Ifshin Violins

Listed below: San Francisco Bay Area string instrument teachers offering private lessons in a variety of styles.

Please contact the teachers directly for information on studio location, rates and policies.

If you are a string teacher and would like to be included, please email Emily with your website or email, teaching location and what ages/ styles you teach.

(photo by Sophia Wilson)

Violin teachers organized by location then last name


  • Caitlin Keen/ Alameda Violin
    Location: West End of Alameda Ages: 3 and up
    Levels: Beginning to advanced violin and viola lessons
    Description: Emphasis is on a fun, well rounded, supportive, and high quality music education for those students who study solely for enrichment purposes, to those who seek to pursue professional careers. Though all our students may not choose to become professional musicians, we believe that they all will lead more enriched lives because of their musical experience!

  • Emily Packard
    Location: Alameda School of Music.
    Also available some evenings at Ifshin Violins
    Ages: 6-adult, all levels welcome.
    Styles: Classical, Suzuki, beginning fiddle. Contact by email Emily Packard


  • Gina D'Adamo
    Albany - Will come to your house for your convenience
    Lafayette - studio at the Lafayette Cello Academy Ages: 4 - 10
    Style: Suzuki and Traditional
    Bio: I have been teaching for over 25 years and specialize in beginners-intermediate. I give children a strong foundation with a little fun mixed in and a great appreciation of music.
    Contact gdmusic58@gmail.com

  • Rick Shinozaki
    Location: Albany
    Ages: All levels and ages, from the beginning musical explorer to the aspiring professional.
    Bio: Experienced violin & viola instructor, patient and encouraging educator. The tone of my lessons is low-key and light-hearted, with an underlying goal of discipline and highest achievement. My priority is to identify the root of the student's joy in music, then use that starting point to expand their own initiative to reach higher levels. Young children (and children at heart) are given a variety of enjoyable exercises to illustrate concepts and principals. I add layers of musical training as we see fit - technique and repertoire, rhythm and conducting, piano instruction, theory, historical recordings, chamber music, technology and performance. Piano accompaniment is available at every lesson. Recitals are held 2-3 times a year. Contact by email RickShinozaki@sbcglobal.net

  • KC Still
    Location: Albany and Crowden School of Music
    Ages: 4-adult
    Styles: Traditional and Suzuki


  • Nils Bultmann
    Location: Berkeley Area
    Levels: Beginner to Advanced
    Styles: Violin and Viola private lessons
    Bio: Nils offers a creative approach to music making and string playing with an emphasis on technique, relaxation, and enjoyment. He is a composer and professional violist with a background in performance as well as a PHD from UC Berkeley in Music Composition. Nils has much experience teaching middle and high school students and also adults who wish to try string playing or who have played before and wish to get back into the instrument.  Contact by email: Nils Bultmann

  • Ilana Matfis
    Location: Berkeley home studio
    Ages: 5- 18
    Style: Classical violin and viola
    Contact by email: Ilana Matfis

  • Sumaia Jackson
    All ages and levels
    Currently accepting students in person and via Skype!
    An alumni of Berklee College of Music, now based out of the Bay Area, Sumaia Jackson has been immersed in many folk and roots music traditions including Bluegrass, Appalachian Old Time, Celtic, and more recently, Jazz. With a deep classical background as well, she has a knack for passing on the nuances of various stylistic languages. From private instruction, coaching orchestra and chamber music groups, leading workshops, and teaching at fiddle camps, Sumaia has worked with players of all ages and levels in a multitude of styles. Learn how to groove on fiddle tunes, take solos, and back up your friends!
    Contact by email Sumaia Jackson

Castro Valley:

  • Kasandra Klassy
    Location:Castro Valley and Danville/San Ramon
    Styles: Suzuki
    Ages: 4+
    Bio: I have been teaching for over 35 years, and spent time with Dr. Suzuki in Japan. My program includes private lessons, plus additional group lessons, and 4 concerts per year. The concerts each have a different theme: Solo, graduation, fiddle and Christmas. Please see my website to learn more.
    Contact by email: Kassandra Klassy

El Cerrito:

  • Eric Chin
    Ages: Middle School age to Adult
    Style: Classical
    Will travel
    contact by email Eric Chin

  • Nancy Ewing
    All ages and levels
    Styles: classical, modified Suzuki
    Location: El Cerrito/will travel
    phone: (530) 559-1688 email: Nancy Ewing

