Hillary Dunkley Music Studio
Hired 3 times
Serves Bethesda, MD
5 years in business
Apple Pay, PayPal, Venmo
Maintain 6 feet of distance from customers
Wear masks during the job
Wear gloves during the job
Disinfect surfaces touched during the job
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Customers rated this pro highly for responsiveness, professionalism, and work quality.
- What should the customer know about your pricing (e.g., discounts, fees)?
I teach both in-person and online music lessons. I am entirely flexible about switching between both methods as circumstances require. I typically allot an extra 5-10 minutes to online lessons to account for connection problems and challenges in communicating over the Internet. With the necessary accommodations, both ways of learning can work well for my students. I charge $35 for a 45-minute lesson and $40 for a 60-minute lesson. For adult students who prefer a more intensive learning approach, I offer a 90-minute lesson for $50. I accept payments through PayPal and Venmo exclusively. I do not accept any other form of payment.
- What is your typical process for working with a new customer?
For absolute beginner instrumentalists, I would recommend a local shop where they can rent a violin or viola. I will ask my students to purchase several music books online which we will use each week. We will start with learning all of the parts of the instrument, the names of the strings and how to care for their violin or viola. We will incorporate scales, rhythm exercises and step-by-step sight-reading into our weekly lessons in addition to preparing a polished piece of music from one of our books. As the weeks progress, my students will learn how to use a metronome, a tuner and how to change their strings when needed. We will focus intensively on developing good habits with the correct bow hold and excellent posture. Success results from mastering these basic skils from the outset. With intermediate or advanced instrumental students, I will have them perform the last few pieces they studied with their previous teacher with special attention paid to certain challenging sections in order to assess whether they have mastered the particular techniques required of those specific pieces. In the process, I will evaluate the condition of their instrument and may recommend an alternative set of strings or a different brand of rosin in order to produce the richest possible sound from their instrument. I will emphasize the importance of excellent posture and will work with my students to correct any habits that might lead in the longer term to muscle strain, tendon injury or shoulder/neck pain. Foremost, I will listen at length to my students' aspirations as a musician and devise a plan together to achieve these goals. For beginner vocalists of all ages, we will start by evaluating their range through a series of scaled exercises. My lessons will emphasize the gradual development of the vocal muscles as an instrument we are creating together. It is important to strengthen the vocal chords little by little, according to my students' level of maturity, with gradually ascending and descending vocal exercises. Using a series of familiar songs selected by the student, we will develop sight-reading ability, learn breathing techniques and increase vocal projection.
- What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?
During middle and high school, I played violin and viola in numerous orchestras including the Maryland Classic Youth Orchestra (M.C.Y.O.), the Potomac Valley Youth Orchestra (P.V.Y.O.) and the National Philharmonic Summer Strings Institute. I also participated in various choirs in high school such as the Maryland All-State Chorus, the Montgomery County Youth Chorus and the Washington National Opera, Opera Institute. My experiences as an instrumentalist and vocalist have prepared me to help my students with challenging new music. Together we analyze a new piece and focus on areas of difficulty until students can present a polished peformance with a confident stage presence.