About Bernard

(violin, viola instruction and ensemble coaching)

It seems like yesterday the first time I picked up a violin.  I have always loved playing violin.  But I didn’t love practicing.  Sound familiar? Luckily, my mom always encouraged me to do it because the practice I did was effective; I made great progress.  But having excellent and motivating teachers was the prime ingredient for my success.

 

And here I am still loving to play decades later!  It took me 10 years of practice and an MA degree before I was ready to join the San Francisco Symphony 1st violin section.  Those many years as part of SFSO included both chamber music performances and teaching.  Now, retired from SFSO, I’ve been teaching violin/viola in Santa Rosa for over 20 years while performing with the RosArts String Quartet.  Playing and teaching violin is always fun and challenging.  There’s always something new to learn as a player (and as a teacher), and there are always fun new ways of helping my students overcome the challenges they face.

 

I enjoyed having structure in my lessons, and likewise I offer my students opportunities to excel on the violin through good curriculum and one-on-one instruction.  No two students learn the same way; no two students have the same strengths.  The one universal that fits all of us as learners is the desire to find enjoyment in the experience.  So at lessons, we work hard together but also have a lot of laughs--- a lot of fun making music.

 

My recordings also help my students understand where they’re heading.  I’ve recorded hundreds of audio tracks for Youtube: concerti, etudes, and other student repertoire.  Students worldwide tell me these are so helpful for their daily practice.  At lessons, often as a reward for continued progress, we also play duets together!  It was my favorite as a student creating unforgettable moments with Rolf Persinger, Frank Houser, and Zaven Melikian, and it’s a favorite for my students too.

 

When my students perform, I praise them highly for their success. They are seldom perfect, but they know that what I value most is what they have succeeded in accomplishing.  I love to encourage others in their gifts.  When I attend a music performance or host a student recital, I am so happy to thank the performers for what they have just shared with us and to celebrate their success.