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Zoë Merrill

Violin & Viola

About Zoë

Hi there! My name is Zoë and I’m a violin teacher at the San Ramon Academy of Music.

I strive to meet the individual needs and goals of my students, through lessons tailored to each and every one of them. I believe that one of the best parts of learning to play the violin is that there is always more to discover on the road to mastery, and there is not just one way to get there. Whether we’re working on Mozart, or Metallica, I want lessons to be fun, and my students to grow, not just as musicians, but as whole people. Playing music is a privilege, and I aim to gently instill that gratitude within my students, passing on what I’ve learned from all of my own teacher-mentors.

Before moving to the Bay, I was a violin fellow with MTT’s New World Symphony, a member of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and the first violinist in a piano quintet with Lincoln Center Stage. I received my MM from the Eastman School of Music, and BA from UCLA, with a minor in French. I’ve also gotten to perform with some of the best musicians alive today, from Neil Young, to Yo-Yo Ma!

Outside of music, I like to hike, try new restaurants, explore the Bay Area, and spend time with friends and family.

Book With Zoë

“I didn’t want my son to be turned off to piano because of all the practicing. Lots of work but not a ton of play. James brings enthusiasm and joy to the discipline. He picked up my son’s style and personality, and could flow according to my son’s uniqueness/playfulness.”

“My biggest concern is if my kids don’t enjoy and have no progress over a significant amount of lessons time. So far your role as a teacher has been very helpful in making my kids interested & focused on their lessons”

Book With Zoe