“Do you brush your teeth every day?” Quinton Morris asks four students in a small Maple Valley studio. “You’re teenagers,” he teases as eyes roll, “some of you probably don’t.”

“Playing with the metronome is like brushing your teeth,” he says.

Morris isn’t teaching high school health. He’s teaching beginning violin. And he’s drilling the basics — scales, hand placement, finger position and playing with a metronome every day.

The violin is a notoriously difficult instrument to play well and — for beginners — there are many sour notes and crooked bows.

“You need a lot of practice to become good at it,” says student Brian Nguyen.

Many beginners start in public school string classes. But often the best learning takes place with a private teacher, who can zero in on strengths and weaknesses and hone potential early on. But not all students can afford private lessons.

Cue Quinton Morris, associate professor and director of chamber and instrumental music at Seattle University.

Read the full article by Stephen Hegg from KCTS here.