Violin and Viola Bootcamp

Students at summer violin camp



Violin and Viola Bootcamp is a rigorous, supportive program for intermediate and advanced upper string students focused on building a healthy technical foundation. Led by Academy string faculty and guest artists, the week includes private lessons, supervised daily practice, fundamentals and scales classes, workshops on practice techniques and audition strategies, and masterclasses. Students ages 10-18 are grouped according to age and playing level. A final performance completes the program.

Students with a minimum of two years playing experience will be the best fit for this program. Intermediate students should be able to play two-octave scales in several keys and should be regularly studying repertoire at an ASTA Grade 3 Level or higher. Advanced students should be able to play three-octave scales in several keys and studying repertoire at ASTA Grade 5 or higher.




Ages:  10–18 years
Dates:  August 5-9 and August 12-16, 2019
Times:  9:00 a.m.–4:00 p.m. (M-F)
Tuition:  $555 per week
Location:  Mason Community Arts Academy Building in Fairfax
Extended Day option not available for this program


Violin Bootcamp
August 5-9, 2019 Registration Close
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Violin Bootcamp
August 12-16, 2019 Registration Close
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Viola Bootcamp
August 5-9, 2019 Registration Close
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Younger violin students who may not be ready for Bootcamp might try the Mason Youth Violin Camp for ages 6-12.


A short audition video submission is required for this program to ensure proper placement. After registering for the program, please create an UNLISTED YouTube video link of your audition recording (see the three options below) and email the URL link to (ATT: Claire Allen). Contact Claire Allen at to inquire about remaining spots for Week 2.

Part 1 – Scales (Violin)

Part 1 – Scales (Viola)

Part 2 – Prepared Piece (Violin and Viola)


Guest Masterclass Teachers:

Philippe Chao, Viola Lessons Philippe Chao (August 5-9 week)
Read about Professor Chao

Philippe Chao enjoys a wide-ranging career as an orchestral, solo and collaborative performer as well as a respected teacher and coach. Appointed Acting Assistant Principal Violist during his twentieth season with the Kennedy Center Opera House Orchestra, Philippe has also performed with the National, Detroit, Minnesota, and Baltimore Symphonies. He is a longtime member of the Post-Classical Ensemble and the Grand Teton Music Festival and is on the faculty of the Sewanee Summer Music Festival. As a soloist, Philippe has appeared with the Newark Symphony Orchestra, the National Repertory Orchestra, the Virginia Symphony, and the Eclipse Chamber Orchestra in addition to performances with the orchestras of Georgetown University, Catholic University, and George Mason University. As a chamber musician, he has performed with renowned international artists James Buswell, Nathaniel Rosen, Simone Porter, Susan Platts, the Coull Quartet, and Julian Rachlin. He has appeared on NPR’s Performance Today hosted by Fred Childs and performed on Broadway in Steve Martin and Edie Brickell’s Tonynominated musical, Bright Star.

Philippe teaches at Washington Adventist University, George Mason University and The Catholic University of America and is an orchestral coach at Georgetown University. He has engraved and edited several works of Marco Anzoletti (1867-1929) in their premiere editions, published by Gems Music Publications. Earning degrees from the University of Minnesota and the University of Southern California’s Thornton School of Music, Mr. Chao also studied at the Britten-Pears School for Advanced Musical Studies in Aldeborough, England and at the Cleveland Institute of Music. His mentors include Roland and Almita Vamos, Michael Zaretsky, Gérard Caussé, Donald McInnes, and Robert Vernon. His strings are kindly sponsored by D’addario.


Benjamin Jones-Hayes Violin Bootcamp Benjamin Jones-Hayes (August 5-9 and August 12-16)
Read about Mr. Jones-Hayes

Benjamin Jones-Hayes is a luthier, violin maker, classical violist, and Irish fiddler based in Fairfax, Virginia, where he works on instrument repairs and restorations at Day Violins in Chantilly. After receiving his degree in viola performance at Baldwin-Wallace University, Mr. Jones-Hayes completed an apprenticeship at the Loft Violin Shop in Columbus, Ohio, where he managed the rental inventory, repaired customer instruments, and managed community outreach events. He has also attended workshops at the New Hampshire Violin Craftsmanship Institute and the Massachusetts College of Liberal Arts Violin Repair Workshop with Hans J. Nebel.

