Studio News Term 1, 2023 updated 1st Feb

Term 1 starts January 30th

Welcome back to violin/piano lessons, and here’s the current lesson schedule. Please confirm your day/time by email or text.

I hope you had a good holiday, I’m feeling refreshed and enthusiastic after visiting New Zealand and then attending the Mt Buller Chamber Music Summer School, 6 days of music-making and friendship.

Suzuki Music Autumn Festival is on again, this year it is Thursday 20 to Sat 22 April (inclusive), closing date 26 Feb
If you can go, it is very worthwhile, please consider it, it will considerably boost progress. In order to encourage you, I offer a $50 discount on Term 1 fees to those who enrol for Autumn Festival.
I will probably be there teaching and taking professional development classes.

There is a fee rise this year of 5%, please tell me if this causes you hardship and we can work something out.

Lesson schedule (as at 1st Feb)

12.45 or 1.00 pm Parents’ class (30-45 mins fortnightly)
starting Feb 6th
2.30 pm Ada
3.00 pm Gabrielle (1 hour fortnightly, starting Feb 6th)
4.00 pm Gwen
4.45 pm Bibby from Week 6 (45 mins)
5.00 pm Perryn for 5 weeks
5.30 pm Paddy
6.00 pm Owen (1 hour fortnightly, starting Jan 30th)

4.15 pm Alex
4.45 pm Isabelle
5.15 pm Dante
5.45 pm Perryn (from Week 7)

10.00 am Bob
11.30 am Elena
4.45 pm Elsie (45 mins)
5.30 pm Sebastian/Imelda
6.30 pm Kyle
7.00 pm Bibby for 5 weeks

Group lessons
For violin students in Books 1 and 2, on two Tuesday afternoons a term.
4.30 pm to 5.30 pm at Buda Garden Room, 42 Hunter St
Tuesday afternoon students will have their individual lessons on Thursdays instead in the two group lesson weeks (or another mutually convenient time).

Zoom lessons
In-person lessons can be replaced with Zoom online lessons whenever anyone (including me) has cold or flu symptoms, has Covid, or is a close contact. Please try to give 24 hours notice regarding a switch to Zoom. Please update Zoom and use a satisfactory external microphone for best-practice internet music lessons.

Term 1 starts Monday 30 January
Term 1 ends Thursday 6 April
No lessons Monday 13 March (Labour Day holiday)

Looking forward to enjoying the experience of making music together again!

Studio Concert Dec 1st, 2021

Enjoy listening to the solos and group items from this concert held at Buda Garden Room. Thanks to Liz Wilson, cello and John Tungyep, piano, for adding their musical talents and encouraging our students to enjoy their music.

Isabelle, Hunters’ Chorus
Dante, Twinkle Variation D & Theme
Yael, Lightly Row
Mary, Allegro
Sebastian, May Song, Allegro
Annie, Honeybee, Lightly Row, Cuckoo
Polly, May Song, Allegro
Liam, Happy Farmer
Elsie, Gavotte in G Minor, J.S.Bach
Owen, Seguidilla from Carmen, Bizet
Owen, Maria from West Side Story, Bernstein
Bibby, Concerto No 5, 3rd movt, Seitz
Frances & Liz Wilson, Themes from Der Freischutz opera, C.M. von Weber, arranged Dancla
Violin trio, Bibby, Elsie & Isabelle, Finnish Waltz
Violin group, Perpetual Motion
Violin group, May Song
Violin group, Twinkle variations & Theme

Studio News Term 4, 2021, updated 8 December

Concert Wednesday 1st December
at Buda Garden Room
The concert was a great success, we appreciated coming together in person and hearing the progress of our students, plus a guest performance from cellist Liz Wilson who plays with the Bendigo Symphony Orchestra and brilliant piano playing including exciting improvisations in various styles by John Tungyep.

See Studio Concerts page for the audio recordings.

