Student of the Month, January 2022

Student of the Month Jan 2022

Violin Student, Harper Stinson

Harper has been taking violin lessons with SMMC since September 2021. Prior to starting with SMMC, Harper had already been playing violin for a few years. Since starting with SMMC, Harper shared with her teacher on the various aspects of her violin playing she’d like to improve on. That awareness and initiative to become a better violinist have really served Harper well. In the short time she’s been with SMMC, her teacher proclaims vast improvement in her playing. Ms. Alicia credits Harpers desire to get better and willingness to accept constructive criticism as key in her most recent progress.

Violin Student
Violin student, Harper, and her Student of the Month award certificate.

In Her Teachers Words

Harper is currently studying with SMMC teacher Ms. Alicia Kuch. Ms. Alicia holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance from University of California, Berkeley. She shares

I started working with Harper this past year, and each week she shows up with a positive attitude, ready to learn. She is persistent in her violin studies and rises to the occasion no matter how difficult or challenging the techniques or repertoire are. Harper’s work ethic and consistent practicing became apparent to me early on. She always comes to her lessons well prepared. When she first came to me as a student, Harper expressed a desire to hone her technique. Since then, I have been working with her on various violin skills. In that time, Harper has straightened her bow stroke, improved her tone quality, built strength and agility in her left hand and fine-tuned her intonation.

In addition, Harper has greatly improved in her ability to express pieces musically through the use of articulation and dynamics. Harper works extensively on her assigned bowing exercises, scales and arpeggios, and etudes. On top of this, she also takes to heart all of the notes and suggestions I give her both in our lessons and in her homework. She works hard to consider each note/suggestion and applies it to her practice. Recently, Harper has been mastering the pieces in Suzuki Book 1 and she will soon graduate to the next Suzuki Book. Congratulations Harper! I’m sure wewill continue to see great things from you!” Whoa-that is high praise. Congratulations indeed Harper!

In Harper’s Words

We asked Harper a few questions to learn a little bit more about our award winner and here’s what she shared:

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

I have been playing the violin for a little over two years. Prior to violin, I played flute for a year and enjoyed it, but I think the violin is a better fit for me. I like it because it has a nice sound and also because I enjoy how it feels to play.

How do you make time to practice in your busy schedule?

I schedule is not very busy! I have quite a bit of free time and I practice then.

If any, who are some of the artists you look up to for your instrument and why do you like them?

I don’t really have any artists I look up to. I just go with the flow!

What do you like about the piece you chose to perform for the STOM video?

I played a piece called Gavotte by Jean Baptiste-Lully. It sounds very playful and teasing. It’s just fun to play!

What do you like to do in your down time?

I like to cook, especially eggs and ramen. I also like to play with my dog and spend time with my friends.

Thank you for sharing Harper and congratulations on the award!

Meet The Instructor

Alicia Kuch has over 20 years of experience playing the violin and over a decade of orchestral experience. She is Classically trained and has also studied Baroque violin. Alicia graduated from the Los Angeles County High School for the Arts and received her Bachelor’s in Music from the University of California, Berkeley, where she was a member of the Chamber Orchestra and University Baroque Ensemble. In her teachings, Alicia emphasizes developing proper violin technique as well as developing skills in music theory and musicianship, but also hopes to impart the joy that comes from learning and playing the violin by creating a fun learning experience for her students.

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