violin teachers in the SF Bay Area

May 22, 2008 at 11:42 PM · My heart is broken because I need to move from London to California and find a new violin teacher. I love my current teacher, and will miss her dearly.

My parents asked me to help them find possible teachers. I am moving to the Palo Alto, California and could go for lessons anywhere between San Francisco and San Jose.

I am almost 10, passed ABRSM 4, and finished Suzuki book 4. Any recommendations or ideas would be very welcome.

Thank you.


Replies (19)

May 22, 2008 at 08:20 PM · Just to clarify the message, I am looking for a VIOLIN TEACHER in the SF Bay Area.

May 23, 2008 at 12:22 AM · Hi, I play in an orchestra and the principal 2nd is an awesome violinist and he's a teacher, I can ask him if he's taking new students for you. Send me a email if you're interested.

May 23, 2008 at 12:37 AM · Congrats on your move, Palo Alto is a great area. And the broader Bay area is one of the most interesting in the world, IMHO. I lived there for 25 happy years, and I only have one caveat. Be careful to restrict the distance you will have to travel to get to your teacher. The traffic can be unbelieveably slow. I lived in Belmont, midway up the penninsula and kept my boat in Berkeley for the wonderful summer sailing, 40 miles away. If I left for the boat after 9am Saturday morning, it could take four hours to get there...north up HWY 101, past SF, across the Bay Bridge, then north two miles...jeezs.

May 23, 2008 at 04:30 AM · Andrew - There is the New Mozart School of Music right there in Palo Alto.

I took lessons there when I lived in the Bay Area.

May 23, 2008 at 06:33 AM · Carol , I'm your neighbor!!! I love in redwood shores!

May 23, 2008 at 06:34 AM · Greetings,

>I love in redwood shores!


Beam me up!


PS Is everybody takign my spelling course?

May 23, 2008 at 07:27 AM · Must be the prunes...

May 23, 2008 at 07:46 AM · I see Jenny Rudin studio has a lot ofprize winners/soloists

A lot of kids go to teachers at the San Francisco Conservatory preparatory and collegiate divisions...Li Lin, Axel Strauss, Wei He, Bettina Mussemeli...etc

May 23, 2008 at 12:00 PM · I believe Camilla Wicks is in San Francisco, very major teacher if you can get into her studio. At the SF conservatory.

May 23, 2008 at 06:06 PM · Camilla Wicks retired and is not in California.

June 3, 2008 at 11:20 PM · Thank you all for the suggestions. Regarding the teachers art the SF Conservatory of Music. I am applying to the musicianship program in the Prep Division, and will apply for private classes there too.

The application form has a line for stating teacher preferences. What is the right way and time to get in touch with potential teachers? Is it appropriate to ask to meet with them before I am even accepted in the program? All teachers there seem to have great backgrounds. What do you suggest I do to get to know them better?

In the past, I would meet and play for them and have a short class, but I am not sure how to do this in the case of a conservatory program.


June 4, 2008 at 04:29 AM · it depends if you want study with the teacher privately or as part of the sfcm prep program where you do musicianship + chamber music + private lessons or something like that...i would just contact the teacher and arrange a lesson where i would play something for he/she.

June 4, 2008 at 06:49 AM ·

June 4, 2008 at 02:16 PM · I must warn you though, ABRSM is practically unheard of (in this part of the States anyway), I see almost no point in doing those graded exams in CA.

June 4, 2008 at 04:28 PM · No suggestions to add, but wanted say that you're moving from a wonderful place (lived there) to a wonderful place (lived there). There are SO many opportunities for you in that area, although I will second the suggestion that you not try to go too far for a lesson, particularly if it is during rush hour (4p-7p). To/from San Francisco from Palo Alto could be challenging at that time. Menlo College, in Menlo Park (adjacent to Palo Alto) hosts a summer program and workshop that features some of the SF Conservatory staff (I know Ian Swenson participates) and some Stanford faculty, as well. With that much talent filtering into Menlo Park for a month each summer, I'm willing to bet you can find first class instruction locally.

I don't have a contact name for the workshop, but I've met and spoken with Ian and he's the nicest, most down-to-earth (not to mention talented) guy you could imagine - bet you could call him at the SF Conservatory of Music, explain your situation, and he could steer you in the right direction.

Sorry you have to leave London and your teacher, but the San Francisco Bay Area is a wonderful place to move to.

June 4, 2008 at 05:45 PM · Hi Andrew,

What kinds of qualities are you looking for in a teacher? Either my former teacher or my current teacher might work for you, and they're both in the Palo Alto area. One is very nice, gentle with criticism, extremely analytical in approach, lets you be the leader in what you want to go and where you want to go. The other is tough, strict, and demanding---you'd need a thick skin, but he'll get you far. Let me know if you're interested in knowing more.

And welcome to the Bay Area! I'd be sad leaving London too, but we've got better food and better weather. :)

June 4, 2008 at 10:19 PM · PM Rolf, howdy! I lived there six years ago, now I'm in Wisconsin...but I will be headed back when I retire in September and then I'll be looking for a teacher as well;>) probably in Berkeley.


June 6, 2008 at 03:58 AM · You might also be interested in the Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra which is a youth (high school and younger) group.

June 6, 2008 at 06:47 AM · Carol, welcome back!!

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