Violin Academy


Violin Academy is an intensive experience for advanced violin students who want to hone their musical and performance skills. Young artists will thrive in an immersive musical environment that includes a daily technique class, multiple private lessons through the week, coachings with a professional collaborative pianist, workshops on the artistry of performance, and rehearsing as part of an all-violin ensemble. The week will include a faculty recital where students get to observe their teachers performing. Students will arrive with a polished, memorized piece that will be performed along with violin ensemble pieces in a live-streamed concert at the end of the week. 

Recommended Level: ASTACAP Grade 5/Suzuki Book 5 and up; must be familiar with 3-octave scales

Ages: 12-18 (grades 7 – 12) 

Dates: Aug 7 – 11, 2023
9:00 am – 4:00 pm 

Tuition: $595

Location: Mason Fairfax Campus, deLaski Performing Arts Building

Course Objectives 
  • Learning strategies for confident and comfortable solo performance.  
  • Deeper understanding of how to integrate violin technique and musical artistry 
  • Improved ensemble and musical communication skills. 
  • Greater confidence and self-knowledge as a musician. 
Tentative Schedule

9:00 – 10:15 am: Technique of Artistry
10:15 – 11:15 am: Scales 
11:15 – 12:15 pm: Private Lesson and Individual Practice 
12:15 pm – 1:00 pm: Lunch 
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm: Piano Coaching 
2:00 pm – 3:00 pm: Individual Practice 
3:00 – 4:00 pm: Violin Ensemble 


An application and successful video audition are required to participate in this program. Please complete the below online application form and follow audition video submission instructions. See Audition Material below.

Students auditioning for Violin Academy are encouraged to consider applying for both Violin Academy and Violin Bootcamp in order to have a two-week immersive and holistic violin experience this summer.

Audition Material
  • One 3-octave major scale
  • One 3-octave melodic minor scale
  • 2 – 5 minutes of a solo piece


Limited needs-based scholarship funding is available. Please submit the application form for camp linked below and complete the MCAA Financial Aid Application process to be considered for both acceptance and scholarship.

Program Faculty

Claire Allen, Violin Lessons

Claire Allen
Academy Teaching Artist

Read more about Claire

Languages:  English (fluent)  |  Spanish (functional)
Musical Styles: Western Classical
Specialized Skill Levels:  All
Suzuki Method:  Available, Books 1-10

Claire Allen is a Teaching Artist of Violin and Strings Coordinator. Since joining the string faculty at MCAA in 2013, she has created and collaborated on the development of the Violin Beginnings curriculum (which is based on the curriculum for beginning violinists taught at Peabody Preparatory), added several supplemental group classes for young violinists to the private lesson program, and has taught a private studio of violinists ages 4 to adult. She frequently creates themed lesson plans and loves creating games for her students.

Claire has completed extensive teacher training including Suzuki-certified training for Suzuki Books 1-5, Rebecca Henry’s pedagogy course at Peabody Conservatory, and Mimi Zweig’s Violin/Viola Teacher Retreat. She has been interviewed on the Suzuki podcasts, “Beyond the Music Lesson” and “Time to Practice” with Suzuki teacher and violinist Christine Goodner. In 2019, she was selected as the Outstanding String Teacher of the Year by the Virginia chapter of the American String Teachers Association. In 2022, she was a featured presenter at the ASTA National Conference on the topic “Creating A Diverse Repertoire for Elementary Level Violinists.”

Matt Richardson Violin Lessons

Matt Richardson
Violin Teaching Artist

Read more about Matt

Matt Richardson is a Freelance Violinist/Violist and teacher in the DC Metropolitan area. He frequently performs with the Richmond Symphony Orchestra, The National Philharmonic, the New Orchestra of Washington, the Fairfax Symphony Orchestra, The Williamsburg Symphony, Maryland Lyric Opera, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, among others. Other orchestral experience includes performances with the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra, the Virginia Opera, Opera on the James, the Mark Morris Dance Company, the International Chamber Orchestra of Washington, the Castleton Festival, the Cathedral Choral Society Orchestra, the Apollo Orchestra, and the American Festival Pops Orchestra.  A frequent chamber musician, Matt is also a founding member of the 9th Street Chamber Music, a new chamber music organization based in the Northern VA area. He can be found performing in numerous DC venues including, The Kennedy Center Concert Hall and Millennium Stage, The Washington National Cathedral, The Music Center at Strathmore, The Lyceum in Old Town Alexandria, The Washington Masonic Memorial, The Church of the Holy City (DC) and many others.

Additionally, Matthew has been an active violin teacher and clinician in the Northern Virginia area since 2007, maintaining a private studio out of his home in Centreville, VA. His students have gone to rank highly in all levels of the American Youth Philharmonic orchestras, the Mclean Youth Orchestra, and the 9th Street Chamber Music String Quartet Intensive program, as well as leading sections in the Northern Virginia and North Central Virginia Senior Regional Orchestras, and the Virginia All-State Orchestra. He has also served on the faculty of the Corcoran Chamber Music Institute at George Washington University since 2014, and the GMU Ovations Summer Strings Academy since 2009. Matt’s primary teachers include Peter Haase, Zino Bogachek, Karen Johnson, Weigang Li, and Joseph Wargo.

