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I offer lessons in:

  • Chamber Music Coaching
  • Instrumental Coaching
  • Basic Music Theory
  • Performance Techniques
  • Viola
  • Classical Violin
  • Beginning Violin
    Interested in taking lessons with Billie?

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    Billie GonzalezOffering private lessons in
    Folsom, California
    About MeContact MeBlog

    Studio location: 750 Oak Ave Parkway, Folsom 95630 (inside Folsom Piano Academy)
    Call Billie at 209-274-4070 or 209-274-4171 or my mobile at 209-969-4171, or email through Learning Musician

    Tuition: $35/half hour individual lesson

    Please leave all phone numbers and best time to reach you; email address appreciated. Enrollment can be started at any date, you do not have to start at the beginning of a Session. After phone interview, the free Intro Lesson will be scheduled. A demo violin will be available for this Intro Lesson and rental/purchase info provided.

    "Whatever you can do, or dream you can, begin it. Boldness has genius, power, and magic in it. Begin it, now."

    A thought for older beginners:
    "The best time to plant a tree was 20 years ago;
    the second best time is NOW." ~Chinese Proverb

    If not beginning at the start of the Session, payment will be for the number of lessons remaining plus the one-time Registration Fee of $20.

    In Folsom (Private Studio)

    All ages and levels are welcome, including preschoolers (with parent in attendance), and adults of any age.

    *Classical Violin/Viola
    *All Levels & Ages
    *Expert Individual Instruction
    *Professional Teacher and Performer
    *Russian Teaching Method
    *Classical Repertoire
    *Applied Music Theory
    *Instrument Selection Guidance
    *Professional Tuning
    *Intonation Concepts
    *Rhythm Skills
    *Practicing Formula
    *Sight-reading and Memorization Control
    *Audio/Videotaping is Encouraged
    *Ensemble Lessons
    *Training Recitals
    *Recommended Concert Attendance

    With the strong foundation provided and enough personal motivation and practice, my students can be prepared for a professional or amateur career as an orchestra player, chamber musician, soloist, recitalist, or teacher; in addition to a lifetime of playing for their own enjoyment and that of others.

    Prerequisites to Study
    *Phone Interview
    *Intro Lesson
    *Registration: $20, a one-time administration fee
    Tuition Payments
    Fees are due at the beginning date of each Session (or the date of first lesson after the Intro lesson)
    First Session: September --$350. Entire Teaching calendar for the year is available at Intro Lesson.
    (10 individual 1/2 hour lessons in First and Third sessions ($350 each) 8 iindividual 1/2 hour lessons in Second and Fourth Session--$280 each).

    SUMMER SESSION: July -August (6 individual lessons, $210. SATURDAYS AND/OR SUNDAYS ONLY.

    NOTE; the option of ONE-HOUR LESSONS (when available) is reserved for students who are already advanced musicians, even if on another instrument, or those who have the motivation and time to practice enough to make use of the longer lesson. It is also possible to add additional lessons, when there is available time (payment at each lesson). Some students ask for additional lessons prior to auditions or special performances, or for ensemble coaching.

    Professional Background
    *Soloist, Recitalist: Violin and Viola
    *Over 40 years private teaching experience
    *Assistant Teacher to Albert Markov, Bridgeport, 1982 - 1984 (CT)
    Violinist Member with:
    *Sacramento, Modesto, Stockton Symphony Orchestras (CA)
    *Bridgeport and Norwalk Symphonies, and The Connecticut Grand Opera (CT)
    *Honolulu Symphony Orchestra and Honolulu Opera (HI)
    *Freelancing with various East & West Coast Symphony Orchestras
    *Mother Lode Friends of Music, Amador County (CA) Founder, 1976
    *Performers of Connecticut (CT)
    *Bach Festival, Sonora (CA)
    *Proteus Ensemble, Amador County (CA)
    *Sacramento Saturday Club (CA)

    Professional Studies
    I studied violin and viola extensively in New York City and Connecticut (1978 - Present) with Albert Markov, Concert Violinist, Composer, Teacher, and Conductor; who studied at The Moscow Conservatory and now teaches at The Manhattan School of Music.

    Teaching Method and Philosophy
    I use the Russian method of violin teaching, which is legendary for the number and quality of concert artists and other professional players it has produced. This method observes natural anatomical laws, promoting excellent positioning and technique, without injury or strain.

