Hi and welcome!
My name is Nancy, and I have been the proud owner and head instructor of Leggy Fish Music Lessons since 2008. I have over 20 years of private teaching experience as a private contractor at many music schools, conservatories, and private studios including the Silverlake Conservatory, the Bloom School of Music, La Canada School of Music, The Joe Ferrante Music Academy and the Green Brooms School of Music to name a few. I also taught in private and public schools including Saint Ignatius Loyola School and with the Midori & Friends program in New York City. I am also an active member of the American String Teachers association.
While teaching at these schools, I've seen and experienced both positive and negative things. some of the positive things, I've adapted into my boutique studio. I call my music studio a "boutique studio" because it is an intimate group of individuals. As the only teacher in my studio at the moment specializing in the violin, I have limited space in my schedule for private lessons and for group lessons. Being small is wonderful, as i take the extra time to really get to know my students; not only their musical aspirations, but to connect with them as human beings.
Because I am not under contract by any organization than that of my own nor need to meet obligations of a particular system, I am able to offer 100% of my creative energy to you. I teach because I want to teach. I teach because it is not only my livelihood but my passion. With young students, I'm all about about communicating with the child and having parents involved not in their studies, but with aiding in time management and goals. I believe that it really does take a strong network of parents, friends, and teachers to help children feel supported and loved as they learn a new skill.
Leggy Fish Music Lessons does not offer substitute teachers, as there is no substitute for the value of an ongoing education and teacher-student rapport. To prevent no-shows and cancellations, most music schools will opt not to let a student know there is a substitute teacher until the student arrives for their lesson. This is unfair for the student who is purchasing lessons to take lessons with that particular teacher. I am the only teacher that will teach, and abide by the same one cancellation/reschedule a month policy and the 24 hour cancellation policy.
Learning can be a daunting process for everyone, but I'm into encouraging and helping you get through those obstacles. It's all about your complete musical experience. Triple emphasis on the word YOUR.
I teach out my studio located in the heart of Atwater village close to Silverlake, Los Feliz, and Glendale. I do have policies and expect my students to abide by them, but unlike other schools, i also abide by them; ie: I give students free lessons if I cancel or reschedule their lesson beyond the one rescheduling/cancellation a month policy.
Did you know that if you take lessons at other schools and choose to leave the school but wish to continue studying with the teacher, you cannot? The teacher is legally bound by severe clauses, and for obvious business reasons, they are not allowed to teach you outside of their school. these clauses vary from school to school, but it is important to know. Having left all my schools by choice, I know that it is a disappointing and traumatic experience for both teacher and student.
Whether you're interested in classical music, jazz, rock, fiddle, composition or improv, I always find a way to help you value technique, precision, rhythm, beautiful tone, attention to dynamics and phrasing, personal style, knowledge of theory and history. I believe in reading music, but I also believe in learning to play by ear. And I believe you need both for the violin, viola, cello, and keyboard.
Regarding tools, I may put finger tape to help students visually learn their notes on their fingerboards in addition to emphasizing using the ear and listening to intonation. I believe that every student learns in a unique fashion; some may need visual cues. In time, tapes are removed. please be aware that some schools do not allow tape to be used. This can be a frustrating process for students that need visual cues.
Over the years i have taught children as young as 2 to adults as young as 7o+ years young. some of my students have excelled and include honor's placement and scholarships in the Los Angeles Youth Orchestra, the Pasadena Youth Orchestra, the Renaissance Arts Academy, Berklee College of Music, the Colburn School of Music, The Children's Music Workshop, the Sphinx Performance Academy at the Oberlin Conservatory. My students have placed highly in ABRSM exams and have placed first in regional and state composition competitions like The Reflections Arts Recognition Program.
