Reviews

Below are what some of the students of Certain Music have to say about Dr. Certain. If you are a current student, or parent of a student, and would like to submit your thoughts, please send them to reviews@certainmusic.net.

"I am an adult piano student and I have been Dr. Certain's student for 4 years. Dr. Certain is a very caring and patients. He is very devoted teacher. He is very knowledgeable.  I highly recommend him to teach music to adults and children at any age."

- Pouran Contractor, May 2018

"After a friend had given me a violin I signed up for a group class  Dr. Certain was teaching at a Plano recreation center. When the class was over I had decide whether to continue with private lessons or not and so I did. That was nine years ago. Beginning to play the violin at 50 years old was a stretch to say the least, and Dr. Certain has been so patient and kind with me and all of the adult students. I’m glad I made the right decision! 

If you have considered beginning music lessons at any age I would highly recommend this talented and generous man."

Jan Perry Loyd, May 2018

"Dr. Certain is an awesome music teacher. When we moved to Plano, we searched quite a bit for good violin teachers.  After a few weeks, I contacted Dr. Certain over the phone and email and he made us comfortable from the first call.  He is very well respected by students and he develops a deep caring relationship with every student. 

My son started violin for the first time in 6th grade and within six months of coaching with Dr. Certain, we can't believe how much he has progressed with real skills on a new instrument.

I respect Dr. Certain for his passion for music, humbleness and a great sense of humor with an intent to spread happiness around him.  We are so glad to have him as a teacher and consider him as an extended family member."

- Vedanth's Family, May 2018

"My son started taking piano lessons with Dr. Certain when he was almost 5 years old and now he is almost 14!  Since day one Dr. Certain demonstrated a unique ability to communicate with my son who started reading music before he started reading words.  Dr. Certain was such a professional, caring, patient, and committed instructor that not also started teaching music to my son buy also became almost family to us.   

Since we saw our son was learning not only the piano but music theory, discipline, and the ability to focus at such an early age, we started bringing our two daughters as well.  The oldest started taking violin lessons right before going to middle school and joining the orchestra, and the youngest started taking piano lessons when she was seven years old.

Fast tracking a few years: We have been with Certain Music for almost 10 years now and our three children play both the piano and the violin interchangeably.  It has been such a delight to see them growing with music as their friend under Dr. Certain guidance and teaching.

Our oldest daughter won the superior medal under Dr. Certain’s direction twice while she was in middle school.  Our youngest daughter also won her first superior medal this year thanks to Dr. Certain’s help. Our son this year that is in 8th grade became the Concert Maestro for the UIL competing orchestra, which got top ratings on all skills a few weeks ago.  We believe this couldn’t have happened without Dr. Certain careful, detailed, loving and comprehensive instruction. He is also a man of God and always talk to the kids in such a way that they listen even though now they all are adolescents. They respect and look up to him. It has been a great experience to be a part of Certain’s Family Music.  We look forward to the years to come!!!"

- The Aguirre Family, Mar 2018

"Dr. Certain is an awesome violin teacher. Sean has been learning from Dr. Certain since last August and he is loving it. Dr. Certain is very passionate about teaching violin. He is a very patient teacher and he cares deeply about his students. We can't say enough good things about him and we are so glad that Sean has him as his violin teacher."

- Wai Mun Hah, Mar 2018

"My 8 year old son is taking piano lessons and my 7 year old daughter is learning how to play the violin with Dr. Certain. We love how Dr. Certain teaches to the kids with patience and love. He makes them laugh when he sees that they are getting frustrated trying to accomplish their goals and always encourages them to improve and continue learning, he wants them to enjoy the lessons, and I can see the progress in their learning.

One thing that I really appreciate of Dr. Certain is that he can be flexible with the class schedule, if the kids get sick or for another major reason I can't take them to their lessons in the designated time spot, I can arrange with him another time; this thing I couldn't do it in the academy my son was before, if he was sick and could not go, he lost that lesson."

- Liliana Barrios, Mar 2018

"My two sons have had lessons for Violin & Piano for one year by Dr. Certain since we moved to Plano from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually I was very impressed by his teaching skill and methods, which developed my kids' knowledge and interest towards music theory and basic concept. Moreover, they really like the class. They don't want to skip the class. They keep practicing Violin and Piano at home without parents' pressure.  With their constant practice, I realized their skill and technique was much improved. I found they truly enjoy their time with Dr. Certain.

Last Christmas, there was a recital at the Starbucks near my home. It was such a great blast and fun. All my family really appreciate his efforts and time for my kids.

He is the best teacher ever for our family!!"

