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XVI Rio DeJaneiro International Cello Encounter(1) DSC_0580 DSC_0580 DSC_0573

Hello aspiring young violinist and parents. My name is Sophia Herman. I am a classical concert violinist and experienced violin teacher. Welcome to my website, PlayingBetterViolin.com. Playing better violin is my goal which I try to accomplish constantly in my work with my students.  I offer private violin lessons to beginners, intermediate and advanced levels students of different ages. I also work with professionals and advanced students on preparation them for audition in orchestras and different chamber music ensembles.

I teach private lessons in my home in Natick, Massachusetts and on-site at the homes of our students.

Growing up in St. Petersburg, Russia, I have been playing and performing the violin since a very young age. I am a graduate and former faculty member of the St. Petersburg Conservatory and a former member of the St. Petersburg Philharmonic Orchesta.  At the St. Petersburg Conservatory, I was a student, and later a colleague, of the great Michael Vaiman, and was trained in the classical tradition of the school of Leopold Aeur, who was perhaps the greatest influence on the classical violin technique since Niccolo Paganini, and was the instructor of legends such as Jascha Heifetz, Nathan Milstein and countless others.

When once as asked in an interview what was his secret to launching so many virtuosos and legends, he humbly responded that there was no secret about his teaching. “The one great point I lay stress on in teaching,” he said, “is never to kill the individuality of my various pupils. Each pupil has his own inborn aptitudes, his own personal qualities as regards tone and interpretation. I always have made an individual study of each pupil, and given each pupil individual treatment.” Like Auer and his disciples, my teaching philosophy is the same. We focus on fundamentals, such as sight reading, ear training and correct hand position and technique — all of which are an essential foundation for any violinist, beginner or expert. Once the right foundation is in place, I encourage my students to develop freely in their own way as regards inspiration and ideals.  My role as a teacher and mentor is to help bring out what nature has already given, rather than to force a student’s natural inclinations into channels I myself might prefer.

I have had the privilege of performing alongside with many great classical, jazz and pop musicians over years, including Itzhak Permlan, Pinhas Zuckerman, Isaac Stern, Dabid Brubeck and Aretha Franklin. As a teacher, I have a long term of successful experience of working with students from a young age as beginners through high school, and sometimes beyond. Many of my students have successfully auditioned and played in local student orchestras, such as the GYBSO and in high school and college orchestras. My students have received scholarships at elite colleges and universities such as Columbia, Yale, Brown, Dartmouth, Cornell, Harvard, Colgate, Williams, Emory and many others.

For additional information, please contact us at sophia@playbetterviolin.com.