Violin teacher for 6yo who will come to us in North Oakland

My kid has been begging for violin lessons for almost a year. I've been searching for a teacher for many months unsuccessfully. We finally found great teacher but she won't accept students whose parents cannot come with them. We found another teacher who is located in North Berkeley which is too far for us. We lost a babysitter who could take the kid around after school. Anyhow...

We finally found a new babysitter who is able to take the kid to the lesson but now we need to find a teacher who is willing to accept students without parents showing up. Several teachers we found will not accept students without teachers accompaying them! [The world is so unfriendly to 2 full-time working parent household sometimes...]

We need a violin teacher who will be good with a 6 year old beginner and who has openings during after school hours or early evening (5 - 6:30). If the teacher is close to where we live (near Piedmont Ave. Oakland), we could do a slightly earlier lesson. 

We'd appreciate any leads you have. I feel so guilty as my child again reminded me this past weekend that I had promised to find him a teacher. 

[Moderator note: There are 8 violin teachers who have subscribed to BPN - see the Tutor/Teacher listing on BPN's website.]

Parent Replies

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I wish I had a name suggestion but my recommendation would be to reach out to the Crowden School, a day school with a focus on music, specifically string instruments based in Berkeley. They would likely have lots of recommendations for you, including age-relevant ones. I hope that helps!

It may also be that a group lesson may help with learning the violin. This was a big part of my learning when I started (at 4).

Contact Viola Pellegrini, who teaches violin, lives in N. Oakland, and is truly gifted with kids.  She is just the sweetest, kindest person you will ever meet.  She came to our house in N. Berkeley when our daughter was 8 and taking violin lessons, and we still miss seeing her every week!  (Your child can also go to her home/studio.)  Her website is, and her contact information is:  musicandmovement [at], or (510) 593-9660.

If your child wants violin lessons that badly, I would start ASAP. Age six is a great time to start. My daughter studied violin for many years and reached a very high level and continued on in college. I know you may not like hearing this, but having a parent go to his lessons, especially in the earlier years, will pay off tremendously, and he will progress more rapidly. I speak from experience. You will be getting a much better value this way. Parents are essential for supporting their kids as they learn an instrument. Parents will see what their kid is learning in lessons and help reinforce it at home during practice time, and the student will become a more confident learner. Teachers offer time slots in the evening, and so you should be able to find something that fits your work schedule. I never found a high quality music teacher who made house calls. The teachers' time is too valuable to be traveling around. 

My daughter had several different violin teachers over the years. One of them did not allow parents to attend lessons, which seemed strange to me. I think this teacher may have been trying to hide something. During this period, she hit a plateau and stopped progressing. I, as her parent, had no way of knowing how to help or support her. She eventually switched to a new teacher, and I always attended her lessons so that I could take notes and know how to support her. She improved a lot during this time. 

The Crowden Music Center and Holy Names University both offer private lessons for kids learning string instruments. Playing in some sort of ensemble with other kids is also helpful and makes learning more fun. Good luck!

My kids have made great strides learning violin w/ Ariel Wang. She makes house visits and doesn't have rules about who must be attending the class with child. She also can teach guitar, which is good to know in case your kid tires of bowing and wants to try strumming (this has prolonged my daughter's interest in music lessons).  

Email: arielwangmusic [at]

Good luck! - signed, Oakland Hills mom

Love love love Becky Rogot.  She has such a sweet way with kids, that they really want to learn.  She teaches on Saturdays.

Wish my kid could have taken her to college after 12 years with her!