Violin, Viola, & Cello Lessons
Since 1992, Richard Ferguson has taught violin lessons. Since then, many parents have entrusted their children to his kind influence. Over the last 10 years, he and his wife KaraLyn with the help of a few other gifted teachers have maintained a private studio of almost 100 students per week. Those who have taken violin, viola or cello lessons at Ferguson Music Company, have been among the top students in South East Idaho. Many have been accepted into the All-State and All-Northwest programs, and have gone on to receive scholarships to college music programs and have become great teachers and performers.
Rexburg, Idaho is one of the most supportive communities for string playing in the nation--especially for it's size. Located in Rexburg, the highly acclaimed Madison String Program has been training fine string players for over 30 years and preparing them for a life in music. Since Richard and KaraLyn Ferguson have been teaching private lessons, their students have always been found in the top handful of students in each class. This is because of the Fergusons' dedication to excellence and their reputation for quality. If you are in need of a fine teacher, contact us.
Below is an article describing Richard's violin teaching approach:
Strings: A Foundation for Life
It is well established that music enriches and enhances the education process. Students involved in music and fine arts find more purpose in all areas of study and meaning in the world around them.
This is especially true in the study of string instruments. Playing the violin or other violin-family instrument is a rewarding challenge that takes the student on a journey that stimulates the whole soul. This journey reinforces eternal principles of rhythm, pitch, harmony, and tonal beauty. Each of these principles has application in both string instrument playing and the real world in which we live.
Although the musical application of these principles is obvious, the real-world application may not be. Here are some examples of real-world applications of these musical principles: Rhythm—being in the right place at the right time doing the right thing; Pitch—learning to discern right from wrong and choosing right; Harmony—getting along with others by aligning our lives with our most fundamental beliefs of love for God and neighbor; Tonal Beauty—living each and every moment of our lives to the fullest with gratitude and virtue.
By participating in strings, students are exposed to these guiding principles and learn to apply them in their playing and in their daily lives. Students who learn these principles make the world around them a better place regardless of whether they pursue a career in music or not.
A Life of Dedicated Instruction
Richard Ferguson was born the fourteenth child of Hal and Carma Ferguson and raised in the Upper Snake River Valley, where he currently resides. He started playing the violin at the age of nine and at the age of nine and a half asked his father if he could quit. His father replied saying, “When you are finished, you can quit.” Needless to say, Richard is not yet finished playing the violin.
He made his way through the Madison orchestra program under the direction of Rick Hansen, and private instructors, Jenny Wilson, Lisa Weisse, and Florence Romney. At the age of 16, he began teaching his own private students, and has continued to do so for the last 14 years. After high school, he attended Ricks College where he studied violin with LaMar Barrus for a year before serving a mission to Curitiba, Brazil. After his mission, he returned to his studies at Ricks College where he met and married violinist KaraLyn Burt. During this time he studied viola with Kevin Call, started a music business, and developed his private violin/viola studio to include as many as 65 students.
Since then, he has taught public school orchestra in the Idaho Falls, Madison, and Sugar-Salem School Districts, and continued to improve his violin shop. The Fergusons together with Brian and Natalie Ashton founded the Mountains & Strings Chamber Music Retreat in 2001. This remarkable string camp for teens just finished its 7th successful year. In 2004, Richard and KaraLyn helped found the Rexburg Tabernacle Orchestra where they serve as co-concertmasters. All along the way, Richard has continued to develop his playing and teaching skills while spending time with KaraLyn and their five children. He has spent his adult life teaching students the principles that he has come to hold dear and is grateful to teach at a school where those principles are embraced.
Method Behind the Principles
Through his 14 years of teaching experience, Richard has developed a unique system of teaching strings that uses elements from the great teachers Kato Havas, Erich Doflein, Shinichi Suzuki, and Carl Flesch among many others. He believes that students truly seeking to understand the principles of beautiful string playing will find profound truths in many different approaches. The key is not only physical practice, but mental practice and spiritual preparation. Combining these key elements with one other critical element form the master key to success on a string instrument.
This other critical element is persistence. Richard believes that God gives us gifts and talents in the form of desire. As we exercise those desires toward reasonable goals, he blesses us to attain them. Sometimes we put unreasonable time limits on our progress and give up, but it is important to work with the time God has given us to achieve as much as we possibly can. If we always put God first and our neighbor second, we will always be in the right place at the right time doing the things we should and enjoying every moment.
The principles behind getting good sound and music from a string instrument are clear and easy to understand. All we have to do is apply them by putting our minds and bodies to work and then persisting in those principles for life. Playing a string instrument is a joy for both the player and the listener when these principles are upheld. We invite you to join our string conservatory and experience the exciting journey of becoming a string player through group and private instruction and join the many who have benefited from Richard’s unique method.