Expert music instruction informed by principles of peer support and transformative clinical social work.
I teach violin and viola to all levels of students. I utilize the Suzuki method for choosing repertoire for beginners and intermediate students, and I adopt philosophical aspects of Suzuki education. I also uphold the Rolland method of instruction regarding emphasis on relaxed and balanced posture for physical technique.
I additionally teach my experience of kinesthetic resonance, physically understanding the instrument and how it vibrates, in order to hold the instrument confidently, create solid tone, play in tune, feel relaxed in physical posture, and deliver emotionally-compelling performances.
Regarding my background: I've trained on violin and viola since early childhood, earning my bachelors degree from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University. I completed post-bachelors coursework in music education at the Aaron Copland School of Music at Queens College, and I completed 2 levels of teacher training at the Kodály Institute at NYU. I've taught privately since 2009.
When speaking to students, I utilize my social worker and peer support expertise. I especially uphold Intentional Peer Support to guide conversations. IPS focuses on connecting through mutual sharing, with elimination of power imbalances. As a music teacher, I see myself as equal to the student. IPS also encourages moving towards strengths, instead of moving away from problems. As a music teacher, I focus on strengths of the student instead of focusing on "fixing mistakes."
For many years as a peer specialist and therapist, I've focused on connecting with people in a meaningful way, that helps them feel safe. I bring my therapist expertise to lessons, and I am prepared to engage students who have experienced trauma, whether in musical studies or in life in general. I uphold principles of:
My ideas for this innovative teaching style are a work in progress, which I want to research and develop over the course of many years. I am dedicated to academic integrity and professional responsibility. If you are professional in music education, performance and/or mental health counseling, I'd love to share ideas and collaborate! Please message me here:
Both! Don't worry if Zoom seems far away... I love teaching online! I have tons of expertise in offering telehealth therapy services. At this time, in-person sessions are available at my home in Jamaica, Queens, NYC, and I can travel to students for lessons in the NYC area as well.
There is the urge to try and start as cheap as possible with an inexpensive rental instrument, etc. Unfortunately, a cheap instrument is almost always poorly built, and beginning on instrument like this will lead to physical strain and injury. It also will create a non-resonant and/or tinny sound, which will not be inspiring to play ultimately.
TIP: You can obtain excellent-quality rentals from Johnson String Instruments. Check them out below!
I do! I can compose little exercises that are compatible with your lessons, which integrate both physical learning with note-reading.
Do consider: reading music is not necessary to play excellently; this is an aspect of Suzuki violin education actually, where small children learn to play well by listening to music, before learning to read. It is the same at any age: It is most important to first internalize resonant tone and relaxed posture. As you physically learn to play the instrument, note-reading skills are internalized more naturally, as both a kinesthetic process and a cerebral skill.
For child beginners, I recommend a 1/2 hour lessons at least once a week. For small children, supportive and focused parental involvement is vital. For adult beginners, it depends on the person: 1/2 hour lessons work where material is presented more quickly, and 1-hour lessons work if you want to be more relaxed and less pressured. For intermediate and advanced students, I recommend an 1-hour lesson once a week.
Please contact me to discuss your circumstances, and we can figure something out. I especially understand the experience of having strong desire to study while having limited funds, and/or while living in adverse circumstances. This was my personal experience, so I understand.