Private Violin Lessons
My studio is located in the Upper East Hillside neighborhood of Duluth. I prefer to teach lessons in person, but plan to continue offering remote lessons over Zoom as needed.
Registration Fee: $20 per year
30 minute lessons: $72 per month
45 minute lessons: $110 per month
60 minute lessons: $144 per month
Monthly tuition rates apply regardless of the number of lessons attended.
Payment is due the first lesson of each month. I accept cash, check, and Venmo.
Lessons are scheduled for a regular time and day of the week. Students are expected to attend a lesson each week, with the exception of scheduled breaks and holidays. Alternative scheduling arrangements will be considered with advance notice on a case by case basis. Switching between in-person and virtual lessons is not a problem so long as I know ahead of time.
For scheduling inquiries, please use the contact form below.
*** At this time my studio schedule is full and I am not taking any new students. ***
What to Expect
Beginner lessons are 30 minutes long and meet once per week at a regularly scheduled time. Parents are welcome to sit in on lessons. The younger the student, the more I encourage parents to sit in and observe. Optional (but highly encouraged) performance opportunities are available several times each year.
Regular practice is essential for progress on the violin. Students who practice in short, focused sessions every day typically do much better than those who attempt to 'cram' with longer, sporadic practice sessions. Before starting private lessons, consider how much time you have to commit to practicing each week. I am happy to answer questions or make recommendations about how much a student should practice, please ask if you are unsure!
No prior musical experience or knowledge is required - all you need to get started is a properly sized instrument in good working order. Please read the 'Selecting a Violin' section below for my instrument recommendations.
Additional materials are determined as lessons progress.
The primary focus of my teaching is to establish healthy and natural foundational techniques. I believe the ability to read music is an invaluable skill for any aspiring musician, so I also focus on music literacy. Above all, I strive to maintain a professional, non-judgmental, and encouraging environment.
My approach is determined by the goals and needs of each individual student. Rather than adhering to one particular set of books or method (such as the popular Suzuki method), I prefer to select repertoire appropriate for each student and supplement additional material as needed.
All Ages Welcome
Children, tweens, teens, young adults, "old" adults... people of all ages are welcome in my studio!
The 'best age' to start playing the violin depends entirely on the individual. Please use the contact form below to start a conversation with me about if your child is ready to start and if we would make a good student - teacher fit.
If you are a grown-up interested in picking up the violin, I can assure you that it is never too late to get started! If you have always wanted to try the violin, private lessons are a great way to ensure you learn the fundamentals properly. It is also never too late to get back into playing. If you have not played your violin in years, I am happy to help guide your journey back to proficiency.
Classical vs. Alternative Studies
Whether you are hoping to join an orchestra, start a band, impress at an open jam, or simply play some tunes for your own enjoyment, lessons will help you learn the techniques needed to get you there.
All of my students work on some of the standard classical repertoire and exercises for violin to build skills and hone technique. Continued focus on classical music will suit students with an interest in orchestra and/or solo recital performances.
While I am a classically trained violinist, I also have a strong background in fiddling, alternative styles, and improvising. I greatly enjoy teaching people the skills needed to play in this style and have an extensive library of tunes to share.
Why Take Lessons?
Studying the violin is about so much more than songs and technique. Music requires commitment, diligence, and patience. Gratification is often delayed. Lessons help guide you through the ups and downs of the learning process. As playing ability advances, confidence and character builds alongside it. Each one of the skills and virtues learned through music can be applied to other areas of life.
Selecting a Violin
First, a quick note about size: did you know that violins come in a variety of sizes? Adults play on full size violins, but growing children need smaller, fractional instruments to prevent pain and possible injury from playing. Violin shops can properly size your child in person, or you can look up sizing guides and charts online.
For beginners, especially growing children, I recommend renting a violin outfit (violin, bow, case, and accessories) from a local shop. In addition to being budget-friendly, getting started on a high quality, properly set up, and properly sized instrument is beneficial to the beginner student. The first few months of learning to play are challenging enough - why add to the challenge by using a cheap, poorly crafted instrument? Here in the Twin Ports, Christian Eggert Violins and Schmitt Music both have excellent rental programs. These shops are also able to do repairs and provide maintenance services for your instrument.
For more experienced players, or if you'd rather buy and own an instrument from the start, I recommend getting the best violin (and bow!) that you can afford. Generally speaking, a higher price tag does mean better quality. Expect to spend a minimum of $400 on a decent violin and $100 on a good bow; higher quality violins and bows range into the thousands. This is not to say that you need to spend thousands for a violin to sound good... in fact, there are plenty of very nice sounding violins in the $500-$800 range. But if you can afford it, investing more is well worth it! With violins, you do get what you pay for, especially in the $400-$1400 price range. Push for the best that you can afford and keep in mind that violins will retain their value as long as they are played and maintained. Do plenty of research and try playing many different violins at several shops before making a purchase.
Instruments acquired through other means (gift from a friend or family member, thrift store find, purchased through Amazon or any other retailer that doesn't specialize in string instruments, etc.) will likely need to be brought to a luthier for proper setup and/or repairs. While I am able to diagnose the issues that violins and bows commonly have, I do not have the skills or tools to address repairs like bow re-hairs, bridge re-shaping, and seam glueing, all of which are best left to the experts! Depending on the extent of what your instrument needs, repairs and setup could be relatively fast and inexpensive, or prove to be more costly than the violin is worth. If you didn't get your violin from a shop that specializes in string instruments, or if it hasn't been played in years, you may want to have it checked out by a luthier (Christian Eggert Violins and Schmitt Music are both good options) before your first lesson to ensure it is in good working order.
For more information, or to schedule your first lesson, please use the contact form below.