Violinist and Teacher in Tucson, AZ


Howard Lee Harkness, Violinist and Teacher in Corona de Tucson, AZ

Howard Lee Harkness
Current Schedule

I have moved to Corona de Tucson, AZ. I intended to retire in Texas, but I got an offer in Tucson that was just too good to turn down. Teaching violin is an avocation. My main “day job” is writing software. But I would like to get back to running a violin studio once things get settled down for a bit.

Although I prefer in-person lessons, I offer lessons online. If you are interested in online lessons, please contact me at

Shakespeare called music “The Food of Love” – but it’s much more than that. A child who studies music shows increased development of the parts of the brain that govern mathematical and engineering abilities. The discipline of practice will benefit any other pursuit in later life.

I developed a love for the violin at the age of 9, when I began my own study of the instrument. 7 years years later, I became concertmaster of my high school orchestra. I was a member of the El Paso All-City orchestra, the Texas All-State orchestra, and during my high school senior year, the El Paso Symphony Orchestra, and concertmaster of the Baylor Summer Symphony. That year I also won the El Paso Music Teachers’ Award For Outstanding Violin Performance.

Since that time, I have performed with several groups in the DFW area, including Threadneedle Street and The Old Crusty Minstrels. My favorite genre is Celtic music, but I also teach various other fiddling techniques. Up until I moved to Tulsa, I was a member of the NTSO. I re-joined the NTSO when I returned to Texas, but now that I’m in Arizona, I’m planning to join the Tucson community orchestra next season.

My teaching experience includes substitute teaching for the Austin Independent School District, technical course presentation, and teaching continuing education classes for Collin County and Richland Community Colleges in the Dallas, TX area.

My philosophy is that music should be FUN, and I emphasize techniques for getting the best possible sound from the violin. I teach a variety of styles, but I start all beginners with classical technique (including reading standard music notation), because that is the most versatile. I do not use the Suzuki Method, although I use some of the Suzuki materials (I find the Suzuki editions generally higher quality than some other publishers).

Private Lessons are $25/half-hour, payable monthly in advance. I can also advise beginning students on instrument selection. There is no charge for an initial interview with prospective student. Minimum age for private lesson is 6 (first grade). For students under the age of 12, a parent or guardian should attend* each lesson with the child. I  accept adult students at any age — I have had students older than I am! 20% discount for two or more students from the same family.

I was affiliated with Music Learning Unlimited in Plano, TX until the end of November 2006, when the school closed. I taught at my residence in Plano, near Custer and Cross Bend until June 2014, when I turned my studio over to a friend and fellow member of the NTSO in order to pursue some contract opportunities. I taught in Tulsa for 6 years, returned to Texas, and as I mentioned, I have now moved to a small unincorporated community south of Tucson.

To arrange your free initial consultation, email today.


  • Parent of student under 12 years of age is expected to take notes and learn to tune the instrument, and should be willing to commit to supervising regular practice with the student. This is an enormous help to the younger student.
  • You are also encouraged to bring an audio or video recorder to at least one lesson each month — it makes a wonderful record of the progress of your child.
  • Students need to maintain a spiral or ring-binder notebook in which to keep notes and assignments.
  • I no longer rent or sell instruments, but I will be happy to provide guidance for purchasing an instrument suitable for the student.

Sheet Music Downloads plus Audio Files