Violin and Viola Tuition in Bristol

Testimonials

Michelle Tiley

"Hi to all violinists,

My name is Michelle, and when I was little, I always wanted to play the violin. As I got older, the possibility of learning became more realistic, and the inspiration to begin grew stronger. Then when I saw the film "Music from the Heart" about a woman who taught the violin, it gave me the extra confidence I needed to take it up, and I was glad I did.

I had a look through the Yellow pages, and found Don Leonardo´s number, and rang him. Then I went for my consultation with him, and bought my first Violin. When I went for my first lesson, he made me feel at ease, and taught me how to hold my violin and bow properly. I was pleased to be taught by Don, and would recommend him to others who want to learn to play the violin, as Don makes it fun to play."

Michelle Tiley
Tony Watts

"My name is Tony Watts and I work with adults with Learning Disabilities. Simon Smith is in my care. He is Autistic with learning difficulties. Simon is 58 and had a violin since a teenager. Due to sharing a house with others, Simon didn´t practice. When I asked if he would like to take lessons, he said yes! I found Don from the Yellow Pages and booked a lesson to see if Simon would enjoy it to see if Don was suitable to teach someone with learning disabilities. Simon and Don hit it off immediately and he has taken lessons since September 2006.

Simon isn't always keen to learn tunes if he finds them difficult, but Don is very patient with him, intuitively knowing when to move on to tunes he knows well so he doesn´t get upset or agitated. Although learning is slow, Simon´s playing has improved since seeing Don. More importantly, Simon is always excited to see Don & enjoys his lessons."

Tony Watts
Tam Markowicz

"I began lessons in a French music school at the age of 8. The teachers were qualified, but I found lessons tedious and repetitive. Their methods were academic and not entertaining. I felt frustrated with my teacher as I struggled to progress. I stopped after 5 years & decided to give it a chance with a private teacher. Don Leonardo´s methods and experience in teaching were impressive. Studying with a violonist whose classmates were the greatest musicians in the world, (Yehudi Menuhin, Itzhak Perlman, Yo-Yo Ma...) was really exciting. Besides excellent teaching techniques, his enthusiastic personality kept me entertained and looking forward to more lessons. In a few months, I learned pieces that seemed impossible, thanks to his progressive & efficient teaching. Becoming a good violinist requires serious and regular practice. Don has given me the support, techniques and confidence to achieve it."

Tam Markowicz
Dave Johnson

"It has always been my ambition since childhood to play the violin. But I always lacked the confidence and the motivation to take up the instrument until I made the sudden and very serious decision three months ago to do something about it. The remedy lay with my wonderful and charismatic tutor, Don Leonardo. He immediately put me at ease on my first lesson by reassuring me that I had the skills required to make learning a new instrument at this stage of my life a pleasure. How true this was!

A few months down the line, I was really enjoying my lessons more than I ever did before, thanks to Don Leonardo's exemplary tutelage. I have found that my lessons have been a truly fulfilling experience to me, because Don Leonardo always inspires me to achieve the very best that I possibly could. Don Leonardo, you are the best!"

Dave Johnson
Roy M. Dunce

"I met Don when looking for a suitable teacher to help me recover my skills after an accident that stopped my violin playing for many years. I went to Bristol teachers but they were not as advanced as I was, despite having lost my skills. So they couldn´t teach me. I saw a newspaper article about an incredible concert violinist from America who settled in Bristol, and knew this was the teacher I needed. I went to see Don & he built up my confidence in playing, which I had lost. He helped me recover my abilities so I can now enjoy playing music again.

He taught me techniques I never knew of, despite former professional training, and retrained me in techniques I had forgotten. Without his help and encouragement I am sure I would not be playing today. I studied with Don for over 14 years, and we covered most all of the major violin concertos which no other teacher could teach."

Roy M. Dunce
May Kay Yau

I always wanted to learn a stringed instrument, but learned the piano because there was already one at home. I felt it was time to fulfill my childhood dream as I had just submitted my thesis for the PhD Degree in Musical Composition. So I decided to ring Don. We arranged a consultation and violin lessons. I enjoyed my lessons very much.

Don was a very encouraging and knowledgeable teacher, who could pinpoint problems, suggest solutions and demonstrate them! As a teacher myself (I have been teaching piano and theory privately in the past 12 years), I was not only learning to play the violin but how to teach it as well. Violin lessons were the happiest day of my week! I highly recommend Don for quality violin tuition as a world-class teacher and performer. He was an inspiration and ensures his students progress quickly and enjoy playing music!

May Kay Yau