What ages/levels do you teach?
I teach all ages and levels. My youngest student is 3 years old and my oldest, 65. I believe it's never too early or too late to learn music. Simply because I believe everyone deserves to learn music if they desire to. It is my mission to be an ambassador of my craft and share it with as many people as I can. Age and level does not matter to me. If a student has a desire to learn, I have the absolute pleasure and honor to share my knowledge.
Do you offer 30 or 45 min lessons?
I do in special circumstances for 3-4 year old students. For students that young, I work with the parents to determine the best lesson length to start off with. Please use the 'contact' page to schedule a meeting where we will assess the best fit based on personality and attention span of the student.
For everyone else, I do not offer 30 or 45 min lessons. 30 mins in any subject is not enough time to grasp multiple concepts and be able to take those concepts home to practice on. 30 mins is not enough time for the information to sink into a child's brain. And so my basic lesson structure accounts for 5 minutes of tuning the violin/preparing, 25 mins of reviewing the previous week's homework, and 30 mins of covering new material and techniques.
I truly believe to have the best experience of learning the violin, you need the proper amount of time with your teacher to digest all the information. Learning the violin takes a lot of experimentation, patience, and persistence. In my professional opinion, a 30/45 min lesson is not enough time to go over last week's homework and assign next week's homework.
Do you offer group lessons?
My specialty is in one on one lessons personalized for each student. I do offer family group lessons where I will teach two siblings in a one hour lesson. If you like to inquire about that, please use my 'contact' page to connect with me. But eventually there will come a time where I will advise them to switch to individual lessons.
There are so many aspects to violin playing. To name a few: intonation, physical form, mathematics, left/right hand techniques, and interpretation. Because every student has their own unique strength and weaknesses, an individual lesson is the most efficient way to learn the violin. In a group setting, it is inevitable that one student will lag behind while another student is waiting, sometimes bored.
I do pair together students for duets/trios/quartets when appropriate. But I do not offer weekly public group lessons.
Private teacher vs generic 'music school'
The relationship between teacher and student is very special. Music has many different ancestry of interpretation, style, and principles. When you study with a private teacher, you are studying with all the masters that have taught and influenced your teacher.
A generic 'music school' typically will not have sound proof rooms and a 'revolving door' approach on their teachers. (I have taught at these schools before) It is important to have a quiet atmosphere for the student to listen to the teacher and to their own sound. It's equally as important to have consistent structure in the lessons. A student's education suffers when they are forced to a different teacher every year.
A private teacher is dedicated in giving a complete music education that on average, takes 5-10 years. The bond a student and a teacher creates is very special. I love teaching each and every one of my student.
Do you teach students how to read music?
Yes! I have had many students come to me and one of the first thing I ask, is for the student to play a previous piece they've learned a year or two ago. More often than not, the student struggles to remember the notes. "Teacher, if you play it for me, I'll know how it goes". I place an extreme emphasis in teaching all my students how to not only read music, but sing it in number and letter form. I give my students the tools to play any music they want. Knowing how to read the musical language is crucially important.
What is MTAC and CM?
MTAC stands for "Music Teacher’s Association of California"
CM stands for "Certificate of Merit"
The Music Teachers’ Association of California® (MTAC) sponsors the music study program Certificate of Merit® (CM). The program provides a standard of curriculum that requires students to strive for focused musical excellence in performance, technique, ear training, sight reading/singing, and music theory.
Each instrument has its own 10-level or 11-level syllabus, detailing a specific set of requirements. Teachers will decide the appropriate level for each student.
Students participate in an annual Evaluation between mid-February and April and receive a written musical performance assessment.
Students complete a written theory exam which includes an ear training component.
Upon successful completion of the Evaluation, students receive an official MTAC CM Certificate for their level.
Senior medallions are awarded to eligible high school seniors.
Students demonstrating exceptional skill at his/her Evaluation may be selected to perform at annual MTAC State Convention Recitals.
What Theory Books do you teach from?
Theory Book: Alfred’s Essentials of Music Theory
Book 1 (Lessons 1-25): Staff, Notes and Pitches * Treble & Bass Clefs * Grand Staff & Ledger Lines * Note Values * Measure, Bar Line and Double Bar * 2/4, 3/4 & 4/4 Time Signatures * Whole, Half & Quarter Notes/Rests * Dotted Half & Quarter Notes * Ties & Slurs * Repeat Sign, 1st & 2nd Endings * Eighth Notes & Rests * Dynamic Signs, Tempo Marks & Articulation * D.C., D.S., Coda & Fine * Flats, Sharps & Naturals * Whole & Half Step, Enharmonic Notes.
Book 2 (Lessons 25-50): Tetrachords & Major Scales * Key Signatures * Chromatic Scale * Intervals, Circle of Fifths * Perfect, Major & Minor Intervals * Augmented & Diminished Intervals * Solfège & Transposition * Sixteenth Notes & Rests * Dotted Eighth Notes & Eighth Note Triplets * Common Time & Cut Time * 3/8 & 6/8 Time Signatures * Pick-up Notes & Syncopation * Primary & Major Triads * Scale Degree Names * Dominant 7th Chord.
Book 3 (Lessons 51-75): 1st & 2nd Inversions of Triads * Inversions of V7 Chords * Figured Bass * Major Chord Progressions * Minor Scales, Minor Triads * Augmented & Diminished Triads * Primary Triads in Minor Keys * Minor Chord Progressions * Modes * Harmonizing a Melody in Major and Minor Keys * Broken Chords & Arpeggiated Accompaniments * Passing and Neighboring Tones * Composing a Melody in Major and Minor Keys * 12-Bar Blues Chord Progression & Blues Scale * Basic Forms of Music.