Term 4 ends on December 17th, and Term 1 in 2022 starts Mon 31 January.

Recording yourself with piano accompaniment‘.
Most students have now made a recording with piano accompaniment, well done everybody.

The listening piece is ‘Peter and the Wolf‘ by Sergei Prokoviev (Russian composer 1891-1953). Which character’s theme do you like? and why?
Update – please listen to the whole piece played by a different orchestra (search on YouTube or maybe you have a CD at home?)

Zoom audio, microphones

Acknowledgement to Katie Wardrobe, Midnight Music, for this excellent guide to getting the best audio in a Zoom music lesson:

This site has info for iPhones and Android phones:


Using an external microphone for your computer greatly improves the sound at my end and this makes for a better music lesson.

Recommended USB microphones:

Blue Snowball
Blue Yeti

Recommended microphone/recorder:

H2N Zoom

How to care for violin and bow

Whether you have a new beginner instrument or a well-loved professional one, it is critical to care for your instrument in the correct way. Instruments perform at their best when they are regularly cared for through cleaning, servicing and general maintenance.

To ensure your instrument remains in optimal playing condition, we recommend following these guidelines:

  • Keep your instrument protected from water and moisture.Water causes timber to swell, which can cause cracks. Keep your instrument away from windows, moisture and excess humidity.
  • Keep your instrument protected from excessive amounts of heat.Sun and heat can severely affect your instrument, potentially causing cracks and damage to the varnish. Make sure you store it away from windows, heaters or fireplaces.
  • Never leave your instrument in the car.
  • Keep your instrument clean.Wiping off rosin with a dry cloth from the top of your instrument and strings after playing will prevent rosin build up. Don’t use water to clean.
  • Never clean your instrument with solvents or household products.Varnish is very delicate and can be easily damaged. Specialised cleaning products are available to assist with cleaning your instrument if necessary.
  • Keep your fingernails trimmed.This prevents damage to the strings and fingerboard of your instrument.
  • Cover the instrument with a cloth in its case.This protects your instrument against scratches from the bow while closed.
  • Only players with experience should use the pegs.If you are not confident using the pegs, your teacher should help you to tune your instrument using the pegs. The fine tuners can be used to control small pitch changes.
  • New instruments and strings take up to two weeks to settle.During this time, the strings will continue to go out of tune. We recommend that you do not change your strings in the two weeks before an important performance or exam.
  • Remove your shoulder rest when your instrument is in its case.Your shoulder rest must always be removed while the violin is in its case and not in use.

String instruments perform at their best when serviced regularly. We recommend getting your instrument serviced every six months. Services are conducted by our team of trained luthiers and entails checking the strings, bridge, pegs, bow, and a general clean of your instrument.
Your first service should be two weeks after the instrument has been set up, then every six months following. Strings should be changed once a year depending on how often you play. For violinists, your E and A string will need to be changed every 3-6 months, while your D and G string will need to be changed every 6-12 months.


To keep your bow in good playing condition, we recommend following these guidelines:

  • Avoid touching the bow hair with your fingers. Even small amounts of grease, sweat or dirt from your fingers can affect playability and make it difficult to apply rosin
  • Always loosen the bow while it is not being used.If it is not loosened after you have finished playing, the hair stretches out and will eventually not tighten to playing tension.
  • Do not over tighten the bow.Tighten your bow until the hair is pulled away from the stick only approximately 8mm at the narrowest point for violins/violas and 10mm for cellos. For double basses, tighten your bow until the hair is pulled away approximately 15mm for French bows and 20mm for German bows. It is important that the bow remains curved. If the stick looks straight to the hair, it is too tight.
  • Don’t rosin your bow every time you use it.You should only need to rosin your bow every 5-6 hours of playing time or every 1-2 weeks for beginners.
  • To keep your bow performing at its best, we recommend rehairing your bow every 12 months.

Reprinted by permission of Sydney String Centre


Contact Frances by phone:   0414 878 071

Or by email:

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