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Violin Lessons

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Richard teaches violin to intermediate and advanced students, as well as offers coaching to chamber ensembles.  

Having experienced 6-hour studio sessions followed by evening rehearsals/performances daily for many years, Richard has had to manage practicing and playing efficiently, safely and effectively. He has great empathy for players who have suffered through physical issues such as tendonitis and stress due to their avid, passionate love of music and desire to strive towards technical and musical excellence (Been there!).

Richard believes in approaching the instrument in the most natural, comfortable and logically intelligent manner possible.  Physics & Psychology are the two “(silent) P” -word concepts at the key to good playing.  He likens his philosophy to the principles espoused in W. Timothy Gallwey’s great book, the Inner Game of Tennis, emphasizing preference of balance, leverage and gravity over the use of force and pressure.

Richard is known for imparting his ideas on “balance & leverage” vs. “force” in a calm and patient manner.  He is deeply passionate about music, and has a talent for conveying concepts and facts in a compelling, convincing way.  A good sense of humor is another main quality he has found invaluable to the task; stay tuned for “Hickey-free” Blogs.  (and yes, that is my Scarampella violin … )

Lessons are available via Skype (at “bachiosaurus”) or in person.

Richard's obligato tight-0308c copy

  • $105 per hour session


Some reviews from students :

“… any student walking into their first lesson with a teacher with such an outstanding résumé would feel a bit nervous and intimidated, but Richard put me at ease right away with his kindness, warmth and genuine encouragement.  It is sometimes true that the best players are not the best teachers, but this is definitely not the case with Mr. Altenbach.  He is an A-list studio player in Los Angeles and has been the concertmaster of several top-notch orchestras, and as a teacher, he is clear, concise and thorough.  In every lesson I feel encouraged, inspired and motivated to work hard …”

Emma McA.


“Hi Richard,

Just wrapped up a week” (of playing) “and just wanted to, again, say thanks and what a game-changer all this has been. There were a lot of people I hadn’t seen in a year and it was tempting to send you a text every time someone made a comment on my playing, but that would have been a lot of texts.   And for the first time I’m starting to feel like I fit in playing with people who used seem out of my league.  And a number of them seem to feel like it too. … Anyway, just wanted to pass this a long. It’s been kind of a big deal.”

Dave L.