Garrett Fischbach

Violin, Viola
5
9 Reviews
Featured Teacher on Lessonface Since March 2020

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About

I am a tenured member of the Grammy Award winning Metropolitan Opera Orchestra. I offer inspiring violin and viola lessons to enthusiastic intermediate and advanced players pursuing careers in music, as well as students playing simply for the value music brings to their life.

As a full-time member of the MET Orchestra since 1998, I have won three Grammy Awards, performed regularly at Carnegie Hall, toured Europe and Japan, and appeared on  “Live in HD”  broadcasts to cinema screens worldwide. I was a member of the San Francisco Symphony from 1996-98 and the National Symphony Orchestra from 1995-96, and participated in Grammy Award winning recordings with each of those orchestras. My 2-CD recording of the complete works for solo violin by J.S. Bach was released to critical acclaim in 2004.

I am a frequent adjudicator for Juilliard Pre-College concerto competitions, and was a college division faculty member at Mannes School of Music from 2008-2015, and an adjudicator for the Manhattan School of Music Orchestra Performance Program in 2012. I have performed and taught at the Sun Valley Artist Series, the Sid & Mary Foulger International Music Festival, the International Music Academy Pilsen, Czech Republic, and International Workshops in Graz, Austria. 

I earned my Bachelor of Music degree, Magna Cum Laude, from Boston University and my Master of Music degree from Northern Illinois University. I began my violin studies at a young age with my father Gerald Fischbach, and later studied with Elaine Richey, George Neikrug, Roland and Almita Vamos, Yuri Mazurkevich, and Shmuel Ashkenasi.

Through the study of music we can become more attuned to beauty in the world around us.

As a teacher, I aim to nurture each individual’s creativity, while fostering conscious, purposeful, and efficient strategies for use in the practice room. My students feel empowered to become their own best teacher, crafting meaningful and compelling musical performances.

As a member of the MET Orchestra, I have learned from great singers past and present, and strive to imbue string playing with the expressiveness of the human voice.

Having won auditions for three major orchestras during my career, and also adjudicated auditions for the MET Orchestra, I can offer insightful and effective audition coaching.

My former students have won scholarships to major music schools, and positions in well-known orchestras around the world. 

Most importantly, my students gain heightened aesthetic awareness and self-directed learning skills which enhance enjoyment and success in all their chosen endeavors.

American String Teachers Association (ASTA), Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), College Music Society, Chamber Music America, Associated Chamber Music Players (ACMP), MET Orchestra, AFM Local 802, International Conference of Symphony and Orchestra Musicians (ICSOM).

I teach intermediate and advanced middle-school, high-school and college students, as well as young professionals, and enthusiastic adult amateurs.

My teaching is informed by a variety of pedagogies; my own private teachers were pupils of Paul Rolland, Ivan Galamian, Oscar Shumsky, D.C Dounis, David Oistrakh, Ilona Feher, and Efrem Zimbalist.

My lessons are tailored to suit the unique skills and goals of each individual. I look forward to working with you!

