Studio IV

Violin and viola instruction in Brooklyn, NY.

Studio IV is the violin and viola teaching studio of Erin Ellis in Brooklyn, NY.

Congrats to the Children of St. Stans Violin Club for a Fantastic Performance!

We had a great time playing at the St. Stan's talent show. I also really enjoyed seeing and hearing some of the violin students sing and dance. What a talented group of kiddos!


We are setting the foundation for a strong string program at the school and I am so thrilled to be a part of it.

Learning on Vacation

I am so fortunate to have the opportunity to vacation in Europe this summer. So far I’ve traipsed around Paris and Lyon, France. I’m currently en route to Geneva, Switzerland, and then will make my way to Novelle, France, and back to Paris before we head home.

One strange thing about a long vacation for me is all of this time without my instrument. At first the idea always seems good, but by around day 3 I miss it so much. There are so many things one can do to practice sans instrument (blog post about this coming soon!) but it’s just not quite the same.

There is a MAJOR heat wave in Europe right now, which sent me and my terrible French skills on a wild goose chase for an electric fan in Lyon. What was meant to take about an hour ended up taking near three, but it was so worth it!

After my first unsuccessful venture, I roamed around looking for the second place I’d marked on the city map the hotel had given me. (Note to self: those maps are NEVER to scale!) I never found the store I was looking for, but I did wander into a sheet music store that I saw along the way.

After Patelson’s closed in NY this year, I resigned myself to the idea that I’d always have to shop for sheet music online. I can’t begin to explain the nerdy euphoria I felt when I opened the door and saw all of that music. I said greeted the shopkeeper and asked her “Est-ce que vouz avez de la musique pour violon?” (Do you have music for violin?)

She replied that they did, and showed me to the section.

I had a great time browsing the shelves and ended up buying three books that I’ll use with my young and intermediate students. Here is a sneak peak:

new books


As I paid for my items, the shopkeeper asked about me and what I’d chosen. I told her in my mediocre French that I was a Suzuki violin and viola teacher and that I was delighted to find her store, as our brick and mortar music stores are gone.

Finally as I was ready to leave, I thanked her again and apologized for my terrible French.

She then flashed a giant smile and said to me “Je vous comprends.” (I understand you.)

The way she made me feel in that moment is how I want my students to feel with me. It was a truly lovely experience and I can’t wait to get home and share this new music with my students.*

*I did kind of ruin that beautiful moment at the end by telling her in French that I am so pretty rather than so happy. Oops! Got a good chuckle, though, and I won’t mix up those words again! 

New York Area Concerts for Children and Families

As you know, listening is a vital component of the Suzuki method. I encourage you to expose your kids to as many performances as possible! I find them to be fun, inspiring, and engaging for children.

For those of us in NYC, there are quite a few places that offer programs specific to children. Here are links to a few resources:

Carnegie Hall Family Concerts

New York Philharmonic

NYC Arts 

Symphony Space Family

Let me know if you'd like to arrange a group trip!




A Beautiful Wedding

One of the things I love most about playing the violin is that I've been a part of so many beautiful weddings. I've played for hire, for friends, and for family, and each celebration is so unique and personal.

Photo by Georgette Hood,

Photo by Georgette Hood,

This past weekend I had the honor and privilege of providing the ceremony music for my cousin John, and my new cousin Charli! Look how beautiful and happy they are.

Photo by Janna Leigh Photography - Macon, GA

Photo by Janna Leigh Photography - Macon, GA

The wedding was held at the The Blacksmith Shop in Macon, GA. The ceremony was outside in the courtyard and the reception was in a beautiful old building, formerly a blacksmith shop (hence the name!) 

I've always enjoyed playing weddings, but it's even more special when it's someone you love. I prepped for the event by setting up my iPad with an AirTurn pedal. (Post on this later!) Long story short, it allows you to scan your music into the iPad so that you can easily turn pages with a foot pedal. This is helpful for weddings in particular, as you never know exactly how long it will take for everyone to get down the aisle. It also helps that the pages don't blow away during an outdoor wedding!

Charli and John were so laid back with their musical selections, so I pretty much had free reign to play what I wanted. The only specific request was that Charli wanted to walk down the aisle to Pachelbel's Canon in D. I played a lovely arrangement by Martha Yasuda. I chose this one as it's full of beautiful double stops so this piece doesn't sound naked as a solo violin piece.

For the recessional, I used Martha Yasuda's arrangement of Jean-Joseph Mouret's Rondeau. I also played for about 45 minutes before the wedding. When I can choose the music, I'm always very Bach-heavy, so I played lots of Bach. He wrote so many lovely pieces for unaccompanied violin that are perfect for a wedding. I added in some Beethoven, Handel, Massenet, and others. (If you're interested in a list of my wedding selections, email me or comment below!)

It was a lovely day and I am so happy to officially welcome Charli to our family! (Though you've been family since the day you walked in the door!)

Back From Vacation

I had a great visit with my family in Florida, broken foot and all! We went to the Wizarding World of Harry Potter and saw this adorable "music shop" in Diagon Alley.

Harry Potter Stringed Instruments!

Harry Potter Stringed Instruments!

Even if you don't like theme parks, this one is pretty incredible. Their attention to detail is amazing.

Corona Youth Music Project - Summer Instrument Drive

Looking for somewhere to donate an instrument you no longer play? Look no further! I've been working with the violas some at the Corona Youth Music Project. I'm on a (hopefully VERY) short hiatus due to my broken foot, but will be back soon.

They are currently looking for instruments and donations for the fall. It's a wonderful group. You can read more about the instrument drive here.

Studio IV Summer Update!

Hi everyone! I've been slacking in the blogosphere, but I promise I'm back now!

Summer lessons are going well. I'm really excited about starting up group classes in September. Stay tuned for dates and location! Remember that group classes are no extra charge. It's a great place to chat with other parents, and for the students to have fun playing their instruments together.

Some other fun news:

-I'm now helping out with the violas for The Corona Youth Music Project in Corona, Queens. It's great fun and I've met some really wonderful people.

-I've also been playing viola with The Classical Musicians' Rehearsal Symphony Orchestra, and played violin for a reading session with The Brooklyn Symphony. I'm very excited for regular rehearsals to resume in September.

-I'll be playing an interactive concert for kids at Caribou Baby in Greenpoint on Sunday, September 7th at 4 PM. Current students, bring your instruments! No pressure to play, but you are welcome to join me.  Invite your friends!


-If you need a practice video for something that I haven't already sent, let me know. If I don't already have one, I'll make one for you.

-I broke my foot! It may take me a bit longer than usual to get down the stairs, but I'm coming. I promise!

Enjoy the rest of your summer, and current students and parents, watch your inbox for Fall scheduling announcements.


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