- The Cho Family, Feb 2018

"Dr. Certain is an amazing instructor who works diligently to satisfy the needs of each student. I have never met someone who can not only play, but also teach such a wide variety of instruments. He keeps God close to his heart and shows it through his kindness and willingness to work with all who come to him to make sure everyone who wants to learn an instrument has the availability. A truly inspiring teacher."

- Staci Cuvi, Feb 2018

"We love Certain Music. My girls have taken music lessons from a number of other companies, but none that ever seemed worth my money or our time. Dr. Certain teaches a traditional method that includes not just playing the instrument, but also reading the notes, terminology, hand positions, music theory and good practice skills. I am so glad we finally found Certain Music."

- Lynn Lozano, Feb 2018

"My two sons have had lessons for Violin & Piano for one year by Dr. Certain since we moved in Plano from Milwaukee, Wisconsin. Actually I was very impressed by his teaching skill and methods, which developed my kids' knowledge and interest towards music theory and basic concept. Moreover, they really like the class. They don't want to skip the class. They kept practicing Violin and Piano at home without parents' pressure. With their constant practice, I realized their skill and technique was much improved. I found they truly enjoy their time with Dr. Certain.

Last Christmas, there was a recital at the Starbucks near my home. It was such a great blast and fun. All my family really appreciate his efforts and time for my kids.
He is the best teacher ever for our family!!"

- Desmene Statum, Nov 2016

"Dr. Certain has been a great teacher to Joey (my son), he's patient in his teaching and has a sense of humor which is important to kids. His knowledge in violin and music theory is a tremendous help to us. He involves parents to learn with the kids which is very helpful for the student as the parent can be a guidance at home. 

Dr. Certain really has a passion in teaching violin and that really influences my son to do better. Dr. Certain also enjoys playing violin with his students. I'm learning to play the violin too so sometimes I'll bring my violin to play with him and my son, it's very fun and a pleasure to see his enthusiasm when playing the violin with others. It's good to see a music teacher with a strong passion for the instrument that he's teaching and that really inspires us."

 - Mrs. Pearl Kim, Oct 2016

"Dr. Certain was a God-send! I needed a substitute violin instructor who could step in and cover lessons for one of our teachers as she recovered from surgery. Dr. Certain graciously accepted the request and even rearranged his personal studio to accommodate the teaching schedule at the Rockwall School of Music. We have high standards for our instructors. Dr. Certain was amazing with the students. He has a caring and tender heart and was very pleasant to work with. He was a professional in every sense of the word. He comes with my highest recommendation."

- Russ Porter, Owner/Director of Rockwall School of Music, Jul 2016

"Just wanted to write and let you know how delighted we were in the level of playing proficiency of your students at the Novermber 2014 Winter Recital. We have attended many recitals of various teachers and yours was one of the best, if not the best so far. We were particularly impressed with the bowing arms of your students. Most all had great bowing arms and excellent form. Intonation was also very good as well. Thank you for inviting us and we look forward to future invitations. Keep up the good work!!!"

- Steven Cundall, Violinmaker and Restorer, The Luthier Shop, Crossroads, Texas, Jul 2016

"My daughter has been studying violin with Dr. Certain for the last 1 ½ years. She started with the music knowledge kids in general acquire in elementary schools but with no violin experience.  We are very happy with the progress she has made so far.  Dr. Certain takes great interest in the student’s improvement and has been very supportive and encouraging while she prepared for her audition for her placement in the middle school orchestra.  He organizes a recital at the Plano Courtyard Theater annually which is very helpful for the kids to work towards their performance skills along with dealing with the stage fright.  

I highly recommend Dr. Certain for beginner and/or advanced violin lessons."

- Mr. & Mrs. Madhugiri, Jun 2015

"My two boys 11 and 17 has been taking both Violin and Piano lessons with Dr. Certain for almost 3 years. They both are enjoying the class and improved their knowledge in Music. Dr. Certain has exceptional knowledge in music and he makes the kids play wonderful pieces which are impossible for them to play in the beginning. Dr. Certain knows the strength and weakness of each and every kid and he works with them to come up as a professional.

I especially like his suggestion for parental involvement as each parent knows what their kids are doing and his recommendations after every class.  We also liked my son being thought theory in Piano which is giving him understand any piece.   He has been patient and encouraging and given us an excellent experience in musical education. We are very much blessed to have Dr.Certain as music teacher for our kids."

