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MM, Purchase Conservatory, Violin Performance BM, Castleton University, Violin Performance
2016- Purchase Conservatory of Music Merit Scholarship 2016- Performed with Purchase String Quartet at Lincoln Center Alice Tully Hall 2008- Performed with Vermont Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall
I am a thoughtful, enthusiastic violin teacher who loves working with students of all ages and levels. In 2017, I graduated from Purchase Conservatory in Westchester, New York with a Master of Music in Violin Performance. Performing all over the world has made me extremely grateful for my ability to be a freelance musician and teacher; I have toured throughout China and France and while living in New York City performed at Carnegie Hall and Lincoln Center with various string ensembles. I currently reside in Charlotte, NC and I am excited to create a studio of mindful musicians who can share their love of music with their community.
My teaching experience dates back to the beginning of my studies during my Bachelor degree. I started as a Music Education major but soon realized I wanted to spend more time practicing my violin and focusing on performing. Encouraging practice on a consistent schedule is a key aspect to playing an instrument--as a teacher, I like to help my students develop a practice schedule and you can expect our time together to be spent learning not only how to play the violin/viola but learning how to practice our instrument. As a teacher I also focus on how we hold the instrument, the violin/viola is a very difficult instrument to hold because it is such an unnatural position for our body. A focus on the proper playing position of the instrument can take a student very far, as they won't have to worry about injury later in life. Performing is a scary thing for all musicians, even those that have been playing for decades. I prepare my students for all performing situations whether that be in their living room for their family or on stage with a big audience. Feeling confident about ourselves as a musician can be tough, but I like to make sure my students are having fun, feel inspired by the music they are making and are eager to share it with their community.
For beginning students, I typically start with Suzuki Book 1. A strong foundation is key to playing the violin/viola. I do teach the Suzuki method, but I understand that method of teaching does not work for all students--one size does not fit all. I believe all students have the innate ability to learn an instrument despite their background. I find the Suzuki books provide a strong foundation with the ability to play full songs from the start. If my students are more interested in fiddling I still take the foundations developed from Suzuki Book 1 and transition to the Fiddler's Fakebook later down the road.
It is important that each student progress at their own pace. I encourage this by setting realistic goals and expectations. Acknowledging any and all accomplishments are key to fueling the students desire to learn more. My students can expect to receive homework and practice goals after each lesson. I want to find what inspires my students so I will always tailor my instruction to their wants and desires. During each lesson, we will start with warming up through scales and stretching and then moving to our practice goals for the week, through the practice goals we can determine what next weeks lesson should look like and what the student can focus on outside of their lesson. A lesson is not only a time for learning an instrument, but also for learning what makes my students excited about music.
My daughter is 4 years old and is learning English as a second language. She does not speak English. Despite the language barrier between Heather and my daughter, she still was able to help my daughter progress at such a young age. They listened to lots of music during the lessons, played games, worked on English words that pertain the music, and learned technique and instrument holding position. My daughter is getting better at English and can also play the violin, which she enjoys very much.
As an adult student I truly felt that Heather brought the reality of learning an instrument to life for me. I know that I don't practice as much as I should, and Heather certainly reminded me when it was necessary, but she also gave realistic goals and expectations. She took my busy schedule into consideration and made sure that I still felt like I was progressing.
My child is extremely hard on herself and lacks self-confidence when it comes to her ability to learn something new and difficult. Not only does Heather make learning the violin fun, she taught my daughter self-confidence and when she felt that something was too hard, Heather gave her the tools to make it easier and more approachable. Learning the violin is no easy task and Heather definitely does not sugar coat it, but she makes it exciting and goal oriented.
Heather is an extremely thorough teacher. She gives amazing explanation and description to even the most music illiterate individual. As a parent I was not able to attend my child's lessons with Heather, however she take the parental role very well in providing practice notes and practice goals; Heather made me feel as though I could help my child practice the violin, even though I have never played the violin
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