About Hilary’s Studio

Welcome! You’ll find information about Hilary Lewis, violin and viola teacher –  locations, rates, and teaching philosophy –

Location: San Mateo, near intersection of Baywood and El Camino Real

Phone: 650-524-5650


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My passion is teaching violin so that my students enjoy freedom while playing. I use the fun of games to teach fundamental musical concepts. We have a lot of great silly time in lessons, but students often realize later how many things they picked up through these well-structured lessons.

My studies have been in classical Violin and Viola, but we can incorporate jazz, pop and rock styles for those students who are interested.

I teach violin and viola lessons to students of all ages. Private lessons include personalized, comprehensive lesson material including Violin and Viola technique, music reading and theory, improvisation, rhythm training, composition, history and aural skills. Include classical violin technique as well as jazz, blues, and popular music.


Teaching Philosophy – Violin and Viola Private Lessons

Every student can succeed when their intention is clear – students work with me to lay out detailed plans to move towards a specific musical goal. Our teacher-student team is flexible and creative in problem solving. We take on challenges and accept responsibility for forward progress.

Given this framework, I am committed to the following:

  • seeing students grow in ability and knowledge to their own satisfaction
  • encouraging students to set goals that will stretch their potential
  • helping a student pursue music in a well-rounded manner including classical violin/viola technique, extended violin styles (jazz, pop, fiddle, rock, etc..), music theory, composition, and listening skills
  • bringing a positive outlook to each lesson and providing constructive framework to achieve goals
  • providing an environment for students to have positive performance experience and collaborative music making – semi-annual recitals, group classes, and master classes with guest teachers

Expectations for Students

  • We will set musical goals together
  • We will arrive on-time and prepared with all materials for our lesson appointment
  • We will try our best
  • We will approach challenges with creativity and enthusiasm

Studio Policies

Students will have weekly lessons – 30, 45 or 60 minutes depending on age, interests, and ability. Tuition is paid monthly on the 1st of the month and tuition is not refunded due to missed lessons, but missed lessons can be rescheduled. Lessons may be rescheduled up to 48 hours before scheduled lesson as student and teacher schedule permits. The following rates apply through the 2016-2017 school year: 30 minute lesson $50, 45 minute lesson $65, and 60 minute lesson $90.

About Hilary Lewis

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An active member of the San Francisco musical community, Lewis performs violin and viola in symphony orchestra, chamber music, recording studio, and live band settings. Recent performances include Grammy Award winners Cage the Elephant, Il Volo, and the Trans Siberian Orchestra. Also passionate about contemporary classical music, she performs live music as part of Curious Flights, Mission Arts Performance Project, and supports local composers. She has recorded with independent singer song-writers and R&B artists at Studio Triology and Different Fur Studios as well as at Studio B in Detroit. Local symphony engagements include the Monterey Symphony, Fresno Philharmonic, Russian Chamber Orchestra, and San Francisco Academy Orchestra.

Lewis has studied with notable teachers including Jonathan Vinocour, principal violist of the San Francisco Symphony, Don Ehrlich from San Francisco Conservatory of Music, Caroline Coade from the Detroit Symphony Orchestra, Melissa Gerber Knecht from the Toledo Symphony, and Scott Woolweaver from Eastern Michigan University. She has performed in masterclasses with Jennifer Culp of the Kronos Quartet, the Turtle Island String Quartet, the Hot Club of San Francisco, Paul Silverthorne, Yizhak Schotten, and Nathan Cole.


Teaching Credentials:

–  M.A. in Music and Music Education, Columbia University 2019, summa cum laude

– Artist Diploma in Orchestral Studies, San Francisco Academy Orchestra 2014

–  Bachelor of Arts in Viola Performance, Hillsdale College, cum laude 2010

– Violist and clinician for SHAR Apprentice Outreach Quartet and the SFAO Outreach Quartets

–  10 years of private studio teaching experience on both violin and viola

– 2 years teaching Kindergarten general music at Hillsdale Preparatory Academy



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