Zlata M A Brouwer MSc BMus is a classically trained, conservatory graduated violinist and well known violin pedagogue living in the Netherlands.
I currently play and perform as a first violinist in a string quartet and a professional string orchestra. I have been in a professional violin-piano duo and string trio for years including a CD recording and TV appearance.
I have a special interest in teaching. I own a violin studio with four teachers and a violin shop. I have created many method books and video courses for Violin Lounge TV and the Violin Lounge Academy.
I graduated at the Schumann Akademie in Holland as a violinist and teacher (BMus) and earned the highest possible grade in violin methodology at the Utrecht Conservatory.
Borrow my 10.000 hours of practicing and performing on the violin! I offer you my professional education as a violinist and teacher, over 20 years of private lessons, over 10 years experience in teaching and share everything I did to develop myself, my violin playing and my teaching in Violin Lounge TV and the Violin Lounge Academy.
My violin teaching style…
In my violin lessons I seamlessly combine heart centered musicality with hard core technique, specializing in creating a beautiful tone on the violin and bowing technique, making things simple and doable, clear explanations, step by step.
I love to analyze your playing and give you tailored feedback and clear practice instructions, so you know exactly how to improve your playing.
I demystify classical violin technique using modern technique. The seamless and strong combination of online courses with video, e-books etc, online community, live online lessons, personal practice plans and video exchange can boost you to the next level in your violin playing.
You have 24/7 constant guidance and structure and learn in different ways simultaneously.
My goal is that you enjoy happy practicing and beautiful playing.
Every life is a fairy tale: with adventures, danger, challenges, romance, dragons, princes and so on. Only real life is a bit less fluffy and fuzzy.
Czech-Dutch Zlata Brouwer MSc Bmus (1985), that’s me, is a professional violinist and musical entrepreneur living in Holland.
In ground school I was bullied on a daily basis for about everything I did: having a strange Czech name, being (a little) fat, getting good grades at school while doing nothing, being silent, drawing a lot etc. In every group that I joined, there came a point that everyone started bullying me.
I wasn’t very happy when my parents brought me to the music school at the age of seven for ‘general music education’. In this class we learned to sing, play the recorder, play the keyboard and to read notes. I wasn’t happy about it, because it meant that I would join another group of kids that would probably start bullying me after a while.
And I was bullied on… having a small pinky while playing the recorder… I wanted to stop and to have nothing to do with this music school ever again.
Each lesson students stopped by to demonstrate different instruments. One day two silent modest girls, just like me, stopped by with violins. I was fascinated about the shape of the violin, the beautiful sound that touched my soul in a way no other instrument could, I was fascinated about the pegs, the strings, the pearl in the bow, everything! And the girls were so nice to let me touch it and try it out!
I fell in love.
On my eighth birthday my present was a first real violin lesson! All the violin girls that I met at the music school were nice, a little silent and above all… they didn’t bully me! Not even on my small pinky! My teacher was an angel… she was so beautiful, so kind and she could make her violin sing. I wanted to become a violin teacher… not a concert violinist or chamber musician… nope, I just wanted to become a violin teacher.
I have studied at different violin teachers, joined different orchestra’s and ensembles. At the age of seventeen my violin teacher encouraged me to go to the conservatory and to become a real professional violinist. I would really like that, but what would be next? Would I end up sitting at the back somewhere in a big orchestra full time? Would I end up giving lessons day in day out? Would I end up without work and without money to live? I am an ambitious person, which means I want to develop, grow and change myself continuously and I don’t want to do the same thing all my life.
Although I really loved playing violin, I decided to choose a different path. I (thought I) had to choose a profession with which I could have a job, earn a living and have a future. I studied economics and I was very good at it, but I didn’t really like it.
Luckily I always had the feeling that the violin was going to play an important role in my life.
Since my first violin lesson I never stopped taking lessons on a regular basis, I never stopped practicing, I always played in orchestra’s. My development has not stopped since my first lesson.
At the age of eighteen my father suddenly died, which was devastating for my mother and me. It changed my life totally in one day. I lost about everything, almost also myself. I couldn’t (dream about) studying fulltime and I had to work fulltime to be able to earn a living for what was left of my family. I ignored my grief by working my ass of. There was no time for mourning. I worked in several financial jobs, made a career and finished my study in the evenings and weekends.
I did good. I was a ‘high potential’. I could be CFO before the age of thirty.
I also was unhappy, drained and depressive. I had to make a career switch to prevent going crazy.
In these days playing violin was the only way for me to relax, to clear my mind and to feel no pain. My violin was calling me. I had no idea how, but I just had to make ‘the violin’ my daily job. I just had to. Otherwise I would go crazy!
I decided to become a professional violinist en to make a living out of music and especially the violin.
I didn’t know how exactly, I didn’t know what the future would bring and frankly, I highly doubted if I could ever succeed. I just started.
I started my study of classical music and violin at the Schumann Akademie (whilst writing my Master of Science thesis and working fulltime), I started finding students to give violin lessons to, had my first performance on Dutch national television and I started buying and selling violins for my students. I charged € 10 per lesson, payment was cash and I gave the lessons in my home.
During the Master study I built my own violin business and made career switch from working as a financial to running my own violin shop and teaching studio.
My shop started in my house… I lived in between violins. This shop, Zlata Strijkinstrumenten, grew very quickly. I had a unique formula and thousands of happy customers. In 2011 the Dutch chamber of commerce gave me the award ‘Entrepreneur of the Year’, I appeared in may entrepreneurial rankings and appeared regularly in the Dutch media.
While writing my Master thesis I did the first year of violin at the conservatory. I had no delay in my studies.
Also… I didn’t have much fun… didn’t know much more emotions besides being stressed or tired or both. I ignored my wants, my needs, my body, my mind, myself. I went from being a financial analysis machine to a violin play machine. I knew nothing but working and studying for 60 to 80 hours a week.
This went on until the day of my violin final exam. The jury was very positive. It was done!
I have cried, screamed, fainted and above all worked my ass off in the past years.
To Freedom, Happiness and Abundance in any way!
I know that I can reach more people with my message and my mission. That brings me online in English, which is not my native language.
My goal with Violin Lounge TV and the Violin Lounge Academy is to demystify classical violin technique using modern technique and help violinists like you world wide to make their musical dreams come true by sharing the best possible violin education!
Helping violinists, violists and cellists is always been my daily job since the age of twenty, when I started giving violin lessons, selling violins and giving away lots of helpful information. I have seen that lots of musical dreams have come true in my work and I would like to share this with a bigger audience.
Playing violin is so valuable… I want to share this pleasure with the world… with you!
Lots of love from Holland,