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John Chew


February 25, 2006 at 4:36 AM

I have been reading everyone’s bogs in this space for about a year now. I have learned a lot, and also enjoyed the varied personalities on this board. My name is John Chew, and I live in New York City where I teach fourth grade at a public school in the Bronx. I was previously an accountant at one of the Big 5 public accounting firms after studying accounting in graduate school. I pursued a liberal arts undergraduate degree. I switched to teaching through a program call the Teaching Fellows program which actively recruits individuals who might have done other things with their lives but later choose to teach at the neediest schools in the city. I have always love teaching after an experience teaching English in Japan.

One of benefits of teaching (I thought) would be greater leisure time to pursue hobbies that could inform my teaching. I have always wanted to study the violin, and took the plunge a year and a half ago. I started with group lessons and finished Suzuki Book 1. I recently switched teachers. My new teacher is a recent Peabody and Manhattan School of Music graduate. In only a few lessons, he has helped me tremendously with my technique – bowing, intonation, etc. My new teacher is focusing on teaching me technique via the Wohlfahrt studies, and more secondarily the Suzuki pieces. I am happy to go through the Suzuki books, although as an adult I realize I am studying the violin through a more traditional approach although I am going through the Suzuki repertoire. I am looking forward to Suzuki Book 4 where I will have the opportunity to learn the concertos by Seitz, Vivaldi and Bach (double violin concerto!). I can hardly wait. I am curious about the Galamian approach to teaching violin.

I bought my violin through a company call Stringworks. I purchased a Kallo Bartok from Stringworks, and a pernambuco bow call the Johan Karusch Select from Stringworks which I am happy with. I prefer a wood bow, but my next bow will probably be the Coda Classic. I have done the research, and it seems most violinists in my class facing similar budgetary constraints find the Coda bows adequate for their needs.

Someday, I hope to audition for a community orchestra. Maybe after Suzuki Book 5, and Wohlfahrt’s 60 studies, Dont etudes, I will be ready.

I think about the violin a great deal. Even when I am walking the streets of Manhattan, or on the subway to school, I think about my pieces, and lately bowing.

I am enjoying this all encompassing hobby. Look forward to getting to know everyone on the board.

From Karin Lin
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 5:13 AM
Welcome to the blog world. :) Do you have anything to do with the reason Sydney named her wood face thing "John Chew"?
From John Chew
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 5:45 AM
I must have inspired her in some way. : )
From Colleen Russo
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 5:44 AM
I think it is extremely funny that syd's facewood has your exact name!!!

The suzuki method is great, and you can find out plenty abou the galamian method once sydney starts doing it!
Book 4 had some great pieces! :)

From Jim W. Miller
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 6:23 AM
I think you can interdimentionally transport yourself to inhabit the face in the wood at will.
From Pauline Lerner
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 6:32 AM
Welcome to Your first entry is interesting, and I look forward to reading more from you. Why did you decide to go into teaching? Are you glad you did? I hope you continue to enjoy playing the violin as so many of us do.
From Sydney Menees
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 7:58 AM
Hehehe, hello John Chew...hehehehe.

Now I'll read your entry.

From Sydney Menees
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 8:02 AM
All violinists on here benifit from the wisdom of others here on You will fit in nicely!
From Linda Lerskier
Posted on February 25, 2006 at 10:02 PM
Finally, Mr. Chew! I was wondering when you would start blogging! ;)

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