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I cultivate confidence, creativity, and musical expression in all of my students.


 

I love to ask new students why they chose to play double bass.

It’s awkward and bulky. Getting it into the car can be a wrestling match. But many are undeniably drawn to the instrument anyway!

Some want to play in a rock band or an orchestra. Others might be attracted to its generous size and shiny curves. The youngest children are intrigued by deep sounds and vibrations. They all want to play an instrument that’s just a little different.

And double bass really is different. It requires a technical approach focused on building strength and balance that parallels developing musical skills and expression. With consistent focus in both areas, students quickly become confident and enjoy playing.

 

I understand what it’s like to be a busy parent. We want our children to have every opportunity to explore what interests them. We also want them to have time to just be themselves.

Music lessons help young people
learn to find balance in their lives.

To make progress, practice has to happen regularly. Together we set realistic goals, then plan daily small steps towards achieving them. These problem-solving skills benefit students throughout their lives. And in the process they develop a lasting appreciation of the arts in our society.

In addition to double bass lessons, I also offer lessons on the viola da gamba and coachings for experienced players interested in historical performance practice. For more information, see my Studio page.

 

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I found my passion and my life’s work through a happy accident. I was fortunate to begin my musical journey through the excellent program and supportive teachers in the Haverford Township School District -  the same schools my two children and many of my students now attend.

When I was in sixth grade, all of the double bass players in the school orchestra had dropped out. The school had instruments and needed volunteers, and it seemed like a good idea to me. I probably wouldn’t have picked double bass on my own. I'm certainly glad that I found it!

Early in my professional career, I shifted my focus towards early music and historical performance practice and began to play the viola da gamba and violone. I love the energy and creativity in this approach to the music of Mozart, Bach, and their predecessors. And I enjoy playing a variety of chamber music with smaller forces in addition to larger-scale orchestral performances.

PROFESSIONAL BIOGRAPHY
 

Heather Miller Lardin enjoys a diverse career performing and teaching on historical and modern double basses and viola da gamba. In Philadelphia, she appears with Tempesta di Mare, the Philadelphia Bach Collegium, and nearby Brandywine Baroque. Other recent engagements have brought Heather to perform with the Staunton Music Festival, the Handel & Haydn Society, the Dryden Ensemble, NYS Baroque, and Pegasus Early Music. Lardin is also the founder and co-director of Night Music, a "serenade" chamber ensemble that presents engaging performances of chamber music from the Revolutionary and Romantic eras on instruments of the time.

As director of the Temple University Early Music Ensemble, Heather leads viol and recorder consorts, voices, lutes, and Baroque ensembles. She also directs the annual Amherst Early Music Winter Weekend Workshop held each January in Old City Philadelphia and Camden. In January 2018, Lardin launched an in-school Suzuki double bass program sponsored by Musicopia at Andrew Jackson School in South Philadelphia. In her home studio, she teaches Suzuki double bass and viola da gamba to young students with her two Maine Coon cats assisting.

Heather is the editor of the early bass feature “Rumblings” in Bass World, the journal of the International Society of Bassists (ISB), and regularly presents lectures and recitals at the ISB’s biannual conventions. She serves on the faculty of the Curtis Young Artists Summerfest and on the board of the Greater Philadelphia Suzuki Association. From 2006-2013 she served as Artistic Director of the Ithaca, NY-based period instrument ensemble NYS Baroque. Heather holds a DMA in Historical Performance Practice from Cornell University and is a graduate of the Curtis Institute of Music.