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Learn to play classical, fiddle, and even pop-rock electric violin and viola! All students learn to hone their healthy classical technique which improves musical tone, expression, and prevents injuries.


Each lesson is individualized so you get to set your own learning and performance goals as you explore the classics, get help on orchestra music, and explore non-classical genres like Irish, Bluegrass, Old-Time, Rock, improvisation, and songwriting!


Amelia encourages her students to become well-rounded musicians and active members in their music community in Missoula through doing recitals, outreach performances, and taking part in music festivals, camps and competitions.


Join our studio and see how a stringed instrument can help you grow!

Instructor Amelia Thornton Sears

Happy students and teachers post-recital

Required Materials for violin/Viola 

  • Instrument and case

  • Dusting Cloth

  • Rosin

  • Metronome-Tuner (can use app on smartphone)

  • Home Music Stand (Teacher provides a stand for lesson)

  • Music, kept safely in a bag or folder

LESSOn Goals

BEGINNER CHILD (30 minute Lesson)

  • Learn about the violin and instrument care

  • Basic Rhythms

  • Art projects with music symbol identification

  • Proper Violin Technique

  • Learn Left and Right hand coordination

  • Learn Tunes

  • Perform for Family and Friends


BEGINNER ADULT (30 to 60 minute Lesson)

  • Instrument care

  • Proper Violin Technique

  • Rhythms and Music Reading

  • Left and Right hand coordination

  • Bowing techniques

  • Learn Tunes and Pieces

  • Perform for Family and Friends or Self

  • Listening – Style, Composer, Era identification


INTERMEDIATE (30-45 minute Lesson)

  • Left and Right Hand Technique

  • Rhythms and Sight Reading

  • Scales, Etudes, Repertoire

  • Fiddle Tunes

  • Intro to Music Theory and Music History

  • Listening – Style, Composer, Era identification

  • Public Performance

  • Music Business Skills


ADVANCED (45-60 minute Lesson)

  • Left and Right Hand Technique

  • Shifting exercises

  • Rhythms and Sight Reading

  • Scales, Etudes, Caprices, Repertoire, Fiddle

  • Music Theory and Music History

  • Listening – Style, Composer, Era identification

  • Public Performance

  • Chamber Music is encouraged (Duo, Trio, Quartet)

  • District, State, and Montana All State Music Festival Preparation



Students are responsible for the cost of any sheet music or music books needed for their lessons or performances.  The teacher will supplement this with photocopies of etudes, worksheets, and pieces.  Below are the required books for lessons.  CLICK HERE to see our list of recommended shops.



  • Suzuki Book 1 and/or Book 2

  • Fiddler’s Philharmonic Book 1


  • Suzuki Book 3 and/or Book 4

  • Fiddler’s Philharmonic Book 1 and 2

  • Mazas Etude Book 1

  • Scales in First Position for Violin by Harvey Whistler

  • Introducing the Positions for Violin, Vol. 1 by Harvey Whistler


  • Mazas Etude Book 1

  • Kreutzer Etude Book 1

  • Flesch Scale Book

  • Suzuki Book 4

  • Bach 6 Sonatas and Partitas (Ivan Galamian edition, International Music Company)

  • Various Solo and Chamber Repertoire: Concerto, Sonata, etc.


Each term, Artwork Strings Music Studios will present a Studio Recital.  The locations are to be determined, but we shall collaborate as a studio with some of Missoula’s great performance spaces.  Students may also be invited to take part in holiday chamber performances, fiddle jams, farmer’s market performances, and charitable outreach performances.


Hiring a Piano Accompanist for the Studio Recital is the responsibility of the student.  Amelia can accompany beginners with guitar or violin, but advanced students are encouraged/required to hire a pianist.  Artwork Strings Music Studio recommends working with our piano instructor, Adam Sears.  


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