Mark Irchai
Piano Teaching Artist

Read more about Mr. Irchai

Mark Irchai (b.1996) is an American-Russian pianist and conductor. His concertizing has taken him across the United States and Europe, where he has become known for his diverse musical programming and multi-colored sound. He’s already received numerous awards, including 1st prizes at the XIV International Orfeo Music Competition, the George Mason University Concerto Competition, and the Golden Classical Awards International Music Competition. Most recently, he was awarded the Newton Swift Award in Collaborative Piano by the Mannes School of Music. Highlighted performance venues include Weil Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall, Steinway Hall, George Mason University’s Center for the Arts, the Embassy of Turkey to the United States, and two appearances at DOROT for their innaugural concert series for survivors of the Holocaust.

Equally comfortable in both solo and collaborative work, he’s performed with many orchestras and in collaboration with several singers and instrumentalists. Ensemble appearances as conductor and soloist include joining soloist the Mason Symphony Orchestra, the Mason Wind Symphony, and the Piedmont Symphony Orchestra. He’s also appeared as collaborative pianist with artists like Vasilisa Berzhanskaya, John Aler, and Marlisa Woods.

Mark holds a BM in Piano Performance from George Mason University, where he studied piano and chamber music with Anna Balakerskaia. He also holds an MM in Piano Performance from the Mannes School of Music, where he studied with Simone Dinnerstein. He has appeared in masterclasses with artists such as George Li, Awadagin Pratt, Claire Huangci, and Richard Goode. He studied choral and symphonic conducting at George Mason as well as at the International Academy of Advanced Conducting after Ilya Musin. Mark is proud to be on the faculty of both Levine Music in Washington DC,
and at the Moon School of Music in Fairfax, VA.

Violin Teacher Fairfax VA

Hannah Price
Assistant Director
Academy Teaching Artist

Read more about Hannah

Language: English (fluent), Spanish (conversational)
Musical Styles: Classical
Instruments: Violin
Specialized Skill Levels: All Levels

Adult Students Welcome!

Hannah Price is a passionate and dedicated violin teacher of all ages and abilities. As an artist, scholar, and teacher, her efforts and contributions to music aim to propel the value and quality of music education forward, keeping it central to the core of human value in a quickly evolving world.

An active advocate for community engagement, Ms. Price has been involved in the development of the Musical Storytelling Project in Oberlin, OH, and as a participant in programs that bring music and instruction to Grafton Correctional Institution and hurricane-stricken areas of Puerto Rico.

Throughout her musical career, Ms. Price has regularly performed as a chamber, orchestral, and solo musician in concert programs domestically and internationally. She has performed as an orchestral musician in venues including Carnegie Hall (New York, NY), Severance Hall (Cleveland, OH), and the Meyerson Symphony Center (Dallas, TX). In past Summers, Ms. Price has participated in the Aspen Music Festival and School, Bowdoin International Music Festival, National Orchestral Institute, and Litomysl International String Masterclass (Litomysl, Czech Republic), among others.

Ms. Price holds a Master’s degree with a concentration in Music in Education from the New England Conservatory, having studied under the mentorship of Ayano Ninomiya. She holds a bachelor’s degree from Oberlin Conservatory after having begun her studies at Indiana University under the instruction of Sibbi Bernhardsson.

Andrew Juola
Academy Teaching Artist

Read more about Andrew

Andrew Juola is an active performer in the DC Metropolitan area. He performs with the Washington Concert Opera’s first violin section, the Tysons-Mclean Orchestra, and the Arlington Philharmonic as both a first and second violinist. He freelances with various other ensembles as both a violinist and violist.

Andrew holds a Bachelor of Music in performance from George Mason University and a Master’s of Music from the University of Maryland. He considers Peter Haase and James Stern to be his most influential teachers. Throughout his formal studies, Andrew attended and performed at collegiate chamber music and orchestral festivals including the National Orchestral Institute, Bowdoin International Music Festival, the National Music Festival, and the Orfeo Music Festival in Vipiteno, Italy.

Andrew has taught privately for six years and has extensive experience coaching chamber ensembles and sectionals. Through the use of the Suzuki method, the teachings of Paul Rolland, and Alexander Technique, he wants his students to discover a technique with which they can project their musical ideas through their instruments. Andrew’s students have auditioned successfully for collegiate programs in music as well as in district and regional events at the pre-college level on violin and viola.


fairfax fine violin


“The Violin Academy is an experience that I will never forget. It completely shifted the way I look at musical performance and I’ve built valuable relationships with the teachers and my classmates. What I’ve learned in a week would normally take months. I highly, highly recommend the Violin Academy.”

“Violin Academy fosters a non-competitive environment where young violinists learn unique skills that are difficult to find anywhere else. Amazingly, the faculty makes six hours of violin instruction a day an exciting learning experience the entire time. All the teachers and staff are supportive and can relate to their students on so many levels. Students learn how to connect with each other on personal and musical levels, and develop friendships that can last beyond camp. Finally, this camp teaches developing musicians how to cope with stress, performance, and mistakes.”

“Violin Academy is the reason I like scales now. Having a chance to really express my musicality and feelings through music, (even in scales) helped me and my playing so much. I learned that playing music isn’t just me and my instrument; but it’s also expressing myself through my body and movement. This camp is basically living and breathing music for a week – aka AWESOME!!”

  • Please note that group classes are subject to cancellation if minimum enrollment is not reached.
  • Be sure to check our policies and procedures regarding registration, withdrawals, refunds, and more for summer group classes.
  • All students will receive a Welcome Letter via email at least 1 week before the class starts with all necessary details.
  • Online registration closes 2 business days before the first class, however space may still be available. Please contact for more information. A $10 late registration fee may apply.
  • For additional information, please contact the Academy at