My Approach to Teaching
I have always believed arts education is not simply about playing your instrument better. My approach focuses on maximizing your musical abilities on the violin, but you will also learn peak-performance practice habits and regimens that will ultimately be useful in whatever endeavor you undertake. My goal is to help people to become better musicians as well as broaden their horizons as an individual, artistically and otherwise. ~ Frank Almond
My beginning lessons were with Dr. Ted Brunson in one of the first Suzuki programs ever established in the US. My studies continued with Michael Tseitlin in California, and later on at Juilliard with Dorothy DeLay. Other important mentors for me were Joseph Silverstein, Felix Galimir, and Eugene Drucker (emersonquartet.com)
I got my first academic position at San Diego State University while still finishing my studies at Juilliard. Since then I’ve held positions at Texas Christian University, the Nara Academy (Japan), and from 2010-2014 taught at Northwestern University. I’ve given master classes and seminars at the Juilliard School, Eastman School of Music, New World Symphony, Northwestern, Roosevelt University, the Karol Lipiński Academy (Poland), UW Madison, Bein and Fushi Chicago, and countless other esteemed institutions over the years. In August 2014 I left Northwestern to join the faculty at Roosevelt University. In addition to private lessons, my work there includes extensive involvement with chamber music coaching and working with the orchestra. I am also in my fifth year as Artist-in-Residence at MYSO, one of the largest youth arts programs in the country (if not the largest), and an exemplary organization changing the lives of thousand of kids each year.
My varied experience in the classical music world has included continuous solo, chamber, and Concertmaster work with some of the best musicians in the world. I’ve been on both sides of the audition screen many times and have a unique perspective on audition preparation and execution. As an entrepreneur, I started a chamber music series 16 years ago that continues as one of the most audience-focused and successful in the country, combining a user-friendly format with world-class musicians including (most recently) Lynn Harrell, Orion Weiss, and Miró Quartet. I’ve recorded extensively for several labels, most recently two volumes of A Violin’s Life, which continues its phenomenal success both through the recordings and comprehensive website (and AVL Vol. 3 in the works, coming early 2021).
I’m still writing the blog nondivisi, covering a wide range of topics.
Finally, I’ve worked extensively with noted peak performance psychologist Don Greene and have developed a methodology of teaching that incorporates some of his most valuable concepts, many emanating from sports psychology and his associations with Juilliard, the New World Symphony, and the US Olympic Training Center. Please check out winningonstage.com.
So whether it’s preparing for an audition, learning to practice more efficiently and mindfully, learning proven techniques to refine intonation, getting straight answers about life in the music business today, or just getting solid direction on technical fundamentals, I believe I have a unique and comprehensive perspective to offer.
At this time I have a very small private class. If you are interested in a lesson or just a conversation, please use the contact form here. First session is free. Yeah, free.