  • Alexis Harris
    All ages and levels
    Will travel/ Lessons at Ifshin Violins in El Cerrito
    See bio at Pleasanton Music
    Contact by email Alexis Harris

  • Ilana Blumberg Thomas
    Location: El Cerrito
    Contact: (925) 784-9611
    Ages/Abilities: All, from age 2 through adults, beginner through conservatory level.
    Styles: Classical, folk, pop, traditional
    About: I have taught lessons for 25 years, teaching privately as well as at U.C. Berkeley, SUNY Albany, and coaching clinics throughout the country. I am also an active performer, and you'll see me on concert stages all over the Bay Area. I believe passionately in following the individual musical path of each student, playing a creative role as they establish the technical fundamentals that bring their goals within reach. My style is experientially based, tailored to work with the talents and limitations of each individual, much like a parent would with his/her own child. I use a blend of materials, incorporating the Suzuki materials alongside a wide range of other classical and non-classical repertoire, and believe that strong music reading skills are critical to success and enjoyment.
    Visit my site: sfweddingviolinist




  • Clodagh Martin
    Ages: 5 - Adult
    Styles: Classical, Suzuki, Fiddle, Improvisation, Theory Tutoring
    Location: Rockridge, home studio
    Please see website for bio and more details.
    Contact by email: clodaghmartin94@gmail.com

  • Julie Michael
    Location: Rockridge Ages: All ages, from 3 to adult.
    Styles: Teaching style is patient and sensitive to individual learning styles, with an emphasis on ear training skills.

  • Elbert Tsai
    Location: Studio in Rockridge, on the border of Oakland and Berkeley.
    Ages/ Styles: I specialize in violin students ages 10-18 for whom violin is a serious endeavor. Younger children and adults are also welcome to contact me.
    Please visit my website for a complete bio, my teaching philosophy, and audio/video samples of my performances. 

San Francisco:

  • Bobbi Nikles
  • www.bobbinikles.com
    Ages: All levels, ages and styles. Highly sought after teacher with warm and eclectic approach.
    Styles: Special interest in traditional fiddle music including jazz, Irish, American old-time and Irish.
    Bio: Bobbi is the founder and long-time director of the much loved and respected "Fiddlekids". Fiddlekids is now a program of Freight & Salvage Coffeehouse. She currently instructs at Fiddlekids camp and teaches out of her San Francisco studio.
    Contact by email Bobbinik@gmail.com

  • Alisa Rose
    Location: Pre-college at SFCM, as well as at her studio in the Richmond district of SF.
    Ages: Very young up to serious pre-professional classical violin students.
    Styles: Classical, Bluegrass and improv as well as technique for kids.


Cello teachers organized by location then last name


  • Marcie Brown/ Alameda Cello Academy
    Styles: Suzuki, improvisation, Classical, jazz, world music, fiddling
    Ages: cello, piano and violin students of all ages
    Email Marcie Brown


  • Shain Carrasco
    Ages: All ages and levels, adults welcome
    Location: North Berkeley home studio 
    Bio: I believe in tailoring cello lessons to each student’s individual musical interests. While classical music is my main focus, there are many kinds of music that I enjoy and work with students to develop – including Jazz, Rock, World music and improvisation.


  • Nina Flyer
  • Oakland/Montclair Village.
    Ages: I teach from 8 years old to 80
    Level: advanced students
    Style: Classical
    "Please visit my personal website to see my bio, style of teaching and links to examples of my playing"

San Francisco:

  • Laura Gaynon
  • Location: Studio in San Francisco, Sunset District
    Ages: 6 years and up
    Style: I teach cello lessons and chamber music to students older than 6 who are ready to learn. If you are looking for a serious course of study that is also highly encouraging and never loses sight of the joy of making music, please contact me at lauragaynon@gmail.com, or visit my website to read more about my teaching.
  • Matthew Linaman
    Location: San Francisco, Inner Sunset, house calls available
    Ages: 6-21
    My Goal? Happy kids who love music, for life
    Bio: I help young cellists uncover the joy and depth of beauty available to us through music. My students are eager to learn and excited to try new things. Using expression, imagination and creativity as the cornerstones of the lessons, I integrate technique and the foundations of music into every lesson seamlessly. I support and encourage each student's unique learning style and personality with love and patience, guiding them to discover their own musical voice. You can contact me through my website to learn more about my teaching style and about me.