Violin & Cello

Lesson Information

String instruments are an excellent first instrument for young musicians because they train the ear to be extremely sensitive to pitch. Violin and cello are great instruments to study for patient young beginners, from as early as age four.

New violin or cello students learn how to hold the instrument and how to get a good sound out of it. This involves learning proper bowing technique and tone production. They also learn basic music theory (reading notes and rhythm). Students are introduced to Classical music, fiddle repertoire and popular music. Students may go on to do Royal Conservatory examinations, participate in Ottawa music festivals, and even play in orchestras!

String instruments can be purchased or rented at many fine instrument stores in the city. Your teacher will recommend an instrument size for you and let you know where they like to shop!

Our Teachers

Cal McGowan

Cal McGowan is a cellist currently in the music program at Canterbury High School. They study with Margaret Tobolowska. Cal has recently placed in the Ottawa Kiwanis Music Festival (regionals) and the Ontario Music Festivals Association (provincials), and they also completed the RCM Cello Level 10 (first class honours with distinction). They are currently a part of the Ottawa Youth Symphony Orchestra and recently participated in the Carleton University Chamber Ensemble. Cal has been a part of two recording projects and composes music.

Maria Pinto

Maria Pinto

Talented violinist, her passion for music began at the age of 5 in the music for children program in the Conservatory of Music Aragua State (Venezuela) where she was introduced to the Dalcroze eurhythmics method. At the age of 7 she began her violin studies with Carlos Riazuelo in Caracas and one year later was accepted into The Conservatory of Music Juan Manuel Olivares, with the recognized Venezuelan violinist Domingo Garcia as her tutor.

Years after, as a gifted and distinguished violin student, she was awarded with a   scholarship from the National Institute of Culture and Arts (INCIBA) to study violin in Brussels, Belgium. To complement her violin studies, Maria studied choral music and pedagogy concentrated in childhood music. Maria is also an accomplished composer.

In 1975, Maria became one of the founding members of the Venezuelan youth orchestra “JUAN JOSE LANDAETA”, which evolved as the well-known Music-Education Program “El Sistema”.  At that time, violinist and conductor Pablo Herrera and violinist Carlo Suzi were strings instructors. The experience as an orchestral musician was invaluable for Maria. Being a member of the first generation of the Simon Bolivar Symphony Orchestra EL SISTEMA and interacting with younger musicians, her interest in teaching increased while attended Suzuki-method instruction for strings seminars led by violinist and educator Shigetoshi Yamada.

The EL SISTEMA program has been awarded with the most prestige prizes worldwide like the Prince of Asturias, Spain (2008) and “The Polar Music Prize, Sweden (2009).

Maria performed in gala concerts in Venezuela and taught violin for several years.  She moved to Canada in 2009 and is an active performer and a violin instructor. She has been invited to participate in gala concerts in Gatineau City Hall Quebec and special events in Ottawa, Ontario.

Evan Runge

Evan Runge

Evan Runge has been teaching violin lessons for over 20 years. He grew up in Quebec and was admitted to the Conservatory of Music in Rimouski at age 11. In 2013, Evan obtained his Master’s in music performance from UOttawa. Evan has played with the OSE symphony orchestra as well as the Ottawa and Gatineau symphonies. He regularly performs in Ottawa and Gatineau as a soloist and has made several recordings with local bands. Although classically trained, Evan plays a wide variety of music, from progressive metal to fiddle and more recently has started playing Indian music. He intends to tour Canada in the near future.

Interested in taking lessons?

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