Students have come to me from all walks of life; children, actors, lawyers, filmmakers, doctors, marketers, sales people, engineers, phd students, sports therapists, archaeologist, entertainment managers, yoga instructors, dog walkers, HR managers, accountants, information technologists, television editors, fitness trainers, entrepreneurs, and educators in other fields....for a variety of reasons. Some crave a bit of beauty in their busy lives. some crave structure. some crave discipline. some feel they have missed out on learning a musical instrument as a child and interested in rekindling their youth. Some are recreating their youth and bringing back a sense of wonder from learning a musical instrument in their past. some need an artistic outlet to express feelings they somehow can't express with words. some just like the challenge. Some just want to have a bit of fun.
Could this be you?
My style of teaching is friendly, creative, communicative, honest and direct. and there are always a lot of laughs!
I first studied violin at the age of 6 with Chelain Stevenson from the Phoenix Symphony, studied with various studio teachers, eventually studying with Dr. Phyllis Skoldberg at Arizona State University in my formative childhood years (who studied with the great pedagogue Ivan Galamian). I also picked up the viola and started to play the beautiful instrument at the age of 15 and played it in orchestras, often doubling when needed. I also participated in music festivals like Brevard and Tanglewood and studied with Dr. William Tewilliger from the University of South Carolina and Laura Park from the Boston Symphony before I received a full orchestra scholarship to Arizona State University. I studied classical violin performance there with the late Dr. Frank Spinosa and also studied piano before transferring to Berklee College of Music where I studied jazz and improv music while earning my bachelor's degree in music business. I studied the cello too and have played it in several recording sessions and bands. It's been an incredible journey for me, touring with bands, playing in orchestras, and collaborating with the most amazing talent in every place I was lucky to live in; Arizona, New York, Massachusetts, and California....which has been my home for the last 10 years! I love sharing my experiences and teaching my students everything I've learned and continue to learn.
In addition to being a well respected and popular violin teacher with over 20 years of teaching experience, I also teach and play cello, viola, and keyboard!
Recent credits include playing and recording with Jello Biafra from The Dead Kennedys, James Williamson from Iggy and the Stooges, Cesi Bastida, and recording cello tracks for film and tv including original Netflix show, "Chef's Table", and violin/viola tracks for the latest Sims video game.
Whether you're interested in trying a few lessons or wanting to integrate music into your life, I just might be your kind of teacher.
Thanks for reading!
Leggy Fish Music Lessons’ mission is to provide the highest quality boutique violin/viola/cello/keyboard instruction in all genres for everyone, beginning through advanced levels, beginning cello, and beginning keyboard. conveniently in our studios and in your home.
Leggy Fish Music Lessons is NOT a music school offering students lessons in a cramped environment with fluorescent lighting. We don't have pages and pages of rules that lock you into a contract. Nor do you have to listen to an Elton John tune plunked out on the piano in the room to your left and a beginner opera singer in the room to your right while you're trying to learn. Your lessons will take place in our teacher's home studio. We specialize in working with the budding violin, viola, cello, and keyboard player's specific needs that make learning enjoyable and an organic process.
We offer monthly String Flings where students have the opportunity to meet and play music with other private students in a group. And if the student is ready, they can participate in one of the coolest recitals in town during the summer or winter.
Music education is a key ingredient in a child's education. It plays a vital role in intellectual and social growth as well as mind-body awareness. Music is also a fun way for kids to achieve personal goals, work in teams, and develop self-esteem! Whether it's through rockin' out on an electric guitar, singing in the local youth choir, or playing the violin, viola, cello or keyboard, it's a great idea to encourage your child to learn an instrument and to stick with it throughout his or her education. Trust me, they'll thank you one day.
If you're an adult learner, consider this: music has been shown to aid in memory functions, relieve stress, and lower blood pressure. Playing music inspires creativity, increases productivity, and gives you a lifelong skill you can share with others. Whether you're young in age or young in spirit, learning an instrument delivers rich intellectual and emotional rewards. From the joy of learning and growing to the pleasures of sharing music with others, our musicality is a gift to be nurtured throughout life. I take great joy in passing the gift of music on to my students. Please let me know how I can help you.
