On January 21, I hosted my 7th Annual Winter Recital. It was my largest recital ever, with 35 students performing. I had a packed audience of around 130 people. It was great fun, and all the students came away from the recital with a sense of accomplishment and satisfaction! Some of my more advanced students performed movements from Vivaldi's The Four Seasons. For the accompaniment of these movements, I had them play the chamber orchestra parts in a string quartet arrangement so they each had a chance to accompany and be accompanied.
As always, it's been a busy fall season in the Studio! I've been playing lots of fun wedding gigs with the Cherry Blossom String Quartet, and have taught many violin, viola, and cello lessons! Recently several of my students auditioned and were accepted into their District Honors Orchestras in Fairfax County. They all worked hard to prepare for their auditions and I am proud of them! Now we're busy getting ready for my upcoming Winter Recital on January 21. Here are a few images from this season. The Quartet has continued with our Columbia Diminuendo performance series, through the sun, clouds, and wind!
I had an absolutely amazing time last week attending the Chamber Music Conference at Bennington College in Vermont. It was sort of a music camp for adults. Each participant is placed into 3-4 small chamber ensembles, and you have rehearsals, coaching sessions, and for some folks, performances over the course of the week. There are also lots of informal sight-reading get togethers with various types of ensembles. It was a blast!
One of my students graciously helped me to compile a video of some of my lovely students' performances, ranging from beginners to more advanced. https://youtu.be/lyHwgPmM_AM
A couple of weeks ago, I proudly presented 25 of my students for the Spring Recital. They did a wonderful job with some challenging pieces including the Hoffmeister Viola Concerto, Praeludium and Allegro by Fritz Kreisler, the Bach Double Violin Concerto, and some fun tunes like the Star Wars Main Theme and "Spring" from Vivaldi's Four Seasons. It is such a joy to work with these kids and help them prepare for a fun and exciting performance.
Greetings! If you are interested in starting lessons for yourself or your son/daughter, please drop me a line. I am happy to say that my studio schedule is full at the moment, but sometimes things change and spots open up, particularly at the beginning of summer. I would be happy to put you on my waiting list and contact you if something becomes available.
I loved this article in the Washington Post about adults who decide to take up music lessons! I thought of my current 6 wonderful adult students (as well as many adult students from the past), whom (I hope!) relish the challenges and successes, and the rich life experience, of learning the violin as an adult.
It's hard to believe the summer is over and school is already back in session. We just wrapped up the first week of school in this area. I have to say it's amazing to have the opportunity to watch my wonderful students grow and advance musically, emotionally, and socially through the years. That experience of forging a many-years-long bond with each student is a special one for me as a music teacher. It also boggles my mind how so many of the students seem to magically mature practically the moment they begin 3rd (or 6th...or 9th...) grade! Several students in the studio have extended their lessons this year to 45 minutes (as opposed to 30 minutes), and that has been hugely beneficial. It's wonderful to have ample time to warm up with scales, devote time to technique, and sometimes even be able to work on sight-reading skills, in addition to the usual etudes and solos. What a difference that extra 15 minutes makes in a violin or viola lesson!
Update on lesson openings: My home studio is currently fully booked, but I have a few openings on Fridays at Alexandria Music Center. Contact me for details!
Just found this delightful little video by everyone's favorite violinist, Itzhak Perlman, on his preferred bow hold. I know I'm always telling my students some of this info in lessons, but sometimes it helps to hear it from another source. :) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6r0WW-KN6VM
I have some rare openings in my schedule at Alexandria Music Company. If you or your son/daughter are interested in taking violin or viola lessons, contact me for details! January is a perfect time of year to start lessons, after things settle down from the holidays! Music is an ideal indoor activity.
I really love this article -- give it a read if you are a parent of a music student! My only qualm is the "Give it 12 months" suggestion. If a student is trying to make the violin or viola sound decent, it will likely take more like 2-3 years! Patience is key!
If you or your son/daughter has been pondering the idea of picking up the violin or viola, summer is the ideal time to try it out! For my school-age students, taking lessons now is a great way to get a head start on school strings class (for brand-new beginners). For more experienced students, summer lessons are a great way to improve and learn new techniques during a season when many kids leave their instruments to collect dust in the corner. :) Summer is also the perfect time for adult students (beginner or experienced) to get into lessons. Work schedules tend to be lighter, and days are longer. What better way to enrich your life and increase your brainpower than learning the violin?
For teachers, summer is a transitional time when some students move away, so there are typically more schedule openings for new students, and you can beat the "fall rush" when there's typically an influx of new students. Shoot me an email if you're interested!
It's just around the corner! On June 13, 2015 at 10:30 am at Convergence, I'll be hosting my annual Spring Violin & Viola recital for my students. I absolutely love working with students in their lessons to prepare for a recital. It's exciting, and a little stressful, and so very rewarding to see them make progress on the solos they choose! This recital will again feature some new ensembles (trios? quartets? duos?), as well as some musician parents performing alongside their kids. Can't wait!
February in DC: It is a bleak time of year. As I write this, the weather outside 20 degrees and cloudy. In the spirit of one of my favorite winter songs (okay, "In the Bleak Midwinter" is actually a Christmas Carol), I'd like to offer some suggestions for concerts which might lift your spirit. You can listen to this lovely rendition of "In the Bleak Midwinter" (by Gustav Holst) as you read! Attending concerts is a great way to stay inspired while you are taking violin or viola lessons. I recommend checking out different genres of music. These days, you'll see the violin performed in so many styles: classical, folk, Irish, rock, bluegrass, jazz. It's such a versatile instrument, and who knows, you may find yourself inspired to learn a new style! My top five picks of DC and Northern Virginia concerts coming up this month:
The Beanstalk Library celebrated its 5th New Year's Eve Throwdown at IOTA on December 31, 2014. It was a sold-out show with a wonderful, attentive crowd. Videos coming soon!
Many of my young students are prepping for the upcoming Winter Recital. It's a very exciting (and sometimes nerve-wracking!) time, but the end result is always hugely satisfying. Tonight I held a rehearsal with two of my students who will be performing the Bach Double Violin Concerto. I'll accompany on viola and another student's dad will play the cello part. The recital will be on Sunday, December 14 at 1:30 pm at Convergence. All are welcome!
...with a little outdoor music festival in the District on what's setting up to be a perfect Saturday. We'll be at the Kingman Island Bluegrass & Folk Festival on April 26, 2014. Ryan, Brian and I will perform on the Gypsy Sally's Stage at 2pm. Be there!
...And, post-Festival, here's a picture of us playing! It was an amazing day and the event reached capacity within the first 3 hours! Can't wait to play for it next year!