About the Studio


Violist Mark Pfannschmidt has been teaching violin and viola since 1986 and currently teaches at his home studio in Derwood, MD. He received the 2011 Teacher of the Year award for the MD/DC Chapter of ASTA (American String Teachers Association).

To find out more, click here.

As of September 2018, I have 15 students:
6 middle school/5 high school/4 adults
11 violists/3 violinists/1 pianist

MCYO for 2018-19:
Michael Wang - Young Artist - viola

PVYO for 2018-19:
Zachary Edenbaum - Symphony - violin
Audrey Tagg - Philharmonia - violin
Rosemary Yang - Symphony - viola

PVYO for 2017-18:
Zachary Edenbaum - Concert Orchestra - violin
Rosemary Yang - Sinfonia - principal viola 

MCYO for 2017-18:
Michael Wang - Chamber Strings - principal viola

MCYO for 2016-17:
Rachel Alcazar - Chamber Strings - viola
Michael Wang - Chamber Strings - viola
Tianlai Yang - Chamber Strings - principal viola

PVYO for 2015-16:
Faith Hui - Symphony - viola
Hannah Cohen - Philharmonia - violin

MCYO for 2015-16:
Rachel Alcazar - Prep Strings - viola
Tianlai Yang - Chamber Strings - viola
Olivia Buresh - Philharmonic - viola

Sophia Kim AYPO for 2015-16.

2015 Feder Competition results:
Dana Wolpe - winner - beginner viola division
Olivia Buresh - 3rd place - intermediate viola division

Former students who have completed or are pursuing advanced studies on their instrument:

Patrick Sykes (viola) - is a student at Towson University with a minor in viola. He is a student of Dr. Sherry Norwitz.

Hannah Cohen (violin) - is a student at West Virginia University with a minor in violin performance.

Christopher Lock (viola) - graduated from the Interlochen Arts Academy in 2013 and the Peabody Institute in 2017. He completed a BM with a double major in Viola Performance and Computer Music Composition. He studied with Renee Skerik at IAA and Victoria Chiang and Richard Field at Peabody.

Stephan Loh (viola) - spent three years in the National Symphony Youth Fellowship Program where studied with William Foster. Currently minoring in viola with Katherine Murdoch, he is at UMD.

Studio Policy

(Rates for 2017-18 School Year) 

Returning students enroll for the entire school yea
New Students may begin at any time that is mutually convenient. A trial lesson will be scheduled at the normal lesson rate. There is no obligation to enroll.

Tuition plans:
  1. Two equal semester payments (with a 5% discount)
  2. Eight equal monthly installments (the last installment is paid in April)
  3. Similar options will be offered to new students who begin mid-year.

With the exception of pre-school children, I do
not offer 30 minute lessons.

45 Minute Lessons are offered for beginning students up to the early concerto level. $73 per lesson. If my schedule permits, young beginners may be offered the option of coming twice per week for 30 minutes at the 60 minute rate. Additional family member $70.

60 Minute Lessons are for students at the level of early concertos and above. $93 per lesson. Additional family member $90.

Fees - Students will be charged a fee of $50 per family per semester for a studio recital, whether or not they are able to participate. This fee is charged at the beginning of the semester.

Bad Weather
If you are not comfortable driving to a lesson because of current weather conditions, please call me as soon as possible. I offer lessons by Skype or FaceTime if there is bad weather, and sometimes I am able to reschedule lessons earlier in the day if that is mutually convenient. I realize that bad weather sometimes brings power outages, which may affect the scheduling of online lessons. Please contact me as soon as possible so that we can make plans. If you have a question, please call me.

Teacher Absences
I have planned for one absence during the 2017-18 school year by charging you for 34 lessons out of 35 planned. (I will make a similar plan for those who begin after the beginning of the school year.) In the unlikely event that I miss more than one lesson, either makeup lessons or tuition credits will be given.

Student Illnesses
Students who have communicable diseases or are too sick to have a lesson should not come. They will not receive a makeup lesson. If a student has an extended illness or injury, please call me so we can make plans. I am willing to teach a lesson over Skype for a student who is otherwise well enough to benefit from a lesson.

Other Student Absences
If a student cannot come for a regular lesson, contact me at least one week in advance so we can reschedule the lesson. I do not offer credits. I only offer two makeup lessons for excused student absences, absences in excess of two will not be made up.
Thoughtful repetition is the key to success. Students should practice at least five days each week. With a first year student, 20 to 30 minutes a day is usually enough. In the second year, a daily minimum of 45 minutes is expected. Intermediate students should be practicing at least one hour each day. Advanced students should plan their schedules so they can practice even more. Learning to practice regularly is part of studying an instrument. I may ask a student with a pattern of poor preparation to stop taking lessons until they can demonstrate better habits.
Students are encouraged to play for others, as long as they are ready to present a performance that their audience will enjoy. Let me know about upcoming auditions or performances so the student can be well prepared. I give two student recitals each year—one in the fall and one in the spring.
Students must have a well-maintained instrument and bow of the correct size, extra strings and rosin in the case. I will let you know what music is needed. For practice at home, the student will need a music stand, metronome and tuner.
Summer can be a great time for rapid progress. Many students have more time for practice. Students who are in town and do not take summer lessons may lose a place in my fall schedule. I will give students who study in the summer priority in my fall schedule.

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Design © 2011 by Jonas Music Services. All site content belongs to Mark Pfannschmidt. Photos of Mr. Pfannschmidt © 2011 by Michael G. Stewart.