Alhambra, CA Viola, Cello, String Bass, Violin Teacher John Wang
My String Instrument Lessons: I offer both private and group lessons.
One on one lessons are ideal for students who want to learn their instrument and technique. The student will get my fullest attention and the lesson plan will be customized just for them.
I offer two types of group classes:
- A Beginner's Group, 7 to 10 kids, depending on age. This group class will introduce general knowledge of the instrument. It is an affordable alternative to private lessons. Because this is a group effort, students have to follow the group flow. This group lesson acts as an introduction and preparation for individual lessons.
- A Chamber Music Group, consisting of 3 to 8 students. This group requires intermediate level or advanced level skills. Everyone is very important and takes a responsible role in the group. The chamber music group is difficult but fun. In my experience, kids who do well in this group will be ready for a leading role at school orchestras. I have had many kids from this group successfully play concertmaster and principle roles in their orchestras.
Call 626-354-0837 or email me at email@example.com
Get to know John better with this in-depth, informative interview.
Q: Hi John! Can you start by telling me for how long have you been playing and teaching string instruments?
A: I have played string instruments for 40 years and have been teaching since 1980.
Q: For any student looking to find a music instructor, what do you feel you bring to the table that distinguishes you from other string instrument teachers?
A: I have seen a lot of students come to me in the last 25 years. A lot of them can get sound out of a string instrument, but they don't have the proper technique to make a good sound or know the correct way to handle their string instrument. They are only doing mechanical motions instead of playing beautiful string music. I have developed a learning system wherein students will learn step by step, having fun and enjoying themselves.
Q: Tell us the 3 main reasons you hear students stating for wanting to take string instrument lessons.
Q: What are the most common challenges you've observed beginners facing in learning to play string instruments?
A: Patience! I had a 5-year-old beginning violin student. In just 2 weeks, he was playing very nice sounds on 2 strings (it's a 4 string instrument). He was so excited and said to me, "Mr. Wang, I learned 2 strings in 2 weeks - that means I will be a violin master in 4 weeks!"
Q: What is your approach to helping students overcome these challenges? How can you help them?
A: I always talk to the student and parents before starting the class. I like to give this example: there are 2 different ways to grow taller. The first way is a very fast one. You could get put on a stretching machine, all I would have to do is press a button and you would be instantly taller. But, this might harm your joints and risk your health. The second way to get taller is to get plenty of exercise and rest. This way will take a few years, but in the end, you will not only be taller, but also healthy and strong. My learning system takes a step by step approach, and patience will bring the best results.
Q: How much time should a beginning student be ready to devote to practicing on a weekly basis, if they want to make good progress?
A: For beginners, 15 to 20 minutes a day will be good. As the student progresses, intermediate or advanced students will need to practice more. I recommend 30 minutes to an hour daily, depending on their level of proficiency.
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching string instruments to adults?
A: I have a lot of fun teaching adult students. They come to me to learn violin, string bass, viola or cella to fulfill a dream they had when they were young, or simply because they want to have fun.
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching string instruments to children?
A: Seeing young students growing, progressing and improving. Sharing my knowledge and enriching their lives.
Q: For parents, how long, on average, should they expect their child to need to take music lessons before they can play their first simple tune?
A: The younger the student, the easier it will be for them to learn in the long run. Playing a song on a string instrument is easy, but acquiring the right technique takes time.
Q: How will intermediate or advanced students benefit from coming to you for further instruction? How can you improve their musical abilities and satisfaction in playing the music they love?
A: I have studied with some of the best teachers in the USA and China. Also, for many years, I have played in some of the best orchestras and music groups in the USA. I have extensive training in my teaching and have taught at colleges and conservatories. Therefore, I can provide the most updated techniques, information and music knowledge. My own learning experience makes it easier for me to understand the challenges a student is facing and how to make improvements. Throughout my teaching career, I have helped my students advance to become concertmasters and principles in their orchestras. My students have won competitions and become professional musicians under my tutelage.
Q: What local opportunities are there for your students to play their instruments in a performance setting?
A: My students participate in a recital at least once a year. There are many orchestras in the surrounding cities and school districts. Many of my students play concertmaster and principles in their orchestras. My chamber music group has performed at various festival concerts and parties. There are adult orchestras as well. One of my adult students plays in the Los Angeles Doctors' Orchestra.
Q: To take our last question a step further, are there any local musical venues where you have performed, or any local orchestras/groups with whom you have played?
A: I have performed throughout southern California on major stages and at concert halls. Many students see me on stage, read about me in newspapers, or see me on TV.
Q: Tell us about some of the things your music students have gone onto do that have made you really proud.
A: I have had students go on to Julliard School of Music. Some students have become professional musicians. I had two students who went to play the opening ceremony in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Q: When do you know that you've succeeded with a student?
A: If I see the student reaching his or her potential and having fun with it, then I know I've succeeded.
Q: When did your interest in music begin?
A: My interest in playing string instruments began when I was very young. That interest brought me a lot of performances, awards, and good memories. I went to music boarding school right after my elementary school, and all of the young musicians there were talented. The competition was tremendous in the boarding school. I worked very hard and learned to be the best I can be.
Q: Please tell us about your formal music education and credentials.
A: I have obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music Performance from the Conservatory of Music School in Beijing, China and U.S. International University, respectively. I also went to Meadowmont School of Music in the United States, home of legendary music master teachers. I also attended the Suzuki Institution in the USA.
Q: What is the style of music you love playing best, on your own time?
A: I love to play classical music.
Q: Please share the highlights of your performance/working experience.
A: I have taught at PUNAHU School of Music, which was attended by President Obama. I have taught at various colleges and music schools over the past 25 years, including Cerritos College, Pasadena Conservatory, Hawaiian Youth Symphony Orchestra, etc. I have worked with Grammy Award-winning groups as a music mentor around in the L.A. school system. In 1986, I won first place in Beijing's Young Musician Competition in China. In 1990, I won top prize in the Young Musician Competition in San Diego. In 1989 and 1996, I was awarded special commendation from the mayor of San Diego and superintendent from L.A. county for best music teacher and excellent performer. I have made solo appearances on international TV and KFSD FM radio station. I once played in Honolulu and San Diego's symphony orchestra and have played with many regional orchestras. I played music in many motion pictures, and have played pop and rock music with many famous stars.
Q: How has music enriched your life?
A: Music has always been part of my life. I started my music education when I was very young, and through hard work and patience, I have achieved many successes and shared the joy of music with others. Also, music brought me from China to the United States. Since then, I have been able to perform on almost every major stage in Southern California and Hawaii, and have taught many students over the years.
Q: What do you want students to get out of getting to work with you?
A: To achieve the best musical ability with good technique to support it. I want students to be able to enjoy music and make it part of their life.
Q: Can you share a free tip that prospective students can benefit from right now?
A: Practice should be part of your daily routine. Also, remember to be patient.
Call 626-354-0837 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org