Long Okada is a soloist, chamber musician, and enthusiastic violin and viola instructor with a holistic educational approach. In addition to providing a rigorous study of violin or viola repertoire, he makes a point of including singing, improvisation, and body percussion to build a strong musical foundation for his students. To further describe his teaching style, he says, “My pedagogical approach is drawn from my teachers and established methods including those of Simon Fischer, Shinichi Suzuki, and Karen Tuttle. I encourage every student to prompt deeper thinking through open-ended questions and to take an active role in their own learning.”
Long encourages his students to think critically and provides the impetus and knowledge for his students to get creative with their music. Long states, “Learning music is an excellent way for students to develop self-confidence, creativity, and intellectual curiosity. I would love all of my students to foster a life-long love of music and strive to fit the goals and aspirations of each student to reach their fullest potential in a friendly and nurturing environment.”
When speaking about how to reinforce good practice habits, he says, “I encourage my students to make a habit of performing for their family members or friends as often as they can. Sharing what students have learned and practiced is a terrific way to work on performing, and it also gives an opportunity for their family and friends to listen, support, and cheer for their hard work.”
Long continuously shares his love of music and encourages students to play duets—including with him! As he states, “It’s a lot of fun to collaborate and make music together.”
A passionate advocate for the performance of British music, he frequently programs works for viola by British composers in his recitals. He has a particular interest in the folksong revival in the early 20th century and how it shaped the classical music landscape in Great Britain, particularly works for string instruments.
Long earned his Bachelor of Music from New York University, a Master of Music & LRAM from the Royal Academy of Music in London, and postgraduate diploma from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. His LRAM is a teaching diploma, specializing in teaching violin and viola in one-to-one and group settings.
Long maintained a flourishing studio of violin, viola, and piano students of all ages and ability levels in London before moving back to Massachusetts. When based in Glasgow, Scotland, he was a member of Clyde Viola Quartet and performed and gave workshops at local high schools to promote viola as a solo instrument.
When not involved with music, Long enjoys swimming, visiting antique stores, and volunteering and serving at a local Episcopal church.