I've been taking group lessons with Ed for about a year and a half, and he is the best violin teacher I've ever had. I've made tremendous progress while working with him, and improved my confidence in my playing as well. I played for 8 years as a child with various teachers in 3 different countries, and hadn't touched the violin in 15 years when I decided to pick it back up again. Ed has taught me so many things that I wish I'd known when I was younger - I'd be a much better player now! :)
Ed provides a free private lesson with each session of group classes you sign up for, and you can also (or instead) take additional private lessons, which I've done. These are really useful to do some in-depth work on whatever you need help with. He is extremely patient, kind, accommodating, generous, and encouraging. He truly is an exceptional teacher, and I highly recommend him!
As various other reviewers noted, he uses humor effectively in the class to make it fun, but also brings a wealth of knowledge of the music and of technique that make his teaching invaluable. This way, you learn a ton and have a great time doing it! The group classes are wonderful because they are small enough that you get the attention you need and enjoy the camaraderie that the group offers, yet are an affordable option for those that can't afford private lessons.
Ed is not only an amazing teacher for those who already know how to play and want to progress to the next level, but he's also great with beginners. I'm always REALLY impressed with these students at the recitals. Not to mention that half the people in my class (the advanced level) have only played for two to three years - they are playing material that it took me 8 years to get to! (Granted, I was a child, but still - these are busy adults who work and don't have much time to practice! You know he's an effective teacher when you see a result like that.)
Katherine F. NYC
Three years ago, my interest in the violin led me to the StringSchool. Being an adult beginner with no prior violin experience, I was quite apprehensive and doubtful that I would be a capable player. However, Ed showed me that it's never too late to pick up the instrument that you love! He keeps his class sizes relatively small in order to adequately teach the basics of violin. In addition, he includes a private lesson for each session in which you receive personalized instruction on any aspect of violin that you choose.
What makes Ed so invaluable is his expertise and zeal for violin music. He is an amazing player himself, so you can be fully confident that he is capable of producing great music. He is also very patient and understanding of busy schedules; thus, he does not get indignant when you haven't had time to practice due to work, kids, or other facets of daily life. Ed always injects a dose of humor within his classes, so class is always lively and full of laughs despite the sometimes rigorous violin lesson.
Now, I've gained much more confidence as a fiddler and I love to play as much as I can. I continue going to Ed's classes and will only cease when I physically leave NYC. I'm so glad that I joined the StringSchool and I honestly believe that it was one of the best decisions that I ever made. If you're looking to pick up the violin, regardless of age, you should definitely see Ed! He will truly revolutionize the way you see a violin.
Stephanie A. NYC
My desire to pursue violin lessons came in a rather sudden urge. It was during Hurricane Sandy when the city was under lock down. When I say lock down, it means the trains stopped running, hence we were stuck at home. After suffering for cabin fever for, about 2 days, I remembered a distant desire to learn violin when I was a child. Never did get to learn it (lack of parental support, unfortunately).
So, the after effects of cabin fever was to find a tutor who teaches beginner adult violin. I googled something along the lines of violin + beginner + adult and found Ed's website at the very top of the page. Ed offers 2 types of lessons: group lessons - less pressure and you feel better because your friends are equally terrible and private lessons - one to one, more focused on technique etc. The group lessons come with one private lesson, a bonus!
Two years later, presently, I am still taking Ed's classes. We have progressed from Suzuki book 1 to book 3, all with the help of Ed. I know some students there who either had prior violin exposure, or is learning something else (fiddle etc). I've only had Ed as my tutor and thanks to him, I can achieve my childhood dream of playing the violin.
Ed, as a tutor is very patient, kind and encouraging. He works well with adults which I know can be very different from teaching children. He understands we are all working adults with busy schedules. As a group, he makes sure the timing for each new level is suitable for all of us. The timing on the private lesson he offers can be tricky as they run either before the group lessons or after, meaning before 6pm or after 9pm. With my busy work schedule, I've always had trouble finding a suitable time for a private lesson with Ed, but he is very willing to work with me on scheduling. You will find Ed cracking jokes in class, whether it's violin jokes or regular jokes. He also plays the violin very, very well (DOH!) I rather like his style and approach on the Suzuki pieces compared to other players on YouTube whose style strictly follows the book. He hold recitals 2-3 times a year where advanced students can perform solo and the group perform the Suzuki pieces from the highest book to the lowest, ending with the classic Twinkle.
