Samantha Crawford – Violin Teacher

Specialising in Violin
Violin Performance, New England Conservatory
Harrisburg Symphony
In-Home Lessons


violin, music, lessons, philly, philadelphiaI grew up in North Philadelphia and started violin the first time when I was 10 years old. I didn’t like it and ended up quitting, only to start up again when I was 14 years old. Having met young inspiring teachers and working with the late Joseph Primavera, former conductor of the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra, I knew music and violin would be my life.

I knew starting so late compared to most of my musician friends, I had a lot of catching up to do. I took a year off after High School to focus on preparing for college auditions. I was fortunate enough to have gotten accepted to the New England Conservatory in Boston with a huge scholarship and a housing grant. In my first student year, I was hired as a violinist to play Stravinsky’s L’histoire Du Soldat for conducting classes at the New England Conservatory for 2 years. By my second year, I was appointed Associate Concertmaster in one of the School Orchestras.
After college, I have won jobs in orchestras in Indiana and have taught frequently as a private teacher. I was also an auxiliary adjunct teacher at the prestigious University of Notre Dame.
I am currently busy performing concerts with the Harrisburg Symphony as a contracted member of the orchestra. I also perform with many orchestras in the area such as, the Philly Pops, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Chamber Orchestra First Edition and many more. I also perform with the Louisiana Philharmonic in New Orleans, the Florida Orchestra in St. Petersburg, and the Richmond Symphony in Virginia but am cutting down on travels to teach more.
I am currently looking for a house to call our home with my violinist husband and our four adorable feathered children. 2 grey cockatiel parrots, Calvin & Hobbes and 2 conure parrots, Peanut & Macadamia. You can follow them on IG @hobbesloves


When did you begin playing violin, and why?
I first began when I was 10 years old after seeing 2 sisters playing Bach Double concerto at a school talent show. I went home and told my mom that I wanted to play violin. The first teacher kept giving me difficult things to learn within months, 3-octave scales and arpeggios, real concertos etc., and I didn’t enjoy the pressure so I quit.
I started again when I was 14, as I was going into high school because my cousins still played and it made me miss it. But this time I was ready and inspired by a young teacher who I looked up to a lot. I also miraculously got into the Philadelphia Youth Orchestra that same year and got to travel to England!


What other instruments do you play, and what is your experience with them?
I started playing piano before violin and really wish that I had continued it along with violin. Piano playing helps a lot with learning and sight-reading music on other instruments.


What are your personal goals as a musician?
My personal goals as a musician is to never stop learning and improving. Never comparing myself to anyone but myself. Always keeping my ego in check and to play well with others in life and music.


Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked?  Something you’ll remember forever?
As you learn a very difficult instrument, such as the violin, you never stop having those moments. I still have those moments haha. That’s what I’ll always remember. There’s always more to learn!


What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past teachers?
If you’re not in the moment 100% when playing a piece, what is the point?
It’s not always about playing perfect. Who cares if you played all the notes if you didn’t make you or anyone else feel anything?


What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?
Preparing for auditions. Not comparing myself to other people’s level.


What is your biggest musical achievement?
Getting into New England Conservatory when it was number 2 in the country after only 5 years of playing, I auditioned on my the concerto that I learned and performed in its entirety. Vieuxtemps No 5.


Favorite thing about teaching?
Kids are like sponges for learning if they are having fun. I feel like I’m still a kid so I’m on the same level haha. My favorite thing about teaching is that, it keeps me energetic and I am also learning with them.


What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?
Never tell yourself you can’t do something or that something is too difficult. That’s the first step to failure.
If someone tells you, you can’t do something, work hard and prove them wrong. On that note, be realistic and honest with yourself to know where you’re at.


Personal music projects
I am currently a 3rd year contracted violinist with the Harrisburg Symphony Orchestra. I also currently perform with the Philly Pops, Opera Philadelphia, Pennsylvania Ballet, Reading Symphony, The Florida Orchestra, and The Richmond Symphony. I have performed with the New Jersey Symphony, Alabama Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony and previously held the position of Assistant Concertmaster of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra in Indiana for almost 8yrs where I met my husband. (also a violinist).