Studios in Seattle at Bitter Lake and SE Everett, Washington - (206) 789-8066
Important Contacts and Helpful Information for Violin Students in the Seattle - Everett area:

• Read about MAKING MUSIC after 50

• Read about My 11 year Violin Journey

• Click here for downloadable MUSIC PAPER (Acrobat Reader Required)

• Full list - Puget Sound area VIOLIN, BOW MAKERS, & VIOLIN SHOPS

• Selected shops and additional information below:

1314 E John St · Seattle, WA 98102
(206) 324-3119
email: WEBSITE


6502 - 3rd Avenue NW, Seattle, WA 98117 ·
206) 783-7654
Kirkland, WA ·
425) 822-0717
email: WEBSITE
Additional Resources and Music Stores

Catalog Information

The String Center   

Shar Products Catalog           

Southwest Strings Catalog           

Young Musician’s Catalog           

Johnson String Instrument           



Music Stores

Mills Music           
10120 Main
Bothell, WA 98011

Mills Music           
Maple Leaf Square
15704 Mill Creek Boulevard #19
Mill Creek, WA 98012

Kennelly Keys Music, Inc.              
10720 5th Ave. NE
Seattle, WA
(many locations)

Sheet Music Services of Portland          

Classical Sheet Music Downloads
Buy music on-line.

Violin Makers/Rental/Repair

Hammond Ashley Violins           
320 Third Ave NE
Issaquah, WA 9802

Alan & Sarah Balmforth       
3026 NE 163rd Str.
Lake Forest Park, WA 98155

Carrabba, Rafael Violins  Inc.   
405 W. Galer
Seattle, WA

David T. Stone Violins           
5629 University Way NE
Seattle, WA 98105

Dusty Strings           
3406 Fremont Ave. N.   
Seattle, WA 98103


Seattle Conservatory of Music      
SCM Office and Margaret Pressley

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By Julia Rudden

Chris, Hoey, 51 had always yearned to play an instrument.  But his profession as a pharmacist along with his busy family life left no time.  Then, his oldest child left home for college.  He started lessons a little over one year ago and hasn’t looked back.

Hoey debated between the violin and the piano, but chose the violin because he enjoyed its rich voice.  “I thought if I were going to devote that much time and effort, I should choose something I liked to listen to,” he says. 

Older adults are dispelling the myth that music instruction is for the young.  According to the National Institutes of Health, “Some evidence suggests that activities requiring mental effort such as …playing a musical instrument can help stave off mental decline.”  Music making stimulates the same parts of the brain that working puzzles or learning a foreign language does.  Keeping the brain nimble and active is key to a sharper memory.

Hoey states that learning the violin has given him “a whole new dimension to my life.  It’s such a completely different use of my mind, my brain.”  Hoey finds that the difference “gives me a chance to refresh my mind and start new each day.”

Hoey practices daily, averaging an hour and a half each day.  “It’s a way to relax,” he says.  “I work on a variety of pieces and techniques, so it doesn’t get boring.”  He’s even learning to sight-read music, a necessary skill for those learning the classical pieces he prefers.

 A quality instructor not only welcomes adults but understands how their learning style differs from children.  Hoey found his teacher through references at local violin shops.  I had an interview with her, and decided to start lessons.”

 Beverly Gilyeart, Hoey’s teacher, is a Seattle-based violin instructor.  She hosts informal musical evenings for her adult students.  Students can play a recital piece, enjoy a glass of wine and socialize with other adult learners in a supportive environment.  Spouses are encouraged to attend.

 Hoey finds the evenings a “good exercise for me because I didn’t go into playing the violin with any pretensions of playing in public.”  He says “It’s a good idea to bring us together, I think it’s a very valuable part of the learning experience and I don’t feel intimidated as I’m sure I would at a public recital.” 


 Playing with others can provide an outlet for socialization and companionship.  Community bands and orchestra, such as the Seattle Civic Band, welcome new members.  Victory Music, a non-profit that supports local acoustic, jazz, blues, and folk music hosts open mic events throughout the region for all skill levels from beginner to expert. 

 Chris Hoey is glad he waited to start playing.  “I put off doing this until I had the time to devote to it, and it turns out it was a very good decision.  My wife is happy that I’m doing it.”

 Hoey’s wife knew of his dream and encouraged him to follow it.  “She’s very pleased that I’ve taken the plunge and she’s glad that I find so much enjoyment in it.  Sometimes she’s even pleased with the music,” he adds with a laugh.

 Hoey’s whole family is supportive.  When asked about his children’s reaction, Hoey states with a chuckle “I have teenage boys, they don’t talk much.  When my younger son hears me practice, he’ll pop his head in and say it sounds good.”  Hoey says a lot of it doesn’t sound good, but since “my immediate goal is to play for myself and enjoy it, for myself,” he’s happy for the support.

Reprinted from "Northwest Prime Time" September 2008

Sonette Steczina
violin student of Beverly Gilyeart

“Stop. Play that again with more bow. No, now your notes are sharp. Wait, before you try again, stand up straight and hold your violin higher.” At age six, these constant commands were a bother. At age six, I knew what I was doing. I knew how to play the violin. Yet, what followed were years of corrections, repetitions, and more repetitions. Over the years, practices became tedious and frustrating. I would always strike a note that would not satisfy my teacher’s ear, and my entire practice session would consist of me playing one small section over and over.

I trudged along this road for many years, until I had a beautiful and empowering revelation. I had reached such a high degree of proficiency, at moments, perhaps even perfection that practice became more than just correction of notes. The music came to life in the performance, expressing my emotions and my love for the piece. I began to connect more deeply with the music and with my own personality as well, by learning the true meaning of passion, dedication, and diligence. I am not sure these can be taught to someone, certainly not in one school year or two, yet they became part of my character through learning to play the violin. My teacher embodies these characteristics and she modeled them for me through the violin as her tool, without ever saying, “Today, we’ll learn diligence.”

Ten years later, still a student of the violin, I received the opportunity to become a teacher of violin music and performance. In teaching Katana, a fourth grader, I had to find the right balance between encouragement, motivation, steadfastness and strictness. As a teacher, I gained a new appreciation for my own teacher’s instructional methods and her dedication in guiding me toward excellence. In the process of learning “Mary Had A Little Lamb” with my student, we dissected the tune by measure, and I encouraged her to give equal attention to every note. Just as I had believed in my early years, my student insisted that she knew exactly what she was doing and that she was not making any mistakes. As I taught the mechanics, I tried also to teach what I had learned from my teacher: what it takes to achieve excellence in violin. Every nerve controlling your fingers, energizing your body and soul, has to work in unison to bring life and depth to the music. I could tell, that by the end of the school year, my student was beginning to understand that perfection comes only through practice.

Eleven years after beginning the study of the violin, the music and dedication I learned from my teacher have become part of my character. Perseverance for perfection, strength in musicality, and confidence in performance, each define who I am. The experience of teaching violin made me realize that, beyond mechanics, teaching the art, the depth, and the beauty of any subject is only possible when one truly exemplifies growth and passion.

Sonette Steczina,
violin student of Beverly Gilyeart