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Introduction to Jazz Violin and Improvisation

by Benjamin Sutin

Want to make strings cool again? Well this course is for you. You will learn all the necessary tools to begin improvising and grooving on your favorite music from jazz to pop and beyond. It's a myth that stringed instruments only belong in classical music. You can take the skills you already have and apply them to whatever genre you like. This class will be fun and challenging; exciting and rewarding. Open to viola and cello students, too. 

  • Course Duration

    15 Weeks

  • Course Level


  • Instruction Language


Taught On

  • Skype

US$120(1-on-1 Class)

per class

(Tax Exclusive)

Recommended - 1 Week = 1 Class

1 Class = 60 minutes

Enroll Now


for any questions

Educator Profile

Benjamin Sutin

8 Years Experience

From: United States

  • Teacher Skill Keywords:

    Violin, jazz, improvisation
  • Education

    BM Jazz Violin Performance from Manhattan School of Music

  • Work Details

    Violinist, Pianist, Educator, Composer, Band Leader - Freelance

    Substitute Violin/Piano Instructor - Greenwich House Music School

    Teaching Artist - Bronx Arts Ensemble

    Violin/Piano Instructor - Bronx House School for Performing Arts

Course Details

This course is open-ended and set-up as private lessons so as to fully optimize the learning environment, level and pacing of each individual student according to their goals, desires, and needs. Regardless of age or level, the course will cover several subjects throughout our time learning together, always catered accordingly. These subjects might include a brief history of jazz/improvising violinists, music theory and harmony in practice (and as it relates to improvising), basic ear training skills, learning how to groove with the bow, feeling more comfortable around the fingerboard, exercises to improve finger dexterity and freedom with the bow, effective practicing strategies, building a jazz repertoire (or whatever non-classical genre you choose to pursue), insight into thinking like a composer and how to develop ideas and tell your story, amplification advice and techniques (if necessary), and much more. Each of these topics will be taught with fun and exciting games/exercises to practice. Each student is expected to practice the material taught throughout the week between classes. An ideal practice schedule will be discussed for each individual's schedule and level of commitment at the beginning of the course.

About Benjamin Sutin: He has been teaching private and group violin, viola and piano students of all levels and ages for over eight years. He has experience teaching students on the autism spectrum and specializes in his own unique individualized variant several methods, including Suzuki, with a focus on tone production, intonation, music theory, creative problem solving regarding technical advancement in intermediate classical students as well as beginning to intermediate instruction in jazz and improvisation on stringed instruments and beginning to intermediate piano. Jazz instruction includes philosophical approaches to groove-based bowing, mastering the fingerboard, crafting creative and melodic improvisations and an intensive on music theory and harmony.

While he doesn't currently have any composition students, composing and arranging techniques are taught to all advanced students and is available for acquiring private composition students. Every lesson, regardless of style, level or instrument, is catered to the specific needs and personality of each individual student, creating a challenging yet positive and encouraging learning environment for all students. Student success includes entrance into LaGuardia High School, Special Music School, NYSSMA, High School Jazz Academy, ISO, Young Arts Merit Award and more. 

​Benjamin has a private violin and piano students through his traveling private studio throughout New York City. In collaboration with other fellow string teachers, he is in the process of initiating a brand new cutting edge after-school music program for string students in the greater NYC area that would focus on providing students with unique and progressive skill sets that are often left out of such programs. These skills include chamber music, improvisation, creativity, composition, music theory, and more. The program is set to begin in January 2020. Benjamin is also on the faculty at Greenwich House Music School as a substitute violin and piano instructor, a resident assistant faculty member for Elisabeth Morrow School’s Annual Summer String Festival under the direction of Amelia Gold and a Teaching Artist for Bronx Arts Ensemble. 


What Makes ipassio Your Best Fit?

  • Online
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    From the comfort of your home, 1 on 1 online interactive classes are scheduled at your convenient time.

  • Pay
    as you go

    No long-term commitment. Pay for as few as 2 classes at a time. When you can’t make it for the class, you can mutually reschedule with ease.

  • World class performers as educators

    Award-winning teachers customize the course just for you. Their structured learning methodology lets you always track your progress.

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