Daniel, Scranton violin student:

“Why do I study violin? I enjoy music…especially the music that Fritz and Leah have taught me. Not only do I enjoy music but I also benefit from the entertaining conversation that creates the low key atmosphere with the Valenches family. If I were asked to explain why I have chosen to study with the Valenches’, I would say that there is no teacher in this area that surpasses them. The instruction is easily understood while still containing the information necessary to become a virtuoso. One on one study, is geared to fit each student as an individual. The course of study each week does not put you on the next page in your boring method book. Instead you are taught familiar and famous pieces that you will play for the rest of your life. There is no time wasted practicing unneeded material, or practicing one piece for six months. Fritz moves the student along to new material as time moves on, regardless of the perfection that they have accomplished. Leah works with the student’s posture which is so necessary and so often overlooked by other studios. Lastly, the Valenches family has compiled a unbelievable youth orchestra that helps the student find yearly goals that are very essential for progress. I study violin because I like music, but studying with the Valenches family makes music ten times better.”

Emily Pacchioli, Scranton viola student:

“Weekly inspiration, ruthless technique, and viola jokes — some pinnacles of the time I have spent with Fritz. The first day I stepped into the studio, I’m not sure what I was expecting. I came to him with a viola and a desire to learn, but I also came with several malfunctioning techniques that constantly frustrated me during practice. But now, as I look back on the short year I have spent under his instruction, I still shake my head in disbelief. The acrobatics required of the left hand used to be a source of trepidation for me. However, due to the relentlessly sterile expectations placed before me, I now embrace the thought of playing in eighth position or charging through a passage of double stops. My bow grip, which was once awkward and constricting, is now one of my favorite tools to use when creating different sounds on my viola. Finally, I understand how my instrument can feel like an extension of the body when I play!

But it wasn’t all technical drills and ruthless training. Fritz is ridiculously passionate about what he teaches. Incorporating childhood stories and personal performance experiences, his rich past in music lends itself significantly to my success in the practice room and on stage. And maybe it’s because I’m a violist, but he always has a new joke to tell when I come in the door for my lesson! The Valenches Music Company is an equally nurturing and challenging environment, and now more than ever I realize that this was exactly what I needed to prepare myself for a college level music career. I am excited to carry the stories, the technique, and the disciplines I have learned here into my own musical adventures.”

Erica Kiesewetter, Concertmaster: NEPA Philharmonic:

“As I walked into the Scranton Cultural Center last season to prepare for my own concert with the NEP I was delighted by the sounds of a small stringed orchestra in the lobby. Upon closer look I saw that it was my colleague Fritz Valenches, his accomplished violinist wife Leah and a dozen or so talented students of theirs . Although I needed to warm up myself I lingered and was thrilled to observe not only the enthusiasm and joy on the childrens’ faces but the exemplary set-up  , posture, and positioning of these fledgling musicians. They bowed in unison, their intonation was excellent; in short, the Valenches Music Company is a serious violin studio, and an undiscovered gem in the area. Music is an art that nourishes the soul, develops the body and mind and teaches self-discipline, all the while honing a skill that is a joy. I encourage one and all to consider studying the violin with the Valanches’, the benefits can last a lifetime!”

Alan Baker & Susan Kelly, Choral Society of NEPA & First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit:

“For over a decade, Fritz and Leah have been our “go to” for contracting and leading orchestral forces for both The Choral Society of NEPA and the First Presbyterian Church of Clarks Summit. They always play beautifully, with both clarity and artistry, as do the fellow musicians they locate for us, and they do so while creating a rehearsal and performance environment that is courteous, professional, and collaborative. In short, great end results with smiles, some laughs, and a minimum of stress in getting there.”

Alex Livanos, Electronic Production and Design student at Berklee College of Music:

“Fritz Valenches has been pivotal to my growth with the violin. Taking lessons from Fritz has given me the advantage of having a strong technical background, which not only prepared me for my lessons in school, but is stressed as part of the core methodology of private instruction in college. I find that my workload in college is much easier because Fritz’s assignments have given me the skills to respond to the demands of my teachers. I also participated in his Sinfonia Youth Orchestra for several years, which is a brilliant group of young musicians performing pieces ranging from Baroque to Pops with the intonation and musicality that much more mature musicians would exhibit. I felt that the orchestra as a supplement to my lessons was particularly useful because it gave me the experience of playing in a group, exposed me to many different playing styles and genres, and showed how to play with other instrumentalists. Fritz was extraordinarily helpful in preparing me for my college audition. He gave me professional advice on choosing a piece, helped refine my musicality, and gave me tips and tricks to work out difficult sections. I truly believe that if it weren’t for the technical background, musical exposure, and most importantly the knowledge to know what to do to progress my individual growth that Fritz gave me, I would never be where I am now.”

