I am a classically trained violinist in the Dallas, Lakewood Area, offering private violin lessons since 2008, for ages five and up, from absolute beginner to early advanced. I teach all different styles depending on the student's desire such as classical, Celtic, or country fiddle music through music literacy. For more information about me, please explore my site. For lesson information and rates please contact me at:

Hello, my name is Joan Avant-Rossi. I am a classically trained violinist from Texas, and hold two music degrees from the University of North Texas. (B.M. in Music History and Literature with a minor in Theory, M.A. in Musicology with a minor in German). At the university I studied violin with Julia Bushkova and (Baroque violin) with Cynthia Roberts. I have been a member of the performing groups such as the UNT Symphony Orchestra, UNT Chamber Orchestra, Collegium (Baroque Orchestra), Jazz Strings, Denton Chamber Orchestra, the Flower Mound Chamber Orchestra, and the South Indian Ensemble. I also did string luthier work with Mike Sheriff in Arlington, TX. And on the technology spectrum, I use Sibelius 5 for composing and educational purposes.

I have been playing violin for 25 years; I started when I was 11, so I'll let you do the math on how old I am. I've been teaching professionally for 9 years here in the Lakewood area of Dallas, Texas. My personal favorite areas of classical music are opera and 20th century Minimalism. I of course have a soft spot for the Romantic period. Where would we be without Tchaikovsky, Brahms, and Mahler? We would still be in the Classical period, (for you history buffs). Nevertheless I do not discriminate about "classical" music in general. The violin is a beautiful instrument that has changed so much stylistically throughout the ages, yet it always has its signature weeping tone. However I believe that violin lessons should NEVER bring about weeping but rather the enjoyment from learning. I know from experience that the happier student plays better. So that is what I am here to offer, the enjoyment and enrichment of playing a musical instrument.

"I am passionate about the violin and own several. My passion extends to playing and, as an adult, I had taken lessons for many years and found that I just wasn't improving much at all. My teacher and I were like friends playing with one another once a week. About eight months ago, I began lessons with Joan and my playing has improved in every way, the sound, technique, phrasing, etc. I have made more progress in eight months with Joan than I did during the past five years with my former teacher. Thanks Joan!" - Dr. Tony Paterniti

"Without reservation, I recommend Joan Avant to anyone looking for an accomplished violinist with excellent teaching abilities. She adapts her teaching style to meet the individual needs of different students and has a great rapport with them. She shares her expertise readily when searching for new instruments or accessories. Her flexibility to reschedule a lesson if the need arises has been an added benefit." - Sheila, Mother of Six

  1. Q: Do you play the violin?

    A: (I seriously get this one) Yes. I’ve been playing for 25 years.

  2. Q: How long have you been teaching?

    A: I've been teaching professionally for 9 years here in Dallas.

  3. Q: Is "pitchy" a word?

    A: You hear this on popular music shows all the time. But no, it is not a word. The word you are looking for is "intonation."

  4. Q: What do you mean by music literacy?

    A: This means learning to play the violin by learning to read music. Regardless of the style, you will learn to read music."

  5. Q: Can you play for my wedding or event?

    A: No.

  6. Q: Will you teach my two year old?

    A: No not yet. I love children, but I start teaching at 5.

  7. Q: Am I too old to learn the violin?

    A: No.

  8. Q: Is the violin the same instrument as the fiddle?

    A: Yes, fiddle just refers to a style of playing.

  9. Q: Where can I get an instrument?

    A: If you want to rent, such as your child is not big enough for a full size, I recommend Brook Mays or Fiddle and Bow. If you want to buy a full sized for an adult or bigger child, then I recommend looking up Jay Rury in Richardson.

  10. Q: What books do I need for starting?

    A: We start with Essential Elements 2000 Book 1 for Violin. You can find a copy here or here.

  11. Q: Do I need any other equipment?

    A: I recommend a shoulder rest (they come in different sizes per size of violin) rosin, an extra pack of strings, and a music stand. For more info, please go here.

  12. Q: Where can I find these items?

    A: Some good places are Shar Music or Amazon

  13. Q: Do you do a recital?

    A: Yes we do a Spring Recital every year. For more info, please go here.

  14. Q: Do you have to read music to play the violin?

    A: It is best to be able to read music to play the violin. If you don’t know how to read music, no worries, I will teach you!

Joan: A Photo Timeline

High School Orchestra

Me with Shirly Bellus-a very cool lady- (my piano teacher in high school) at our recital- that year I performed The Promise by Michael Nyman. The theme for the recital was movie music.

A group of Ms. Morrow's (my private violin teacher) students for an All State Orchestra audition preparation session.

University of North Texas- a chamber concert with Julia Bushkova (my violin professor) and Eugene Osadchy

UNT Baroque Orchestra- Performing on period instruments in Crested Butte, Colorado. At the time we were concerting around Antonio Vivaldi's Four Seasons and other Baroque delights.

The Baroque Orchestra by a mountain somewhere in Colorado

And then the altitude got to us

Private Lessons

Beginners & Experienced

Musical Literacy



A Violinist's Brain

The Sensory Cortex: The part of the brain that contains tactile feedback from playing an instrument or dancing. In violinists the part of the Sensory Cortex that deals with the actions of the left hand (the hand that plays the notes) is larger than the part that deals with the right hand (or in other words the bow arm). And in general, the Sensory Cortex is larger in violinists than in other people.

The Genius Theory

Are certain children prone to being child prodigies and musical geniuses? According to the musician and neurologist Daniel J. Levitin this is not the case but rather presents the 10,000 hour theory. This theory states that the logged hours of practice make up the musician rather than a special predisposition in ability to learn an instrument. He gives the stunning example of Mozart (whom everyone considers a child prodigy or genius). "The classical rebuttal to the ten-thousand-hours argument goes something like this:

'Well, what about Mozart? I hear that he was composing symphonies at the age of four! And even if he was practicing forty hours a week since the day he was born, that doesn't make ten thousand hours.' First, there are factual errors in this account: Mozart didn't begin composing until he was six, and he didn't write his first symphony until he was eight. Still, writing a symphony at age eight is unusual, to say the least. Mozart demonstrated precociousness early in his life. But that is not the same as being an expert. Many children write music, and some even large-scale works when they're as young as eight. And Mozart had extensive training from his father, who was widely considered to be the greatest living music teacher in all of Europe at the time. We don't know much about how Mozart practiced, but if he started at age two and worked thirty-two hours a week at it (quite possible, given his father's reputation as a stern taskmaster) he would have made his ten thousand hours by the age of eight. Even if Mozart hadn't practiced that much, the ten-thousand-hours argument doesn't say that it takes ten thousand hours to write a symphony."