About the Teachers
Violinist Amelia Weesner studied with some of the
finest violin teachers in the country, including Nicholas
Mann (Juilliard and Manhattan School of Music),
Robert Mann (Juilliard String Quartet), Mitchell Stern
(Manhattan School of Music and American String
Quartet), and Elaine Richey (Galamian’s assistant at
the Curtis Institute and Naumburg winner). She was
accepted into University of North Carolina School of
the Arts as a young high school student, and went on
to also earn her Bachelor of Music (Violin Performance)
and Masters in Music (Violin Performance) from UNCSA.
While pursuing her Master’s degree she was awarded
a graduate music theory assistantship, and she won
the UNCSA Concerto Competition. Mrs. Weesner traveled the country, from Orlando to Brooklyn to Alabama, and finally decided to stay in her birth state of North Carolina, marry her amazing husband Joshua, and start a family.
Amelia is currently a member of the Greensboro Symphony Orchestra. She has also been a member of the Bach Festival Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and the Winston-Salem Symphony. Mrs. Weesner has 20 years of teaching experience and Suzuki Books 1, 2, and 3 training under Libby Armour and James Hutchins.
Both Amelia and Joshua grew up in strong Suzuki studios in the 1980's. Knowing firsthand how valuable a good Suzuki studio can be for a student's education, they have built their Suzuki violin studio. In addition to managing the studio, teaching her wonderful students, and performing locally, Mrs. Weesner is honored to have her most important career ever, which is mother to her five beautiful children.
Multi-talented Joshua Weesner is a violinist,
composer, songwriter, arranger, orchestrator, and
recording engineer. His violin training began in
childhood as a Suzuki student under Margie Keller.
At the young age of 14 his studies continued at the
University of North Carolina School of the Arts
under the tutelage of Kevin Lawrence. He also
attended competitive summer programs such as
the Meadowmount School of Music, Killington Music
Festival, and the Henry Mancini Institute.
Mr. Weesner has been a contract member of the
Winston-Salem Symphony, the Greensboro
Symphony Orchestra, the Huntsville Symphony Orchestra, and the Chattanooga Symphony. As a recording artist and touring musician, he has performed with Ray Price and the Cherokee Cowboys, the Collection, Martha Bassett, and many more.
Mr. Weesner has enjoyed an extensive career providing custom music services for touring stage productions. For seven years he worked for the music notation software company Notion Music. His positions there included Quality Assurance Lead, Sound Editor, and Manager of Live Services. With Notion Music as well as independently, Joshua has been the Associate Music Supervisor for the national and international touring productions of: Cathy Rigby is Peter Pan, The Wizard of Oz, Annie, Baayork Lee's A Chorus Line, Jekyll and Hyde, Franco Dragone's India Circus, and Kung Fu Panda. Mr. Weesner is very knowledgeable about Music Technology and is an accomplished recording engineer, composer, song writer, orchestrator, and arranger. Currently he is composing original music for video games with Razor Edge Games.
Mr. Weesner has ten years of experience teaching violin to students age three through adult, from beginner to pre-college level. For beginners, he uses the "mother-tongue approach" of the Suzuki Method, for the benefit of ear-training and basic violin technique. For advanced students, Mr. Weesner moves to traditional methods and repertoire. For group classes and recitals, Joshua and Amelia like to team-teach, combining their efforts and their students for these larger group learning experiences. Joshua has had Suzuki Books 1, 2, and 3 training with James Hutchins, in addition to Practicum with Anne Montzka-Smelser and Book 4 with Nancy Lokken. He strives to make music interesting, challenging, and fun for students of all ages!
Our Program: Information for Beginners
With weekly private lessons, students receive individual attention that is crucial for the student's skill development. Advanced players make violin look easy, but in truth it requires many, many years of private lessons with consistent, dedicated home practice. The journey is amazing, and filled with benefits that profoundly affect the student's total development. In our studio, the parent observes and participates in the private lessons. For the rest of the week, the student practices daily at home, with the parent as the "home teacher." Parents will be more hands-on with younger students. When students are older and more independent, the parent is still involved as one who oversees and supports the student's efforts.
A very important component of our program is group classes. In the group setting, students work on the skills they are learning in the private lessons, expanding on those skills in a fun yet challenging way along with their friends and peers. We play games with our pieces that are only possible to play in the group setting. Also, when students see other young students playing violin at various levels, this not only teaches them more about violin, but inspires and motivates them to push forward with a positive and healthy attitude! Beginner students are inspired by advanced students, and advanced students encourage each other and the beginners. Sometimes students of similar ages and ability will engage in a bit of friendly competition with each other-- more inspiration to keep working hard in order to make progress.
All students participate in the recitals, which we have at least twice per year. We give recitals to our community at places such as assisted living centers, and we also have a yearly formal recital in a recital hall or other formal setting. For our formal recital, every student performs a solo, in addition to pieces performed as an ensemble. The teachers also perform solos and/or duos as much as possible, so that the students can hear them and see their example.
This is a Suzuki Program. What is Suzuki?
Dr. Suzuki was a Japanese violinist who founded the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. For many years he observed children and studied how they learn. His results at the Talent Education Institute were amazing, and his efforts have had a profound impact on music education throughout the world. Here are the main principles of the Suzuki approach:
1. Every child can learn to play the violin. We pursue excellence with each child.
2. The teacher, parent, and student work together. The parent is involved with lessons and is proactive at home as the "home teacher" or "practice partner."
3. Music is taught as a language. From birth, a baby continually hears his or her parents' language at home, and learns it by age 2-3. Similarly, Suzuki students listen to music many times every day, even from birth. Older students entering the program start their listening right away. Ear training is crucial, in addition to note-reading.
Children Aged 0-2
For parents of children aged 0-2, we will freely give information about how to create an environment at home that fosters music education. If a child can learn his/her parents' language, then s/he can learn music!
-Play the Suzuki CDs on a stereo in the home every day! Obtain the Suzuki CDs or albums. There are 8 total, plus Mozart Concertos Numbers 4 & 5. Purchase one or more at a time until you have collected all. Make a daily habit of providing this listening environment for your child. You can do this while the chid is playing, eating, falling asleep, or any time.
-Obtain professional classical music recordings, and
play them in the home every day. (Contact us if
you would like a list of suggestions.)
-Read Nurtured by Love, by Shinichi Suzuki. Another
suggestion is Ability Development from Age Zero, also by Suzuki.
-Contact us for more information.
Children Aged 3 and up
We love to start children on violin as young as age 3 or 4. This really is a great age to start. If you have the choice, we recommend starting between ages 3 and 8 when possible. However, children can begin at any age.
Middle And High School Beginners
Middle and high schoolers can achieve so much through violin. Teen beginners find incredible value in learning violin. They learn perseverance, confidence, how to learn, time management, leadership, poise, problem-solving, how to realize their own potential, self-expression, plus an artistic and creative hobby that they will enjoy throughout life.