Violin/Viola Lessons for Adults

Archived Q&A and Reviews

Looking for violin/viola teacher for adult in the Berkeley area

July 2015

I am looking for a violin and viola teacher for myself in the North Berkeley-El Cerrito area. I have been studying violin for some time but am new to the viola. Someone who teaches both is preferable. Thanks! Fran R

Check out KC Still. She plays viola professionally, teaches both viola & violin, and is located very close to you (in Albany). I think that most of her students are children, but her website says that she teaches all ages. My son has been studying with her for 2.5 years and we could not be happier. For more info: Anon

Violin teacher for both adult and child?

Nov 2013

Hello - I am seeking a violin instructor who is good with both adults and children. The adult is me, and the child is my 10-year-old daughter. We are both novices looking to get some basic skills under our belts. I'd prefer someone who comes to our house (Castro Valley) but will drive to surrounding areas (Oakland, Berkeley, etc.) for a great teacher. Thank you!

I know a teacher who is great with both adults and children. Her name is Andrea Oey and is based in Oakland (I think she also travels to students' homes). Her teaching method is Suzuki-based, and she's had a lot of experience working with all ages and levels. She spent six years living in Singapore playing with the symphony there and teaching in numerous schools, including the national university. Her forte is helping students overcome technical difficulties by focusing on proper form and posture. She is a very dedicated and caring teacher! You can contact her at andrea_oey [at] Josh

Thea Farhadian has been with us for over 8 years. She is an excellent, detail-oriented teacher with experience teaching classical, world music, improvisation and composition for the violin. Although a composer and performer in her own right, both locally and internationally, Thea is very focused on her students. She is encouraging and supportive and works well with children (and adults) of all ages. You can reach her at 917-749-9273 OR through her website: Stephen

Violin Teacher for Former Violinist

Sept 2010

I'm a former violinist (played for 20 years from the age of 5) and gave it up many years ago. I'd love to find a teacher who can help me re-learn what I've forgotten and possibly transition to the viola (I have both instruments). Any recommendations welcome. Thanks. Susan

Jim Shallenberger is a terrific violin and viola teacher who has both adult and child students. My son studied violin with him for two years and now I have been studying with him for four, and also my son's close friend has been studying with him for three or four years. Jim's in North Berkeley and you can reach him at (510) 524-6996. jane

Violin Teacher for Adult

Sept 2009

I am an adult looking for suggestions for a violin teacher. I see in a previous post on the subject someone recommended Phyllis Kamrin, but that was over a year ago and the email listed no longer works. Any suggestions? Thanks! AM

I highly recommend Vicky Grossi at Musically Minded Studio. This unique studio has five different teachers and offers weekly private lessons. Students who enroll may also attend monthly group events which are fun and educational and give you access to the other instructors and students. The combination of feedback from a private instructor as well as access to student peers is a wonderful educational element. Vicky is intelligent, fun, versatile and her students love her. Her mastery of many different styles of music is unique and she is a real gem. I highly recommend her for students of all ages. FYI, she also teaches viola and electric bass., 510 428 4094, admin [at] enthusiastic learner

Lila Sklar is a terrific teacher and a truly lovely person. I know she teaches adults, as well as kids age 8 and up. She teaches at her home on the Berkeley/Oakland border near Sacramento St. Find her info at Ruth

Sarah Zaharako is a wonderful teacher , fluent in many styles. She can be reached at : 510-435-7525 or zaharako [at] . perney

I thought most of Phyllis' students played viola, not violin, though I don't suppose it matters. I've heard wonderful things about her. I'd also recommend Jim Shallenberger: 524-6996. fellow adult violinist

Violin Teacher for Adult Fiddle Player

May 2008

Hi there- I currently play the fiddle and I'm looking to also take some violin lessons with a classical focus. Does anyone have any recommendations for an violin teacher for adults? Many thanks! Audra

Yes! I highly recommend my violin teacher, Jim Shallenberger. I've been playing for only 7 or 8 years, and Jim's been my teacher for the past 3 or so. He was with the SF Ballet Orchestra for over 20 years until he injured his shoulder a couple of years ago. He still plays, and will play with you in lessons (or accompany you on the piano), but he doesn't perform anymore. Jim is a wonderfully supportive teacher and great at diagnosing playing problems. He teaches at his home in North Berkeley: 524-6996 or JShallee [at]

Eric Hansen specializes in teaching adults violin. He is music director of Prometheus Symphony Orchestra in Oakland, on the music faculty at Cal State East Bay, and has been teaching violin privately for many many years. He works out of his home studio in El Cerrito, and is a warm, musical, and supportive teacher. 510-847-6127. anonymous

Violin teacher for my child and I

June 2004

I'm looking for a violin teacher who can teach a group lesson to my son (5 years old) and I. We both have never played before so we'd need to rent violins also. I thought if we took the lesson together it would encourage both of us to practice as well as enjoy the experience together. Looking for a teacher in El Cerrito, Albany or Richmond.

The Crowden Center for Music in the Community has violin lessons for both children and adults. There are also chamber music groups for kids and chamber music concerts on Sundays throughout the year that are geared toward families with children. It's a great place to learn about music. Vickie


Violin teacher for adult

July 2002

I am looking for a violin instructor for a musically inclined 35 year old who hasn't played the violin in 25 years. Danielle

I highly recommend Jim Shallenberger. His specialty is teaching violin to adults. I started lessons with him about 6 months ago, never having played the violin before. He is patient and encouraging. His number is 524-6996. Jill

I am a violin and viola teacher with a large adult student population. I offer individual lessons as well as a chamber music class for adults who are at either a beginning or intermediate level. I love doing this and am always so impressed that adults can find the strength and fortitude to flourish on the path toward musical expression! My studio is in Southwest Berkeley. Phyllis Kamrin, almaduo at

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