Look forward to speaking with you!
Info-please read prior to purchasing lessons
Please keep in mind that there are limited time slots on the schedule which are first come, first serve. Lessons are not guaranteed without payment and occur on the same day at the same time unless you do a permanent change. Beware that there are limited afternoon slots and evening slots.
Lessons are available on Mondays, Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Sundays in Atwater Village. The availability page is updated frequently.
Note that all prepaid lessons are continuous even through the summertime. If you are going away on vacation and will miss more than one lesson per month, we suggest you either complete your lesson package or purchase a time hold (you can purchase holds up to 2 months).
Otherwise, your continuous lesson package will continue as scheduled, and you will receive short video lessons set to your LessonMate account in lieu of missed live lessons (in general, missing more than one lesson a month entails a short video lesson sent to your LessonMate account.). If you have any questions about this, please contact us at (323) 813-8561.
Please be mindful that we do not operate on the same calendar as the school year; lessons continue throughout all holidays with the exception of Leggy Fish breaks (spring, summer, Thanksgiving, and winter).
*One Cancellation A Month Policy and 24 Hour Cancellation Policy*
As a reminder, keep in mind the One Cancellation Policy and 24 Hour Cancellation Policy. A few points about studio policies. Please refrain from rescheduling/cancelling lessons unless you really have to.
*One Cancellation A Month Permitted*
Leggy Fish Lessons permits ONE cancellation of a lesson per student per month with NO exceptions. The student has 2 weeks to schedule a live makeup lesson. Notes/video from the teacher will be sent via e-mail in lieu of other lessons cancelled. As a commitment to our students, we also adhere to the One Cancellation A Month policy. If we reschedule for ANY reason and let you know within 24 hours beyond our ONE cancellation a month per student, we will give you a FREE lesson of equal value in addition to making that lesson up within two weeks.
Thanks for taking the time to review these policies prior to purchasing lessons!
Q: What are the costs associated with studying the violin/viola/cello/keyboard?
A: The things you will need for private or group lessons are:
-A violin/viola/cello outfit with bow (most outfits come with rosin which you need for your bow) adult size is 4/4. This will cost anywhere from $30-$50 a month. Leggy Fish Music Lessons, Metzlers, and LA Violin Shop often have a rent to own policy where the money you put into renting goes towards the cost of purchase if you wish to purchase. Keyboard students do need to purchase or rent a keyboard with 88 weighted keys.
-A book; All For Strings Book #1 for violin, viola, cello students (these can be purchased from me, online or from your local violin shop such as Metzler's Violins or LA Violin Shop). I do a lot of photocopying, and you may need other books as you progress in your studies. This will cost anywhere from $5-$7. Keyboard students do need the Alfred's Basic Piano Library Lesson Book 1A.
-Violin/Viola students only need a shoulder rest (popular brands are Everrest and Kun) which will help you hold your instrument up on your shoulder without strain. A shoulder rest can cost as little as $15-$25 and will last a long time. Cello students need a chair strap or donut.
-Music stand. A music stand is necessary for you to read your music without sacrificing technique. You can purchase a music stand at any music store online or your local string shop for as little as $10 and will last a long time.
-Metronome and Tuner (I use the Cleartune ap on my smartphone to tune and Steinway's free metronome to help keep tempo. There are a lot of free aps). A tuner and a mentronome (often combined in one unit) can cost as little as $10 and will last a long time.
-Music flashcards. These are useful tools in learning to read music. They cost anywhere from $3-$15. You can even download an ap.
Q: Can we take lessons in your music studio?
A: Yes! Services we offer take place in our Atwater Village music studio. Our studio is a comfortable home environment.
Q: Should I rent or buy a violin/viola/cello/keyboard?
