Monday, May 9, 2011

May 2011 Annual Student Recital

In two weeks, I will organize my annual student recital in mid town Palo Alto. It would be a great opportunity for anyone who is interested in my teaching to come and meet with me, my students, their family members and friends. I will also play some of my favorite pieces at this recital that you don't want to miss :-).

Many of my students will continue to play at (or were recently accepted into) prestigious youth symphony groups such as Palo Alto Chamber Orchestra (PACO),  California Youth Symphony (CYS),  and El Camino Youth Symphony (ECYS) for the forthcoming school year 2011/2012.  Those young musicians are so talented and fiercely energetic!!!

I am really proud of all my students - regardless of their levels and ages - they are all very committed to their journey to learn violin performance. Together, we have so much fun to enjoy the music.

Details for the recital are as follows:

Date:        Saturday,  May 21, 2011
Time:        2:30 pm to 4:30 pm 
Venue:      Grace Lutheran Church
Address:   3149 Waverley Street, Palo Alto

No RSVP required but we ask all the guests to arrive 10 to 15 minutes early to avoid interrupting performancesAfter the recital, there will be a refreshment session. And I will be happy to answer any questions you might have at that time. 

Of course, if you can't make it then,  you are always welcome to contact me at 650-456-7648 or email me at

Monday, November 16, 2009

How to Select the Right Size of Violin

(From Left to Right: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and a full size. More pictures below)

Many times the parents will ask me: Lingling, what is the right size of the violin for my child? Should we get him/her a new violin?

I have been teaching violin lessons to my daughter since she was four years old. It felt like yesterday but now she's playing on a 1/2 size violin - her third one - after she outgrew the 1/8 and 1/4 size violin in the past five years.

So let me share with you one article that I found helpful and a few pictures of her violins and mine here.

Hopefully it could give you as the parent a better idea of how to pick the right size of the violin for your child.

The best way, of course, is always consulting with his or her violin teacher to determine which one is the best since every child is unique.


Courtesy of

Violin comes in 8 different sizes: 4/4 (also called full size), 3/4, 1/2, 1/4, 1/8, 1/10, 1/16. 4/4 size being the biggest and 1/16 size being the smallest. All adults, regardless of their size, use the 4/4 violin. There is another uncommon size, 7/8, usually used by female professional violinist who wants a full-size violin sound but whose hand might be a little small for the full size violin. So violin makers would make violins just a little smaller than full size to accommodate these players.

To measure what size violin best suits you, you need to know the length between your neck and the middle of your left-hand palm (when your hand is fully extended and raised perpendicular to your body, just like holding a violin). About 50% of the teachers prefer students to use the length from the neck to the wrist for measurement instead of the neck to mid-palm approach. The violin size determined by the neck/wrist approach would be the size that is more comfortable for students to hold. The violin size determined by the neck/mid-palm approach would be the biggest size students should use.

If you have a teacher, you should ask for your teacher's recommendation. If you don't have a teacher, we would recommend using the neck/wrist approach for students not using full size. For students who are deciding whether to used 3/4 or 4/4 size, use the neck/mid-palm approach. This is because it is always better that students feel comfortable holding and playing the violin. However, while deciding between 3/4 or 4/4, if neck/mid-palm approach allows for 4/4 size, then buying a 4/4 size is more economical since you don't have to buy another bigger size violin later. This is completely based on economical consideration. You should still decide what best suits your need.

The following chart lists the length of each violin size. Find your length using the your preferred approach and use that to determine the size of violin to get.

Violin Size vs Length (in inches)
  • 4/4 (Full Size): 23
  • 3/4 : 22
  • 1/2: 20
  • 1/4: 18 1/2
  • 1/8: 16 1/2
  • 1/10: 15
  • 1/16: 14
Another more general way of determining the size is by age. If the above, arm length information, is available, it is the more accurate way to determine size. Otherwise, you can use the age chart below to make the determination.

