Welcome to my violin studio! I teach private violin, viola and fiddle lessons. Students of every level are accepted, ages 4 and up (including adults). I have training in the Suzuki Method and combine the Suzuki method with a traditional approach, tailoring my method to the individual student. I schedule 2 recitals a year to give my students the opportunity to share their love of music not only with family and friends but also the community we live in. I also help my students prepare for Hawaii Youth Symphony auditions, college scholarship auditions, competitions, and other events. I have been teaching violin lessons since 1985 and have been teaching in Honolulu since 1990.
I also compose my own songs for violin, Hawaiian guitar and piano and have recorded two CDs which you can hear at www.nancyshoopwu.com
I have 2 degrees in music. My Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance is from Hartt School of Music, where I received a full-tuition scholarship and graduated with honors. My Master of Music degree, also in Violin Performance is from Yale University (Yale School of Music) where I studied with Paul Kantor and Ida Kavafian. While completing my studies, I won a scholarship to attend the Tanglewood Institute Fellowship Program and was the Assistant Principal 2nd Violinist of the National Repertory Orchestra.
I have been playing the violin professionally since 1984 when I won a position in the Filarmonica de Caracas (Caracas, Venezuela). I was the Principal 2nd Violinist of the Chattanooga Symphony and Opera in 1986. I was also a member of New Haven Symphony, Hartford Symphony and Orchestra of New England before winning a full-time position in the Honolulu Symphony (now Hawaii Symphony) in 1990. I was granted tenure in 1992. I currently play in the 1st violin section.
Lessons are weekly and are usually a half-hour in length for beginners. Intermediate and advanced students will usually take a 45-minute or one-hour lesson once a week. Sometimes the parents are as interested in learning to play the violin as their kids and will share a 45-minute lesson with their child. I have taught many adults through the years (the oldest was 80!) and enjoy working with them as much as the kids.
Before we start lessons, I like to meet with a prospective student and at least one of their parents (if the student’s a child). At this time we can to go into more detail about my teaching method, policies and answer any questions you may have. Also, if the lessons are for a child, I like them to have the opportunity to meet me and get familiar with the environment where they are going to be studying so they are relaxed and comfortable when we start the 1st lesson.
Regardless of what kind of music you want to learn – classical or folk, it’s important to listen to that style of music in the home in order for enthusiasm to build and be sustained. It’s also helpful to take your children to concerts. I also strongly encourage participation in the child’s school orchestra (if they have one) or Hawaii Youth Symphony.
Learning to play an instrument does take practice and the commitment of the parents is important. If the child is young, I ask that one of their parents sit in and observe the lesson. I will show you as we go along how to practice with your son or daughter at home, since young children are not yet capable of practicing effectively on their own. One of the benefits of studying a musical instrument is that a child has an opportunity to learn self-discipline and how to organize their time. The more supportive you are, the more you will be able to help your child build these skills.
500 University Avenue Honolulu, HI (Corner of Kapiolani and University Avenues, 1 block from Iolani School)
If I don’t have any openings or I don’t have a time that is suitable for you, I will put you on my wait list and call you as soon as something opens up. The sooner you contact me the sooner I can accommodate you.
Lesson fees are charged by the month. Payment is due at the beginning of each month. During the school year I allow 2 excused absences per semester. I need 24 hours advance notice in order for an absence to qualify as excused. I am always happy to reschedule you to a different time if I have any openings later in the week, but I can’t guarantee I will have any openings.
There are no lessons on major holidays (and no charge for these days). Also, you will not be expected to pay for any lessons I need to cancel. During the summer, I ask my students to give me a month’s advance notice if they will be on vacation. There is no charge for lessons while you are away.
Procuring an Instrument
CK Violins, Global Music Supply and Music Center of Hawaiihave instuments you can rent or buy. I usually recommend starting out renting a violin or viola if a student has never played before. At most local music stores, the money you put into a rental will go towards the purchase of an instrument should you decide to buy one later on. Check with the music store to find out their current policy. If you already have an instrument but it needs some repairs or maintenance, my husband Hung Wu does violin repair and bow rehair for the professional players in the Honolulu Symphony. He does repairs on student instruments as well.