Mr. Jones-Hayes has has given presentations on violin construction, care, and repair at the Suzuki Music Columbus Summer Institute, the Olentangy Strings Camp, the Ohio State University chapter of the American String Teachers Association, a Makers group in Cambridge, Ohio, and in numerous public schools in Columbus.


Susanna Klein violin bootcamp Susanna Klein (August 5-9 week)
Read about Professor Klein

Susanna Klein is assistant professor of violin and coordinator of strings at her alma mater, Virginia Commonwealth University. Before entering the field of academia, she was a full-time member of the Memphis, Colorado and Richmond Symphonies, where she served as principal second violin. Currently, she enjoys focusing more on chamber music through her two trailblazer groups, Atlantic Chamber Ensemble and Trio 826. In her spare time, she stays busy as an Arts Entrepreneur, developing tools to make musical practice data-driven and positive for both students and professionals. Ms. Klein’s research has earned several prestigious grants, including the VCU $50,000 Presidential Grant. She presents and writes throughout the United States on the subjects of musician health and technology-enhanced practice. Her YouTube channel Practice Blitz is an open to all resource dedicated to helping students practice more efficiently. Currently, Prof. Klein is in the process of publishing practice and lesson journals, and completing the first version of her IOS app Practice Bliss.

Ms. Klein received her MM from Boston University under the tutelage of Roman Totenberg. You can read more about all of her various projects and find resources for efficient practice at


Akemi Takayama, violin lessons Akemi Takayama (August 12-16 week)
Read about Professor Takayama

Akemi Takayama is known worldwide for her musical artistry and passion as well as for the extensive range and versatility of her repertoire. With a unique blend of warmth and excitement, her masterful performances have enthralled audiences throughout Japan, France, England, Turkey, Israel, and the U.S. Currently the concertmaster of both the Roanoke Symphony and the Williamsburg Symphony Orchestra, Takayama is also an Associate Professor of Violin, holding the Victor Brown Endowed Chair in Violin, in the Shenandoah Conservatory at Shenandoah University, where she works with private students and chamber groups.


Peter Wilson Dr. Peter Wilson (August 12-16 week)
Read about Dr. Wilson

Peter Wilson is an engaging and multifaceted violinist and conductor whose musicianship has been noted as “first-class” by The Washington Post. He is Music Director of the Richmond Philharmonic and Waynesboro Symphony Orchestras and serves as String Section Commander for “The President’s Own” U.S. Marine Band in Washington, DC, where he has performed as a violinist of The White House for nearly three decades. Highly respected throughout the National Capital Region, he is Concertmaster of the American Festival Pops Orchestra, has guest conducted the National Symphony and National Gallery Orchestras, and serves on the faculties of George Mason University and James Madison University as an adjunct professor of violin. He holds music degrees from Northwestern University and The Catholic University of America, where he earned a Doctor of Musical Arts.

Dr. Wilson began his professional career as Concertmaster of the Walt Disney World Orchestra in Florida. For over 12 years he served as a lecturer at Catholic University, where he taught courses in conducting and string techniques while serving as Resident Conductor of the University Symphony. A musician in demand for his high energy, versatility, and commitment to authenticity, Dr. Wilson commands respect in a variety of musical genres and is an active guest conductor, soloist, recording artist and performance clinician throughout the United States. He made his Carnegie Hall debut in 2015 and has appeared as violin soloist with such legendary artists as Rosemary Clooney, Michael Feinstein, Renée Fleming, Bernadette Peters, and Trisha Yearwood. He is also cofounder and violinist of the acclaimed string duo “Bridging the Gap” (with double bassist Aaron Clay), which has been hailed for “superior arrangements and uncommon musicianship” by The Washington Post. In 2016, Dr. Wilson was honored by Phi Mu Alpha Sinfonia national music fraternity as a recipient of the prestigious “Signature Sinfonian” award in recognition of his “outstanding commitment and dedication to the performing arts while serving as a successful role model, helping others realize their potential and exhibiting high standards of excellence.”

In 2008, Dr. Wilson was one of nine conductors selected to work with Leonard Slatkin in the acclaimed National Conducting Institute in Washington, DC. He studied conducting with Victor Yampolsky at Northwestern and also trained with Marin Alsop and Gustav Meier. He served as Music Director of TYOF (The Youth Orchestras of Fairfax) in Northern Virginia (2010-13), where he conducted its flagship ensemble, the United Youth Symphony Orchestra. He maintains his commitment to working with young musicians as a frequent guest conductor for various district and regional high school honors orchestras nationwide. Dr. Wilson resides in Fairfax, Virginia and is the proud father of three sons.


