Hi and welcome!
My name is Nancy, and I have been the proud owner and head instructor of Leggy Fish Music Lessons since 2008. I have over 20 years of private teaching experience as a private contractor at many music schools, conservatories, and private studios including the Silverlake Conservatory, the Bloom School of Music, La Canada School of Music, The Joe Ferrante Music Academy and the Green Brooms School of Music to name a few. I also taught in private and public schools including Saint Ignatius Loyola School and with the Midori & Friends program in New York City. I am also an active member of the American String Teachers association.
While teaching at these schools, I've seen and experienced both positive and negative things. some of the positive things, I've adapted into my boutique studio. I call my music studio a "boutique studio" because it is an intimate group of individuals. As the only teacher in my studio at the moment specializing in the violin, I have limited space in my schedule for private lessons and for group lessons. Being small is wonderful, as i take the extra time to really get to know my students; not only their musical aspirations, but to connect with them as human beings.
Because I am not under contract by any organization than that of my own nor need to meet obligations of a particular system, I am able to offer 100% of my creative energy to you. I teach because I want to teach. I teach because it is not only my livelihood but my passion. With young students, I'm all about about communicating with the child and having parents involved not in their studies, but with aiding in time management and goals. I believe that it really does take a strong network of parents, friends, and teachers to help children feel supported and loved as they learn a new skill.
Leggy Fish Music Lessons does not offer substitute teachers, as there is no substitute for the value of an ongoing education and teacher-student rapport. To prevent no-shows and cancellations, most music schools will opt not to let a student know there is a substitute teacher until the student arrives for their lesson. This is unfair for the student who is purchasing lessons to take lessons with that particular teacher. I am the only teacher that will teach, and abide by the same one cancellation/reschedule a month policy and the 24 hour cancellation policy.
Learning can be a daunting process for everyone, but I'm into encouraging and helping you get through those obstacles. It's all about your complete musical experience. Triple emphasis on the word YOUR.
I teach out my studio located in the heart of Atwater village close to Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Glendale. I do have policies and expect my students to abide by them, but unlike other schools, i also abide by them; ie: I give students free lessons if I cancel or reschedule their lesson beyond the one rescheduling/cancellation a month policy.
Did you know that if you take lessons at other schools and choose to leave the school but wish to continue studying with the teacher, you cannot? The teacher is legally bound by severe clauses, and for obvious business reasons, they are not allowed to teach you outside of their school. these clauses vary from school to school, but it is important to know. Having left all my schools by choice, I know that it is a disappointing and traumatic experience for both teacher and student.
Whether you're interested in classical music, jazz, rock, fiddle, composition or improv, I always find a way to help you value technique, precision, rhythm, beautiful tone, attention to dynamics and phrasing, personal style, knowledge of theory and history. I believe in reading music, but I also believe in learning to play by ear. And I believe you need both for the violin, viola, cello, and keyboard.
Regarding tools, I may put finger tape to help students visually learn their notes on their fingerboards in addition to emphasizing using the ear and listening to intonation. I believe that every student learns in a unique fashion; some may need visual cues. In time, tapes are removed. please be aware that some schools do not allow tape to be used. This can be a frustrating process for students that need visual cues.
Over the years i have taught children as young as 2 to adults as young as 7o+ years young. some of my students have excelled and include honor's placement and scholarships to the Renaissance Arts Academy, Berklee College of Music, the Colburn School of Music, The Children's Music Workshop, the Sphinx Performance Academy at Oberlin Conservatory, and have placed first in regional and state composition competitions like The Reflections Arts Recognition Program.
Students have come to me from all walks of life; children, actors, filmmakers, doctors, marketers, sales people, engineers, phd students, sports therapists, archaeologist, entertainment managers, yoga instructors, dog walkers, HR managers, accountants, information technologists, television editors, fitness trainers, entrepreneurs, and educators in other fields....for a variety of reasons. Some crave a bit of beauty in their busy lives. some crave structure. some crave discipline. some feel they have missed out on learning a musical instrument as a child and interested in rekindling their youth. Some are recreating their youth and bringing back a sense of wonder from learning a musical instrument in their past. some need an artistic outlet to express feelings they somehow can't express with words. some just like the challenge. Some just want to have a bit of fun.
Could this be you?
My style of teaching is friendly, creative, communicative, honest and direct. and there are always a lot of laughs!
I first studied violin at the age of 6 with Chelain Stevenson from the Phoenix Symphony, studied with various studio teachers, eventually studying with Dr. Phyllis Skoldberg at Arizona State University in my formative childhood years (who studied with the great pedagogue Ivan Galamian). I also picked up the viola and started to play the beautiful instrument at the age of 15 and played it in orchestras, often doubling when needed. I also participated in music festivals like Brevard and Tanglewood and studied with Dr. William Tewilliger from the University of South Carolina and Laura Park from the Boston Symphony before I received a full orchestra scholarship to Arizona State University. I studied classical violin performance there with the late Dr. Frank Spinosa and also studied piano before transferring to Berklee College of Music where I studied jazz and improv music while earning my bachelor's degree in music business. I studied the cello too and have played it in several recording sessions and bands. It's been an incredible journey for me, touring with bands, playing in orchestras, and collaborating with the most amazing talent in every place I was lucky to live in; Arizona, New York, Massachusetts, and California....which has been my home for the last 10 years! I love sharing my experiences and teaching my students everything I've learned and continue to learn.
In addition to being a well respected and popular violin teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, I also teach and play cello, viola, and keyboard!
Recent credits include playing and recording with Jello Biafra from The Dead Kennedys, James Williamson from Iggy and the Stooges, Cesi Bastida, and recording cello tracks for film and tv including original Netflix show, "Chef's Table", and violin/viola tracks for the latest Sims video game.
Whether you're interested in trying a few lessons or wanting to integrate music into your life, I just might be your kind of teacher.
Thanks for reading!