Music is the foundation of my life. A friend once said, “Your first language was music.” My mother taught accordion, organ, and piano and my grandmother played violin for many years in the Yakima Civic Symphony. My father sings folk songs. Now my husband and I play music together and teach; he on doublebass and I on violin and viola.
I taught strings as the Orchestra Director and string teacher for grades 5-12 in the Sunnyside, WA school district (USA)–obtaining both the initial and professional teaching certificates through Washington State. I have also earned a certificate in basic Life Coaching.
My teaching also includes music and strings at the high school, middle school and elementary levels as Director of Music and Fine Arts at the Shanghai Livingston American School in China. I taught violin, viola, and guitar at the International School of Stuttgart in Sindelfingen and privately in SuperStrings Studio, in Germany and worldwide.
The relationships that learning, performing, and teaching strings brings to all of our lives make it all worthwhile, beyond teaching people how to excel on an instrument.
Because I place the utmost importance on the continuation of our beautiful tradition of teaching string music, I took the decision to work for string teachers around the world. As much of what we do and struggle with are universal, I saw a need to create something that could serve every string teacher who wants to be their best, who is willing to grow.
To be honest, growing up I had several teachers who were not prepared for teaching, which had a lasting effect on my early training. I wished there were something like this that could have helped those teachers and me too as I started my career in teaching strings. The good in this is that it has spurred me to action to make things better for others and recognize the need for access to relevant and necessary string teaching resources for all.
Principal violin teachers with whom I studied include Peter Kaman (studied with Galamian), Dana Pomerantz-Mazurkevich (studied with David Oistrakh), Clayton Hoener (studied with Roman Totenberg). I was admitted to the Longy School of Music by Roman Totenberg, graduating with an Undergraduate Diploma as well as Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance cum Laude from Emerson College while the Longy School had a cooperative program with Emerson. Roman Totenberg’s comment after my audition was “Are you sure you are old enough for this program?”
Working part time at Harvard University Division of Continuing Education while studying at Longy allowed me to eat, be insured, and take courses through Harvard and MIT that counted toward my degree. Prior to majoring in music, I studied physics at Central Washington University while on a scholarship for violin, playing in the Yakima Symphony Orchestra and taking lessons from Peter Kaman in the Seattle Symphony.
In 2003 I founded Aardvark String Quartet in central Washington State, and in 2007 produced the album “Tranquillo: A Northwest Celebration.” The CD features light classics, the type of music often played at weddings and parties. (This album was picked up by AI on YouTube which automatically created a channel for it based on popularity.)
In Germany, I was employed to teach advanced English to adults at the college Volkshochschule Böblingen-Sindelfingen, and in private companies. While in Germany I started SuperStrings Studio, where I taught a range of people learning violin, viola and beginning guitar, including other teachers.
Now, I teach high school students at a Cambridge International Education Center at the Nanjing Normal University Suzhou Experimental School.
One of my first teaching jobs was in China, teaching violin to undergraduates at Nanjing Normal University. I have come full circle, so to speak, in that I now teach music again, and English, for Cambridge International Education at Nanjing Normal University High School in Suzhou.
Boston Mayor’s Award for International Cultural Exchange with Irpinia, Italy; Teacher of the Year at Shanghai Livingston American School, and the Award for Distinguished Service Above and Beyond the Call of Duty also at SLAS. I also directed student orchestras who won prizes at the local and state level for large and small chamber ensembles.
Shanghai Opera Orchestra
Nanjing National Orchestra (formerly Nanjing Song and Dance Theater)
Shanghai Baroque Soloists
Shanghai International Choral League Orchestra Shanghai Baroque Orchestra*
American Festival Orchestra (China Tour 2019-2020)
Deutschordensmünster Kammerorchester (Heilbronn, Germany)
Junge Suddeutsch Philharmonie Orchester
Laudamus Te Orchester (Stuttgart, Germany)
College Light Opera (Falmouth, Cape Cod, MA)
Washington East Opera Company*
Yakima Symphony Orchestra
Longy Chamber Orchestra
Lake Chelan Bach Festival
As a student I played in the Central Washington University Orchestra & Yakima Youth Symphony Orchestra*.
In my free time, I enjoy sailing, exploring rocks and volcanoes, and obeying the demands of a moody white and black feline.
I’ve successfully coached string teachers at the beginning as well as late in their careers, locally and internationally, and taught strings in a wide array of teaching situations:
- building up thriving private studios
- international school music & fine arts director in Shanghai for six years
- creation of violin club “The Fiddle Kingdom”
- organizing chamber music concerts, informal play-ins and concert series
- six years teaching orchestra in the US (which won performance awards at the regional and state levels)
- private violin, viola and guitar lessons
- violin instructor at Nanjing Normal University for music majors & at its Cambridge Centre in Suzhou
- string teacher workshops to help with getting set up and confident to teach online during the pandemic
I live to create connections between string teachers, learners and those engaged in the power of music as a peaceful pathway toward our global future.
I would love to hear from you. Get in touch with me here!