Is John Wang the Right Viola, Cello, String Bass or Violin Teacher for You?
Get to know John better with this in-depth, informative interview.
Q: Hi John! Can you start by telling me for how long have you been
playing and teaching string instruments?
A: I have played string instruments for 40 years and have been
teaching since 1980.
Q: For any student looking to find a music instructor, what do you feel
you bring to the table that distinguishes you from other string instrument
A: I have seen a lot of students come to me in the last 25 years.
A lot of them can get sound out of a string instrument, but they don't have
the proper technique to make a good sound or know the correct way to handle
their string instrument. They are only doing mechanical motions instead of
playing beautiful string music. I have developed a learning system wherein
students will learn step by step, having fun and enjoying themselves.
Q: Tell us the 3 main reasons you hear students stating for wanting to
take string instrument lessons.
1. To develop the brain and become smarter with hand/eye
2. To play with their friends and have fun.
3. Music is required at school, and the student wants to do better.
Q: What are the most common challenges you've observed beginners facing
in learning to play string instruments?
A: Patience! I had a 5-year-old beginning violin student. In just
2 weeks, he was playing very nice sounds on 2 strings (it's a 4 string
instrument). He was so excited and said to me, "Mr. Wang, I learned 2 strings
in 2 weeks - that means I will be a violin master in 4 weeks!"
Q: What is your approach to helping students overcome these challenges?
How can you help them?
A: I always talk to the student and parents before starting
the class. I like to give this example: there are 2 different ways to grow
taller. The first way is a very fast one. You could get put on a stretching
machine, all I would have to do is press a button and you would be instantly
taller. But, this might harm your joints and risk your health. The second way
to get taller is to get plenty of exercise and rest. This way will take a few
years, but in the end, you will not only be taller, but also healthy and
strong. My learning system takes a step by step approach, and patience will
bring the best results.
Q: How much time should a beginning student be ready to devote to
practicing on a weekly basis, if they want to make good progress?
A: For beginners, 15 to 20 minutes a day will be good. As the
student progresses, intermediate or advanced students will need to practice
more. I recommend 30 minutes to an hour daily, depending on their level of
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching string instruments to adults?
A: I have a lot of fun teaching adult students. They come to me to
learn violin, string bass, viola or cella to fulfill a dream they had when
they were young, or simply because they want to have fun.
Q: What is your favorite thing about teaching string instruments to
A: Seeing young students growing, progressing and improving. Sharing
my knowledge and enriching their lives.
Q: For parents, how long, on average, should they expect their child to
need to take music lessons before they can play their first simple tune?
A: The younger the student, the easier it will be for them to learn
in the long run. Playing a song on a string instrument is easy, but acquiring
the right technique takes time.
Q: How will intermediate or advanced students benefit from coming to you
for further instruction? How can you improve their musical abilities and
satisfaction in playing the music they love?
A: I have studied with some of the best teachers in the USA and
China. Also, for many years, I have played in some of the best orchestras
and music groups in the USA. I have extensive training in my teaching and
have taught at colleges and conservatories. Therefore, I can provide the most
updated techniques, information and music knowledge. My own learning experience
makes it easier for me to understand the challenges a student is facing and
how to make improvements. Throughout my teaching career, I have helped my
students advance to become concertmasters and principles in their orchestras.
My students have won competitions and become professional musicians under my
Q: What local opportunities are there for your students to play their
instruments in a performance setting?
A: My students participate in a recital at least once a year. There
are many orchestras in the surrounding cities and school districts. Many of
my students play concertmaster and principles in their orchestras. My chamber
music group has performed at various festival concerts and parties.
There are adult orchestras as well. One of my adult students plays in the Los
Angeles Doctors' Orchestra.
Q: To take our last question a step further, are there any local musical
venues where you have performed, or any local orchestras/groups with whom you
A: I have performed throughout southern California on major
stages and at concert halls. Many students see me on stage, read about me in
newspapers, or see me on TV.
Q: Tell us about some of the things your music students have gone onto
do that have made you really proud.
A: I have had students go on to Julliard School of Music. Some
students have become professional musicians. I had two students who went to
play the opening ceremony in the 2008 Beijing Olympics.
Q: When do you know that you've succeeded with a student?
A: If I see the student reaching his or her potential and having fun
with it, then I know I've succeeded.
Q: When did your interest in music begin?
A: My interest in playing string instruments began when I was very
young. That interest brought me a lot of performances, awards, and good
memories. I went to music boarding school right after my elementary school,
and all of the young musicians there were talented. The competition was
tremendous in the boarding school. I worked very hard and learned to be the
best I can be.
Q: Please tell us about your formal music education and credentials.
A: I have obtained Bachelors and Masters degrees in Music
Performance from the Conservatory of Music School in Beijing, China and
U.S. International University, respectively. I also went to Meadowmont School
of Music in the United States, home of legendary music master teachers.
I also attended the Suzuki Institution in the USA.
Q: What is the style of music you love playing best, on your own time?
A: I love to play classical music.
Q: Please share the highlights of your performance/working experience.
A: I have taught at PUNAHU School of Music, which was attended by
President Obama. I have taught at various colleges and music schools over the
past 25 years, including Cerritos College, Pasadena Conservatory, Hawaiian
Youth Symphony Orchestra, etc. I have worked with Grammy Award-winning groups
as a music mentor around in the L.A. school system. In 1986, I won first place
in Beijing's Young Musician Competition in China. In 1990, I won top prize in
the Young Musician Competition in San Diego. In 1989 and 1996, I was awarded
special commendation from the mayor of San Diego and superintendent from L.A.
county for best music teacher and excellent performer. I have made solo
appearances on international TV and KFSD FM radio station. I once played in
Honolulu and San Diego's symphony orchestra and have played with many regional
orchestras. I played music in many motion pictures, and have played pop and
rock music with many famous stars.
Q: How has music enriched your life?
A: Music has always been part of my life. I started my music education
when I was very young, and through hard work and patience, I have achieved
many successes and shared the joy of music with others. Also, music brought me
from China to the United States. Since then, I have been able to perform on
almost every major stage in Southern California and Hawaii, and have taught
many students over the years.
Q: What do you want students to get out of getting to work with you?
A: To achieve the best musical ability with good technique to
support it. I want students to be able to enjoy music and make it part of
Q: Can you share a free tip that prospective students can benefit from
A: Practice should be part of your daily routine. Also, remember
to be patient.
Contact John Wang To Set Up Your First Viola, Cello, String Bass, or Violin Lesson:
Call 626-354-0837 or email me at email@example.com