A: Rentals are the best option for beginners. They're affordable. instruments can be costly to repair, and for fractional-sized instruments, the repair may sometimes cost more than the instrument itself. There are more options for adults or those deciding to rent or purchase a full sized instrument.
For keyboard studies, a 88 key weighted keyboard is necessary to provide responsiveness to finger pressure for musical variety like volume, control, sustain, etc.
Here is a guide on standard instrument sizes for violin
1/16--3 to 5 years old
1/10-3 to 5 years old
1/8-3 to 5 years old
1/4-4 to 7 years old
1/2-6 to 10 years old
3/4-9 to 11 years old
4/4--9 years old and older
Here is a guide on standard instrument sizes for viola
12"--6-7 years old
13"--7-9 years old
14"--9-12 years old
15"--small adult, child 10-12 years old
Here is a guide on standard instrument sizes for cello
1/4 --5-7 years old
1/2--7-11 years old
3/4--11-15 years old
4/4--15 years and older
Q: Can I cancel a scheduled lesson?
A: One Cancellation A Month Permitted: Leggy fish Music Lessons now permits ONE cancellation of a lesson per student per month with NO exceptions. The student has 2 weeks to schedule a live makeup lesson. a short video lesson from the teacher will be sent via e-mail in lieu of other lessons cancelled.
24-Hour Cancellation/Late Policy: If you need to use your once a month cancellation, please let us know 24 hours before your scheduled lesson IN WRITING via e-mail to firstname.lastname@example.org. if lesson is not cancelled within 24 hours, it will be charged as a lesson.
Cancellations occurring less than 24 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment will result in a full charge for the session. If the instructor cancels a lesson, lessons will be made up within 2 weeks. Teachers are committed to wait 15 minutes for late students. Unfortunately, time cannot be made up if the student is late. In addition, if a student fails to show for their scheduled lesson at all, it will still be counted and charged as a lesson.
Prepaid Lesson Packages:
Purchase a Prepaid Lesson Package of 4 or 8 lessons and save!
Payment by credit card accepted; we accept Visa, Mastercard, American Express and Discover via Square (by phone or email) OR online. PLEASE NOTE THAT THE "SHIPPING FEE" online is actually the credit card surcharge. The rate is 2% (reduced from 2.9% +$0.30 to 2% as of 1/24/17) for lessons and rentals, and 2.9% +$0.30 for all other products.
Payment for single lessons is due at the end of each lesson. Payment for prepaid lesson packages is due on the last 4th or 8th prepaid lesson, no exceptions. Please arrange to have payment ready during the last 4th or 8th prepaid lesson to ensure 100% of the time is dedicated to the lesson.
Prepayment for lessons are non refundable and expire 3 months from purchase and may be transferred to another student.
One Cancellation or Time/Day Change A Month Permitted:
Leggy Fish Music Lessons permits ONE cancellation or time/day change of a lesson per student per month with NO exceptions. The student has 2 weeks to schedule a live makeup lesson. If you reschedule or cancel more than once a month, a short custom video lesson will be sent to you in lieu of the live lesson. There is no limit on the amount of custom video lessons that can be sent. Custom video lessons will be sent only if you cancel within 24 hours of your missed live lesson.
24-Hour Cancellation/Late Policy:
If you need to use your once a month cancellation, please let us know 24 hours before your scheduled lesson IN WRITING via e-mail to email@example.com
Cancellations occurring less than 24 hours in advance of the scheduled appointment will result in a full charge for the session. As a commitment to our students, we also adhere to the One Cancellation A Month policy and 24-Hour Cancellation policy. If a teacher reschedules for ANY reason and lets you know within 24 hours beyond their ONE cancellation a month per student, they will give the student a FREE lesson of equal value in addition to making that lesson up within two weeks.
If you pay for single lessons one at a time, you do not fall under the 24 hour or One Cancellation/Reschedule A Month Policy, but the disadvantage is that you do not have a permanent time slot or day, and it could shift from time to time to accommodate prepay students.
