1) What is your background?
I have a B.A. in Violin Performance and been teaching a large private class of violinists privately for almost 20 years. I have extensive experience with teaching and playing chamber music. I am also a physician with specialty in Preventive and Occupational Medicine as well as Anesthesiology. In addition, I have a master’s degree in Public Health.
I attended Interlochen National Music Camp for seven summers and graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy High School in Interlochen, Michigan. After Interlochen, I attended the Meadowmount School of Violin in NY for four summers. I received a B.A. violin performance degree as well as a B.A. degree in Natural Sciences from a joint program between Case Western Reserve University and the Cleveland Institute of Music while studying with Linda Cerone. Additionally, I have studied violin pedagogy with Sally O'Reilly in Minneapolis, have completed Suzuki violin training in early childhood education as well as levels 1A, and 1B., and I regularly attend and participate in the Starling DeLay Symposium at the Juilliard School of Music in New York City.
I received my M.D. degree from Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, and my master’s degree in Public Heath from the University of Illinois in Chicago.
I accept new students of all levels who are willing to make a commitment to serious study of the violin, and who are willing to practice daily.
2) Where is your studio? Where do you teach?
My studio has been open full time since 2003. I teach private lessons online as well as in person. In person lessons are offered in MI and Florida (east coast). I teach students who are live in many different states in the U.S.A., and some who are out of the country as well. Monthly rehearsals and recitals are held online and in person on a monthly basis.
3) What hours do you teach?
Private lessons are scheduled 7 days per week. Most students schedule a regular lesson day and time and take one or two lessons per week at the same day and time each week. A few students "float" and schedule their lessons for a different day and time each week depending upon their schedule and mine. Make up lessons are scheduled during open time slots throughout the week.
A studio recital is given each month on a Sunday evening. Participation in our monthly recitals is optional and is encouraged. Some students perform every month or almost every month. Others perform every other month or once per quarter. A studio group rehearsal is held prior to each recital. Chamber music rehearsals are scheduled most frequently on weekends, with occasional rehearsals being held on a weeknight as well.
Please call (248-497-7245) or e-mail me at firstname.lastname@example.org to discuss current openings in my studio as well as what works best for your schedule.
4) What is the age range and level of the students that you teach?
Students in my studio start lessons as young as age 3, with parental supervision.
Complete beginners through advanced students are welcome and feel comfortable in my studio. Several of my former students have become violin majors in college. There are many opportunities for students of all levels and varying interests to learn and progress. Additionally, I also welcome adult students of all levels.
5) My child is special/different in that he/she is very smart, is gifted, slow, is very energetic, has a short attention span, is a perfectionist, etc. Can my child learn to play the violin?
Each student who comes to my studio is treated as an individual, with the goal being to help him/her maximize strengths while working on areas which need more focus and attention. Students are encouraged to put forth their best effort towards educating themselves each day, and support is offered to all students in helping them to achieve their individual goals.
6) Do I need to have a violin to begin lesson? Where do I get a violin?
Beginning students in my studio are measured for a violin at their first lesson. Once they know what violin size is needed, they are given information as to where to rent a violin, and what other starting equipment is needed as well. For students who already have a violin and bow, the adequacy for their needs of the violin and bow on which they are playing will be discussed soon after lessons begin in my studio.
7) What methods do you utilize to teach violin in your studio?
Students in my studio are encouraged to learn to read notes and rhythms as soon as possible. Students are also encouraged to listen to recordings very frequently as well. Some of the basic books used in my studio are Tune a Day series, String Builder series, I Can Read Music, Galamian Scale and Arpeggio Book, Fiddle Rhythms and Fiddle Magic by Sally O'Reilly, and Suzuki books 1-8. This repertoire is supplemented by many other short pieces, concerti, sonatas for violin and piano, etude books, as well as chamber music (for groups of musicians) and orchestra music (many students in my studio participate in their school string/orchestra programs as well as our local youth symphony organizations). Students who have previous training via the Suzuki method as well as the traditional method of note and rhythm reading are welcome to join the studio.
8) Do you teach piano lessons as well as violin lessons?
Although I do not teach formal piano lessons, all students in my studio are taught to play 2 and 3 octave piano scales (major and minor) as part of their training. This helps them to understand the violin fingerboard better. Students in my studio are also taught the basics of music theory as part of their violin training
9) As a parent, do I need to have had formal training of a musical instrument in order for my child to study violin in your studio?
Some parents who bring their child to my studio have studied an instrument themselves previously. It is certainly not necessary for the success of any child that their parent play a musical instrument prior to coming to my studio. Parents of young children will find that it is helpful to their child if they learn the basics right along with them so that they can help their child practice each day at home. Some parents rent a violin for themselves and learn right along with their child during their child's lessons. There is no extra charge for doing this in my studio.
10) How often do you have recitals in your studio?
Studio recitals are held each month. They are held very frequently so that students have many opportunities to "practice" performing. A rehearsal is held each month to help each student prepare for his/her recital performance. This is open to all students in the studio who wish to observe, and is done in the format of a master class/discussion. These opportunities help the students gain confidence in their ability to perform and helps them to build the self-confidence and self-esteem needed to be successful in other arenas as well. These monthly rehearsals and recitals also allow the students and parents to interact on a very regular basis, and significant friendships form as a result. Studio members come to feel that they are part of a very supportive and caring group of people who love children and music. They appreciate that this is a healthy and safe environment in which respect for everyone is emphasized, and in which the lives of everyone involved are greatly enriched.
11) How much practice time is expected of my child?
Students are expected to practice each day unless they are ill. The amount of time expected per day is in part age dependent. Careful practice each day, with attention to detail and correct technique being utilized are concepts which are emphasized during lessons. These issues will be discussed in further detail on an individual basis and as needed as your child progresses. Each child's individual schedule, level of interest, and the involvement of the student in other extracurricular activities are all taken into account as an appropriate amount of practice time per day is determined.
12) What amount of parental involvement is necessary in order for my child to do well in the process of learning to play the violin?
Young students require parental supervision when they practice. As a child gets older, the child generally becomes more responsible and begins to practice independently. The age at which a child takes full responsibility for his/her practicing is determined on an individual basis. Students of all ages certainly benefit from the positive attitude and encouragement provided by their parents.
13) What is your rate? How much do you charge for a lesson? Chamber music? Piano accompanist fees?
Please call me (248-497-7245) to discuss this in detail. A personalized package will be put together for you which optimizes the learning experience. Budgetary constraints you may have are taken into consideration.
14) I want to make sure that my child does as well as possible as he/she learns to play the violin. What is your recipe for success?
There are several reasons why one child may progress more quickly than another. Most often, it has nothing to do with natural ability and genetics and everything to do with the things that set these children and parents apart from the crowd. Briefly, the reasons are as follows: consistent daily practice, reasonable amount of daily practice time, quality of practice time, parental involvement/supervision of practice sessions, attendance at weekly lessons and studio/recital classes, amount of lesson time the child takes each week, and positive encouragement from the child's parents and teacher.
Additional Topics of Interest: