Interview With Our Violin Teacher, Lily!
Lily specializes in violin, viola and piano lessons – she’s also a terrific songwriter! Please enjoy our interview, and sign-up to get started with lessons!
When did you start playing? My first music lessons started when I was 8. I began playing violin because I heard my big sister practicing and wanted to be like her and learn too!
Instruments and styles you teach? I teach violin, piano, and viola. I like to balance the strengths that can be learned from classical technique with the joy and groove of pop, folk, and Americana. A couple specialties I have, are working with younger students to create lessons that are active and fun, and helping adult students start or get back into music!
What was music like for you as a kid? I had comprehensive classical violin training with a lot of chamber music and orchestra playing, but I also went to bluegrass jams on the weekends and wrote lots of songs and tunes. I loved making music with my friends and we formed a band from middle school onward!
Tell me about your educational background
I went to Berklee College of Music in Boston! My major was in music performance and songwriting. As a performer I studied classical music deeply from Bach to Brahms, and learned improvisation skills in jazz and folk traditions. As a songwriter I focused on music production, recording, and how to write catchy melodies and memorable lyrics!
Tell me about some of your favorite musicians. I love Joni Mitchell’s wandering melodies and intricate lyrics! Both Joni and Fiona Apple have beautiful unconventional ways of using piano accompaniments in their writing. My favorite string players are Janine Jansen and Hilary Hahn. Janine has a very emotionally resonant way of interpreting classic pieces, and Hilary Hahn’s violin tone is so pristine!
What advice would you give a beginner? It’s better to do short consistent practice sessions than to practice for a long stretches of time here and there. Think of music as part of your daily routine just like brushing your teeth. Setting aside as little as 15 minutes can add up if you go for it regularly! Also be patient with yourself. Music takes time but it’s so fulfilling and worth it!
Tell me about some of your favorite instructional books or materials Here are a couple highlights:
1.) For young piano beginners I love the “My Very First Piano Adventure” series. They’re visual, approachable books that give students a methodical but fun education in reading and listening at a pace suitable for little ones!
2. For beginning string players the All For Strings books help students be grow confident reading skills, and the Suzuki method does a great job of developing student’s listening abilities and giving them melodic songs to learn early on.
I also love to pull material from what my students enjoy listening to: we’ll use the songs they play on repeat in their headphones as tools for musical growth!
What are the essential things for a beginner to have? It’s important for you have an instrument that you enjoy the sound of and feel comfortable playing; you’ll be much more motivated to practice that way! I am always happy to help my students with the process of finding an instrument if they don’t have one yet.
Tell me about your teaching approach/philosophy. I like to take a warm, encouraging approach! It’s important to me to explore ways for my students to have fun and be creative on their instruments. I believe it’s possible for lessons to be engaging while building great technique, it doesn’t have to be an either/or.
What are some of your favorite things about teaching? I love the puzzle of figuring our how to make each of my students excited and interested in music. Everybody deserves a unique approach. The process of discovering what makes a particular student tick and helping them learn and master that thing is so rewarding!
Do you offer in-home lessons? Online lessons? Studio lessons? I offer all three currently! My studio is in the North Hollywood arts district. I have both an outdoor patio or an indoor lesson space so that I can be flexible depending on what my student is most comfortable with!
Memorable gig story? Once I was performing with a band in an indoor auditorium and the power went out. We just kept on playing in the complete dark and everybody in the audience cheered us on and held up their phones, to help light the way for us!
Favorite instrument or piece of gear? I have a beginner electric bass that I’ve named Agnes, that I absolutely love playing for fun!
Favorite thing about living in Los Angeles? There are so many creative people to surround yourself with here! Also where else has the beach, the mountains, the desert, and the forest all within day trip distance?
What do you enjoy doing, when not teaching? I like hiking, drawing with oil pastels, solving puzzles, and cooking!
To get started with violin lessons, give us a ring: (310) 439-9798, or sign-up!