Reviews of lessons with Garrett Fischbach

I had a trail lesson last week with Garrett, really enjoyed it. He makes me feel very relaxed while playing. We worked on few orchestra excerpts, and focused on something such as shifting, intonation, phrasing... especially tips on how to practice. Garrett is very patient and generous, he kept inspiring me while I am getting close to the result. I enjoyed how he understands the music and make music sounds more convincing. Very looking forward to to the lesson tomorrow.
Dan Zhang, Verified Student
May 25th, 2020
5
Garrett is a wonderful and engaging teacher. I have studied with him for the past couple years and after every lesson feel inspired not just to practice violin, but to listen, study and enjoy music. One of the most memorable aspects of our lessons has been sitting and studying videos of old and new virtuosos (not just violinists!). As a teacher myself I even have used this wonderful method to teach my 10 year olds about vibrato. This is without even mentioning his in depth knowledge of violin technique, orchestra repertoire and musical understanding. Garrett has so much love and energy for teaching that it EASILY transfers through zoom teaching. You will leave your lesson excited and inspired!
Victoria Lewis, Verified Student
May 7th, 2020
5
Garrett is an extraordinary teacher. His attention to detail, commitment, energy and unending musical knowledge make lessons not only instructive and informative, but immensely rewarding. I leave lessons feeling not only as though I can reach my goals and have a plan to do so, but that I’ve also grown as a well-rounded musician. My studies with Garrett thus far have focused on the orchestral audition repertoire, an area of his immense expertise. He excels at meeting students where they are, and my concerns or questions are thoroughly and efficiently understood and addressed. His solutions are creative, artistic, practical and technically brilliant. Studying with Garrett has been one of the best choices I’ve made in my career as a professional violinist.
Jane Kittredge, Verified Student
May 2nd, 2020
5
I am a serious amateur violinist/violist who has been playing for over 40 years. I have taken many lessons with Garrett on the viola, and each lesson has had a dramatic effect on my playing and my approach to musicianship, sound-production, and technique. Garrett got me to rethink how I approach practicing and I have found that my practice time is much more effective and enjoyable. In each lesson Garrett introduced musical and technical ideas that opened up new ways for me to think about the music I was working on. Lessons offered an excellent balance between focused practical advice to make my playing better and fascinating musical thoughts and interpretation to broaden my understanding of musical ideas.
Henry, Verified Student
April 26th, 2020
5
I studied with Garrett when I was earning my MM degree at Yale school of Music several years ago. I highly recommend him as a mentor/teacher if you are preparing for job auditions or just want to take your playing to another level. He is an amazing teacher- He helped me with several orchestra auditions and I was able to win a tenure position in the New Haven symphony orchestra. His teaching style is detail oriented with great patience. His profound music knowledge as a teacher and his precise demonstration truly creates an inspiring learning environment. He pays great attention to even the smallest details and his actionable feed back helped me to practice each piece better and master the techniques more efficiently. I felt enlightened, well-prepared and more confident after working with Garrett. Most importantly, he taught me many practical ways on how to control my techniques and present the best even when I’m nervous in an audition or a performance. Furthermore, after taking lessons with him for a while, my sound production had a noticeable improvement not only on playing orchestra excerpts but also on solo pieces. Now I’m a violin teacher in Connecticut and the lessons I took from Garrett had a big impact on the way I teach. Just recently during this quarantine, I’m happy and grateful that I found Garrett again on lessonface, it makes things so much easier for future lessons.
Yuan Ma, Verified Student
April 25th, 2020
5
This was my first online lesson with Garrett. I have had real-life lessons with him in the past, and he was informative and inspiring on Lessonface, as always. Garrett also has a very professional online studio setup, to ensure that he and his students can hear and see each other as well as possible. In my experience, Garrett is one of the top teachers in the country, especially for orchestral repertoire. He is a member of the Metropolitan Opera, after all, as well as a former faculty member of Mannes. I would highly recommend him regardless of your playing ability, but if you're an advanced player, he has knowledge and experience you simply can't get elsewhere, that will take your game to the next level.
Oliver Kot, Verified Student
April 25th, 2020
5
I found Garret in New York City after 25 years of playing violin.  I was very fortunate and excited to be put in touch with him in order to continue my development as a professional player.  As a teacher, I found him to be 100% prepared for each lesson, and I walked away from each lesson feeling inspired and empowered with my instrument.  Garret’s teaching style varies depending on the specific needs of each student, and in my case he was able to mentor me during my preparation for orchestra auditions as well as a recital at Carnegie Hall last year.  I’m excited that despite being quarantined during the coronavirus pandemic, I can continue to work with Garrett through LessonFace online.  His availability on this platform will also make future lessons easier, as I recently relocated to New Jersey, and the commute would be a bit too much.
Krisztina Kiss, Verified Student
April 19th, 2020
5
Garrett was my primary violin teacher for about a year and a half. I worked with him on a weekly basis in preparation for several Master's auditions at top conservatories. I cannot recommend Garrett enough to any intermediate, advanced or professional level player. He is passionate and deeply knowledgeable about the violin standard repertoire and effectively inspires students with his enthusiasm and energy. He makes tasteful and well-informed musical suggestions while allowing the student the space to express their own musical ideas. As a technician, he has a meticulous eye for detail and demands that same level of attention from his students. He is a keen problem solver in the practice room and combines tried and true technical concepts and exercises with individually tailored solutions. Perhaps the most important skill I learned from Garrett was how to remain analytical and creative in the practice room to solve technical problems efficiently. During this time, I also prepared a fellowship audition for the Cincinnati Symphony Orchestra with him. His decades-long professional experience as a top orchestral player was invaluable. I had no prior experience with major audition preparation so I credit his expert guidance with my success in winning that audition.
Yan Izquierdo, Verified Student
April 14th, 2020
5
Garrett Fischbach was my principal violin teacher from 2016-2018. He helped me prepare for MM auditions, and with his help I was able to get a full scholarship and Graduate Assistant position at my top-choice school. Garrett also helped me prepare for two orchestra auditions, (The Binghamton Philharmonic and Bard College's The Orchestra Now Fellowship,) both of which I won. Garrett focuses a lot on intelligent phrasing, careful bow distribution and control of bow speed, and intonation. He adapts his teaching to the needs of the individual, and is very detail-oriented. Working with him opened my eyes to so many areas of my playing that I had neglected or never even considered. I came out of my studies with him equipped with the ability to practice much more efficiently and critically. He is both demanding and encouraging of his students, which I truly appreciate. He offers valuable real-world advice about auditions and the business of playing in a professional orchestra. He is a fantastic, inspiring teacher, and I feel very grateful that I was able to study with him.
Holly Nelson, Verified Student
April 14th, 2020
5
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