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Ms. Mila’s String Studio

private lessons

~violin & viola~

learning through problem solving and storytelling

~all ages, all levels from Twinkle to Paganini~

one-to-one instruction in the River Oaks/Montrose neighborhood 

~virtual online lessons available~
Houston, TX

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About Me

Mila Neal is a freelance violinist in Houston who regularly performs with the Houston Grand Opera and Houston Ballet Orchestras. A native of Philadelphia, she began playing violin in kindergarten. She earned her BMus degree in Violin Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music and her MMus degree from the Yale University School of Music. As a teacher she draws on this strong pedagogical foundation and most enjoys passing on how she was taught to practice, problem solve, and use the violin to tell stories. Ms. Mila has been teaching for over 25 years. She began at Philadelphia’s Settlement Music School teaching both private lessons and as a part of their Head Start program. Previous performance jobs have included the Colorado Music Festival Orchestra in Boulder and Assistant Principal Second Violin of the North Carolina Symphony where she met her husband, Chris, who in 2001 won a job as violinist for the Houston Symphony. They have two children, both writers at HSPVA, and love calling Buffalo Bayou their backyard.

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Lessons, Recitals, Outreach

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“Ms. Mila is a wonderful and unique teacher. She helps me accomplish things I believe I can’t do. During my violin lessons Ms. Mila compares interesting stories that align with playing the violin and I think that is very cool.”

~ Jennesy, 12

”Thank you for always being wonderful!”

~ studio parent

”Ms. Mila is one of the best teachers I have ever known. Observing my daughter’s violin lessons has helped me become a better teacher and better mother.”

~ Sonja Bruszaskas, parent; director, pARTnerschools

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Studio Policies

Ms. Mila’s String Studio Policies



I always offer a first meeting/lesson for free so you can see how I work, understand the commitment and together with your student decide if we are a good fit.


Tuition for your weekly lesson is due the first lesson of every month. 


30 min/$40; 45 min/$50; 60 min/$65

Payments can be made by check (payable to Mila Neal), cash or electronically:

Tuition secures your weekly time slot in my teaching schedule throughout the year (September - May); consequently, I ask that you pay for your reserved time whether or not you attend the lesson. This includes any week during which you may have a planned absence requiring a make-up lesson.

$40 annual studio fee per family -

due September 

This fee is to offset some costs related to weekly lesson materials, biannual recitals, and studio management.

Performing in studio recitals is an enriching and important experience for students of all ages - it gives purpose to their hard work, builds self-worth through achievement, instills confidence through presenting oneself and performing in front of people, and teaches respect and community by applauding the performances of fellow studiomates. 




Students make the best progress with consistent weekly lessons and home practice. As a teacher it is my goal in each lesson to move forward from the previous one. This progress can be achieved with regular weekly lessons and by following the practice outlines in the student’s lesson notebook. Increased time between lessons can cause a student to forget what they learned at their previous lesson or forget how to practice.

The routine and discipline of weekly lessons/practice teaches children how to focus and solve problems, and they learn that hard work leads to achievement - skills that will help them in anything they choose.

Cancelled lessons

will not be refunded

Each student will be allowed a maximum of two make-up lessons per semester, schedule permitting. Make-up lessons will be scheduled within the same month as the original lesson. Rescheduling in the next month is at the discretion of the teacher. 

I request advance notice for cancellation. Make-up lessons will not be offered with less than 6 hours notice before scheduled lesson time or in the case of a no-show.


I am dedicated to being available for your weekly scheduled lessons and to being as consistent as possible. However, as an active performer, on occasion I will need to reschedule lessons due to my performance calendar. If rescheduling is not possible, credit will be given towards the next month’s tuition.

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Contact Me

Thank you for your interest and let me know if you have any questions


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