Age 12, Girl
Heidi Strahm has been our daughter’s violin instructor for over six years, and I am honored to have the opportunity to tell you about her skills, and our experience working with her. There are people in life who are easy to recommend to others, and in that group there are the few who stand out as exceptional. Heidi is one of those exceptional people.
Heidi has the qualities you’d expect to see in a highly successful music teacher: outstanding training and knowledge, varied experience, superior musicianship and technical proficiency, excellent communication skills, maturity, true patience, a calm and relaxed demeanor, focus, poise, sincere encouragement, insight, and authentic care and concern for students. She has been uncommonly gifted with an ability to work with children, especially, nurturing a deep love and appreciation for music in students of all levels of ability or age or temperament or even musical interest. I have witnessed success upon beautiful success as she expertly guided children, some of whom other instructors found too challenging to work with, students who’ve gone on to remarkable accomplishment musically.
I am absolutely convinced that Heidi’s loving, fun instruction is the foundation that has fed our daughter’s love of her instrument, as well as joy and comfort in performing. If she’d studied with any other instructor, our then fickle 6-year-old might quickly have lost interest and moved on to other activities or nothing in particular. Instead, she has blossomed into a confident, mature, successful 12-year-old performer with over 75 large concerts in several performing groups and venues on her young resume. She thrills at sharing what she has learned from Heidi, and has garnered recognition and respect from the conductors who’ve worked with her. Our daughter is really a typical kid in most ways, and Heidi has several students who can boast of the same things I have here. Heidi is the common factor among us.
As if all that wasn’t enough, Heidi has taught our daughter to fiddle, as well. It is an added delight for our daughter to pull out a fiddle tune on occasion and thrill others with the variety in her repertoire. Even further, our daughter is now learning from Heidi to teach Suzuki instruction herself, using those qualities of instruction that have proven so fruitful for Heidi in her own studio. This apprenticeship feature of our daughter’s instruction is, in our view, simply priceless and precious.
Some people seem to be specially built to excel at the profession they are called to, and it is a very special thing to watch. Heidi is that kind of violin teacher. As a result I hold great respect and loyalty for her as an instructor, and I can give the very highest recommendation of her. Beyond this, though, she is an honest woman of great integrity, and our entire family loves and respects her as a woman. Wherever Heidi, our daughter, and our family find ourselves on the paths of our lives, Heidi will continue be our beloved instructor and friend.
Age 17, Boy
Age 67, Girl
First, let me say how exciting it was to pick up the violin for the first time during my middle life years. I thought, I can do this, but in very short order I realized the challenge and difficulty of it.
The challenge continues to this day with the question -why am I still doing this?-
I always have the right answer, nonetheless the question surfaces often.
And it is still frustrating. I know that I won’t be a soloist, I don’t want to be a performer, yet I still have the daily enjoyment of knowing I can play decently, some days better than others. My goal has just been to have fun, to do the best I can and to keep at it until my fingers physically give up.
Second, I have had several teachers over the years but none have been as positive and up-lifting as Heidi. I had her helping me just a few short years (she moved away), but her words of encouragement are what has kept me going today. Heidi had a goal for me too. At my first lesson, she said her goal was to help me get the best sound out of my violin as was possible. And not a lesson went by without her -you can do this- attitude. Twenty years later, give or take a few without playing, I can play with small groups and feel like I contribute. It has become my favorite thing to do, playing, and yes struggling, but always hearing Heidi’s voice in my head— You are doing great! ”
What makes Heidi unique as a violin teacher is her willingness and ability to approach each student as an individual. She truly loves what she does and her biggest goal is for her students to love making music in whatever venue or genre that interests them. She emphasizes excellent violin technique while being truly engaging and fun to be around.
Heidi cares deeply for her students and is extraordinarily adept at helping them navigate and persevere through frustration and identify what their own goals are for how they want music to fit into their lives. We couldn’t ask for a more wonderful teacher for our (now 10 year old) son.
Eileen & Mirek Bobek
Age 20, Girl
Heidi has always inspired me ever since I first met her. She is hardworking, she is always positive, and she loves each and every one of her students. Her energy has motivated me to do things I never thought I could do. She has helped me in so many ways and because of her, I am who I am now. I love watching her teach because she is flowing with creativity and her endless dedication to her students never fades.
I love playing music with her too. Whether the sun is burning you, whether music is flying all over the place, whether the music is missing, or whether your violin is missing – you name it – she never gives up!
I love everything about her, even just plain chatting with her makes my day. She is always smiling and her arms are always open for you. I loved her from the very beginning and I always will. She is my friend and a sister.
Oregon State Solo and Ensemble Runner up 2010
Music Instructor, Piano and Violin
Concertmaster, Youth Symphony of Southern Oregon
Performer, Piano and Violin, Rogue Valley Symphony
Age 10, Girl