I have been teaching violin and viola for over twenty years, both privately running my own teaching studio and also as a school music teacher in elementary, middle, and high schools. I currently teach with the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, my private students, and am working towards my music teaching license for Wisconsin. I have lived and taught in Indiana, New York, Houston Texas, and London, England before settling in the Milwaukee area. This has given me exposure to many school systems and styles of teaching. I believe no child is too young to start learning a musical instrument, and love to nurture my students as they grow and master their instruments over the course of years. For beginner and intermediate students, I combine Suzuki teaching and materials with exposure to a variety of music such as fiddle and chamber music. I prefer to teach young beginners in small groups, and expect parents to be involved (I've taught many parents along with their children, too!). With more advanced students, I offer practical, goal-oriented help for school orchestra, exam, audition, and competition repertoire. I began violin myself at the age of three as a Suzuki student, and hold a Bachelor of Music degree and Master of Music degree, both in violin performance. I come from a family of musicians and teachers. I won many awards and scholarships as a young musician. As a string teacher, I believe it is crucial to work cooperatively with other local string teachers and pianists, and take part in continuing education every year to keep a fresh perspective.
Laura is a pleasure to work with. From the start she was accommodating and very professional. She listened and meet our individual needs. She provided a positive experience for both of my kids. She is very knowledgeable and provided many useful strategies in the lessons she gave my children. I would greatly recommend her to anyone interested in starting or continuing lessons for violin.
She is very relaxed and good with kids!
First we meet so that I can hear the student play and to get to know each other (me, student, parent(s)). We discuss whatever will be needed - instruments, music, particular goals, schedule, etc. At the first lesson I choose appropriate scales and exercises, and together we choose two new pieces to start with.
I have been a violinist since the age of three, and my life and formal education have revolved around playing and teaching music. I have two music degrees, and I am a parent of three musical children aged 5 to 18.
I charge $48/hr, with lessons being 30 or 45 minute lessons. Beginner group lessons can be taken for 6 week sessions. The cost is split between 2-4 students, making it affordable for anyone who thinks their young child might want to try violin with a low level of commitment.
I grew up with a piano teacher dad, and always thought I'd be a violin teacher. I had wonderful teachers and mentors myself who were highly respected in the violin world, They modeled enthusiasm, technical skills, and practical tips to make practicing as useful and efficient as possible. I do the same for my students.
Every type of student - all ages, from tiny toddlers (including my own), elementary, middle and high schoolers, college students wanting to become teachers themselves, retired folks wanting to learn something new. I've taught students who were autistic, had Downs syndrome, various physical challenges, and some who have become professional musicians themselves.
The farewell concert given by my students at my last school was very emotional, and I received a standing ovation from parents, students, and teaching colleagues that I'll never forget.
Most of us are very good at what we do in order to have become professional musicians and teachers, it's an intensely competitive field. Choose someone who you can imagine spending time with every week, who makes you feel good - not bad - about your work each week, and take travel into consideration. You will be tempted to cancel more lessons if a teacher is too far (ie in bad weather, bad traffic). Having a teacher come to your house may seem like a good idea, but you will be more motivated and perform better in lessons if you work in another location with your teacher each week.
Talk about what kinds of music you like and want to play eventually, find out if the teacher has group lessons or recitals regularly, be honest about how much time you can spend each day practicing and think about how you will balance violin with sports, homework, and other parts of your life.