Sylvia Oman

Violin Teacher

Sylvia Oman

SAA Member


Missoula, MT
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Sylvia has been making music nearly as long as she can remember.  She began piano lessons at age 4 and violin lessons at age 8.  In the years that followed, she played in an honors orchestra in elementary school, and continued with private lessons, chamber music, and orchestra study in the New England Conservatory Preparatory School through middle school and high school.  

Sylvia earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, followed two years later with a Masters of Music in Pedagogy from Boise State University. Her private teachers have included Krista Buckland-Reisner (UMass-Boston), Craig Purdy (BSU) and Margaret Baldridge (UM).  Sylvia has played in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and the Helena Symphony Orchestra.

Around the same time as she began private music study, Sylvia began playing “teacher” with any friend or sibling who would agree to be a “student.”  She still loves sharing what she’s learned with others, and has been doing so as a private violin teacher since 2002.  She finds the process of helping the youngest beginner first play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” a fun challenge, and she enjoys problem-solving with the high school student how to most expressively play a passage of Bach or Mozart.  Adult students bring a special dynamic of camaraderie to the studio, and Sylvia likes helping them discover a new way to express themselves.   She seeks to challenge and encourage each student, no matter their age or level, to pursue enjoyment of the violin to the best of their ability. 

A few things Sylvia endeavors for each student to learn:

appreciation - enjoyment of the beauty of music.

discipline—working hard and having fun doing it.  Sylvia wants to help students gain the sense of accomplishment that comes from setting and attaining goals.

sharing music—Making music is fun! And making it for and with others increases its value exponentially.

hearing and reading music—A musician that can read music has hundreds of years of music at their disposal. He/she can play in groups with confidence, not dependent on others to interpret notes on a page. Playing by ear opens up opportunities to create new music in unique and spontaneous ways.  It also gives a musician the ability to re-create music learned by sight in a new way each time it is performed.

healthy playing - A good set-up (a relaxed but active holding of the violin and bow) that fits a student’s body prevents discomfort, pain and injury.

violin—how to play the best instrument ever!

If you have any questions about violin study, how to find an instrument, or Sylvia’s methods of teaching, please feel free to contact her.  She looks forward to hearing from you!