Read what students and parents have to say about studying with Claire!
"[My daughter] has learned so, so much from you , that it just makes my heart fill with you. Your patience and kindness has helped her to develop a confidence and belief in herself."
-Anna, Baltimore, MD
"I have been studying with Claire Allen since the fall of 2015. She has taught me how to be relaxed and to use a smooth bow arm to create a bigger sound. I've been learning how to do vibrato and to reframe my left hand. Studying with Claire has made me a better violinist."
- Sydney, age 11, Fairfax, VA
Our 8 year old son, Bailey, began studying with Miss Claire when he was 5 years old, through participation in her first Violin Adventures class. We immediately noticed her innovative teaching style and creative spirit. Miss Claire is meticulous about teaching the nuances of correct technique, even to her youngest students, and does so in a way that they can understand. Miss Claire has a gift for tailoring her lessons to the specific needs of each student. From dressing in costume for a Halloween class to having her students create their own practice charts, she is always up for finding ways to motivate her learners.
Often her studio vision is reflected in Bailey’s life in ways beyond the violin. Recently, he had to participate in his first SOL test. He was apprehensive and nervous that morning at the bus stop. I reminded him that he had been practicing for this test a long time and he was ready. He stopped, paused, and said, “Just like for my violin recital.” I affirmed. He seemed comforted by remembering that the previous weekend he had just played in his spring violin recital and, through his hard work with Miss Claire, he was able to soar through his song.
In the next two weeks, Bailey will be performing his Suzuki Book 1 concert. Once again, Miss Claire has been comprehensively preparing him for this occasion. It is not just his sound that is focused upon, although that is clearly important, and not just his bow hold which is visibly essential, but his confidence and stage presence that receive just as much attention. She has been teaching him the age-appropriate tools to learn to control his sound as well as providing the needed coaching to grow as a performer. While violin is the medium, ultimately, Miss Claire wants to do more than develop musicians in her studio. Miss Claire is guiding the development of skills such as endurance, patience, and persistence to enable her students to evolve into artists.
- Sarah & Heidi, Fairfax, VA
[on the Violin Beginnings class at Potomac Arts Academy]
"Our son did not initially want to take violin because he thought that it was only for girls. Ms. Claire is an accomplished musician and teacher. She was able to make the class fun and exciting for my 5 year-old son. He is probably one of the younger kids in the class but she was able to keep him engaged throughout the class by presenting the lessons as games and songs. He is even excited to learn about the composers each week. The class is a fun and non-initimidating way to introduce your kids to classical music and training." - Kyong, Fairfax, VA
"I love Ms. Claire’s studio because I always get fun stuff to practice. I like Ms. Claire because she shows me how to practice the complicated stuff such as pinky pushups or playing different rhythms. I love violin because it is good for your brain and challenging to learn. For example the most fun piece that I have played is STAR WARS main theme."
- Hayk, age 9, Baltimore, MD
"Allie had a dance camp recital at Peabody where the students choreographed skits and added percussion. Allie’s rhythm was very good and I’m sure it was due to your rhythm book exercises.
Thanks again for your care and teaching of Allie. It manifests in various and differing ways and will continue to enrich her life. She shows an enthusiasm for playing that you have cultivated."
- David, Baltimore, MD
"Claire has been a tremendous asset to my son's development as a violinist, performer and person.There was a time when his future as such was in question and I have to credit Claire's efforts with him in helping him over the technical hurtles at multiple times. We were incredibly fortunate to have her almost to ourselves while she was home for breaks from school. The information and attention she so generously shared lifted my son up emotionally and technically. She has a keen awareness of my son's interest level, knows how to challenge and focus him and has become a trusted help to our family. What has been a great help is that she has many, many practice and study skills at her fingertips. Since we have had lessons with her since she was in high school, she has been a great example to us as well that this option, of becoming a musician, is doable. She has also, I think, shown my son that this can be ultimately uplifting despite the challenges." - Sue, Arlington, VA