Bootcamp Faculty:


Claire Allen, Violin Lessons Claire Allen, Violin
Read about Ms. Allen

Claire Allen is an active performing violinist and private teacher in the Washington, D.C. area. She is a Teaching Artist at Mason Community Arts Arts Academy, where she has a private studio of students ages 4 through 18 and is the Faculty Coordinator. She teaches Violin Beginnings, a series of group classes for young children just starting to play violin, teaches supplemental Suzuki-style group classes for students already in private lessons, coordinates the chamber music program, and is a co-director of the summer Violin Bootcamp. Recent student successes include five prize winners in the  Academy Music Competition, superior ratings in the Solo & Ensemble festival, and successful auditions for the American Youth Debut Orchestra and String Ensemble.

Before teaching for Mason Community Arts Academy, Claire 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. During her teacher training, Claire 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 attended a pedagogy workshop at Indiana University directed by Mimi Zweig.

As a performer, Claire is a member of the first violin section in the McLean Orchestra. She is a founder of the Faculty String Quartet at Academy. Highlights from the 2016-2017 season include a solo recital at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, orchestral performances with the McLean Orchestra, and chamber music performances as part of Fairfax City’s Spotlight on the Arts festival.

Claire created a recital to promote the music of female composers in June 2016, in which she and her students performed with pianist David Norfrey and Cora Cooper, the editor of the Violin Music By Women Anthologies. She performed works by Rebecca Clarke, Clara Schumann, and Amanda Maier. In addition to performance, Claire co-taught a teacher training workshop on the Violin Music By Women Anthologies and awareness of gender issues in the modern violin studio. Her blogs on the subject have been featured on

Claire 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, and Lisa Cridge. She performs on a modern violin made by Tetsuo Matsuda.


MattRichardson_headshot Matt Richardson, Violin
Read about Mr. Richardson

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, the Apollo Orchestra, and the Mclean Orchestra. 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 Cathedral Choral Society Orchestra, the Alexandria Symphony Orchestra, the Ars Nova Chamber Orchestra, and the American Festival Pops Orchestra. He is a frequent solo and chamber recitalist in the Metropolitan DC area, performing on such series as the Kent Chamber Music (DE) series, the Music with the Angels series (DC), the USAF Band Chamber series (VA), and the Fairfax County Spotlight on the Arts series (VA), as well as having performed 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 private studios at Mason Community Arts Academy at George Mason University, and 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 Arlington Philharmonic’s “Crescendo” chamber music 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.


Drew Robertson, Violin/ Viola Lessons Drew Robertson,Violin 
Read about Mr. Robertson

Drew Robertson began his musical studies at age four on the piano, and began studying viola at age seven.  His principal teachers were Leslie VanBecker, principal violist of the Grand Rapids Symphony and Mark Jackobs of the Cleveland Orchestra.  He studied viola performance at the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM), music therapy at Nazareth College, and Dalcroze Eurythmics at the Eastman School of Music.  Drew has performed with the CIM orchestras, CIM Baroque Ensemble, Firelands Symphony Orchestra, Genesee Symphony Orchestra, and numerous other ensembles.  He has performed in masterclasses with acclaimed teachers such as Peter Slowik, Yizhak Schotten, Pamela Goldsmith, and Jeffery Irvine.  Drew has participated in festivals including the Pilsen Music Festival in the Czech Republic and the renowned Tanglewood Institute.  A performing teacher, Drew frequently plays solo recitals, outreach concerts, and chamber concerts.

Since founding and performing with the award-winning Kalliope String Quartet, Drew has been an avid teacher and advocate for musical entrepreneurship and chamber music.  In addition to playing countless gigs and concerts as both a violinist and violist, Drew coaches chamber ensembles and leads chamber music masterclasses.  Drew’s passion is not only to inspire musical excellence in his students, but also to endow students with useful life skills such as professionalism, dedication, business acumen, and entrepreneurship.

