Course Work: Music Academy of Rockford
Course Work: Olivet Nazarene University
Course Work: Rock Valley College
2017 and 2019 - Principle of Second Violins at Olivet Nazarene Univeristy
2016 - Selected to Perform at The Coronado Theater with The Piano Guys
Alumni of Rockford Youth Symphony Orchestra
Music has been with me since the beginning - my Mother taught Ballet while she was pregnant with me, and at a few months old my parents played tapes of Beethoven, Bach, and Tchaikovsky. At age 3, I began music classes and have not stopped since then. My career as a musician started at the Rockford Music Academy, branching onto many orchestras and camps and wonderful performances. To name a few, I played in the Rockford Youth Symphony Orchestra throughout my high school years, attended the Music Academy of Rockford for 15 years, was selected to perform with The Piano Guys in 2016, and attended many years at Brian Wicklund’s Fiddle Camp (my favorite style to play as you’ll come to know). The courses I took of music theory, private lessons, group lessons, and orchestra focused on countless composers and many styles, specifically within the Suzuki method. My ear for listening and playing, sight reading, and composing through improv has been practiced for 17 years now. Through being a Ballerina as well, I have a deeper understanding of musicality and what it means to feel the music. I have a little time and experience spent within learning the harp and piano, which strengthens my background as a musician. I am currently Principle of second violins at Olivet Nazarene University and volunteer teaching youths violin through a ministry at my church.
Senior year of high school I was a teachers assistant to 3-5 year old beginners. I didnt start teaching my own class until a year and a half ago. I began teaching violin to youths through a ministry at my church, starting beginners and moving them to intermediate level. It’s beautiful, sharing hope with the kids and then blessing them with knowledge and joy that can only come through music. I can’t choose just one favorite aspect of teaching, but to name a few, I love showing the kids they can accomplish. The smiles they get when they’re finally understanding or get that right note, confidence is built and it’s shared throughout the classroom. I am a huge believer in being a well rounded musician in styles. But I love watching a student get excited about a specific style and utilizing that passion to push them as a musician.
I swear by the Suzuki method. I’ve tried various methods, and nothing has worked better than this. Suzuki not only incorporates, but makes it a necessity to be able to sight read, learn by ear (listening followed by playing), and understand the theory behind the piece. I believe that being well educated in different styles of playing makes one a greater musician. My students start off with music theory and the basics of violin, beginning with classical repertoire that can be solo pieces or group pieces from Suzuki book 1. From there book 2 and book 3, adding on Fiddle and Blues from Brian Wicklund’s books, pop solos that interest the students, or whatever grabs their attention to encourage practicing. The best part is that the material never stops and growth is continuous through any style. Each student is taught based on their needs - this includes how fast or slow lesson plans are taken.
I’ve had all different kinds of teachers - ones that have touched my heart through music and our relationship, others that have made music a dread, and some a little crazy. But from each teacher I have learned what to be and not to be for my students. Though important, violin is not always the center of someone’s life. I understand if a goal isn’t met or something comes up, and readjusting so progress can happen. The student can only progress and accomplish as far as they are willing to go. Keeping that in mind, realistic but exciting goals are made and worked on through each lesson and individual practice time. There are necessities that need to be set as goals, but I push my students to set their own goals by their desires and inspirations with music. I use these aspects to tailor each individual students lesson plans.