Private Lessons: What are they like?

Depending on your musical background, what instrument you want to learn (I teach violin, viola, mandolin, mandola, mandocello and guitar) and what style(s) of music you want to concentrate on, I will formulate a lesson plan tailored specifically for you.  I don't use the same books and materials for all of my students because everybody is different!

I like to get the introductions/interview part over in emails before the first lesson, so we can dive right into it when you get here.  The things I need to know about you are

  • what is your musical background (if any)
  • can you read music
  • do you understand key signatures, time signatures, scales, arpeggios, chords, basic music theory
  • what instrument you want to learn
  • what style or styles of music you want to concentrate on 
  • do you own an instrument or will you want to buy one or rent one from me
The 7 Church Modes
Depending on your answers, the first lesson could cover the basics of scale theory including intervals, modes, circle of fifths, basic reading and an introduction to the care of your instrument.  Assignments will include buying the books you will need and some basic plucking of strings (mandolin), bow exercises (violin).

Playing music together
Subsequent lessons will delve more deeply into scale and mode theory, circle of fifths, practice tips, first tunes.  As you improve, we will be able to learn more complicated tunes, I will determine what exercises you need to work on and give you lots more practice tips.

Depending on the amount of time you have to practice every day, the average learning curve for the violin is 3 - 10 years.  3 years before you can play competently with others and 10 years before you will be able to play with confidence and beauty.  The learning curve for the mandolin is 1-3 years.  1 year before you can play with others, and 3 before you an join a mandolin orchestra or group.