The idea for Laurels for Learning started when I was teaching violin to a young student in rural China. As I was wrapping up my fellowship, I tried to find a local teacher so she could continue her studies. It turned out that the nearest violin teacher was in a city four hours away! I realized that I had to get creative and teach her remotely in order for her to continue with violin.
Fast forward to today, three years later. I still teach her violin once every week. I remember all the victories – when she played a Bach Musette with all of the musical nuances she was working on for a month, when jumped with joy after correctly playing her first two-octave scale, and many more. I’ve also pushed my limit in teaching and in my own playing. I had to break down my own technique in order to give clearer instructions, and having this skill helped me grow as a musician and as an educator.
Through this experience, I came to realize how limited access to this special experience is. With costs of at least $50 per hour (in the United States) and comparable costs elsewhere, regular private instruction is still a luxury for most families. Private lessons are the best way to ensure practice and consistent growth in music and sports, and providing one-to-one instruction will help level the education gap outside the classroom. However, there is little focus put on extracurricular activities in the fight to combat education inequality. I founded Laurels for Learning to fill this need, and I hope that you will join us in our mission.
Founder & President