Welcome to the Knote Violin Studio!
The studio is located in the Capital District, NY
Here you can:
- Sign up for violin lessons
- Learn about my teaching methods and philosophy
- Find tips on problem-solving for technical and musical questions and concerns
- Sign up for composition classes where you can learn to write your own music
For information on my background, lesson rates, to schedule your first lesson, or to schedule a free half-hour lesson/interview, click on the “About” page link.
For information and sign-up for the Music Writing (composition) Classes, see the new “Music Writing Classes” page.
My Methods and Teaching Philosophy
I believe that every student can reach a level of playing beyond what they often believe to be possible. I endeavor to give students an understanding of both the small and the big picture in their musical journey. I focus on small, concrete steps in the early years to build confidence and technique; and at the same time I provide students with music they enjoy that not only reinforces those small steps, but challenges them to push ahead, and to experience the music on an emotional level.
My teaching methods are a synthesis of the Suzuki and the Paul Rolland violin methods, as well as ideas and inspiration from growing up in a family where both parents were professional violinists and music teachers.
Every student can learn, every student deserves an individually tailored program of instruction, and all students deserve to experience the inspiration that making their own music provides.
If you have trouble with the Dreaded Droop (you have trouble keeping your violin from slanting downward, and trying to fix it makes your back or arm sore or tired), consider trying these steps:
- Buy a good shoulder rest, like the Kun or Wolf brands, or something similar, where each “foot” can be adjusted. (Wolf works better with older students, as it is wider and higher).
- Raise the foot on the right end of the shoulder rest several turns (the left end is the part that actually rests on the shoulder, under the jaw), and make sure the left foot is down fairly low.
- Put the shoulder rest on the violin making sure it is placed correctly. Don’t push it on too far. It should not be pushed onto or past the widest part of the violin at that lower end.
- Line up the left lower side (“bout”) of the violin along an imaginary shoulder seam running lengthwise down the center of your shoulder from your neck. Keep the violin level, or slightly tilted upward.
- Turn your head to the left without leaning it, then drop the chin down into the “valley” of the chin rest, snug against the ridge at the back. Use the side of your chin, not your jaw.
- Hold the violin with your left hand as usual and see if it will stay in place, and not droop downward.
- If not, continue to adjust the feet, starting by making the right foot higher and higher. Only raise the left foot if you find yourself raising your shoulder.
- Shoulder rest “feet” with a longer screw are available to buy separately, online and from some music stores, if the one that comes with the shoulder rest will not go high enough for you.
Lastly, make sure your shoulder and upper arm are not cramped, and can move easily, especially when shifting or playing on the lower strings.