    Classical Repertoire
    Students learn to play all major and minor scales, in all keys and positions. As they progress, they are exposed to etudes, sonatas, concertos, concert pieces, unaccompanied works, short (encore) showpieces, and duo repertoire with me and/or other students..
    Coaching of ensembles (duo, trio, quartet, quintet, etc., is available on Saturday afternoons by arrangement. These ensembles may include players of other instruments and who study with other teachers.)

    Applied Music Theory
    Unlike traditional piano-based theory lessons, I transfer these concepts to the violin or viola fingerboard, with reference to the piano. Theory is integrated into every lesson as it relates to the music being studied.

    Instrument Selection
    Expert guidance on the selection of an instrument appropriate for the student is provided before rental or purchase. If a student already has an instrument, it will be evaluated at the Intro Lesson.

    Professional Tuning
    At the FIRST LESSON, students learn to tune their instruments using Perfect Fifths.

    Intonation Concepts
    Understanding and visualization of string length division gives a reliable map of the fingerboard, while observations of the "shape" the fingers take to achieve pitch, along with attention to muscle memory, gives string players a firm foundation for playing in all positions and registers with assurance and ease.

    Rhythm Skills: Understanding, Execution and Control
    The metronome is used as a tool for the observance of tempos, accuracy of rhythms, and the understanding of various rhythmic relationships. Students are taught to count aloud while playing in order to master this vital musical dimension.

    Efficient/Effective Practice Approach
    I specialize in teaching HOW TO PRACTICE - students learn to analyze the structure of the music, set specific practice goals, and use creative approaches to problem solving, thus using smaller increments of time in a disciplined and more productive manner. A Practice Diary is reviewed at each lesson.

    Sight-reading & Memorization Techniques
    Sight-reading and memorization skills use the same eye-brain functions; when these are consciously linked, the result is a more effective learning process, which yields increased ability to focus on detail, and fosters greater security and freedom of self-expression in performance.

    Audio/Videotaping Encouraged
    Students may bring their equipment to lessons for review at home. Because proper body position and alignment is essential to good string playing, I teach how to use a mirror for self-monitoring.

    Ensemble Lessons
    Not part of a regular lesson schedule, these are usually violin or violin/viola duos but may include friends or family who play other instruments. Students rehearse with their partners prior to the lesson. Usual time-based fee is shared and paid at each lesson.

    Training Recitals- Open to Family and friends, prospective students by invitation, but not the general public.
    (Reasonable accompanist fees are paid directly to the pianist.)
    Performance is an essential part of overall musical development and self-expression; it also requires focusing on a goal, promotes self esteem, and brings students joy through the sharing of their music with an audience. All students participate and lend support to their fellow students.

    Students are taught HOW TO REHEARSE, with attention to leading the pianist, experimenting with tempo, dynamics, vibrato, bowings, and rubato. Emphasis is on performing with good stage presence, confidence and communication of their musical ideas.

    Performance Club--informal, no charge, at the studio or sometimes hosted at a student's home , without piano accompaniment (unless student brings a pianist friend or family member)
    This setting is provided to allow more frequent performing experiences and for those not ready for the more formal recitals. Selections do not have to be memorized, but it is encouraged. The focus is on sharing Works in Progress, learning from each other, socializing, and perhaps teaming up for ensemble projects. When there is time, friends and family members may also perform--other instrumentalists, and vocalists,.are welcome.

    NOTE: Practice Skills Class, Scale Team Competition, Master Class, Ensemble Festival, Basic Theory Workshop, Orchestral Techniques Workshop TBA (to be arranged).

    Recommended Concert Attendance
    Attendance at concert performances is encouraged. Coaching for active listening, reviewing of assigned individual and Joint Concert Reports, and sharing this live performance experience with fellow students at our informal Performance Club programs provides inspiration, perspective and motivation.

    "Extra" Lessons
    Additional lessons may be added as schedule permits. Payment is made at each lesson. Some students utilize extra lessons for help with Orchestra music, auditions, special performances, or ensemble coaching, to add an instrument (violinists add viola; violists add violin.)

    Studio Policies
    This is discussed during the phone interview and is signed, at the Into Lesson when enrolling, as a mutual understanding and agreement.

    66 postings total

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    Student testimonial for Billie Gonzalez, violin teacher, Folsom, CA
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