VIOLIN & VIOLA LESSONS

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William Stapp Frederick Maryland Violin Lessons

About Private Violin & Viola Lessons 


The Frederick String Initiative is based in the heart of the Frederick community and is  an inclusive and grassroots program.  The goal at FSI is to set an educational standard, offer personalized instruction, and help each individual reach their potential.  FSI includes students ages 6-18 and a few adults.  Some students may be on a professional track.  Many simply benefit from the important life journey string study offers.  The first year of instrument study is the most important and there is no easy substitute for specialized, professional instruction.  In the spirit of traditional European and Suzuki violin study, parent involvement is very important.  Daily practicing with an emphasis on good form is key to success.  Establishing a foundation and reaching a standard on a stringed instrument is challenging.  However, with dedication and practice it is accessible to everyone.    Each student's journey will be unique.  In addition to weekly private lessons, students are strongly encouraged to participate in the monthly ensemble/group class.

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All students receive their lessons from William Stapp.  Mr. Stapp is a professional musician with degrees that specialize in violin/viola performance and pedagogy.  Mr. Stapp also holds a degree in Stringed Instrument Technology/Violinmaking.  His first violin teacher was Jean Pepper.  Jean, a graduate student of John Kendall, was in that first group of ASTA string teachers from the United States who went to Japan to learn and study the Suzuki Method.   FSI holds two solo student recitals each year in the Frederick community.  

ENSEMBLE/GROUP CLASS rehearsals are held monthly and ensemble/group performances are scheduled throughout the year during the solo recitals and at the C. Burr  Artz Library.   Students are encouraged to attend professional concerts and masterclasses.  Performances, masterclasses, student competitions, summer festivals/camps and FSI news are listed HERE .

 

 “Teaching to the needs of the individual while setting a high standard”

 

 Frederick Maryland Violin Lessons


Approach and Study

In the spirit of Vivaldi, Suzuki, and El Sistema, the study of stringed instruments is by nature an inclusive pursuit.  History has shown that anyone, regardless of their circumstances, can aspire to high standards.  To suggest otherwise is to underestimate the potential of children everywhere. Anyone is capable of hard work, and commitment.   On average, the best age to begin violin lessons is usually around 7 years of age.  Some individuals could be ready before this.  For children who are 2-5 years old Kindermusic can be an appropriate background.  Creating a musical environment at home and exposing young children to professional string performances is very helpful to early development.

Students should not join an orchestra before they have developed a foundation with private lessons first.  After the first semester of private lessons, ENSEMBLE/GROUP CLASSES are a very important part of string study and complement individual lessons.  Students around the age of 10 or 11 can begin a successful study of the violin and in some cases catch up with their peers with hard work and dedication.  On average, however, the process becomes harder as a student approaches middle school. Professional track students are encouraged to explore music theory, music history, and piano.  With hard work and dedication it is possible to improve a technique at any age. 

The last several centuries have seen great violin teachers and great violinists. Ability has come unexpectedly and from diverse sources. The fundamental source of excellence is authentic ability – the inherent skill we are born with.  It must be guided and shaped by the teacher through a thoughtful application of fundamentals.  As violin teachers, our understanding is inspired not only by an awareness of authentic ability but by the teachers, methods, and performers that precede us. These lead the teacher and student on a logical journey. Based upon individual differences, an authentic violin technique can have traits of more than one school of teaching. The biggest mistake would be to let rote dogma or the interpretation of a 'rule' impede natural function and clear thinking.

-William Stapp

 

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William Stapp Frederick Maryland Violin Lessons

 

Weather Cancellations

Violin and Harp Lesson cancellations due to inclement weather will be posted on this website in the *Weather Cancellations* box on the left side of this page. In the case of inclement weather the Frederick String Initiative may follow the decisions of the Frederick County Maryland schools. However, if weather conditions improve during the day, violin and harp lessons may go on as scheduled. Snow days are made-up at the end of the spring semester. One snow day lesson will be made-up for each student.