San Jose,CA 95117, United States


When I updated my website I asked my existing and previous students if they had anything they would like to contribute. I was overwhelmed by the response, and even more by the content. This is what they sent me. I have noted the age of the student, or if it is a parent of a student.

“First off, I would like the thank you. I not for you, I would have given up violin long before we made it to CO and found that music was a viable option for a career. You also proved to me that I can learn and play and perform, even multiple instruments, which is what I want to do. ” K.M. (college)
“Gretchen Is the best. We tried a few teachers, and Gretchen’s informal style connected with my kids. She makes learning and playing fun. The organization of group chamber events are special summer highlights. My kids started in grade school, and my daughter still looks forward to her lessons today as a college student, so Gretchen works well with students of all ages. Gretchen gave my family the gift of music.” M.L. (parent)
“Thank you so much for teaching me the violin. It is such a beautiful instrument and has such a great, bold sound. I love that you encourage me to try my best. Even when I made a mistake, you would never be strict about it. You would always be kind and loving.” R.S. (10 years old)
“Violin was not on my bucket list, but after sitting in on my daughter's lessons, I wanted to take lessons from her too. She is the most professional and proficient music teacher of my experience (this is my third serious instrument.) Gretchen is very tech savvy; she organizes her student lesson plans electronically and has given me tips and tricks on using a music app to manage my own assignments. The transition to virtual lessons for COVID has worked out surprisingly well; she still coaches very effectively via skype. Three years with her and I am on my second Vivaldi concerto.” C.K. (adult)
“Gretchen is a kind, understanding, and patient teacher. Her passionate energy encouraged me to express myself musically and want to continue playing music.” C.T. (high school)
“I’ve been a student of Gretchen’s for almost 4 years and I’ve grown so much as a violist from these years! My passion for music has blossomed over these years as Gretchen has helped me build a solid foundation of skills, which I’m now building upon as an advanced player. With encouragement and guidance from Gretchen, I was able to audition and be accepted into the Senior group at San Jose Youth Chamber Orchestra. While playing the viola used to be something of a chore, I now look forward to practicing and participating in chamber music and orchestral sessions!” T.V. (high school)
“She has loads of patience and is great at coming up with creative approaches to playing challenging pieces. Lessons are always a positive experience.” D.M. (adult)
“I continued my lessons after a few months because I felt that the teaching style changes based on your needs. Ms. Miescke is very understanding and suits your own musical needs based on your level, as well as the genres of music that you prefer. I felt like playing the cello wasn't just about the notes and instrument, but creating music in its pure form, telling a story, adventure, or journey. ” D.M. (adult)
“She has loads of patience and is great at coming up with creative approaches to playing challenging pieces. Lessons are always a positive experience.” A.D. (high school)
“I was grateful to have found Gretchen Miescke as a teacher for my four children after moving to California. having them all on different stringed instruments, i could have spent a lot of time driving to separate lessons but Gretchen was able to instruct violin, viola, cello, and bass at their various levels with skill. she had fair expectations and pushed each of them individually while including something fun. we moved to Colorado last year and have had to find four teachers because, with the exception of a few violin/viola teachers, no single person does what Gretchen can do. my oldest is now entering college and was accepted into three different music programs. I know Gretchen was part of her success. .” E.M. (parent)
“I’ve been taking violin lessons with Gretchen for the past six years. Reflecting back, I have realized how much I’ve grown, not only as a musician, but also as a person. With the benefit of hindsight, it is incontrovertible that this development would not have been possible without Gretchen’s help. Six years ago, I would never have fathomed that I would be the concertmaster of my high school’s orchestra. Eleven year old me would’ve never considered that six years later, I would be a first violinist in the San Jose Youth Symphony and play in top concert venues around the world. Put simply, before I met Gretchen, these achievements would’ve never been within the realms of possibility. The most salient notion about Gretchen’s teaching style is that she is hands-on, yet gives students leeway. This is effective because it allows students to have room to interpret and apply her advice, thus giving them a sense of responsibility. This is exemplified in technically demanding passages in pieces; Gretchen will provide various pieces of advice and curatives, but it is ultimately up to the student to decide what works best for them. I’ve had music teachers in the past demand that their students strictly adhere to whatever they say. However, the drawback to this is that students do not have the same degree of understanding and independence than they would with a teacher, like Gretchen, who allows more room for interpretation. Furthermore, Gretchen is always eager to help with auditions for school or youth orchestras. She has decades of experience and a myriad of tips and tricks to ameliorate one’s playing. Gretchen’s helped me with all of my seating auditions ever since she encouraged me to join the San Jose Youth Symphony five years ago. Indubitably, Gretchen is not only well versed in music and an excellent teacher, but she’s also an extremely charismatic and caring person. .” C.J. (high school)