string area



The UMass Violin Studio

The following is a general outline of the structure of the violin studio experience at UMass.

  • Weekly lessons
  • Studio classes (all studio classes are videotaped for study purposes)
    • Monday morning studio performance class
    • Wednesday morning studio technique class (etudes, on a two-week rotation)
  • Scale exams three times per semester: scale keys are assigned on a weekly basis. Scale study sessions are set up during the week; a Sunday undergraduate scale study session is led by a graduate student.
  • Observation partners: students are partnered with one other student in the studio and asked to observe each other’s lesson.
  • Posted practice chart tracks students' goals and efforts and fosters accountability
  • Chamber music: students are assigned to a chamber music group and are coached weekly. Rehearsal commitments vary group to group--groups are formed partly on the basis of the amount of time the members are able to commit.
  • Opus One Chamber Orchestra is a conductor-less chamber orchestra in which faculty perform with the students. This group meets for a concentrated two or three-week period during the semester and provides students with the opportunity to work on their ensemble skills on a high level.
  • University Orchestra: three afternoons a week, Monday, Wednesday and Friday.
  • Master classes: there are several master classes per semester.

      My objective in the violin studio is to create a culture that is inclusive, supportive, and honest. Serious instrumental study is lonely, arduous work, and it is invaluable to have peers who are not only doing work similar to yours but who are also aware of and invested in your long and short-term projects. Although students come into the studio with varying amounts of experience, we steer very much towards a horizontal dynamic, where friendships and a shared dedication to music and concentrated study are the basis of relationships in the studio.



Elizabeth Chang






University of Massachusetts Amherst
Fine Arts Center - 273 East
151 Presidents Drive
Amherst, MA 01003