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Get that thumb curved! Get that bow straight! Drop that left wrist! Raise the right one! Get that F# a little closer to the G! You have been practicing, haven't you? ;-)

The door of the songbird's cage is open.

LESSONS WITH "MISS MYRA"

A student of violin for 40 years, a teacher of violin and fiddle for nearly 20 years, I bring a fusion of styles and techniques to my coaching. The most useful classical practices from traditional European, Suzuki, and Bornoff teaching will give the student a solid base of correct posture, full tone, and confidence with the instrument. Naturally, where we travel from that base and the timetable of progress depend on student effort and style preferences.

CHILDREN

If you're a child enthralled by the violin, come and visit Miss Myra. Bring your parent (who will be your teacher at home) and visit a lesson at my studio in Athol.

I am a certified Suzuki violin teacher, capable of teaching Books 1-3 of the Suzuki repertoire. I began teaching the method at the Performing Arts School of Worcester (PASOW) in 1997 after training with Ms. Carol Sykes, in N. Falmouth, MA. Leaving PASOW in 2002 to join the staff at Apple Tree Arts, I continue to teach all young beginners using the Suzuki approach. A Recommended plan: weekly half hour lessons.

YOUNG ADULTS

If you are a young person, age 8 to 16, I may recommend a different approach, using the best from various methods including the teaching of the late Dr. George Bornoff, with whom I studied. This approach gives the student many valuable tools to use regardless of what style of music is desired. I also incorporate the body awareness and improvisation teachings of Julie Lyonn Lieberman in New York, NY. Recommended plan: weekly half or three quarter hour lessons.

GROWN-UPS

If you are an adult of any age, I will incorporate the basic playing tools into the style of music that interests you. I currently teach a dozen students well over the age of 40 (although it's hard to tell because fiddling keeps you feeling and looking young!)

ENSEMBLE

Semi-private "ensemble" lessons, specially arranged for two compatible students, are not only easier on the family budget, but can add energy and motivation to the learning experience, since the students involved often become "practice buddies" outside of lesson time, egging each other on. This lesson format works best after the student has reached a basic level of skill with their instrument. Miss Myra will help point out possible student matches.

RECITALS

Students are encouraged to participate in our annual recitals at Tower Hill Botanic Garden.

CHOOSING A VIOLIN

A singer lives with their instrument every moment, becoming quite familiar with it, but cannot exchange it for a "better" one. The more time you spend with an instrument, the closer it comes to being a familiar extension of your voice and body. Young players do outgrow instruments, and regularly step up to a larger fractional size, until they can handle a full-sized or "4/4" instrument.

Fully grown players can outgrow instruments in a different way, when they are able to ask the instrument to do things it can only do with extra effort on the part of the performer, or cannot do at all. A full-grown player is able to participate in the choice of step-up instrument; it hardly makes sense to choose a violin without the close involvement of the player. Each violin (and in its own right, each bow) is an individual instrument, having its own character, and different combinations of bow and violin will play differently in the hands of different players.

Instrument setup makes the difference between a basically untunable or unplayable violin-shaped object, and a rewarding musical instrument. At a minimum, the tuning pegs must work, the fingerboard must be smooth and properly shaped, and the strings must be evenly spaced, with the correct action height. For beginners, synthetic strings are far preferred over strings with solid steel cores. The bridge must not be warped, and must stand at the proper angle. The bridge feet and interior soundpost must fit the instrument perfectly, or the sound will suffer.

For this reason, I do not recommend buying an instrument for your child without first consulting me. I prefer the setups done by shops specializing in bowed strings, and I have some shops to recommend, because I know they do a good job. These shops do not compensate me in any way for recommending them. The only thing I stand to gain from you doing business with them is seeing your child with an instrument that works well, one that will reward their practice with a decent sound and encourage their violinistic development.

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BLOCK LESSON PRICING

(Athol Studio)

Old school euro fiddle punk
  5 30-minute lessons $145
  5 45-minute lessons $180
  5 60-minute lessons $215
  10 30-minute lessons $265
  10 45-minute lessons $335
  10 60-minute lessons $420
  10 45-minute ensemble $180
  10 60-minute ensemble $240
  16 30-minute lessons $400
  16 45-minute lessons $520
  16 60-minute lessons $575

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Please call Myra at (978) 830-0014 to discuss scheduling your lessons.

STUDIO POLICIES

  1. Lessons are paid in advance, unless prior arrangements are made.
  2. Lessons missed because of weather, holidays, or teacher cancellations will be rescheduled.
  3. Lesson day: if you must cancel a lesson or if you are running more than ten minutes late, please call the studio at (978) 830-0014 as soon as possible. Leave a message if necessary. The lesson will not be eligible for makeup. You will be charged for the missed lesson.
  4. Cancellations made at least a day before the scheduled lesson are acceptable. You will not be charged for the lesson, and a makeup lesson will be scheduled.
  5. Lessons after absence of longer than 4 weeks are subject to new scheduling, and new payments. Use your paid lessons, or lose them.
  6. Makeup lessons are subject to availability. Please do not assume any more than one per month. You will be charged for a missed makeup lesson.
  7. Students under 15 must be accompanied by an adult, preferably a parent who can help with home practice.
  8. Parents should observe lesson etiquette. Your comments and body language may be intrusive. One teacher at the lesson, please.
  9. I am happy to discuss student progress with you. Call or email, or plan to meet separately with me. Lesson time is too short for any in-depth discussions.
  10. A Spring Recital is scheduled in April or May. You will be notified in time to prepare. A small fee may be collected to cover hall rental and accompanist fees.

(A signed copy of this contract will go into my studio files before lessons begin.)

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Violin Lessons Athol Massachusetts

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