Week 1 Challenge: Rubber Dolly

Monday, March 23, 2020 | Uncategorized

Students and Families:

Be a part of the Studio Challenge - record yourself playing along with Rubber Dolly on FiddleQuest and submit it to BJ Montoya Violin Studio via email: (or Lesson Drops Google Drive folder for current families)

Watch Video for Demonstration:

FiddleQuest students can play over Level 1 or 3 - "GO" tempo

Note: MUST HEAR SOLO INSTRUMENT ONLY on final video. So play with along with headphones (not speakers) and play along in tempo! I will stitch together a collaborative video. Submit by Thursday of this week to be included in the final video! Videos can be submitted via Lesson Drop folder:

Happy practicing.

Studio Update: 🎥 zoom update, tips, invoice and challenges 💪🏼

Sunday, March 22, 2020 | Uncategorized

Dear Students and Families,

It’s been quite a week of maneuvering and adjusting to our current reality. I would like to thank all parents and students for their patience, flexibility and willingness to continue in this new (but temporary) way of learning and teaching.  I realize that last week’s transition caused some upheaval in your schedule. As I mentioned, I am allowing for an extra make-up credit and will also be happy to schedule extra make-up lessons during this time if you would like to double up on lessons over the next few weeks.

⚠️ IMPORTANT: New Zoom Lesson Links ⚠️

Instead of using my Personal Meeting ID like we did last week, I have set up individual links for each student using Zoom for lessons. The link should be in your weekly “Reminder” email. You can also find the link in your student portal ( within the calendar and events section.

☑️ Virtual Meeting Tips

For those who are continuing with virtual lessons, I want to share some helpful tips and notes as I get more familiar with these online meeting tools.  Check out this video:

Focus on Form - Because the best tool I have in these lessons is the visual, I will be putting more of an emphasis on form, posture and technique. I will be checking to make 1) bows are aligned across the strings, 2) bow wrists are flexing on “Up Bows” 3) left hands are in the “apple” shape, among other. 

I would also like to point out for those on FiddleQuest, there are “Key Concept Video" under many of the Level 1 and 2 tunes that are helpful to watch as your students begins each of the tunes. You can find these in the “Practice Tool” button under each tune’s media player

📥 Lesson/Practice Drops

As a reminder, I am willing to provide additional feedback between lessons, or in-place of lessons. Because of the compressed nature of the video and audio of virtual lessons, accurate tone and pitches often does not come through. Most smartphone cameras+microphones are able to pick up better (not perfect) picture and sound detail. Feel free to send a clip of your student practicing their current scale and tune and I’m happy offer further feedback. Each student/family should have access to the following Google Drive folder for this purpose:

April Invoices

For whatever reason, if you are choosing to suspend your lessons for the time being, please let me know. I will be sending out April invoices in the coming week and want to make sure you are not charged. You will be placed on the waiting list and will be welcomed back when it is safe to meet again. Please let me know if you cannot continue because of inability to pay. I am happy to work with you so that we keep the music going!

🏆 Studio Challenges

Lastly, be on the lookout for my first studio challenge. These weekly challenges are for any and all students who want to participate in fun collaborative video projects that offers a break from the norm and chance to have some fun. Projects submission can be uploaded in the Lesson Drops folder. My goal is to have one studio challenge per week and post the final collaboration on my social media channels (@bjviolin on FB and Twitter) using #spreadmusicnotviruses