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Individual lessons are based on the tradition of apprenticeship, in which a master teacher passes their skills and knowledge on to a younger student.  In music, this is accomplished one student at a time, so the teacher can customize the training to exactly fit each student’s needs.  Individual lessons are the most effective way to learn a stringed instrument for this reason.  Teachers typically assign scales and etudes for the development of technique and then solo repertoire to develop musical expression.  

Two factors are essential in order for individual lessons to be most effective, the quality of the teacher and the commitment of the student.  A great teacher can draw out a student’s talent and refine their skills, resulting in immediate progress.  But since there is one lesson per week, progress is also based on the remaining six days per week that the student applies the teacher’s instructions in their practicing.  When this happens, students have their best chance to maximize their abilities and achieve satisfying musical growth.

The Dorothy Gerber Strings Program is committed to offering excellent individual lessons, beginning with the caliber of its teachers.  DGSP Director David Reimer has a doctorate in violin performance while Assistant Director Chas Helge is in the process of completing his doctorate in cello performance.  Both have extensive experience performing on their instruments as well as teaching students in individual lessons.  Dr. Reimer and Mr. Helge are currently available to teach lessons in Charlevoix and Petoskey.  Elizabeth Bert, the Principal Cellist of the Great Lakes Chamber Orchestra and the Traverse Symphony, has been one of the leading teachers in the region for many years and is available to teach students in Charlevoix.

DGSP Individual Lessons are offered for a standard fee of $25 for half-hour lessons (usually the preference for younger students who are early in their learning process), $35 for 45-minute lessons and $45 for hour lessons.  Scholarship assistance is available on a case-by-case basis for families who need it.  Students can begin lessons at any time during the year, as long as a teacher has an opening in their schedule.  If a parent is interested in learning more about DGSP lessons, please contact Dr. Reimer at or (616)828-8321.

Individual Lessons