My mission as both a teacher and a performer is to bring awareness of the viola da gamba, and its music, to as many people as I can reach. The viola da gamba is an excellent instrument for children and adults to learn. The viol is not only satisfying to learn and play but also has a very supportive and active community surrounding it, in which anyone can find fulfilling, musical companionship.
For children, it is the perfect beginning string instrument. It is small enough so that it fits comfortably in their hands, while the frets help them to see the notes on the fingerboard and play in tune. I often teach children in a group class setting (although private lessons are available) and in that setting we don’t only focus on technique and music but on other subjects such as math (in the relation to rhythm) and history (because the instrument has such a rich historical background). Another aspect we focus on is kindness and respect to others and ourselves; mindfulness in brain and body; and approaching all aspects of our lives with purpose. Games and activities are then added to all of this learning for a truly well rounded experience.
For adults, I teach in half or full hour lessons. All aspects of learning the viola da gamba are taught in these lessons. We work on technique, music, and sight-reading. This gives the student a well-rounded view of the instrument, which encourages them to participate in workshops and social events surrounding the viola da gamba community both locally and nationally.