- Janaki & Ram, May 2015

"My son became interested in trying music lessons right around the time he turned 3 years old.  It is extremely difficult to find a music teacher who will work with children this young.  We were blessed to find Dr. Certain.  My son started out with the violin, but quickly became frustrated with the instrument.  I don’t believe he was quite ready.  My son decided he would like to try piano instead.  I am truly grateful that Dr. Certain was very supportive with making the change in instruments.  It has now been almost 3 years that my son has been taking music lessons.  Dr. Certain has shown patience and creativity when it comes to teaching young children.  I admire that he respects the fact that each student is different and individualizes the lessons accordingly.  He knows when to challenge my son and when he needs more encouragement.  It has also truly been a blessing to watch the growth my son has had during his time.  He has even played some piano pieces for residents at a retirement home.  I believe he has learned many other lessons beyond just music.  It has been great partnering with Dr. Certain."

- Mr. and Mrs. Verdin, Oct 2014

"Three of my children have been receiving lessons from Dr. Certain. I have seen tremendous progress in their skills since they started with Dr. Certain.  He is very patient and at the same time challenges them and constantly and genuinely praises them.  What I like most about his method is the parental involvement he fosters.  In fact, I sit in every lesson at the studio as I always feel welcome.  Recently, my children performed at our church, and a friend who is a musician was very impressed.  Since I homeschool, I am very involved in my children's education and I now spend my mornings and afternoons listening to my children play their songs and the best part is that I don't have to tell them to practice.  In fact, I actually tell them to finish music so they can get to their other subjects.  I believe the combination of a caring and solid teacher and the parental involvement Dr. Certain encourages are the combination that spells success.  I am very thankful to Dr. Certain for sharing his talent with our family."

- Mr. and Mrs. Lozano, Sept 2013

"Dr. Certain is a great  Violin,Piano & Music Theory Instructor.  Our son has been studying piano since he was almost five years old and now he is nine.  He has advanced at an amazing pace.  Dr. Certain sets the bar high and only accepts each child's personal best.

My oldest daughter started studying the violin right before she started middle school. She never used the tapes for the notes the PISD instructors at the orchestra usually request. By December of the first year she was already playing complex music pieces she would have never dreamed if it weren't for Dr. Certain and the confidence he instilled in her.

Furthermore, my youngest child who is an active and super energetic kid also started to learn to play the piano a year and a half ago. Dr. Certain has been always patient and caring with her winning her over. Therefore, she is almost always enthusiastic about practicing at home so Dr. Certain can be proud of her every week when she plays for him.

Dr. Certain is a great musician, wonderful instructor and more than that, a caring and giving human being. You couldn't ask for a better music instructor for your child or for yourself!"

- Mr. & Mrs. Aguirre, May 2013

"My 8 year old son has been taking Violin lessons with Dr. Certain for almost 3 years.  He has continually progressed and we are very pleased with the music education he has received.  Dr. Certain has been able to challenge him repeatedly to play pieces that I would not have believed possible for his age.  Each time he has risen to the challenges and achieved them.  He has a heart for knowing the child and how hard to push without frustrating him.

I especially like the parental involvement in the lessons so that I know how to be helping him at home, but also the expectation that the student is to be responsible and accountable for his own practice times.  My son has also taken Piano with Dr. Certain for almost a year and is progressing well there too. He is also receiving a thorough foundation in theory.

He has been patient and encouraging and given us an excellent experience in musical education.  It has been valuable enough for us to make almost an hour drive each week for our lessons!"

- Lyndie Cawthon, Mar 2013

"My daughter began piano lessons with Dr. Certain 1 year ago when she was three and a half years old. She loved him instantly. Getting her to practice and sit still at a lesson has been a challenge but with Dr. Certain's patience and persistence she has grown leaps and bounds.  It truly is a partnership between the teacher and parents when the student is so young.  Dr. Certain has made every accommodation to keep our daughter interested and excited about learning the piano.  He has taken the time to really know her.  He sought out beginner piano books with songs that she knows to keep her interest up.  He uses positive reinforcement to award her efforts.  He creates an environment of caring and patience along with high expectations.  Our daughter practices every day at home as that is what is expected from Dr. Certain.  Sometimes little rewards are necessary to keep her practicing at home.  I'm sure this is common with most 4 year olds learning an instrument.  We've used some tips Dr. Certain has given us to keep it fun at home--like making up silly words when she plays her scales.  She has grown in so many ways as a result of her lessons and we thank Dr. Certain."

