MA, Michigan State University, Education, 2013 BS, Colorado State University, Zoology, 2007
I started violin lessons at age 7, after 2 years of begging my mom! I can still remember that blustery Saturday morning in November when I had my first lesson, and since then, I have learned so much. I joined the studio orchestra after just a year of lessons, then began teacher training and luthier (violin repair) classes in high school. I took a break from teaching while getting my bachelor's degree, but continued while I got my master's. Now, over 20 years after that first lesson of mine, I teach my students out of my home, and enjoy playing with Tacoma Community College's Symphony Orchestra.
I started student teaching in high school, with no great desire to ever be a teacher, but my teachers said I was going to do the teacher training class, and like a good girl I did as I was told. I enjoyed learning, so learned how to teach for the sake of more learning. It wasn't until after I graduated college and found myself working part time retail, desperate for some means to make ends meet, that I remembered that I could teach. I started driving to my students' homes, and that was when I finally fell in love with teaching! That was in 2008, and since then, my teaching has grown and changed so very much, using different method books, teaching at 2 different studio locations, until finally settling in to teach out of my home and with my current method. I especially love teaching the brand new beginner, but I have also had students go on to win college scholarships, and even play beside me in the symphony orchestra!
I teach using a combination of the Pascale Method (a very good set of pre-written lessons for the very young student), I Can Read Music's rhythm exercises (goes along with the Suzuki books), Strings Fun and Easy, and Suzuki. In addition, I now start students in third position, which has proven to be so very beneficial to my students. During lessons, students should expect to receive a very firm foundation on which to lay their more advanced skills. I focus on posture, theory, and intonation, and once these basics are mastered, the sky's the limit! I've taught a variety of classical music, fiddle music, popular and Disney music, even rock and roll. The thing to remember is that every musical experience will teach a student something, so once we have the basics down, students really get to choose their music that they want to play. Other advanced techniques that we'll work on include shifting, double stops, vibrato, and more.
I approach each student as an individual. Some students take things slow and steady, while others I can barely fit enough into their weekly lessons to keep them happy, and either way is just fine. My ultimate goal as a teacher is to make myself obsolete - I aim to teach my students how to learn, how to be critics of themselves for more effective practice time, and eventually, how to either need a teacher that can take them to more advanced levels, or to play without a teacher. I aim, also, to help my students open as many doors as possible, so in addition to reading music, I also teach improvisation and playing by ear.