Diana C. Astoria, NY
If you're an adult looking for a place and way to learn to play the violin, StringSchool is ideal. Ed Davis has a wonderful program. He is patient, informative, supportive and an incredibly talented violinist and teacher. I had no previous musical experience and was pleasantly surprised to find many other adults of varying ages and backgrounds in the program. After waiting for decades to do something I've dreamed of, I am amazed at how much I've leaned in progressed in such a short time. If playing the violin is what you want to do, StringSchool is an excellent way to learn and grow.
Yvonne B. Fort Lee, NJ
It's never too late. I had taken some violin lessons as a child and wanted to pick up where I had left off, but had no idea where to begin. I found Ed on line and jumped at the opportunity. I walked into his class and found a nice mix of people who immediately welcomed me and made me feel comfortable (as a 50+ baby boomer, I had been a little concerned about fitting in). Ed has a great sense of humor, is a great teacher and has a way of directing the lesson toward whatever technique you as an individual may be having difficulty with, without making you self-conscious, and while maintaining the ultimate goal of that lesson for the entire class. I also find that learning with a group helps me gauge where I am in my own personal development and motivates me to try that much harder. After all those years of thinking & wondering if I could or should, I finally feel that I AM A VIOLINIST. Thanks to Ed Davis.
Irene K. NYC
A rare find! Finding Ed's school was definitely a rare treat! As an adult, it's difficult to find group classes that give you the personal attention you need to progress, as a beginner. For me, as someone who's never played any instrument before, this was a great opportunity to start. It's amazing how much you progress. It was intimidating at first to start as an adult beginner, but Ed is a really cool teacher who is able to listen and respond to your concerns. He is a trained professional with a broad range of experience and interests, but he doesn't make you feel as if he's unapproachable. This would be a great experience for anyone just starting out. Class sizes are usually small, so there's definitely no lack for attention! A great way to learn something new this summer!
Jennifer R. NYC
Glad I got the nerve and took the class! I was told that the violin is one of the hardest instruments to learn. Well, that is definitely still true but after being part of Ed's orchestra for a few years now, I can definitely say that the violin is not as intimidating as I thought it would be. As a beginner, you will learn quickly and have fun doing it. Everyone is extremely supportive and friendly. You will learn as a group and as you progress, be able to play trios, duets or even solo at one of our recitals. So if you want to learn the violin in a fun and friendly atmosphere, this is the place.
Chris W. NYC
Ed is a great teacher who makes learning the violin fun without compromising the integrity of the lesson. Each week he builds upon the foundation of the previous week so that real technique is being developed. I can not believe almost a year has gone by! I'm so glad I decided to go for it. If you have always wanted to learn...just do it...you'll be glad you did!
Helga B. NYC
Ed's program is an ideal environment in which to learn to play the violin. Your fellow students are people just like you: adults from a variety of backgrounds who want to learn how to play and who want to have fun while doing it. You'll notice a real sense of camaraderie since everyone shares similar goals and similar apprehensions, and you just might end up making friends with people whom you never would have crossed paths with otherwise. From the first class it's obvious that Ed's been doing this for a while; not just teaching, but teaching in a group setting. He patiently and methodically introduces students to all aspects of violin playing (technique, theory and general musicality), periodically pausing to check that every member of the class is doing things correctly. The curriculum is designed such that technique is broken up into discrete concepts and each song learned serves the purpose of teaching one of those concepts. It's been over five years since my first class and I'm still studying with Ed. Ed's an excellent teacher who understands the demands of an adult's busy schedule but still nudges students to practice and work up to their potential. What I enjoy most about his program is the opportunity to play in ensembles with his other students. I participate the string orchestra and also play chamber music with other members of the orchestra. Playing with a group is so much more fun than playing alone, and through Ed's classes it's easy to find people to play with who are at roughly the same level as you, whether you've recently started or have been playing for years.
Kori N. NYC
I have been searching for affordable music lessons for years. Not only do I get the benefit of group lessons by playing in an orchestra, but also have the option to choose classes or private lessons that focuses on techniques and my individual needs to become a better musician. The is place go to whether you are playing an instrument for the first time or a thousand. Ed is great teacher!!!!!!
Andre G. NYC
The group lessons Ed offers are the best clean fun around. Better than therapy! You'll feel great about learning something that can nurture your soul for the rest of your life. A fantastic experience!
Mary Ann C. NYC