The process of studying an instrument can be fun, challenging, and rewarding. You may ask if you have “what it takes” to start learning the violin or viola. The answer is, “Yes!” – provided you are willing to commit time to consistent, mindful practice, and that you are willing to be patient with your process of learning the instrument. Unlike piano or guitar, the violin does not necessarily provide the beginning student with the instant gratification of a pleasing sound from the first lesson. However, the beginner can achieve the reward of a beautiful, resonant sound with consistent practice and careful attention to a few basic concepts. For some, those concepts translate to the physical process quickly; for others, this takes more time. Our teaching emphasizes good, natural use of the body with a solid foundation on good technique to give you the tools to approach any piece or style of music.


Want to get started? Here is what you will need:


The physical process of learning the violin necessitates daily practice – not necessarily for long periods of time, but frequently. Generally speaking, you should plan to spend at least as much time practicing each day as the length of your weekly private lesson (e.g., 30 minutes each day for a 30 minute weekly lesson).

Required Equipment

• Violin or viola with bow and case
We recommend renting or buying an instrument outfit (instrument, case, and bow) from a reputable dealer, preferably one that specializes in string instruments (not guitars). We absolutely do NOT recommend obtaining an instrument sight unseen from the internet - even though the “deal” might be attractive, you never know what you are getting. Often such instruments do not arrive in proper playing condition, and require expensive repairs. There are several good shops in the area that we can recommend.

• A quality shoulder rest (Kun or Viva brands) to aid in holding the instrument properly
• Rosin for your bow
• A soft 100% cotton cloth to clean your instrument
• A music stand (folding wire stand works well)
• A notebook to keep track of assignments

• An electronic chromatic tuner
• Metronome

Metronome and tuner apps are available in the Apple App Store and Google Play. We recommend Cleartune (chromatic tuner) and Clockwork (metronome).

Recommended Violin Dealers

Ifshin Violins
1633 University Ave., Berkeley
We highly recommend Ifshin; they are nationally recognized as one of the best in the area and have very reasonable prices – even less expensive than most.

Kamimoto Violins
609 North 4th Street, San Jose
Kamimoto is also a very good shop, although it is further away than Ifshin.

Danville Music
3 Railroad Ave., Danville
A friendly local shop that would be suitable for beginner rentals only. They are not string specialists but they carry decent instruments.

Enroll Today!

Ready to enroll? Contact us and we’ll get you signed up!


Fee: $50 per family

Weekly private lesson fees:
• 30 minutes: $40
• 45 minutes: $60
• 60 minutes: $80

Lesson fees are payable either by the semester or by the month as follows:

String Academy semester tuition*:
• $800 for 20 30-minute private lessons
• $1,200 for 20 45-minute private lessons
• $1,600 for 20 60-minute private lessons

• 20 weekly private lessons (prorated in case of late enrollment)
• At no extra charge, two optional hour-long group classes per month

Monthly: Fees due at the first lesson of the month for that month’s lessons.

Cancellation policy: Please give 24 hours notice for all cancellations. Lessons missed without 24 hours notice (except in the case of illness) we be charged full price. If 24 hours notice is given, a make up lesson will be arranged at instructor's convenience. If no mutually available make up time can be found, credit will be rolled over to the following month's lessons.

Group class drop-in fee (for non-semester students): $25