I'm a passionate and highly experienced violinist, violin and piano tutor and workshop leader with 25 years of experience as performer and 30 years of experience in teaching violin and piano. I’m highly qualified with a Bmus, various postgraduate diplomas and a MA.
My key aim is to balance a comprehensive training of instrumental and musical skills with the joy of music making. I believe that disciplines practice, which is unavoidable when learning an instrument can be kindled through inspiration rather than pressure.
My teaching subjects and method:
I teach the violin to advanced level and the piano up to grade 5. Currently I teach one-to-one only, however, in the past I have held lessons for small groups. I train my students in classical violin or piano technique, as I believe in a good technical foundation, despite the style one chooses. The repertoire of pieces encompasses classical, folk, jazz and world genres, especially Balkan, Eastern European and Romani Gypsy music. I prepare students for grade exams and other exam thoroughly - my track record of previous students passing exams is 30% with distinction and 50% with merit - I never had a student fail.
I have studied Alexander technique for many years, and I use elements of this in my teaching. It supports smooth bowing, tidy pitch on the violin, and good posture and great flexibility for both instruments. It also leads to playing with 'physical ease', which will prevent RSI !.
Whilst mostly using sheet music, I also teach by ear, as it is the most natural aural training. I also include music theory when teaching instruments, as the music theory will support the musical understanding and therefore makes learning music, specially on higher levels, more straight-forward and complete.
As well as one-to-one instrumental tuition, I hold regularly workshops and classes teaching Eastern European and Balkan music by ear. Those sessions are open to any instrument and to singers.
My Qualifications and Training:
I completed a performance and tutor's degree (Bmus with Distinction) in classical violin at the Leopold Mozart Konservatorium in Augsburg/Germany. My degree course included music theory, aural, conducting, composition and singing. I also achieved a diploma as piano tutor. Afterwards I continued with a post-graduate course in jazz. Throughout that time, I studied Alexander technique, however, I did not formally train for a qualification. Later, I explored various Balkan and Eastern European music styles from native virtuosos. Recently I completed an MA in Ethnomusicology with distinction.
I charge £36 for regular weekly lessons of 60 min. For 45 min the fee is £28, for 30 min £20. For one-off 60 min lessons the fee is £40. I also can give lessons for groups, please contact me for the precise fees.
SPECIAL OFFER: 1/2 PRICE FOR THE FIRST LESSON !!!
I teach from my home in Harrow - HA3. It can easily be reached from Wembley, Watford, Stanmore, Willesden and other surrounding places - parking in front of the house is free. In exceptions I can travel to the student's home, however, I will charge extra for this service.
I also teach in Bethnal Green on a Tuesday afternoon - the fees are a bit higher there.
I offer online lessons via skype. Payment via credit card or paypal.
Encouragement for students:
1) You can start learning an instrument at any age - there is no being 'too old' not even with 70...
2) When learning music, always keep in mind that the joy of making music for you and for the people who listen to you is so much more important than playing the right notes!
- What kind of experience do you have?
I have been teaching the violin and piano for 25 years, mostly one-to-one tuition but also group workshops, master-classes, orchestral and ensemble playing. I have students from 3 to 75 years of age. Since 5 years I also teach one-to-one classes and workshops in Balkan/Gypsy singing. The main focus of the lessons include classical training to pass college, A-level and grade exams, students who have problems with RSI and other physical issues, and students who needed help and support in overcoming performance and exam fears.
- Do you have an up-to-date DBS (Disclosure & Barring Service, formerly CRB) Certificate?
- Where and with whom did you train?
Leopold Mozart Konservatorium - Classical degree. Professor Bernhard Tluck
Richard Straus Konservatorium - Jazz post-grad. Tutor: Joerg Widmoser
Masterclasses with Isabella Petrosjan
Gypsy Violin: Caliu/Taraf de Haidouks, Tcha Limberger, Winny Mathias
- Do you belong to any professional organisations?
I'm a member of the Musicians Union.
• BAmus for Violin performance, and for teaching violin and piano
• Postgrad degree in Jazz
• DBS checked
• Musicians, Union
Gundula's violin lessons are not just high quality tuition, they are first and foremost lots of fun. She has always kept me motivated, making me enjoy the learning process over the years without it ever feeling like a chore. This is through the choice of music as well as a structured, step by step approach. This has been very important to me as an adult learner.
Gundula leads me through a journey of small incremental steps where I make continuous improvements. She is also quite versatile with the piano and you don't have to look for any other accompanist for the grade exams.
She complements classical teaching methods with creative approaches, e.g. playing by ear which helps in recognising sound intervals. This supports an understanding and connecting to the music and as a result one's violin playing becomes more than just a mechanical process.
I certainly would recommend Gundula as a teacher to all who expect more from learning music than just reproducing notes.
I have known Gundula Gruen for nearly four years, firstly as a conductor and performer in my orchestra and now, for the last year, as my violin, singing and piano teacher.
Finally, I have found a teacher who is both an experienced professional not only in classical violin, but other musical genres and a very warm, passionate and encouraging person.
I feel very confident that I will continue to grow in the abovementioned skills with Gundula as a teacher. She has some outstanding strengths such as pace, energy, patience and attention to detail. In addition, she is the first teacher I have had who has taken an active interest in my all round musical development, activities and passion.
I can recommend her without hesitation.
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