Drew’s teaching career began at Grand Rapids Christian High School, where he led orchestra rehearsals, chamber ensembles, and taught private lessons.  While at CIM, Drew played and taught viola and violin with the Sato Center for Suzuki Studies.  Additionally, Drew has extensively studied Suzuki Method, string instrument repair, Creative Ability Development, Dalcroze Eurhythmics, and Guided Imagery in Music.  Drew consistently pursues further studies to improve his playing and teaching through institutes, conferences, and degree programs.  Incorporating his background in psychology and music therapy, Drew is very aware of the developmental stages and learning styles of his students, and tailors lessons to each student while maintaining focus on standard classical curriculum.   He keeps lessons and rehearsals interesting, diverse, and exciting by incorporating his experience in performance, music theory, music history, Suzuki pedagogy, improvisation, anatomy, physics, composition, and eurythmics.


Patrick LeStrange Viola Lessons Dr. Patrick LeStrange,Viola 
Read about Dr. LeStrange

Dr. Patrick LeStrange received his BM in Viola Performance from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University. He then went on to receive a MM and DMA from the Université de Montréal. While obtaining his degrees, Patrick studied with Victoria Chiang, Jutta Puchhammer-Sédillot, and Roberta Crawford. In addition, he studied violin pedagogy with Rebecca Henry. Dr. LeStrange has taught violin and viola at Binghamton University as a guest instructor, and at the Ithaca College Summer Music Academy. He spent six summers teaching at the New York ASTA String Institute, where he was featured as the viola guest artist. Most recently, he was invited to give a Viola Master Class at Levine Music, Washington DC.

An avid chamber musician, Patrick has performed in concert venues throughout Canada and the United States, and attended the Orford Centre for the Arts Chamber Music Academy, Québec, where he worked with Jonathan Crow, concertmaster of the Toronto Symphony. Since moving to Washington DC, Patrick has performed throughout the area, and has established himself as a dedicated teacher.


Hyungi Lee Violin Lessons Hyunji Lee, Violin
Read about Ms. Lee

Ms. Hyunji Lee, violin, has concertized throughout North America and Asia as a chamber musician and soloist. She holds a BM from the Peabody Conservatory of the Johns Hopkins University and an MM from the Université de Montréal. She has studied with legendary violinists, such as Vladimir Landsman and Herbert Greenberg, and completed pedagogy studies with Rebecca Henry. Under the tutelage of Jutta Puchhammer and Amit Peled, Ms. Lee has cultivated a deep appreciation and love of chamber music. As a student, she spent her summers at the Aspen Music Festival, where she had the opportunity to perform in both orchestral and chamber music settings. Ms. Lee has performed in many of the DC area’s concert venues and has played with the Annapolis and Alexandria Symphony Orchestras. As a teacher, Hyunji has many years of experience teaching children and adults of all ages, and has a very motivating and detailed approach to her work. She has been teaching both beginning and advanced levels for over ten years in both group and individual settings and is happy to share her love for music with her students at the Mason Community Arts Academy.


Andrew Juola, Violin Lessons Andrew Juola, Violin
Read about Mr. Juola

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.


Directors: Claire Allen & Matt Richardson
Claire Allen Board Member Matt Richardson Violin Lessons




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Special thanks to our program supporters:

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To register by phone or request a paper registration form, please call the Academy office at 703-993-9889.



“I so appreciated the faculty coaching the kids to be independent and kind; intense violin instruction; healthy interaction between kids of different ages within the age 10-18 age span.” – Summer Violin/Viola Bootcamp 2018 Parent

See More Testimonials

“My favorite part was the personalized attention in individual lessons and the variety of activities.” – Summer Violin/Viola Bootcamp 2018 Participant

“The kids were immersed in music for the whole week, learned a ton and had fun the whole time. They could bond with others with similar interests.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Parent

“I love violin more than I used to. I also love my teachers. The teachers are the best teachers ever. They aren’t strict or mean.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“Bootcamp is magical!! I love the part where we have competitions and masterclasses because it’s super fun.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“I loved and really enjoyed it! Scales and technique really helped!” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“I feel like I learned more here than I did in all of middle school orchestra.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“Bootcamp is the best thing ever. I wish it was the whole year!” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“Violin Bootcamp really is an amazing experience, and the teachers really do make playing the violin fun.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“A big thank you to all the teachers and staff who made my bootcamp experience so special! I will miss you guys so much and I will totally come back next year.” – Summmer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“I really liked masterclass because it was really cool to watch others get helped at all levels. I felt like I learned so much more in this week than I’d usually learn in a couple of months.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“Helpful tips for refining techniques was my favorite part.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“My favorite part was playing violin games.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant

“I really enjoyed the one-on-one time with the instructor.” – Summer Violin Bootcamp 2017 Participant