Jonathan Mei, Violin Instructor
At age six I attended a music festival in Mendocino, California, where I first witnessed live Balkan music (folk music from Eastern Europe). I was immediately enchanted by the music, dance and culture there, but one particular element gripped me most of all: the violin. I started asking my parents for an instrument of my own, and after a couple years I finally had one in my hands. While the Balkan tradition inspired me to take up violin, I began studying Western classical music in order to develop a technical foundation first. However, after starting lessons I promptly fell in love with the music of Bach, Brahms and Tchaikovsky, and didn’t look back until many years later.
My violin studies carried me through high school and eventually to the University of Puget Sound, where I attended on a music scholarship. While playing in orchestras, chamber ensembles and masterclasses, I also studied communications and rhetoric. Between classes I started a band with friends and began experimenting with other musical genres. At around this point I was compelled to revisit and explore the Balkan styles that had inspired me over a decade before. I returned to the same festival I had visited as a child and started to learn the music in earnest. By the time I graduated college I had forayed into numerous alternative styles on the violin, including Balkan, blues, Americana, and Irish fiddle.
I moved to Los Angeles after school to pursue careers in violin teaching and songwriting. I currently teach private lessons out of my home studio, where I also write and record original songs with my co-producer. I am fascinated by folk styles from around the world, and seek to learn, teach, and incorporate them into my own music as a composer.