Violin and Viola Private Lessons
I teach violin and viola lessons to students of all levels, from the beginners to the most advanced college level.
My teaching studio is in Okemos/East Lansing area in Michigan. If you live in Midland, Alma, Jackson, Marshall, or Albion, please see below.
Each lesson is 25 minutes or 55 minutes in length, and typically scheduled once a week.
Teaching Method and Style
While there are certain etudes that I give to many of my students such as Schradieck, Sevcik, Kreutzer, Rode, and Dont, I do not go by any particular violin "method" in my lessons. Rather, my lessons are catered to each student's individual differences and characteristics.
Every student has his/her strength and weakness, and they are not always the same among the students. I carefully look at what needs most attention on each student, and come up with the best approach that I could think of based on my knowledge and experience as a violinist and teacher, so the student can overcome the difficulty in the most efficient manner. That means I may have several students work on the same piece, but what each student will get out of the piece could be slightly different; one student may need some work on rhythms and intonation, while another student should learn how to play more expressively.
My lessons are detail oriented. I seldom make broad musical suggestions without going into details as to how to execute them. Many of my suggestions and instructions are very specific, often targeting only one measure or even one single note, pointing out specific techniques in order to achieve the tone quality, articulation, phrasings, or whatever else we are after. I do, of course, make general comments and broad musical suggestions from time to time. I do so when I want my students to learn how to think critically, and/or I know my students have enough knowledge to figure out on their own.
Developing practice skills
I often ask questions for my students during lessons. They go something like this:
- What kind of feelings do you get from playing this passage? Ideally, how would you like it to sound?
- What can you do to make that happen on your instrument?
- What kind of technique do you employ and how are you going to use the technique to execute what you hear in your head?
- Why do you think the technique you chose is appropriate?
By asking questions like above, students start to think about how exactly they are playing every passage, instead of just trying to get the notes and rhythms correctly with some sort of immature musicality thrown in. By repeating this thought process week after week, students will eventually learn how to think in a critical and academic manner when they approach a piece of music. This leads students to developing good practice habits and well-structured, intelligent musical decisions. Students will learn how to practice efficiently to accomplish their goals.
Requirements to be in my studio are quite simple.
- Students must take lessons seriously.
- Students must be eager to learn.
- Students will practice daily.
I will gladly accept students of any level as long as they fulfill the requirements.
Students in Midland, Alma, and Albion
Besides teaching college students at Alma and Albion, I also teach violin and viola lessons to a limited number of younger students who live in Midland, Alma, Albion, Jackson, and Marshall at the Colleges. These students may be able to carpool with other students whose lesson times are scheduled back to back.