My teaching philosophy consists of three overarching principles:

  1. Technical mastery is the gateway to musical expression.
  2. Development of musicianship shapes your artistic opinions.
  3. Every performance is an opportunity to communicate the joy of music to an audience.
Photo credit: James Seligman

Photo credit: James Seligman

The first step to building a house is laying a solid foundation, and likewise, a successful violinist is one who learns to play with proper technique. This is a difficult and time-consuming process. My technical background is largely based upon my years of study with Robert Lipsett and directly addresses issues that include correct posture, holding the bow, shifting, vibrato, the full spectrum of bow strokes, and left hand facility and flexibility that is developed by practicing scales, arpeggios and double-stops. I also place great emphasis on relaxation and ergonomics - the concept of using a minimum amount of effort to complete the task at hand.

In addition to learning technique, it is an equally important mission to develop one's musicianship. This is the challenge of understanding each piece in its historical and cultural context, and creating an interpretation free from any technical or instrumental restrictions. A well-studied score provides a treasure trove of information, and assimilating the repertoire while finding your personal voice goes hand-in-hand with learning to play the instrument.

The third principle combines a sound technical foundation with good musicianship to produce a high-caliber performance on stage. It is normal to feel nerves during concerts and auditions, but with proper training, performing can be a fun, musically rewarding, and even exhilarating experience.

Each student should feel that their private instruction leads them to noticeable progress over time. I was fortunate to study with some of the greatest teachers of the previous generation, and I am privileged to pass along that influence to the next crop of young musicians.

I teach in two studio locations - San Jose/Saratoga and Rockridge (North Oakland), in addition to the San Francisco Conservatory Pre-College. If you are interested in more information, please contact me.