In association with
Ms Catriona Hepburn
Helena Date: June 2020
I can't recommend Catriona highly enough! She has been teaching my son Ben, who is 9, for about a year and a half. Catriona is a very patient, gentle and encouraging teacher. She is excellent at teaching precise technique and also musicality in playing. She always seems to be able to explain or have an exercise to practise and improve if Ben is finding a particular part tricky. I've been especially impressed watching how she has slowly built up the technique of playing in different hand positions. Ben really enjoys and looks forward to his lessons. I've seen huge of improvement in his playing, and he got distinction in his grade 2 exam with the help of Catriona's teaching. As I said at the beginning, I really can't recommend Catriona highly enough, she is a superb violin teacher!
Joe (age 14) Date: June 2020
Catriona has been my violin teacher for 5 years. She has always had high expectations of me and that has really helped me build my confidence as a violinist. I get quite nervous around exams and knowing that, she always prepares me for my gradings to perfection. Catriona is patient, very organised and knowledgeable. Her lessons are well-structured and she always gives me constructive and useful feedback to help me improve my performance. She knows when to challenge me and when to slow down to give me time to perfect my technique. I feel very welcome and comfortable every week and I always look forward to my lesson. Next year I am starting my Music GCSE and I am confident that Catriona teaching me the violin will greatly contribute to my success in achieving the best grade that I can.
Louise Walker Date: January 2011
I have to say that the girls have loved coming over for lessons so much that they will really miss their Saturday sessions. Your patience and gentleness, especially with the little one, made it easy and fun for them to learn and Catherine's playing in particular really improved after we started lessons with you.
Fiona Glasscock Date: January 2011
I really enjoyed coming to you for lessons, and miss them now that you have left the area. Your teaching is challenging in a good way and got me to believe that I could play things that I thought I couldn't. I appreciated that you found studies for me to do to help me with passages that I found difficult and helped build my confidence. I feel that I progressed a lot over the 2 years or so that I was coming to you, and only hope that I can get through Grade 8 now that I have to look elsewhere for a teacher!
Patrycja Date: June 2020
I had been Catriona's student for over three years, having arrived as a complete tabula rasa with no instrumental experience or ability to read sheet music. From the beginning, she was extremely professional, kind albeit demanding ( I would never dream about showing up for a lesson with Catriona unprepared). She provided me with a structure, knowledge, and support in overcoming numerous technical and emotional challenges associated with violin playing. I was particularly impressed by the variety of exercises she would prescribe to tackle some of my particular difficulties, and I would regularly find myself amazed in an "oh, it really works!" way. Most importantly she remained calm and sympathetic when I was getting frustrated and impatient with myself. Although I had to stop playing the violin due to arthritis, the solid musical foundation that Catriona gave me, is not at all lost. During the recent Covid outbreak, when individual piano lessons were cancelled, I was able to oversee my son's practice with confidence, in a way that allowed him to continue making steady progress. We also often play together, which brings joy to my heart.
Lucy Date: June 2020
Catriona was my teacher for many years and I only stopped having lessons with her because I moved away to university. She places a big focus on technique and development as a performer as opposed to just having a “getting through the grade pieces” attitude that I had experienced with other teachers. I frequently got to tackle repertoire not on the exam syllabus, ranging from technical studies to famous pieces I’d always wished I could play. This made learning with Catriona a fun and rewarding experience and made me the violinist I am today. At the same time, Catriona is highly experienced in taking students through ABRSM exams and throughout my time with her I successfully obtained my grades 5-8. Lessons were always well-planned so as to ensure we made the most of each session and that I was on-track for an upcoming exam. As a result, I was always fully prepared and went into the exam room each time with confidence that I would do well. Whilst I am no longer having lessons with Catriona, she continues to have a genuine interest in my playing and encourages me to keep performing whilst at university. As she is an accomplished professional orchestral violinist, lessons with her prepared me well for ensemble performance and with the skill and technique she taught me, I successfully auditioned for my university’s symphony orchestra and string orchestra. I would highly recommend Catriona to any prospective student looking to learn the violin and develop their performance skills
Fiona Eddleston Date: January 2011
Thanks for all your focused teaching and feedback. I really enjoyed your approach - rather calm, very organised, but most of all challenging in the best way. I'm really pleased with the progress I've made over - I think - 18 months.  From someone who sat in on an amateur orchestra without daring to take out my violin, to being part of two amateur groups AND enjoying the sound I make on my own.  Very sorry indeed you are leaving the area from my own point of view!

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