Samuel Meade, M.M. in Viola Performance, University of Louisville Graduate String Quartet, Violin Instructor Bader Music Village, KY:

“Fritz Valenches is the master of teaching simple remedies. When I started taking lessons with him, I had terrible intonation, no bow control, and horrid vibrato. In the first three months of working with Fritz, he changed my vibrato into the concerto style and made me acutely aware of my lack of scales and my faulty ear. He gave me a couple of exercises for each problem and said that I would be thirty percent better in a month if I practiced faithfully. I took his challenge and practiced my fingers off. The exercises were not easy and they stretched my arms, but I could play with a clear and solid tone for the first time. He did the same thing for my bow arm. I could not believe the clear crisp tone quality that I now possessed. In two years time, I was playing Bach, Mozart, and Schumann with a good Galamian technique. I studied four blessed years with Fritz and completed two recitals to complete my bachelor degree. Because of his teachings, I had an easy time finding a teaching job and I am currently receiving a full ride scholarship for my masters in music performance degree. If any string player wants to play violin or viola with a sophisticated artistry, Fritz Valenches will make it possible for you to attain the tone quality you desire. Not every performer is a teacher, but Fritz has mastered both arts!”

Christy Hinkle, Student:

“I took lessons for several years from a few different teachers before I began studying with Fritz. After I started studying with Fritz, I quickly found out I had picked up bad habits and had been taught wrong technique. He immediately started working on my technique–posture, tone, bowing, double stops, and positions. We jumped right into scale systems, etudes and fundamental violin repertoire. He focused on things my previous teachers had never even mentioned! Through Fritz’s method of teaching and emphasis on technique, I have seen drastic improvement in my violin playing. I am now playing pieces that would have impossible for me to play, had it not been for Fritz’s teaching.”

Jila and Masood Otarod:

“If you want a first-rate violin teacher, Fritz Valenches is the choice. Our son Parsa started taking lessons with Fritz in 2008 and in 2011 he auditioned and became the concertmaster of the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra as a freshman. Under Fritz’s tutelage his technique developed in no time. Parsa has performed solos with the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra and he is called to perform at many local events. Fritz is an asset to this community and the service he provides is unparalleled. Fritz, thank you for all you have done for our son.”

Daniel Marx:

“Without a doubt, the Valenches’ are the premiere violinists of the Scranton area. As Director of Liturgical Music at the Cathedral of Saint Peter in Scranton, I have witnessed time and again their professionalism and outstanding talent. Their courtesy and prompt response each time I call upon them is unmatched and it truly is a joy to work with them. The Valenches’ share not only their expertise each time they perform at the Cathedral, but also their love and passion for making beautiful music – a gift all come to sincerely appreciate.”

Rebecca Hricko, Scranton violin student:

“If you want to get serious about the violin, then you can do no better that the Valenches Music Company. I have been taking violin for six years under the instruction of Fritz Valenches, and I am more than a little amazed with how far Fritz’s instruction has brought me. I never thought I would be playing Bach and Paganini after only eight years of study. Fritz is not the kind of teacher that does not challenge his students; on the contrary, he is always giving us pieces to learn that are challenging in so many different ways, and what is more, he know how to teach those pieces well. If you want violin instruction that rounds you in many areas, go to Fritz. His lessons will prepare you for any career choice that you can take as a classical violinist, either performance or teaching. Thanks to Fritz’s instruction, I want to be a violin teacher after I graduate to hopefully give other people the kind of quality lessons that I have received.”

Kris Bjornstad:

“Please tell Fritz again how absolutely thrilled we are with how Sarah is doing. She is doing stuff that just astounds me! What amazes me is how she will be practicing a hard section and all of a sudden let out a scream of delight when she gets a passage or note right! Or she will say “Oh Dad…I just LOVE that NOTE!” And I am stumped on the question: Can this be from MY daughter – at 10 years old? It took me until college before I did things like that! I can just see how every day she is breaking new ground in her music making and I just am SO enjoying the ride just helping her out a little. She absolutely THRILLS when Fritz tells her she did a good job at a lesson. She gets SO happy and motivated!”

Anna Aubrey, Scranton violin student:

“I have been playing the violin with Fritz Valenches for seven years. Believe me when I tell you he is the best to go to for lessons. If you mention his name to anyone in the music industry in this area, the reaction is always the same: a nod of the head and a murmur of approval. The amount of music we get through is incredible. I have just graduated my sophomore year at Scranton Prep and already have an impressive resume because with Mr. Valenches, I have played Bach, Paganini, Kreisler and many other big league composers. Mr. Valenches is a rarity for a smaller town like Scranton. You would have to go to a major city like New York to find lessons like these that he teaches. Through Valenches Music House, LLC, he sells very upscale violins to his students so we may play on only the best. I play on a Stradivarius look-alike violin. The sound that comes out of the violin is loud and beautiful. Many of his students participate in the Sinfonia Youth Orchestra, an orchestra for young people that Mr. Valenches directs. It is a lot of fun and a good opportunity to show off what we can do. Overall, the experience is one not to forget. It can be challenging, but the end results are very impressive. For anyone looking to play the violin, I would most definitely recommend Fritz Valenches.”

Devon Clarke, Scranton violin student:

“I have been studying violin with Fritz for a couple months now and have already heard and felt drastic improvements in my playing. I LOVE how Fritz not only focuses on the sound produced but also the technique to produce that sound. His style of teaching is PERFECT for what I need as a developing violinist.”