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                          musician & tEACHER    

The Viola is a highly versatile instrument with a unique sound and timbre. The viola possesses the same strings as the cello but sounds one octave higher in pitch, as well as you will never have to purchase another airplane ticket for it like the cello! It rests between your collarbone and neck just like the violin but is bigger in size than the violin. However, you don't have to be 'bigger than a violinist' to play the viola, because violas are made in all shapes and sizes to accommodate your arm and finger size. Violas are also made in mini sizes for kids just like violins, and can be as mini as 1/16th of the full size! Because of it's similarities to both the cello and violin, the violist has the versatility to play all violin and cello music as well as music uniquely written for the viola. Finally, the viola does not sound as shrill or high as the violin, so it has the ability to sound very deep and melancholy as well as powerful and virtuosic.

Playing the viola gives you the opportunity to learn and play classical music, celtic and european folk music, jazzrock, metal, and many more. 

teaching experience

Rachael's ability to teach in a fun, engaging and organized way is based upon her many years of teaching kids and adults in private and group settings and her professional experience as a violinist and violist.  Rachael has had the privilege of learning basic and advanced teaching  methods from: April Gibson and George Corneanu in Chilliwack.B.C, Edmond Agopian and Dean O'Brien at the University of Calgary, Erika Eckert and Geraldine Walther at the University of Colorado in Boulder and William Starr in Aurora, Colorado.

  • ​10 years Teaching Experience - Private Studio​
  • 2013-Current Violin Instructor at Forest Hill Music Academy
  • 2013-2015 Violin Instructor at Bloor West Music Studio
  • 2011-2013 Group Strings Teacher at Sistema Saint John Centre in Saint John, N.B
  • Taught group classes at an everyday, afterschool music program for grades 1-5.
  • 2009-2011 Teaching Assistantship at The University of Colorado in Boulder: 
  • Weekly coached undergraduate violists and organizing group repertoire classes.​

Teaching approach

viola lessons

  • ​Create a  safe, goal-orientated, FUN environment for each student to learn
  • Focus is on inspiring intrinsic motivation in the student
  • Being a patient and inspiring teacher
  • While teaching children, I always use fun and easy to remember games and names for technique
  1. FIRST Establish a great instrument Set-Up 
  • If the student is younger than 8 years of age, they will start on  a paper-mache instrument to teach principals of respect and care for instrument and a great set-up first.
  • Learn the proper Bow Hold
  • Learn the three holding positions of the instrument (Rest, Ready and Playing)

    2.   SECONDLY Gradually teach Learning by Ear, Music Reading and Rhythm and Note Solfege

  • Clap
  • Sing
  • Memory games
  • Theory Worksheets
  • Creative Technique Games


3.  THIRDLY Progress in learning Technique and Musicality

  • Establish a regular practice schedule and structure to each lesson
  • Make time for each student's individual input and creativity
  • Review previously learned songs

4.  Providing Opportunities to Showcase Learning 

  • Two recitals a year (Christmas and Early  Summer) 
  • Opportunities for Group Lessons (i.e Fiddle Group, Chamber Players etc...)

Read more about Mrs. Abramoff's teaching approaches below along with the basis musical training you can expect to receive while learning the viola.