an individual and deserves to be treated as such. Working this way enables my students to grow and reach their goals as musicians and as individuals, growing in both their skills/techniques and self confidence. My end goal with each and every student is that they grow so much that they can eventually function in the music world on their own.
I am a professional performing violinist/violist/vocalist with more three decades of private lesson and classroom string teaching experience. Violin/viola/voice students from beginning to advanced are welcome. I specialize in preparing students in to develop their abilities to successfully audition for their school orchestras, Regional/State Solo & Ensemble Contest, All State/All Northwest Honor Performance Groups, and Youth Symphonies. I also teach the student who simply wants to learn "...just for fun...". Usually, to make it easier for consistent, continuous lessons, I teach students in their homes, however, online lessons on FaceTime, Skype or Zoom are available - especially during the pandemic. Each online lesson is followed with detailed personalized notes to assist each student in their practices.
Watching my students grow, learn then achieve performing a skill by playing or singing something that they thought they could never do. The light and fire that ignites inside of them is unlike anything else!!!
Frequently asked questions
What is your typical process for working with a new student?
Whether or not the student has played or sung before, I spend a few minutes talking with them to find out something about them. Why they want to learn, what their short term goals are and their long term goals. This helps to put the new students more at ease.
If they have played or sung before I ask them sing or play for me so that I can begin to assess where they are skill wise. Then I can make some notes and find an appropriate place for us to begin working together. I will talk about a few of my observations and in the process we will have already begun to work together on their first lesson. From this, I can work up their first assignment and voila, we have a starting point to grow from.
What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
University level violin/viola performance training.
Two decades of extensive private vocal training.
Various pedagogical workshops and seminars.
Professional gigging musician.
Over 3 decades of teaching/coaching experience
Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.
$35 - 30 minutes
$53 - 45 minutes
$70 - 60 minutes
How did you get started teaching?
I was a performance major who was asked to help a non-string playing friend learn how to play a string instrument while they were studying to be a music teacher. The professor was impressed with what I did and was asked to help others. I discovered that I enjoyed it and when I was asked to take on a student I found that I really loved doing it. From that my private studio grew.
Because of the success of my students, I was asked to consider also working in the classroom. Started in one school district and stayed there for 2 years helping the students improve. I worked in my next district for over 20 years, being totally responsible for the second year class the final 6 years that I worked there.
What types of students have you worked with?
All types of students, including those with learning disabilities and physical challenges. From age 4 or 5 to senior adults.
Describe a recent event you are fond of.
Last school year I had the pleasure of working with a string ensemble to help them prepare for their regional solo, and ensemble competition. This group of nine string players came from a high school that had not had a competitive ensemble for contest in nearly a decade. They wanted to work together to create an ensemble that was not only good, but capable of winning their region's contest and thus qualifying for the state finals. These students worked tirelessly week in and week out individually and together from the beginning of November till their performance the following February.
We worked together as they learned to master the techniques and styles necessary to conquer their piece. This also included learning how to effectively communicate as a high quality peforming ensemble, as well as how to know when to bring out your part and when to be supportive along with why. They also worked on their beliefs in themselves and each other as time came to present their finished product. These students worked tirelessly and thoroughly as they approached the day of their performance.
All of the time, repetition, determination and months of rehearsals paid off as this ensemble of nine unseated the defending region champs to earn a spot to participate in the state finals!! Unfortunately with COVID-19 the state finals were canceled, BUT this large ensemble from the school that hadn't been in contention had achieved the goal that each member wanted - a birth to the state finals, and I couldn't be more proud of them!!
What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?
Take the time to find the teacher who is the best fit for you!! Think outside of the box, but listen to your inner voice.
What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?
What your goals are - short term and long term? What do you see yourself doing?
Are you willing to try to do something different than the way that you have done it before to help you improve, or are you set in your ways?