I want to be sure I am choosing the right teacher...

May 11, 2005 at 05:21 PM · I am in the middle of changing my teacher now.

This is the Chicago area and I am a high school student hoping to continue to improve as much as I can with violin.

Well, I am involved with my school orchestra and All state orchestras, as well as some chamber music with my friends.

I like playing with other people like orchestra quartets, quintets, etc..

But then a teacher i know advised me a while ago that i need to get a higher level teacher.

So I've been getting lists of Violin professors in the Chicago area...

Forough, Ribeiro, Vamos, Chen, Milton, etc just to name a few.

However I'm aware that most of those teachers have students who are fascinating in solo playing and that they really do push their students that hard.

My case is that I'm not really considering a professional career out of violin, but to keep improving in an all rounded way. I also want to expand my knowledge/abilities whether its concertos, orchestral, or chamber music playing.

So my advisor teacher recommended me that then I contact Blair Milton or Yuan Qing Yu first, who are professors at Northwestern University and also members of Chicago Symphony.

I hear that Milton is an active chamber music performer too.

My advisor says either one of them will be able to help me with boosting my technique while being great help with my other interests of violin playing.

So, according to my personal goals in violin, do you think it is right that I contact those two people first?

I am also curious in case if they will lack some of the technical or solo parts of playing violin, since they are very close to being orchestral and chamber music players.

My guess is that since all of them are professionals and professors of violin, all will be top level musicians whether it be technique, solo, orchestral or chamber music.

Those two professors have already played major solo concertos very well just like any other professors too right?

I'm just worried that even though I would like to take lessons from orchestral background teachers, they might not be strong or insightful in technique or concertos...

Maybe I'm thinking too much.

But I would hope some of you on that higher road of violin can explain my dillemma here.


Replies (5)

May 11, 2005 at 08:21 AM · If you can suggest me more names that you think might suit my goals, that would help a lot too!

May 11, 2005 at 05:22 PM · Chris, Blair Milton is lacking in absolutely nothing! What a wonderful teacher, you would be lucky to study with him. He is a Gingold protege, and in my experience, teachers who had Gingold as a mentor tend to teach not only with great knowledge of the violin, but also with wisdom. It's nice to have a teacher who views teaching as its own art, and teaches each student from a place of respect.

May 11, 2005 at 06:48 PM · I would agree with Laurie. But you can also look at the Wheaton Conservatory if you haven't already.

May 12, 2005 at 01:17 AM · Chris, great to see your post. Those are all great teachers. Have you talked to your current teacher (if he/she is supportive of your switching) for his/her opinion about who you should study with next?

I definitely think Mr. Milton would be able to help you while keeping your other interests in mind. He also has a smaller studio than, say, the Vamoses, and would probably be able to give you a lot of personal attention. Since you're in the Chicago area, if you can afford it, you may want to have a trial lesson with two or three different teachers to get a feel for different teaching styles. I have studied some orchestral excerpts with Ms. Yu and she is a fabulous, amazing player, a wonderfully charismatic musician with lots of good detailed things to say, though I haven't done concertos with her and don't know what her schedule is like.

My teacher is Mr. Ribeiro and I do highly recommend him for gaining a lot of technical solidity and concerto experience, but I definitely understand and sympathize with your reservations about being pushed passed a certain point. He is definitely strict and expects you to practice consistently and to see improvement each week. Still, Mr. Ribeiro very kind and quite willing to give a trial lesson to anyone, and he is also on the Northwestern campus, so it might be worth it to try him out once, and you can explain to him that you are a high school student who wants to keep improving but doesn't plan to major in music in college. He would still be extremely technically helpful at correcting problems, improving sound and intonation, and all of that. If you like, you can send me a private message and I can give you his office phone number.

I hope this helps you sort through your options a little bit. Good luck!

May 30, 2005 at 03:33 AM · Hello,

Does anyone have anymore teachers who also teach, and how would I go about contacting this teachers?

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