Leggy Fish music Lessons does not offer biweekly lessons. Continual lessons ensure commitment to practice on a weekly basis. Lessons will continue on a weekly basis without interruption. If the student’s lesson occurs on a major holiday, the lesson will be made up.
Time/Day Slots Are First Come First Serve:
We try to accommodate your schedule and time/day preference, however, if you cancel your lesson, we cannot guarantee a preferred time/day.
Time Slot Holds:
Are you going on vacation and would not like to lose your time/day?
We generally see more enrollment in the fall as school starts up again. Ensure your time slot/day is available when you return. Purchase a Time Hold at the cost of $60 per month per student or $50 per student for families with two or more students who take lessons. For those with two or more students in a family and if shopping online, please enter coupon code HOLDSIBLING to receive the $10 off each student.
You may purchase a second time hold to hold your time slot for 2 months. Time Holds are limited to 2 months in sequence (June & July or July & August for example).
Purchase your Time Slot Hold here along with your next lesson package to ensure that your lessons will continue immediately after the hold. You can pay for a time slot hold at your next lesson with cash payment or online payment (cc fee applicable).
You may now purchase a Time Slot Hold even if you are in the middle of a lesson package. If you have completed your lesson package, you will need to purchase a lesson package along with your Time Hold and let us know the date of when you would like to resume your lessons. Time Slot Hold will be released to new students when hold is complete.
Unfortunately Time Slot Holds cannot be prorated, even if you hold for one week. We regret that there are no refunds on Time Slot Holds.
Cancellations (teacher and student):
We regret that Leggy Fish Music Lessons cannot offer refunds on single/prepaid lesson packages. Teacher and student both have the right to cease lessons after lessons in a prepaid lesson package have been used (at the end of 4 or 8 lessons).
Leggy Fish Music Lessons Break-No Lessons:
If you are a prepaid lesson student, and your lesson falls on any of the scheduled breaks, your lesson will automatically be pushed up to your next one unless you would like to reschedule your lesson (please see availability schedule), have two lessons the previous week, or double up on your lesson those weeks on a different day the two weeks before (works especially well for those with 30 minute lessons). I know that from past experience, some students do not wish to go too long without a lesson. Breaks are scheduled a year in advance and do not count as a teacher’s allowed One Cancellation A Month.
Violin Outfit Rentals:
For your convenience, Leggy Fish Music Lessons offers student violin outfits for rent at a flat rate of $35 per month. There is a one time $150 refundable deposit given the instrument is in good condition. You can apply three months of renting towards the purchase of the violin outfit or even purchase the outfit outright. This service is only available to active Leggy Fish Music Lessons students. Ask for referrals for viola, cello, and keyboard.
If the Leggy Fish Music Lessons studio is full to capacity, students who take a break and return may need to be put on a waiting list along with other interested students.
Don't forget to sign into LessonMate for your personalized lesson notes from our private or group lessons (or both in some cases)! It's easy to check out notes from your lessons!
Practice Logs for Young Learners/Reward Program:
You can help your young learner with practice goals. Practice logs can help your child track his/her goals and practice times as well. Standard daily practice is 30 minutes, but can be determined by the teacher. If the daily practice time is met, the student will be rewarded 1 point. Points can be redeemed for small prizes out of the prize box which are assigned a point value. As a rule, we try to keep treats healthy-organic candy, little toys, books, pencils, games, etc. They can either save their points or redeem them. A signature by a parent is needed at the bottom of the sheet to verify that they practiced the time they committed to.
Students will have an opportunity to perform and share their musical accomplishments with other students by participating in one (or both) seasonal showcases.