- Keith and Meredith McKenna, Mar 2012

"Dr. Certain is the best! Our daughter started to learn the piano about a year and a half ago, and Dr. Certain has succeeded in instilling the joy of music in our child. His patience and kind words provide constant encouragement and guidance to her, and she has taken his lessons to heart.  His teaching technique works amazingly well - the parents get actively involved, and together provide the supportive but challenging environment needed to learn such a complex but beautiful skill. He not only makes the child learn by practice, but also elaborates on the theory providing the perfect balance. We are glad to know Dr. Certain as a teacher and as a friend."

- Sonal & Sunil, Mar 2012

"Best Teacher Ever!

To say that Dr. Certain is “certainly the best” is an understatement! I cannot believe what I am able to play after only 1 year and eight months under his talented gift for teaching. His patience and true desire for sharing his gift of music with young children is amazing but his patience and guidance as a teacher and  friend to adults like myself, is miraculous. I so appreciate the way he challenges me to my edge to learn to play the violin but also knows when to ease up and let me soak it in at my own pace. He truly cares about his students and has opened his home and his heart to all of us and  has created an inspiring opportunity in bringing us all together. I get so much joy playing with the others as a group, practicing together and performing for others. OK, there’s always the nervous excitement when performing but it’s so much fun to do!  I’ve made new friends because of Dr. Certain’s generosity of his time and spirit and he has made my love for music even stronger.

I am truly Blessed to know him."

- Jan Perry, Aug 2011

"My daughter had just turned 5 when she began asking to play the violin.  Not knowing where to begin with finding a music instructor or obtaining an instrument, we were lucky enough to meet Dr. Certain through our local Parks and Recreation Programs.  Dr. Certain has taken my daughter’s basic interest in music and desire to learn to play the violin to one of true enjoyment and eagerness in learning everything she can, including her most recent endeavor to learn how to play the piano.  Dr. Certain has introduced our whole family to a new appreciation of music, music theory, and individual growth and accomplishment.   What started out as a trial to “see how it goes” has evolved into a family affair with my 4 year old son learning the piano, my husband picking up music theory, and my learning to play the violin with my daughter.  
Dr. Certain’s love of music and interest in his students’ development, plus the right combination of encouragement and patience, keeps you reaching higher and higher."

- The Shull Family, Apr 2011

"Over the past 5 months, I have been studying violin with Dr. Certain. I am truly amazed at the level of music theory and violin studies I have been blessed to be a part of. After less than 3 months of study, I proudly participated as a soloist and a group violinist in the 2010 fall recital. Dr. Certain is very patient and always makes sure his students are comfortable with their assignments. He never leaves his students without a strong foundation for their next musical "challenge." Without a doubt, I highly recommend Certain Music to anyone looking to learn violin or piano. Overall, the caliber of Certain Music tutelage has been exceptional. This is just the beginning of my journey! I challenge you to begin yours."

- Rachel, Feb 2011

"Our 3-year old twin girls have been studying piano with Dr. Certain for eight months.  I am amazed to see the progress that they have made.  They look forward to their lessons with Dr. Certain, he is extremely patient and encouraging, and makes their lessons enjoyable. It is very rewarding to see them them practice with Dr. Certain, and, know that they are developing the creative part of their brains in a loving and comfortable enviroment."

- Ramon & Lisa Hill, Nov 2010

"Dr. Certain is not only a great and very professional piano instructor but also a wonderful human being. Dr. Certain is excellent with young kids, even the shy ones, like our son. He is very patient and really loves teaching music. However, be ready to learn more than just music; his teaching goes far beyond. He prepares kids to be more successful in their everyday life through discipline, mutual respect and good manners. Dr. Certain is an outstanding instructor and we feel honored and blessed of being part of the Certain Music Family!"

- Mr. & Mrs. Aguirre, Nov 2010

"I have been a student of Dr. Certain’s for 2 months, and I can truly say that he is the reason that I am playing Bach again!  

After not picking up a violin for over 35 years, and wanting desperately to go back to playing, I found Dr. Certain. He encouraged me, and inspired me more than any other music teacher I have ever known. It’s a joy to be playing again, and he ‘certainly’ makes it enjoyable. I would recommend him to anyone, young or old who wants to learn piano or violin.  He is patient, and very encouraging. I look forward to every lesson!"

- Cheryl, Oct 2010

"I have been studying with Dr. Certain for over two years, and have been very impressed with not only his teaching ability but his genuine love of music. He genuinely cares for each of his students, and (especially with me) demonstrates great patience and enthusiasm.

Dr. Certain strives to bring out the best in all his students, gently and lovingly pushing each of us to be just a little better than we thought possible! No matter the age (he has students from 3 to 80) he works with each individual to bring out their best effort.

