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A Violinist who can do it all: An interview with our teaching artist Allie P.


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Alexandria P. Violin, Viola, Piano1) What advice would you give to parents who are considering getting violin lessons for their children?

– Find a teacher that is not only a good player but is a very good educator. To be able to teach well is a skill. A good teacher will also have knowledge in finding instruments, instrument accessories, violin books per specific level, and know-how to inspire their students.

For those who are considering getting violin lessons for their children, I would advise parents to be thoughtful when finding their children a teacher. Music To Your Home has all amazing teachers, take a look at their bios!

2) How do you inspire your students?

– To inspire my students, I play for them. This shows the students how they could sound with applied practice, determination, and commitment. I’ll show them photos and videos from performances, and also show my support to them by coming to their performances.

3) What is the youngest violin student you have taught?

– The youngest violin student I have ever taught was three years old. This student was lovely and very mature for her young age. 

4) How much daily practice time does it take to become a good violinist?

– To become a good violinist, a student should practice every day. Practicing should be comprised of scales, etudes and exercises, metronome work, provided repertoire, and music listening. The amount of practice time can vary depending on the students age. For example, for a five-year-old student, I would recommend practicing at least ten minutes every day. For a 14-year-old student I would recommend practicing at least 45 minutes every day, and for an 18-year-old student I would recommend practicing at least an hour and a half every day. Practicing should not be tedious, and whenever you feel like you need a break, take one! Come back later to finish the amount of time that you’ve set to practice. 

5) What is your favorite book to use with beginner violin students?

– My favorite book to use with beginner violin students is Essential Elements for Strings, Violin Book 1. This book is great because it takes the learning process slow enough for students to not be overwhelmed during lessons, and also provides great songs and exercises to work students up to playing and reading music on the violin. 

6) What do you love most about teaching violin lessons in NYC?

– Being that NYC is a huge hub, I love meeting students that come from all over! When I teach my students, I learn new things from each one of them, and it’s been amazing to see how much variety there is from the people in NYC.

7) What was your most memorable teaching experience?

– My most memorable teaching experience was with a student of mine from when I used to teach in Las Vegas, Nevada. This student was ten and took piano lessons. He came into the lesson one day, and played his homework perfectly!  You could tell that he had practiced a lot. He then took out his own music that he wrote at home, and wanted to play that for me. It was amazing to work on a students’ original composition during a lesson when it was not even asked of him to compose a piece. It showed great creativity and understanding. I was very happy to help work with him on his special project.  

8) When and where was your most memorable performance?

My most memorable performance was definitely the time that I performed on the 2016 Latin Grammys with Reik and Laura Pausini in Las Vegas, Nevada. We were there all day running through rehearsals, sound checks, wardrobe, hair and makeup, and it was all super exciting! The Grammys were aired all across the world so my family in NYC was able to see. 

9) Who are the violinists that have inspired you?

The violinists that have inspired me the most may not actually be names that you know. I find that the most inspiring players are those I have felt most connection with, and as of right now I can name three:

Caroline Campbell inspires me with her exciting and passionate style of performing. She is a wonderful performer and travels all around the world soloing with big acts such as the Hans Zimmer orchestra and Andrea Bocelli. Something I aspire to do in the future!

Chloe Trevor inspires me with her fun teaching skills and performances. She is a wonderful classical violinist, but also a really great person. She gives constructive criticism to other violinists often, and I think that those actions are really great: helping educate those who ask. 

Kiana June Weber is a wonderful fiddler from Galway Ireland. She inspires me in her amazing playing ability and Irish style of playing. I aspire to play Celtic music as fluid as her. 

10)What is your favorite piece to play on the violin?

My favorite piece to play on the violin is The Lark Ascending by Vaughan Williams. If you haven’t heard of it, you need to look it up now! 

11) What do you love about NYC and being a musician in this city?

I love the culture, music, and food that NYC has to offer! It’s amazing that only a few subway stops away I can visit famous landmarks, museums, and concert venues! I love being able to meet so many other musicians that are all so unique. Everyone is doing something different and there is so much to learn!

A Violinist who can do it all: An interview with our teaching artist Allie P. 1

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One Response

  1. A question for any or all of you professionals. Is Eastman worth the tuition for an aspiring violinist. Even after scholarships, I estimate my out of pocket cost will approach $100K.

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