Since 1986, I have taught mainly adults (and some mature teenagers) how to play violin-family and mandolin-family instruments (violin, viola, cello, mandolin, mandola, mandocello). I also teach bluegrass guitar, and Klezmer bass.
Private lessons are one hour a week. For beginners, we cover the basics in music theory, how to hold the instrument and posture, how to develop a good practice habit and learning to read. For advanced students, we learn more complicated pieces, study specific exercises and develop a practice mode for the major and relative minor scales using the Circle of Fifths tool.
Private lessons are a great way to focus on the skills you need to learn how to play the instrument you've chosen because not only are you taught how to do something specific, but you have an opportunity to ask questions and get feedback from a professional musician and music teacher. This is something you can't get from a Youtube video or a discussion forum online. Only a private music teacher can help you through YOUR specific challenges and develop a strategy for you that is tailored to your specific needs.
Congratulations on recognizing the need for a private teacher!
1. How long will it take for me to learn how to play the X (instrument of choice).
A: depending on how much time you can put into practice every day, and whether or not you adhere to the practice schedule and assignments as tasked by your teacher, will determine the rate of learning. Typically, bowed-string instruments (violin, viola, cello) take twice as long to learn as the fretted/plucked instruments because not only are you learning the left hand fingering and holding of the instrument, but you have to learn how to master the right hand bowing, which is very difficult for beginners. If you can put an hour a day of good practice into it, I give most adults 6-9 months for mandolin-family instruments, and 12-18 months for violin-family instruments.
2. Why do I have to take weekly lessons? Can I sign up for bi-weekly or monthly lessons?
A. there are several reasons why I recommend weekly lessons: a) I give weekly assignments, and critique students/give feedback on a weekly basis. It's virtually impossible to set up this kind of a system for less regular students. b) It's hard to keep that open slot full, so I prefer not to teach this way.
3. Why are lessons so expensive? Do you offer discounts for X (military, seniors, children under x age, widows, disabled, name your reason)?
A. I am a classically trained violinist with over 30 years of teaching experience. I have more to offer than the average self-taught teacher. My rate is not expensive, it's actually well below industry standard (but above "discount" music store/community music rates). I do not offer discounts in the same way that a plumber or an electrician does not offer discounts.
4. Can I rent an instrument from you?
A. Yes. I have violins and mandolins for rent. If you would like to rent a viola, cello, mandola or mandocello, arrangements can be made. Rental rate includes a security deposit which is returned once the instrument is returned in original condition. Rental rates vary. Please ask.