BM Jazz Violin Performance from Manhattan School of Music
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
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.
The skills learned through improvisation go far beyond just music. Some of these include but are not limited to (1) Learning to enjoy what you do, even with a challenge, (2) Learning how to express one's feelings and emotions, (3) Channeling your creativity and telling your story, (4) Learning to think on your feet, (5) Learning to commit oneself to a new task and create results, (6) Learning to focus on a deeper level and (7) Learning to be aware of everything and be able to draw from your life experiences as inspiration.
Students enrolling for this course on ipassio can be sure that they receive individual attention from the teacher, as the class strength is limited to 1 or 2 students. It also gives teachers the opportunity, to gauge their student's progress in-depth and make changes whenever and wherever required, to ensure the student gets the maximum out of this course. Since this course is detailed, students get the advantage of learning intricate details about the Violin. The limited strength of the class also ensures that there is a strong bond between the students and their teacher clearing out any inhibitions that the student might have. The sustained guidance available from the teacher ensures that the student does not deviate from set goals or targets. Learning from a revered, experienced exponent of Violin, through the long duration of this course, keeps the student inspired and motivated to achieve more.
In order to take this course, students must be at least 10 years old, have at least 3-4 year of experience on your instrument, know how to play at least 4-5 major scales and arpeggios (at least 2 octaves for both), be able to read music fluently (even if at a beginning level), understand basics of rhythm (i.e. note values), understand basics of music theory (i.e. key signatures, time signatures, etc) and be able to explain why they want to learn how to improvise or play jazz, pop, etc. If the student is under 10 or has less than 3 years experience but knows most of the other requirements then special considerations will be made, contingent on level of dedication and maturity.