Violin Lessons IN BURR RIDGE



stringed instrument

Perhaps the most well-known string instrument in the orchestra, the violin is also considered one of the most expressive. The instrument evolved from a variety of other stringed instruments, including the lira (9th century Europe), the rabab, an Arabian 2-stringed fiddle, and Spain’s three-stringed rebec. The French vielle, like the rebec, was usually supported on the chest or under the chin and was widely used by troubadours in the 13th to 15th centuries to accompany singing and dancing. Stringed instruments have a long history in folk music, but the violin became more standardized after it went to court.

Most historians agree that today’s violin emerged in the early 16th century in northern Italy, an area which would maintain the violin-making tradition over the coming centuries. Maple and spruce, the two types of wood most favored by violin makers then and since, were readily available in the Lombardy region. The city of Brescia, located at the foot of the Alps, was the earliest to excel in the crafting of violins, but Cremona, home to the world’s most famous luthiers, Giuseppe Guarneri, Antonio Stradivari, and the Amati family, became synonymous with the art of violin making.

Around 1786, François Tourte created the modern bow, standardizing its length and weight. The invention of the chin rest around 1820 made the instrument easier to hold and increased its range of play. The neck and fingerboard were both lengthened and tilted in the 19th century, allowing the violinist to play the highest notes, and the bass bar was made heavier to produce a bigger, more brilliant sound.

Many composers have written for the violin, and it is an instrument that appears in nearly all forms of Western music. Some of the most well-known classical violinists today include Joshua Bell, Sarah Chang, Itzhak Perlman, and Hilary Hahn.

Violin Faculty


Hannah K Watson

Violin/Viola Teacher
Hello! My name is Hannah and I am a Chicago-based fiddler, vocalist, performer, recording artist and violin teacher. I earned my degree in Music Composition and Violin Performance from Columbia College of Chicago in 2012. I have since been performing professionally for 15+ years earning tons of experience both performing on stage and recording in the studio. I was classically trained in my youth but quickly gained knowledge in a plethora of other styles including expertise in country/fiddle, classical, improvisation, and film music. Being fluent in a wide range of genres, I believe I am able to offer students a well-rounded and wider scope of playing skills and an engaging variety of music, which also allows me to make lessons more personalized. I believe students learn best with a healthy mix of 3 main ingredients involved in every lesson: 1. Foundational Skills - scales, exercises, violin basics. 2. Fundamental Elements - violin hold/posture, music theory. 3. Fun Creative Expression - learning specific repertoire, ear training, improvisation, etc. While maintaining these 3 building blocks, I do my best to adapt to each student's individual interests and unique learning habits while keeping every lesson interesting and personalized.
Diego Diaz

Diego Diaz

Violin/Viola Teacher
Diego Diaz began his musical training at age nine and started playing violin at age eleven. Now a first-year Master of Music Performance student at Roosevelt University, he studies with Almita Vamos. Past studies have included Bachelor of Music Performance at Western Occidental “Lisandro Alvarado” University where he studied with Dr. Francisco Diaz. Mr. Diaz also studied at the Latin-American Academy of Violin with Jose Francisco del Castillo. For many years, Mr. Diaz belonged to “El Sistema”, the system of Youth and Children Orchestras of Venezuela where he developed both orchestral and pedagogical skills.

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