Student Testimonials

“Mr. Stark remains one of my all-time favorite teachers. His musical ability and knowledge are first-rate, and he makes lessons engaging. I was challenged not only to play the music, but to know the history, context and theory behind the notes. I became a better violinist than I ever thought possible.” -Kim Gouveia, Punahou School, Wellesley College

“Through my years under the teaching of Mr. Stark, I’ve come to know him as an excellent mentor due to his passion and enthusiasm. He taught me to play with musicality, and to look beyond the notes on the page. His extensive knowledge in music and dedication towards his students has encouraged me to mature as musician more than any other teacher.” –JuHye Kim, Iolani School

“Mr. Stark changed my life and kept me focused on the things that meant the most to me. His motivation and patience during my teenage years were key factors in my decision to dedicate my life to music. He not only taught me how to play and practice the violin, but also how to push myself in all aspects of life. I can’t imagine my life without his lessons.” -Audrey L. Knuth, Iolani School, Berklee College of Music

“I have learned more from Mr. Stark than all of my many other music teachers. Not only did he make me a better violinist, he rose my self confidence up, making me a much stronger player. He challenged me as a musician to strive for my best, even if the music seemed impossible. Extremely encouraging, he never gave up on a student. When he performed you could hear the musicality and precision. I knew I could rely on him to transform me into the best violinist I could be.” -Keora Flanary-Olayvar, Kamehameha Schools, Washington State Univ.

“Violin lessons with Mr. Stark were fun as well as educational. I was learning about music, and not just playing the violin. For 5+ years, he worked with me on my technique and more than adequately prepared me for competitions and auditions. His patience and encouragement made him an excellent mentor and now friend.”
-YunJa Chen, Punahou School, Massachusetts Institute of Technology

“Mr. Stark’s technical prowess and sound musicianship are reflected by his concise approach to teaching. His discipline, firm but not brash, encourages character-building and reveals his dedication to the music. At the same time, he cares about each of his students and effectively finds a way to reach out to them.” -Bonnie Heung, Roosevelt High School, University of Massachusetts Amherst

“I can confidently say that Mr. Stark never failed to make each lesson very engaging and interesting. His authentic ardor for music and his virtuosic playing, never ceased to amaze me. He not only taught me how to play the violin, but also gave me much insight into music, ranging from history to composing, as well as life lessons which reflect his knowledgeable and caring character. Thank you Mr. Stark for all the inspiration, motivation and for showing me true passion for music.” -Hyewon Lee, Roosevelt HS, UC Davis

“I learned more about the violin and music from Mr. Stark than from any other teacher. He is not only an outstanding virtuosic musician but also an excellent teacher, life coach, and someone to look to for advice and help. He puts time and effort into teaching, making sure each lesson was a learning experience. His encouragement and care motivates students to do their best, even through tough times. Mr. Stark’s influence is undeniable and I know that from now on, every goal I reach, every success I achieve, will be in part because of what he has taught me.” -Bao Ying, Roosevelt HS, Grinnell College

“During the time I took violin lessons from Mr. Stark, I grew more than I ever thought imaginable. He is an extremely encouraging teacher who is willing to help and mentor his students at any time. He mentored me in various events and projects including teaching me about music theory and composition, and guided me in composing my own original work. I would like to thank Mr. Stark for being the teacher who opened up many new opportunities for me and for being one of the greatest influences in my life. ” -Candace Choe, McKinley HS, Mills College

“Mr. Stark is an extremely knowledgeable man who never failed to teach me something new at every lesson. I enjoyed learning from him and would not hesitate to recommend him to other students.” -Edna Lau, Iolani School, Carnegie Mellon Univ.

“Learning how to play the violin from Mr. Stark complimented my entire maturation in high school: I developed concentration, technical skills, and musicality. He not only has personal virtuosity, but knows how to strengthen that quality in his students and helped me successfully train to be in my high school orchestra.” -Kristal Young, Iolani School, Harvard University, UH medical school, Brown Univ. Residency Program

“Once you’ve gone through four years of high school and have gotten to college you’ve seen a pretty good spectrum of teachers, but I think I’ll always be at odds trying to find teachers on par with Mr. Stark. Apart from fantastically teaching the technical aspects of the violin, he teaches something beyond that. He has a true passion for music and the violin that, most importantly, was transmitted to me. Anyone can attest to his virtuoso violin playing, but having him as a teacher has been one of the most fruitful pursuits I have yet undertaken. My Greek history professor said, ‘If you remember five or six sentences about Hellenistic history a couple years down the line I’ll be happy’. Thanks Mr. Stark, I think I’ll remember a lot more than that. Learning to love good music is a lifelong gift.” -Sean Yancey, Iolani School, Brown Univ.

“I was 14 years old and not very fond of adding violin to my summer activities. My experience was so interesting and worthwhile that I continued lessons through high school. As a performer, he performs by his words. I had the chance to see his techniques and words in action during his performances, which allowed me to hear very exquisite sounds. He is not only a fine teacher, but a great adviser on life. Thank you, Mr. Stark, for the many years of guidance. I truly appreciate you being a part of my life.” -Charlo Cook, Iolani School, Univ. of Southern California


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