Joshua Peckins has taught for over a decade in Vienna and Boston, and is on the faculty of the New England Conservatory Prep School.
Former students are currently pursuing successful performance careers in the United States, Canada, England, and Austria, and have been accepted into the Eastman School of Music, Peabody Conservatory, Manhattan School of Music, Boston Conservatory, Longy School of Music, the Prayner Conservatory in Vienna, the San Francisco Conservatory, the Schulich School of Music at McGill, Colombia, and MIT.
Joshua Peckins has written a detailed curriculum of violin technique for his students, incorporating the great pedagogical methods of Galamian, Flesch, Yankelevich, and Frischenschlager, which he was profoundly lucky to experience in detail in his own education at NEC, Yale, and in Vienna, and through a lifetime of performance experience and pedagogical research. Allowing for the uniqueness of each student, and always with patience, students are trained rigorously and systematically with this method.
The first stage is correct set-up/positioning, patience and focus in practice, basic music theory, and cultivating a joyful and respectful attitude towards music. The next stage includes training of intermediate skills such as shifting, vibrato, and bow strokes, full mastery of the fingerboard, developing more sophisticated practice skills, and learning how to decipher complex repertoire (including rhythms, bow strokes, and styles). At the advanced level, systematic training of advanced techniques becomes a focus, as well as continued exposure to different styles of repertoire and playing, and building a broad repertoire base. Sophisticated techniques, such as visualization, mental practice, and natural body flow are introduced as the individual student becomes ready. Performance skills and developing a unique, convincing artistic personality are the culmination of the artist-student’s work.
Of course, the creative and artistic development is the most important part of training and must be everpresent in the mind of teacher and student alike, since the “inner voice” is both the original inspiration for playing and its final purpose.
Career at New England Conservatory
As Prep faculty at the New England Conservatory, Mr. Peckins has led multiple students to acceptance into violin performance degree programs at prestigious conservatories. He has also coached the college Philharmonia violins (the upper-class and graduate school orchestra), was appointed 1st violin coach of the Youth Philharmonic Orchestra (the Prep’s top orchestra), co-coached with the college head of chamber music, taught the Festival Youth Orchestra violins for two years, and has led several chamber groups to Jordan Hall honors performances and other off-campus honors performances.
Other Institutional Associations
Mr. Peckins has taught at many of the most prestigious institutions for music education in Greater Boston, including Walnut Hill School for the Arts, New England Conservatory, From the Top, the Rivers School, the Winsor School, the New School of Music, NMYO, and the Concord Conservatory. This background allows Mr. Peckins to guide his students through the maze of opportunities available to students in the Boston area.
Mr. Peckins has been invited to give pedagogical workshops and lectures in Japan (broadcast on national television), recorded a special scale system for the Vienna University of Music, and has teaching experience both locally (Boston area) and in Austria (Vienna, 2009-2012). His private students have come from the United States, Japan, England, Israel, Canada, Poland, Korea, Ireland, Iran, China, and India.
Student Performance Opportunities
Mr. Peckins’ students participate in top orchestra and chamber music programs at NEC, the Boston Philharmonic Youth Orchestra, Rivers, Northeast Massachusetts Youth Orchestras, BYSO, and Districts, and have performed on From the Top.
Mr. Peckins’ private students play at least 10 solo performances each year, in formal recitals, performance classes, studio classes, concerto competitions, and community concerts. Frequent performance experience is essential to building confidence on stage, achieving success at auditions and competitions, and to the complete training of a violinist. Studio classes give students a chance to perform in a low-pressure environment, test out new skills, and create a strong sense of community within the studio. Formal recitals give students the chance to perform in beautiful concert spaces for friends and family. Community concerts let students experience the power of their own musical gifts, and connect with appreciative audiences.
Innovation in Teaching
Embracing technology and innovation in teaching, Mr. Peckins created Peckins Studio Online, an innovative website of recorded violin lessons which have been viewed thousands of times by students worldwide. Hundreds of recorded lessons on technique, etudes, and repertoire let students review key concepts at home and maximize private lesson time.
Every student also receives an online lesson notebook, allowing students easy access to assignments, practice instructions, and lesson notes. Special enrichment projects and access to the studio library of books and recordings expand on the work done in private lessons.
For the 2019/20 academic year, Mr. Peckins will teach the Advanced Violin Seminar, inspired by the renowned post-graduate Technique Class taught at the Vienna University of Music. In weekly, 2-hour masterclasses for ambitious violinists, this rigorous seminar aims to give students a thorough understanding of violin technique, a deep awareness of the professional world of violin playing, and greater ability in their own performance.
The general atmosphere in Mr. Peckins’ studio is of excitement, joy and respect for the music, and a strong motivation to make substantial progress. Mr. Peckins encourages students always to reach for the highest possible musical standards, while also working on the personal aspects of violin study – such as patience, non-judgmental self awareness, concentration and discipline – that both make those musical goals possible and enrich the student’s whole life.
Not all students will go on to a professional career in music, but the standards of excellence, personal striving, cultivating a creative, artistic sensibility, working non-judgmentally as part of a community, and learning to share one’s gifts with others are vital for anyone. Mr. Peckins’ standards and expectations for his students are extremely high, but kindness and the development of the human being always come first.
Education and Pedagogical Training
Joshua Peckins holds an advanced Post.Grad Degree in Violin Performance from the University of Music and Performing Arts of Vienna, Austria, where he studied with legendary pedagogue Michael Frischenschlager, a student of Yehudi Menuhin. In addition to private studies and a full performance program, he completed Prof. Frischenschlager’s renowned Technique Class (featured in The Strad), and takes great pleasure in passing on the intricacies and subtleties of violin technique learned there to dedicated students.
He also holds a Master of Music Degree from Yale School of Music and a Bachelor of Music Degree from New England Conservatory.
To gain further pedagogical experience after his formal training, he completed lesson observations with Don Weilerstein and Magdalena Richter, and was Suzuki certified.
Joshua Peckins has extensive performance experience ranging from Jordan Hall, to Carnegie Hall, to Crystal Hall in Asahikawa, Japan, and performs frequently as recital soloist throughout New England. Please click here to read his performance bio, or click here to listen to live solo recordings.
More information is available in the Studio FAQ.
Instruction is possible in English, German and French.
If you are interested in taking private lessons with Mr. Peckins, or learning more, please send him an email via the contact link to arrange a first meeting/audition.