1. Where do the lessons take place?
In my studio near the German Colony.
2. Can you teach at our house?
I have a busy performing and teaching schedule, so unless you live next door to me, I am not able to come to your house for lessons.
3. How do I know that my child has the “talent” to play the violin?
The debate of nature vs. nurture is an old one, but in my experience, environment and hard work are FAR MORE IMPORTANT than any genetic gift. Here is an article with data to support my opinion: http://www.musicthinktank.com/mtt-open/10000-hours-of-practice-makes-perfect.html
4. Do you expect your students to become professional musicians?
Absolutely not. If a student wants to become a professional musician, I will be happy to guide and support him or her, but I am very happy to teach a student who wants to learn for the sake of learning. Music study requires and develops social, intellectual, physical, and emotional abilities, so I highly recommend it as a hobby! Here are some links to articles about the benefits of music study:
5. How often will we have lessons?
With children, regular lessons are essential for many reasons. Once a week is sufficient, although twice a week is also possible in some cases and allows me to keep track of the student’s progress even more effectively. With adult students, we can decide together on appropriate frequency.
6. What do I need to start lessons?
You will need to have a violin and a music stand. The violin should come with a bow, shoulder rest, rosin for the bow, cloth to clean the violin (regular microfiber cleaning cloth works well), and a case to carry it all. Unless you are an adult student, please consult with me first about the size of the violin. I can recommend places to buy or rent a violin and sheet music. Suzuki students should have the Suzuki Violin Method Volume I book and CD.
7. What ages of students to you accept?
I will accept any student for the traditional method above age 6. If your child is between ages 4-6, please look at the Suzuki Method page on my web site. I teach adults, as well, although I will only accept adult beginners if they are exceptionally motivated.
8. What is the ideal age to begin playing violin?
It depends… if your dream is to play like Itzhak Perlman, it’s best to start when you’re under 10 and practice a lot! If your goal is to give your child all the benefits of a musical education and achieve basic playing ability, then any age under 18 is fine. Adult beginners face special challenges, mainly jobs, families, and other responsibilities which often leave them with no time to practice.
9. I’m not sure my child wants to play, and I don’t want to force him/her. What should I do?
I believe that love, not force, will make your child bloom. Deep down, children want to learn new things, make music, and please their parents. Here is what you can do: First, MAKE SURE YOUR CHILD PRACTICES REGULARLY. Reminding your child to practice does not mean you are forcing him or her. Regular practice will lead to achievement and progress, which will in turn lead to well-deserved self-esteem, which will make your child want to do it more. Praise your child often- and in the right way. Offer critique only paired with a concrete suggestion on how to improve. If you’re not sure how to praise/critique productively, I will be happy to guide you. Create a musical environment. Take your child to concerts and together listen to all kinds of music (including classical, jazz, rock, spiritual).
10. How do I get my child to practice?
I’m so glad you asked! In the lessons, I will explain what to learn and how to learn it. Home practice is where most of the learning actually takes place. If your child is younger than 12 it’s YOUR responsibility to make practice a daily occurrence, not your child’s. Set aside a physical space in the house for music. Find a regular time, for example right after dinner, or soon after your child comes home from school- you know your family’s rhythm. Consistency and quality or a practice session is more important than its length.