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Grace Tonning

Apple Valley, CA 92307 (map)

Lessons Offered

Composition, Keyboard, Music, Music Theory, Piano, Violin

Where are Lessons Offered

In Teacher Studio

About Me

I have been teaching violin and piano for 3 years, and accept students who have no playing experience up to students who are at an early-advanced level. Every student is unique and there is no standard method that suits all. Based on that, I seek to provide different learning approaches that are tailored to each student. I am most passionate about my students creating a beautiful sound from the time they begin using the bow or touching the piano keys. Having a healthy and natural posture is essential for playing with ease and producing a great sound. All learning approaches I take with my students are rooted in having a proper form.


I love introducing every aspect of the instrument and how it can be used to play the music. Students are encouraged to go beyond the notes in music and explore the many ways to play a phrase. In addition to teaching “how” to play either the violin or the piano, I love teaching the “why” -- music theory -- of western music, how thousands of beautiful melodies that have been created are made up of only twelve notes; and, how those twelve notes combined in various ways build harmonies that resonate with us.


             With patience and diligence, students are able to go beyond what they thought was hard and begin to start solving problems that arise on their own. I view each lesson as an investment towards a student gaining that independance. As a teacher, my ultimate goal is to inspire students to always enjoy playing music, listening to music, and sharing music with others.

My Musical Education Background

             I started learning the violin at age five and added piano lessons at age eight. For both violin and piano, I was initially taught the Suzuki method, but later moved on to different teachers who taught from a classical approach. At age sixteen, I gave my first piano solo recital that featured works by Beethoven, Liszt, Bach, Rachmaninoff, and Ravel.


I later served as an accompanist for several high school and college choirs; and, through those experiences, learned more about music from choral directors that I would not have been able to learn had I just focused on solo piano and violin works. As an accompanist, I have also helped prepare college students for recitals, competitions, and juries -- both vocal and instrumental.


My violin performing experience includes playing in a community orchestra (serving as principal for second violins) and providing music for weddings, including arrangements of my own. I have also had the opportunity to premiere violin and piano works by local composers. I studied music theory for 2 years at a local community college and have tutored college students in both harmonic and chromatic theory.


Ages / Skill Levels Taught

I accept students of all ages and skill levels.

My Musical Influences

My key musical influences are Dvorak, Bach, Rachmaninoff, Schubert, Shostakovich, Vivaldi, Beethoven, Ravel, Vaughan Williams, Bruch, and Mendelssohn. I also enjoy listening to early jazz, folk rock, Cape Breton fiddle music, and Klezmer!

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