"Our son was 7 when he started playing. Karen has done a great job of making the violin interesting for him. He's been playing for 2 years now and is still interested."Y.K-G.

Lessons

For All Ages, All Levels

— Beginners: The Suzuki Approach —

The Suzuki method is based on the recognition that children learn their parents' language almost entirely by ear. Suzuki students listen to recordings repeatedly, and they progress much faster when their listening is consistent.

Parents study along with their children. For children five and under, it's best for a parent to take a few lessons first to learn the basics of position and technique. During this time, a young child will have a "starter" box and stick for practicing position and instrument care, and will learn the Twinkle rhythms through clapping and bowing the stick on their shoulder—older beginners skip this step and start with their real violins. Young students graduate to real instruments when they can take care of them and when they have internalized the Twinkle rhythms.

Karen coaching teen student
Karen with young beginner
Karen playing with preteen boy

"I am impressed with how quickly my 5-year-old has progressed on the violin. Karen knows how to keep her going during a lesson. She makes it a point to be tuned in to my daughter and keeps her motivated and progressing. My daughter loves playing her violin, and she loves Karen!"C.E.

— Intermediates: Making Progress —

Students make the most progress with regular practice and when they're invested in the lessons. I write assignment "prescriptions" in the student's notebook each lesson, so the student knows what and how to practice.

In lessons, we work on:

Karen teaching another boy
Karen marking bowings for pre-teen girl
  • Note reading and theory, even at the early levels
  • Scales, exercises, and etudes to develop a solid technique
  • Solo repertoire, which begins with the Suzuki books and moves on from there
  • Orchestra and audition music as needed

Listening to recordings, studying scores, and learning music history are also integrated.

"Annie is really enjoying her lessons with you. Her practicing is much more focused. THANK YOU!"C.K.

— Advanced: Preparing for Auditions —

As a professional orchestral violinist, I enjoy helping people of any level prepare for auditions. Younger students usually need scales, a prepared solo piece, maybe a prepared excerpt, and possibly sight reading. Part of our lessons is spent working on sight reading and other audition skills. Sometimes I set up mock auditions, where the student plays through several different rounds in a realistic setting. I record the student, then we listen to the "audition" together and discuss what happened and what might be improved.

Adult student

"Karen has been our instructor for 3 years, and during that time, my daughter has grown exponentially. Karen expertly blends Suzuki and traditional music instruction, and she adjusts the pace according to my daughter's needs. My daughter is now a confident young musician, thanks to Karen's great encouragement, enthusiasm, and teaching."E.V.

— Adults: All Levels —

Teaching adult beginners is very different from teaching children. We start immediately with note reading along with theory and technique exercises. I use pieces from the Suzuki books, however I supplement them with other material. Lessons are geared to each student's level with an eye toward what they hope to achieve.

Some adults played violin when they were younger, and want to get in shape for an audition or to play in a community orchestra. Working on orchestra music is a great way for anyone with a regular job to escape the rat race. Just put on a CD, grab your violin, and jam!

Karen teaching young beginner
Karen playing duet with teen student

"I am a professional violinist and Karen Kinzie is a colleague. She has given me lessons to prepare for auditions and performances and she is a fantastic teacher. She has a comprehensive approach to the violin, including unending strategies for learning, improving, and practicing while always listening for musical expression and individual personality in the music. She has enormous patience and energy, and is always creative and positive. Karen clearly loves teaching music and I highly recommend her."S.S.