Violin Techniques

Spring 2021 Registration is Open!



Struggling to stay motivated and focused while practicing at home? Wish you had a teacher to help you more than once per week? Join our Academy violin community and practice with other young violinists in real time! Led by Academy Teaching Artists, these 30-minute practice sessions will guide students through fundamentals, exercises to improve technique in both the left and right hands, and fun ways to practice scales.  This class is designed for both students who currently take private lessons and/or students who participate in a school orchestra program. Parents are welcome to observe classes if they would like to, but otherwise, this class is teacher-led!

Note: Students will be divided into groups based on playing ability and age. Each group will meet weekly for 30 minutes at a consistent time. Students will be notified at least one week prior to the first class which time frame they are assigned to.


Ages: 5 – 12  |  10 – 18
  Fridays, February 19 – March 26, 2021 (6 weeks)
Time:  5 – 6 pm  | 6 – 7 pm EST
Tuition:  $125 (A $10 late fee will be added after Wednesday, February 17)
Location:  Zoom (Details provided in Welcome Letter)




Violin Technique 1:
Ages: 5 – 12  |  5 – 6 pm EST

Register Now

Violin Technique 2:
Ages: 10 – 18  |  6 – 7 pm EST

Register Now





Rachel McAleer Violin Lessons

Rachel Holloway
Academy Teaching Artist
Read about Ms. Holloway

Rachel Holloway is a Violin Teaching Artist at Mason Community Arts Academy in Fairfax, Virginia. At the Academy, Ms. Holloway has a committed private studio of beginning, intermediate, and advanced violin students. In addition to teaching private lessons, Ms. Holloway teaches group classes for beginning violinists. Ms. Holloway enjoys performing in the Washington, D.C. area. She regularly plays with the Arlington Philharmonic, the McLean Orchestra, and the Pan American Symphony Orchestra. With PASO, she has performed in many wonderful venues, including the Kennedy Center, the Library of Congress, and Lisner Auditorium at George Washington University.

In May 2016, Ms. Holloway completed a Master of Music program in Violin Performance at George Mason University. While at GMU, Ms. Holloway studied with June Huang and was concertmaster of the Mason Symphony Orchestra. In April 2016, Ms. Holloway gave a solo recital at the United Christian Parish in Reston, VA.

Ms. Holloway holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Violin Pedagogy from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, where her primary instructors were Mimi Zweig and Dr. Brenda Brenner. While at IU, Ms. Holloway studied the methodology of pedagogues, Paul Rolland and Shinichi Suzuki. These influential violin teachers greatly enhance Ms. Holloway’s teaching style. While studying at IU, Ms. Holloway was a lead teacher for the Fairview Elementary Violin Project, a music program for underserved children in Bloomington, IN. She also taught supplemental lessons at the IU String Academy. From 2008-2012, she was a member of the IU symphony orchestras, performing in a vast array of orchestral, operatic, and ballet performances. In 2010, Ms. Holloway performed a solo recital at Ford Theater at Indiana University. In 2012-2013, Ms. Holloway taught elementary general music, elementary violin class, and middle school string orchestra at KIPP DC public charter school in Washington, D.C.

Ms. Holloway is committed to developing professionally as a teacher and performer. She is an active member of the American String Teachers Association and is on the board of the Virginia chapter of American String Teachers Association. One of her duties as a VASTA board member is to produce and publish ‘Fingerboard’ e-newsletters for the string teaching community of Virginia. In 2015, 2014 and 2012, Ms. Holloway attended the national conferences for the American String Teachers Association.

Claire Allen, Violin Lessons
Claire Allen
Academy Teaching Artist
Read about Ms. Allen

Claire Allen is an active performing violinist and private teacher in the Washington, D.C. area. She has been a teaching artist at Mason Community Arts Academy for six years, where she has a private studio of students ages 4–18 and is the faculty coordinator. She teaches Violin Beginnings (a series of group classes for young children just starting to play violin), Violin Adventures (a supplemental class for violinists already taking private lessons), Violin Choir, and Patriot Violins, coordinates the chamber music program, created and directs the Youth Violin Camp, and is a co-director of the summer Violin/Viola Bootcamp.

Recent student successes include a second prize winner in the American Protege Competition at Carnegie Hall in New York, students being placed as co-concertmaster and co-principal second violin of the American Youth Debut Orchestra, being accepted to the American Youth String Ensemble, serving as concertmaster for Ovations Summer Strings Academy, superior ratings at the Solo & Ensemble festival and ASTACAP exams, and multiple performers accepted to the Academy Music Competition.

During her teacher training, Ms. Allen completed two levels of Suzuki teacher training at the Greater Washington Area Suzuki Institute and studied pedagogy with Rebecca Henry at the Peabody Conservatory. In summer 2013, she completed the Violin Teacher Retreat training at Indiana University with Mimi Zweig. Most recently, she attended in the Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies at The Juilliard School in New York City.

Before teaching for Mason Community Arts Academy, Ms. Allen was a teaching assistant at the Baltimore School for the Arts where she coached chamber music, directed sectionals, and assisted with the orchestras. She also taught privately in an outreach program that provided free lessons to inner-city school children, To Work In Gaining Skills (TWIGS). She has also been on faculty at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory Outreach Department.As a performer, Ms. Allen is a member of the first violin section in the Tysons-McLean Orchestra. She has been a member of many incarnations of the Faculty String Quartet at Mason Community Arts Academy, participating in multiple outreach concerts at schools, community centers, and other local venues. Highlights from the 2018-2019 season include quartet recitals at George Mason University, performances with the Tysons-McLean Orchestra, and a solo performance/pedagogical presentation at the Boulanger Initiative Launch Festival.

Ms. Allen’s teaching style combines elements from the Suzuki and Rolland methods with the traditional study of scales and etudes and is passionate about incorporating the works of female composers into the violin repertoire at every level, from beginners through advanced students. She is always on the lookout for works by new composers to introduce to her students so that recital performances feature a mix of new and standard violin repertoire.

Ms. Allen holds a Master of Music degree from Peabody Conservatory and a Bachelor of Music degree, summa cum laude, from Baldwin-Wallace College. Her primary teachers include Rebecca Henry, Keng-Yuen Tseng, Burton Kaplan, Julian Ross, Lisa Cridge, Gene Pohl, and Estelle Roth. She performs on a modern violin made by Tetsuo Matsuda and a bow by Richard Grünke.