Student of the Month, December 2021

Violin Student and Teacher

Violin Student, Kaia Browne

Kaia has been taking violin lessons with SMMC since only May of this year. But even at the young age of 5, Kaia has shown much potential and ability for the instrument. In just this short amount of time, Kaia can easily recognize notes and has an amazing bow grip. As a student, Kaia takes initiative in her studies. She often looks ahead in her lesson books and tries to learn music on her own. So when it comes time to learn a song with her teacher, she is already halfway through understanding how to play the material. Kaia also has great support from her parents in terms of practicing at home. They often sit with her to ensure she is practicing what she is supposed to as recommended by her teacher.

Student Of The Month, December 2021
Kaia with her violin teacher, Ms. Sara Jones.

In Her Teacher’s Words

Kaia is currently studying with SMMC instructor Ms. Sara Jones. Ms. Sara holds a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance from the University of Redlands. She writes:

“Since the first lesson, Kaia understood where the notes were on the staff. Most students rely on learning the notes by using the acronym ‘Every Good Boy Does Fine’ for line notes and understanding the spaces spell ‘FACE’. But not Kaia-she almost immediately understood how the notes were organized on the staff. In addition, she recognizes the rhythms before we play them and has a good sense of timing. She often looks ahead when she practices at home and tries it on her own and that helps me when I work with her during the lessons.

Developing a good bow grip is always challenging for young students because of the fine motor skills involved. It’s difficult for young students to understand tiny, calculated synchronized movements. Because the bow’s weight is not evenly distributed, your fingers, wrist and arm have to make tiny adjustments when playing a down or up bow to keep a good sound. Same thing goes for keeping the bow straight. Kaia naturally grasped these concepts the first time and we’ve not had to revisit them since. I really think that is a first for me as a teacher! It does not happen very often, but some kids are a natural for certain instruments and I think Kaia is one for the violin.”

Kaia performs a bowing exercise during her violin lesson.

In Kaia’s Words

We asked Kaia a few questions about music and her likes in general and here’s what she had to share!

How long have you been playing your instrument and what do you like most about playing it?

“I’ve been playing violin since May of this year and I like learning the bow most.”

Do you have someone you look up to for playing your instrument?

“I look up to my wonderful teacher Miss Sara. I hope to play as good as Miss Sara one day!”

What do you like to do when you are not playing music?

“I like to run around, ride my scooter and bike, watch movies at the movie theatre and dance!”

What other activities do you do that you take classes or lessons for?

“I take Karate and ballet. My favorite class is Karate because I like to learn new moves and I just started with it.

What was the most fun you’ve had in the last month?

“The most fun I’ve had was visiting Santa’s Village in Lake Arrowhead. I saw Santa, Frosty and Santa’s brother. There was a parade, zip lining, warm cookies and push pops!”

Thank you for sharing Kaia. Congratulations on earning the Student of the Month award!

Meet the Instructor

Sara Jones originates from Pasadena, CA and began her violin studies at the age of 7. She attended Pasadena City College for violin studies and transferred to the University of Redlands, where she received both her Bachelor’s and Master’s in Music, Violin Performance. Sara has performed with many orchestral groups such as Crown City Orchestra, Coachella Valley Symphony, and Redlands Symphony. She has performed with various string quartets, piano trios, and string duos across Southern California. Besides performing, Sara has been a violin instructor for almost 8 years and has loved every second of it! She uses a traditional approach in her methodology and tries to instill great musical knowledge and passion in her students. She strives to help students become very knowledgeable in playing the violin itself and in music theory, history, ear training, wise practicing, and performance etiquette.

SMMC teachers are available for in-person or online lessons. Take a look at our current availability and book your private lesson today!