Background

I began the violin at age 9 in the public schools of Allentown, PA where I grew up. My teachers include David Madison, from the Philadelphia Orchestra, Helen Kwalwasser at Temple University and Dorothy DeLay and Hyo Kang at the Aspen Music Festival and Sarah Lawrence College. As a student I played professionally with the Reading Symphony in PA and the West Chester Symphony in New York.

After college, I was a member of the Kansas City Symphony for 5 years. Upon moving to the Twin Cities 30 years ago, I became an active freelance violinist playing for the Minnesota Orchestra, Skylark Opera, South Dakota Symphony, Minnesota Sinfonia and more recently West Side Story at the Ordway, Amy Grant concert and area churches and choral organizations.

I studied violin pedagogy under Mimi Zweig and Darcy Drexler at the Violin Teacher Workshop of the String Academy of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and furthered my studies by attending the Retreat for Violin Teachers at the Jacobs School of Music in Indiana University. I have 16 years of teaching experience. My students have won competitions and participated in area youth orchestras, some of them filling concertmaster and principle positions.

While attending the Aspen Music Festival in 1977, I met my husband, Carl. He is also a professional musician and plays the double bass. We are the proud parents of four adult children, Jeremy, David, Rachel and Benjamin.

Purpose

I believe that my mission as a teacher is to guide the student in building a solid technical and musical foundation for performing on the violin. My goal is for each student to develop his/her skill to the best of their ability and experience the joy and satisfaction that comes from making beautiful music and sharing it with others. Given the right musical environment, any child can learn to play the violin. This environment includes supportive and actively involved parents and listening to good music from an early age. I believe man is created in God’s image and therefore has the capacity to create, produce and appreciate beauty. It is a privilege to teach children to make beautiful music on the violin.

Method

My approach to teaching beginners is influenced by Mimi Zwieg String Pedagogy. Beginners are given Pre-Twinkle songs and games that lay the groundwork for a solid technique. Then they are guided through Suzuki Books 1 and 2 to set a good foundation that will be built on for years to come. Music reading begins early and other teaching materials are added to enhance their progress. Those materials may include I Can Read Music by Joanne Martin, Fiddle Magic and Fiddle Rhythms by Sally O’Reilly, Children’s Music Series by Evelyn Avsharian and Wohlfart etudes.

When the student is ready, they are introduced to shifting and vibrato. As I continue to teach through Suzuki Books 3 and 4, I introduce other repertoire and establish a healthy diet of scales, etudes and exercises. I encourage memorization of repertoire and performing whenever possible. I treat each student as individuals and adjust my program to meet their needs. My focus is on the process of learning and showing students how to practice. Mistakes are not viewed as negative experiences but as opportunities to learn. I also learn from my students as we journey together with the violin.