Monthly String Flings:
String Fling is a fun and friendly “party" for current students to mingle and to play music with and for each other at every skill level. It is not a lesson, but rather a comfortable and relaxed get together for students to form community and to practice playing for one another. They will give students a regular opportunity to tune in with other musicians. The new monthly String Fling will give 2 students a Fling to share music. We will play the tune of the previous month, improvise together, and try new music together as a group. If you wish to bring a snack to share, please bring one snack or drink of your choice to share. Snack time and mingling combined, String Fling will be an hour and 15 minutes long and there will be a cost of $10 per student to attend. Friends of students who also play violin, viola, cello or keyboard and are not students of Leggy Fish Music Lessons or former Leggy Fish Music Lessons students are also welcome to attend for $15 per student. There is a limit of 10 students per String Fling. String Flings are held in Atwater Village. The $10 or $15 String Fling fee per String Fling can be accepted as cash or on www.leggyfishmusiclessons.com.
A violin/viola/cello outfit with bow and rosin, shoulder rest or shoulder pad, and The All For Strings Book #1 is required by students at the beginner level. A weighted keyboard with 88 keys is highly recommended for keyboard and piano students. Violin outfits (contains a violin, bow, and rosin) can be rented through Leggy Fish Violin Lessons or rented at your local string shop. Shoulder rests, and books may be purchased through Leggy Fish Music Lessons or purchased at your local string shop or online. Additional material that is not required but highly advised for maximum learning is a music stand (fold up is okay), tuner and metronome (can also be downloaded as an app on your Smartphone), practice mute for compromised practicing at home, and staff paper.
Leggy Fish Mobile Accessory Store:
Books, sheet music and accessories (strings, flash cards, CDs, mutes, rosin, music stands, tuners, metronomes, staff paper, shoulder rests etc.) are available. Some items will be on hand. A nominal service fee may be included.
Student Lounge in Atwater Village
Please do not arrive more than 5 minutes before your lesson in Atwater Village, as it can be distracting to the student that is having their lesson. I also may not be ready to teach you especially if you are the first student of the day. Please do not ring the doorbell, quietly come in through the front of the house and go directly to the Student Lounge past the kitchen. The Lounge is a great place to have refreshments and warm up before your lesson. If you happen to arrive earlier than 10 minutes before your lesson, please take advantage of Atwater Village’s many wonderful cafes like Proof Bakery, Bon Vivant, The Juice, and Kaldi Coffee.
Group Lessons in Atwater Village
5-Week and 8-Week Group lessons are currently available for adult beginners and meets seasonally. The 1A class is a class for complete beginners with zero or little experience, and the 1B class is a class for students who have studied violin for 2 months or more. The format of the 1B class may change every season, as students come in with varying skill levels. In an ensemble setting, the 1B class allows students to be challenged at the level they are at, incorporating more intermediate-level technique, improvisation, and playing skills. A showcase may be held at the end of every 5 or 8 week session depending on the preparation of students. Prepayment is necessary to enroll in group classes, and a pre registration discount is available till a certain date.
We regret that Leggy Fish Music Lessons cannot offer refunds on group lessons. Classes missed cannot be made up, but copious notes are always provided within a day of the group lesson.
Required Materials For Class:
Violin students need a violin outfit with bow and rosin, shoulder rest or shoulder pad, and The All For Strings Book #1 is required by students in the 1A class. Violin outfits (contains a violin, bow, and rosin) can be rented through Leggy Fish Music Lessons or rented at your local string shop. Shoulder rests, and books may be purchased through Leggy Fish Music Lessons or purchased at your local string shop or online.
Cello students need a cello outfit with bow and rosin, chair strap or donut, and the All For Strings Book #1 for cello.
Viola students need a viola outfit with bow and rosin, shoulder rest or shoulder paid, and the All For Strings Book #1 for viola.
Keyboard students need a keyboard or piano to work on at home (a weighted keyboard with 88 keys is highly recommended). We used the Alfred series for beginners.
Additional material that is not required but highly advised for maximum learning is a music stand (fold up is okay) for bowed string players only, tuner and metronome (can also be downloaded as an app on your Smartphone), practice mute for compromised practicing at home (for bowed string players), and staff paper.