Violin Size vs Age (Notes to parents: this is just a reference and it varies from child to child).
  • 4/4 (Full Size): 12 year and older
  • 3/4: 10-11
  • 1/2: 8-9
  • 1/4: 6-7
  • 1/8: 5-6
  • 1/10: 4-5
  • 1/16: 3 and below
****** More Pictures of Various Size of Violins ********

From Left to Right: 1/8, 1/4, 1/2 and a full size.

A closer look at a 1/4 size violin.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

How I Teach Violin Lessons

After getting my bachelor in violin performance, I have been teaching violin lessons for over 16 years with all levels.

Regardless of my student's level and age, I always adhere to a strong belief that learning to play violin is not only about performing but also about enjoying music. And it is my role as a violin instructor to discover and grow the musical potential in every student.

To me, it's more, if not equally important, for a violin student to know how to enjoy a piece of music than how to practice it. I would also encourage and teach my students to prepare for various levels of exams and competitions, but I will only do so when they are ready and make sure those activities are not pushed at the expense of their love of music.

I am quite proud of my students' accomplishments when I see them grow, both musically, emotionally and mentally. I can't say that I would take much credit in their personal growth, but I do know that music has played an important role for them.

Let me share with you a quote from a student parent:

"My daughter started to learn violin with Lingling three years ago. Lingling taught her from the very beginning of holding violin. We are so glad that we have chosen Lingling as her first violin teacher.

As a mother herself, she is very patient to children and knows how to keep the kids going. She is very good at communicating with children. As a violin teacher, Lingling is not only teaching playing techniques, she is also spreading her passion and love for music.

When teaching every piece of music, she teaches bit by bit, requiring the kids not only being able to play, but also putting their heart and soul in to music.

We appreciate Lingling as a violin teacher and respect her as a musician.”

I appreciate the kind words from the parents of my students and enjoy teaching violin very much.

More importantly, I appreciate their trust and confidence in giving me such an critical role in shaping the lives of their children - by learning how to play AND enjoy the music from me.

Got some questions? Please call me at 650-456-7648 or email

Friday, August 7, 2009

Violin Studio Open House, Palo Alto, 8/29 (Saturday), 1:30 to 3:30 pm

Hi all,

I would like to invite you to join the open house event for my private violin studio in Palo Alto. Details as follows:

  • My background:
    • Holds a bachelor of arts in Violin Performance
    • Has been teaching violin and music classes for over 15 years, as a full-time college teacher and as a private instructor for students of all ages and all levels
    • Combine Suzuki and traditional teaching methods.
    • Particularly experienced in teaching young students and coaching student chamber groups
    • A parent volunteer for string classes at the Ohlone Elementary School, Jordan Middle School and JLS Middle School at the Palo Alto Unified School District
    • Speak both English and Mandarin
  • Date: August 29 (Saturday), 2009 from 1:30 to 3:30 pm
  • Location: mid-town Palo Alto

    * Please see below to RSVP first. Will provide details of the location to registers prior to the event.
  • Agenda:
    • Intros for three different classes:
      • Music 101 (for kids age from 3 to 5)
      • Violin for Beginners (age 5+)
      • Violin for Intermediate/Advanced players (age 10+).
    • Intros for my teaching philosophy, studio policy, and the studio calendar for Fall 2009 and Spring 2010 semesters.
    • Q&A (for questions from "where can I get a violin?" to "Is Suzuki a good teaching method for my son?" or any music/violin-related questions)
    • On-site class registration
  • Please click here to RSVP to me (by Wed, 8/26 noon) with the following information:
    • Your child's name and age ( siblings are welcome and encouraged to learn together)
    • Your name, email address and a day-time phone #
    • If your child has learned music/piano/violin before, how long and what's his/her current level.
    • Which class your child is interested.
  • If you would prefer a 1:1 appointment or cannot join us on 8/29, feel free to email me with all the information required above to set up a free consultation.

You can also call me at 650-456-7648 for any questions.

Let's enjoy music together!


Lingling Yang