Not only is Dr. Certain a great instructor, he is a consummate musician as well. His musical repertoire is vast - he can play from memory practically any piece you can name - and his skill gives all his students a lofty goal to pursue."

- Jim Swedberg, Aug 2010

"Certain Music is wonderful instruction with a chance to perform at recitals.  Dr. Certain is very patient and knowledgeable. My daughter began piano lessons two years ago, having never played.  Now, thanks to Dr. Certain, reading music and understanding theory allow her to play proficiently and enjoy."

- Julie Hinton, Apr 2010

"I would like to take this opportunity to just say THANK YOU to Dr. Certain for what he has been able to accomplish with my son.  At age 6 we began taking violin instruction at another school; however was not advancing as we should which discouraged my son from taking further instruction.  After a year he was missing the instrument so badly, we decided to find another school and came across Dr. Certain's information and WOW was I glad I did! 

After being with Dr. Certain since just Nov 09, Paul has come full circle with the instrument and has re-dedicated his love for violin.  We are advancing nicely at my son's pace which is what was important for him.  Dr Certain has let my son learn in such a way, he was not discouraged and has learned to overcome his frustrations when "The going gets tough"!

Dr. Certain, I am a believer in your school and look forward to MANY years of partnering with you as we take Paul to great height's in learning!"

- Steve & Pat Rhoades, Mar 2010

"Our daughter expressed a very early interest in learning to play the violin.  When she turned five, my husband and I explored some options in instruction.  Dr. Certain reassured us that he was very comfortable teaching young children an instrument.  It was amazing to watch our daughter read music before she started Kindergarten!  Learning an instrument has taught her perseverence (she knows she has to practice, practice, practice) and patience, and she has really learned how to pay attention to detail.  Dr. Certain has been a very patient and caring instructor.  In addition, Dr. Certain has taught her parents, neither of which played the violin, so that we can encourage her at home.  We highly recommend the Certain Music family to anyone who wants to learn the violin or piano, no matter what age he or she starts!"

- The Clark Family, Feb 2010

"I came to Maestro Certain almost a year ago as a beginner adult student. I had never received any formal training or instruction in music what so ever; I was as green as green can be. But Maestro Certain accepted me as a student and it has been a wonderful life-altering experience! Never in my life would I have believed that I would find the skill and talent in myself that I have. Thank you Maestro Certain for pushing me and believing in me!"

- Ben Scarth, Jan 2010

"My 11 years old daughter took her violin class with Dr. Certain for a whole year (from Feb. 2009). She loved this class and her violin improved not only violin itself but the basic skills. From Jan 2010, My daughter also took piano lesson with Dr. Certain. Surprisingly my daughter's piano got started quickly in just one month (three lessons!), looks like she has Learned piano several months already! Thanks Certain Music!"

- Xinwang Wang, Jan 2010

"I would like to briefly comment on our recent Holiday Music presentation at Encore pianos. I was surprised at seeing what I thought a large and receptive audience. Being my first time of group/ensemble experience, I found it pleasant and personally enriching. In spite of the diversity of ages/playing levels, I thought we presented a nice Christmas program, thanks to your initiative and great effort. I personally enjoyed the company AND support of my fellow students. My sincere appreciation is extended to you in this regard."

- Carlos, Jan 2010

"Our son has been studying Piano with Dr. Certain for over a year and a half. After only a couple of months, he was already reading music and sight reading new pieces. He absolutely loves playing, and looks forward to his lessons every week.

We would have thought it would take years for him to get to this level. He is playing complicated classical pieces and plays all the time at home. All of our family and friends are truly impressed at how much he has learned over the last year.

Not only is Dr Certain a very talented teacher, but also cares deeply about all of his students and our families.

Our decision to enroll our son Sage in piano lessons has ended up being one of the most rewarding things we have ever done for him.

Thank you Dr Certain...from the bottom of our hearts."

- Nicole & Scott Prendergast, Jan 2010

"Dr. Certain is 'certainly' the best violin teacher you will find in the whole DFW area (and beyond!). I have had the honor to study with him for 2 years now and I have learned more that I ever dreamed of.
He is a very motivating and skilled teacher with an incredible love for music and the violin in particular. Dr. Certain adjusts his teachings to any level or age of his students and always makes sure I understand what I am taught.
He is caring and patient and I am proud to be his student. When I started playing with him I did not have any prior violin training before. I am proud to be already able to play various composers such as J.S. Bach and Telemann (of course there is always room for improvement). If you need a great teacher, do not hesitate to chose Dr. Certain. I would recommend him to all my friends and family (and I do!)."

- Gabriella, Jan 2010