My name is Howard Lee Harkness, and among other things, I teach violin and viola lessons in Plano, Tx. My day job is as a programmer, but this blog is about my experiences as a violinist and teacher. Although my favorite musical genre is Celtic (I played in a local Celtic group for about 7 years), I teach classical technique, because that’s the technique that enables the student to tackle pretty much any kind of music.
I have discovered that teaching violin is probably the one thing that I have enjoyed most in my life, and once I retire from programming, I will probably make that my full-time occupation. That, and I think I’ll go back to school and get a degree in viola performance. And maybe a teaching certificate.
While I’m at it, I think that I will try to get somebody to teach me how to re-hair bows. As big as the music programs in Plano are, that could be a substantial part-time income in itself.
I also dabble in sales of violins and accessories (and I have a strong interest in internet marketing). I don’t deal in high-end instruments because I don’t have the financial capability, but I supply basic violin outfits to beginning students at good prices — so that they don’t have to gamble on getting an expensive piece of violin-shaped firewood from some eBay vendor. And I’ve located some very nice accessories (like high-quality strings) that I can offer at low prices because I don’t have much in the way of overhead. I have some affiliate relationships with various music businesses, so I will make a commission off of some (not all) purchases made through links on my site. I choose affiliate programs because I like the products, not the other way around.