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Online Lessons

Practice Pizzazz Violin Studio

Based on the Suzuki Method’s main tenet that every child can learn to play the violin, the Practice Pizzazz Violin Studio is a top-notch pedagogical program designed to help kids of all ages succeed in music.

Caitlin Smith, the program’s director, has been teaching violin for fifteen years. She holds a Master of Music in violin performance with distinction from the Royal Academy of Music in London, a Bachelor of Music in violin performance with Honors from Brigham Young University, and teacher training in all ten Suzuki books.

Within the studio are two tracks: the Suzuki School for beginner and intermediate players (Suzuki Books 14) and Young Artists for advanced and pre-professional players (Suzuki Book 5major standard concertos). Student ages range from 3 to adult.

The program includes individual lessons, enrichment classes, group performance classes, guest master classes, parent education, innovative pedagogy and technology, and opportunities for advanced students. All lessons, classes, and events take place on the Zoom platform to connect with students in any location.

Individual lessons

All students receive weekly individual lessons where they develop a one-on-one relationship with the teacher, develop crucial skills, and receive individual attention and instruction tailored just to them. The learning environment is positive and encouraging. The student’s needs always come first.

Enrichment classes

Each term includes several enrichment classes where students on the Suzuki School track from all over join in the violin fun. Enrichment classes build a sense of community, facilitate active and hands-on learning, and give students a complete musical education. Kids learn about non-classical genres, compose their own music, learn to improvise, and study music history.

And they are always fun! Enrichment classes for 2020–2021 include Musical Zoo Field Trip, Violin Spooktacular, Treble-Clef Chefs, Going Bach in Time, Suzuki Escape Room, Movie Music Premiere, and Suzuki Play-In.

Check out the 2020–2021 studio calendar here.

Group performance classes

In group performance class, students of all ages get together to play for each other, learn to give and receive meaningful feedback, overcome any performance anxiety, and enjoy sharing music with their peers.

Guest master classes

Caitlin is an active performer and still practices daily, just like her students! In her career and studies as a professional violinist, she has had opportunities to collaborate with some of the world’s finest performers and pedagogues. Caitlin is thrilled to be able to provide her advanced students with opportunities to perform for and receive feedback from professional musicians around the globe. These opportunities help students on the Young Artists track prepare for competitions, auditions, and performances and expose them to new perspectives. A limited number of students may be chosen to perform in guest master classes, but all students are encouraged to watch, learn, and support their peers.

Guest clinicians for 2020–2021 will be announced in September.

Parent education

Helping your child grow into an accomplished musician can be a roller coaster. As with any worthwhile endeavor, being a practice parent can be incredibly rewarding, but the journey is not without frustrations. Parents of students in the Practice Pizzazz Violin Studio are never alone in their journey. One workshop per term is specifically for parents to learn new information, get inspired, ask questions, and connect with other parents.

Parents may also feel intimidated by the violin itself–tuning, slipping pegs, getting the bow rehaired–you name it. All families receive access to Caitlin’s online course, Violin Repair & Care, which walks parents and students through exactly how to keep the violin in tiptop shape so students can sound their best.

Innovative pedagogy and technology

In the traditional learning model, the teacher presents new material during lesson time, then has the student reinforce the material at home alone–but at home alone is normally when students could use guidance the most. In the flipped learning model, however, students are introduced to new material via technology at home, where they can take as much time as they need to absorb the new information, then reinforce with the teacher during lesson time. 

In the Practice Pizzazz Violin Studio, we integrate flipped learning by using SmartMusic as a practice tool. All students receive personalized note-reading assignments via their SmartMusic accounts. Students can record their assignments and receive instant feedback on their pitch and rhythm. No more frustrations practicing the same few lines for a whole week and finding out at the next lesson that the notes and rhythms are wrong. SmartMusic allows students to move at their own pace.

All the Suzuki violin music is also on SmartMusic, so students can check that their pitch and rhythm are correct, receive instant feedback on exactly what parts to fix, work at any tempo, and practice with professional piano accompaniment parts.

By using SmartMusic at home, students free up lesson time to focus on technique, musicality, and whatever they need help with the most.

Opportunities for advanced students

Caitlin’s current and former students have won first prizes in music competitions and chairs in honors and all-state orchestras. Caitlin provides opportunities for serious students to make connections and get a taste for professional experiences. In 2019, one of Caitlin’s advanced high school students performed on stage alongside Caitlin in an international musicology conference in Scotland.


Caitlin is a talented violinist and teacher. She takes violin seriously but does it in such a fun and positive way! I have learned how to play violin at a high level with her. She is always helping me find new ways to practice, making it more efficient and not so overwhelming!
Caitlin is really good at tuning into each student's strengths and ways of learning best. With 4 of our children taking online lessons, we observe and appreciate this weekly. Also, she supports the parent's role in the music education process. We are surprisingly loving the online lessons. Caitlin makes sure there is personal connection with each student every lesson.
Caitlin is an amazing violin teacher. She has a lot of enthusiasm, which helps engage my kids. She is also good at challenging them to work hard, but doesn't push them too much that they want to quit. She has just the right balance to get them to practice and is great at personalizing each student's needs. Thank you Caitlin for your great communication with the parents. I appreciate this as a busy mom and realtor.
We've really appreciated Caitlin's online lessons for viola and violin. Her style of teaching and encouraging spirit work well with my kids' personalities, and her online lesson portal is extremely user friendly!
Studying violin virtually with Caitlin has been a wonderful experience for my daughter. Her website and home support tools are amazing! I never knew such technology existed. Caitlin is positive, patient, and skilled, and best of all, my daughter no longer dreads violin lessons! Highly recommend.
We love Miss Caitlin! She has warm smile and is kind and patient. She understands the students' goals and tries to help them achieve it, but still makes it fun! She is knowledgable and really tries to meet each student at his/her level. Lessons with Miss Caitlin have been an enlightening experience for my child. I would highly recommend her to others.
Caitlin is one of those teachers you want to selfishly keep as a secret because she's so good you know you have hit the violin teacher jackpot! She does an amazing job at keeping my 4 year old and 6 year old's attention and teaching them all about the violin and how to play so that they are excited and proud to be violinists!
We have been very pleased and impressed with Caitlin’s teaching skills. She is very methodical and detail oriented. She is quick to correct any ‘bad’ habits, which is important for long term violin playing. She is very pleasant in her demeanor, making students respond to her feedback in a positive manner.
An amazing course with Caitlin that was just what we were looking for. Caitlin is a violinist who teaches professionally and passionately. Both kids are enjoying her curriculum now and we are all having a great time!

Schedule your free consultation

Every student is eligible for admission to the Practice Pizzazz Violin Studio, regardless of location, prior experience, or age. Interested in joining our community? Contact me by filling out the form below.

Hey, I’m Caitlin.

Welcome to Practice Pizzazz! I’m Caitlin. I love kids and the violin, and I love teaching kids how to play the violin. Read More

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