© 2018 by Seth Van Embden


Private lessons are provided weekly for all ages and can last between 30 and 60 minutes.

Lessons are available on all levels of viola and violin, from beginner to advanced and college-level. Lessons are also available in the Suzuki style with parent and child together. Please feel free to contact me for more information!

I've been lucky to work with students at all ages and all levels. I have had many adult students who play very well just looking to continue their studies for fun, teens working towards regional auditions or futures in music, and even beginners from the age of three. I specialize in bringing students up to speed to be proficient in technique and develop their musicality.

My favorite part of teaching is making a difference in someone's life, whether it's just helping someone reach a goal or going the extra mile and helping to craft a complete, soulful human being. Music has a very special way of being able to teach us about much more than just rhythms and melodies, and I absolutely love finding that specifically in each individual student.

"Each time I have a lesson with Seth my playing improves.  He is one of those rare teachers who gives you the sense that no moment within a lesson is wasted. One of the things that I appreciate most about working with Seth is that he provides a road map towards progress, and I leave each lesson feeling that I am already on the road."

-Stephen C.

"Seth is a really great teacher who knows how to push someone when they need it.  He even helped me prepare for last-minute auditions for a youth orchestra, and without him I never would've been ready so quickly. Thanks, Seth!"

- Kavya, age 12

"Seth is a fantastic teacher, an extremely talented musician and a wonderful person.  It is clear that he is passionate about what he does and that is reflected in his teaching.  We sought him out for viola lessons and could not have been more pleased.  Lessons are tailored to your needs, and his patience and generosity make for a wonderful learning experience.  Seth is good about ensuring that you don't develop bad habits and he makes the process fun, which is especially important for a child.  If you are struggling, he will work with you to correct the issue and when you succeed, he is the first to applaud your achievements. I cannot praise him enough and could not be more thankful that he was my child's first teacher!"

- Theresa M.

"Seth was a great teacher who combined toughness on great technique with gentleness. Most good teachers are strict but often lack warmth. However, Seth had warmth and that made lessons enjoyable. His focus on the fundamentals, from holding the bow properly to standing correctly and shifting perfectly, provides a firm foundation for violists to further their playing skills."

-Joseph W.

"As an adult amateur, Seth not only helped me in improving my intonation but also explained the musical ideas behind the notes. He demonstrated how to stretch figures to produce a happiness sound for the Major chord, and use tight space between fingers to express sad Minor feeling. In addition to various style bow exercises, he taught me how to connect breath with each bow stroke, inhale for up bow, exhale for down bows. My favorite part in Seth’s lesson is the philosophical ideas he came up with practicing. Seth told me to keep the left-hand frame up, even the fingers are not playing, because 75% of the weight is on the fingers not playing, only 25% weight on the finger presses the string. He said many achievements in life depend on the 75% endeavor we can’t see. Most importantly, Seth encouraged to develop my own musical ideas for short Cadenza. I truly enjoyed the 1 year violin lesson with Seth!"

-Fangya T.



Violin and Viola Lessons in Evanston, Illinois

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