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Bachelor's of Music, Indiana University, Viola Performance
Master's of Music, McGill University, Viola Performance
2017 - Grand Prize & Senior Division First Prize, Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition
2016 - McGill University Chamber Music Competition, First Prize
2015 - Second Prize, Indiana University Viola Concerto Competition
I'm a career string quartet musician who loves both performing and teaching. I graduated with a Master of Music degree from McGill University in Viola Performance.
I've been lucky to have many amazing opportunities so far: I've performed in Carnegie Hall as a member of the New York String Orchestra Seminar; in Yokohama and Tokyo, Japan; and in Salzburg, Austria (the birthplace of Mozart!) as a member of the Milton String Quartet. I've also toured the USA and played in many parts of Canada. My favorite experience was winning the Fischoff Chamber Music Competition, the largest competition of its kind in North America!
To me, music is about community, and getting to play great music with close friends or family is one of the most rewarding experiences I've ever had.
My teaching experience is quite varied. I've taught young children as a member of Mimi Zweig's pedagogy classes, and I currently teach group classes to 3rd-5th graders here in NYC. I've taught chamber music to teenagers in Indiana University's Summer String Academy and to adult learners in Montreal.
I encourage regular practice and strong fundamentals, but I also sincerely think that although there are many ways to teach and to learn, the best ways always are enjoyable. I encourage my students to pursue their musical passions and to be open about what they want to learn and what motivates them to want to play.
For beginners who are children, I start with the essential Suzuki method which includes a focus on musical listening & imitation, parental involvement (at very young ages) and creating an effortless technique. The Suzuki books are great in that they provide a great foundation and an extremely logical progression for taking students from complete beginners to an advanced level.
For advanced students, we can branch out into a wide variety of classical concertos or other repertoire (this happens around Suzuki book 6) I love to teach adults, and I try to structure my teaching in accordance with adult students' goals and interests. As such, I try to be really flexible and accommodating with teaching materials.
The best part about teaching is seeing students grow as musicians and develop their own musical style and instincts. I try to teach in a way that highlights how, often, improvements can be made instantly, but on the other side, how hard work and diligent practice lead to growth over time.
While learning violin or viola, students should be physically comfortable (because the instrument is very awkward at first!), and they should feel able to ask questions and receive expert explanations. This is one reason why I believe personal instruction (rather than learning from books or through online resource) is almost a requirement for progressing quickly on violin and viola.
I always try to acknowledge my students accomplishments and push them to become the best musicians they can be. At the same time, I recognize that each student learns at a different pace and for different reasons. As a slow learner myself growing up, I believe that everyone can learn how to play great music with good instruction.
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