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I am an experienced violin and viola performer and teacher available to teach meaningful lessons to students of all ages—young children, teens and adults alike—in the Seattle area. I currently teach violin and viola students at Holy Names Academy in Seattle. One expertise (of many) is successfully preparing young students for auditions and competitions, including for college and conservatory admissions. In many cases I can come to the student’s home.

As a performer, I play classical and new music works in orchestras, chamber groups, quartets, trios, duos and solo. I also compose.

In addition, I am a certified yoga instructor.

About Me

I have been a performer of violin and viola for more than two decades.

I frequently perform around Seattle and Washington State, individually or as part of a duo, trio, quartet or larger ensemble. While my formal training is classical, I am equally comfortable with new music and other forms of musical expression. I am a member of The Desperate, an indie punk-rock band that plays in a variety of venues. I have performed with such other professional groups as the Seattle Modern Orchestra. and the Yakima Symphony Orchestra. I can put together a quartet, or a bigger or smaller group, to perform at your event. Contact me for details.

I teach students of all ages individually or collectively, privately or institutionally. Currently, I teach violin and viola at Holy Names Academy in Seattle.

In addition to performing and teaching, I also have composed original works. Click here to hear me perform a piece I wrote for viola and two violins, Déjà Vu of Nostalgic Dreams (I’m the one in the middle).

I am ABD (All But Dissertation) for a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in strings performance at the University of Washington School of Music in Seattle, where I also received my Master of Music degree.  I also have been a graduate teaching assistant. My duties have included chamber music coaching, viola teaching and management of a special instruments collection.

One ensemble I helped form, the Daana String Quartet, won a once-every-two-year competition to become the School of Music scholarship ensemble for the 2015-2016 school year. Watch and listen to us play in a concert by clicking here (I’m the one on the right). Our ensemble was profiled in The Seattle Times. To see that article, click here. In 2016 we also won the Washington State college chamber music competition of the Music Teachers National Association.

In addition to my MM degree, I hold a Bachelor of Fine Arts degree specializing in violin and viola performance from the California Institute of the Arts, in Valencia, California. During that time, I played in numerous collegiate ensembles both on the campus and around the Los Angeles area.

Over the years I have also studied and performed at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute in Massachusetts, the International Music Academy Pilsen in the Czech Republic, the Kinhaven Music School in Vermont, the Idyllwild Arts Academy in California, Composers Forum at the University of Oregon, UCLA and the California State Summer School for the Arts.

During high school I was associate concertmaster of the California All-State Honors String Orchestra and a member of the California All-State Honors Orchestra, as well as concertmaster all four years of my school orchestra. (My graduating class voted me Best Female Musician!)

At age 13 I soloed with the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra. My performance career includes concerts on five continents, including such places as Kathmandu, Nepal; Ubud, Bali; Rio de Janeiro; Delhi, India; and Kilgali, Rwanda. For two years I was in in the Los Angeles-based American Youth Symphony, widely considered the nation’s top entry-level musical orchestral group.

I also have completed the certificate program in “Essentials of Performing Arts Health–Instrument Music” of the Performing Arts Medicine Association (PAMA) and the American College of Sports Medicine (ACSM). In addition I am a certified yoga instructor, endeavoring to incorporate some of those principles into my teaching and performing.

Upcoming gigs

 

 

My Teaching Philosophy

My years of teaching experience includes giving private individual lessons, directing group classes, and coaching ensembles small and large. I started taking violin lessons myself more than two decades ago at age four, later adding viola. So I know what students go through and can help them (and their parents or partners!).

I am often asked about my approach to teaching violin and viola. Here it is:

There are two types of students. The first is a child or adult who has never played the violin or viola. My focus becomes emphasizing the best technique from the get-go. Finding the correctly sized instrument. Holding the instrument with ease. Holding the bow beautifully. Standing up well. Making a nice sound with rhythms. Learning how to read and play notes on a page. There is one big plus to a novice student. He or she has never had an opportunity to learn bad habits and therefore will not have to reverse any damage. Progress often can come quickly.

The second category of student is one who is not starting from scratch. In this case, I first evaluate what he or she knows. Since every student is a unique individual, this is a non-judgmental process in which I begin to understand how I can be most helpful as a teacher. The biggest challenge here comes from poor training in the past. It is necessary to both break any bad habits and incorporate correct techniques—shining a new light on what the violin or viola is all about.

I firmly believe that a student of any age can learn to play music. While younger students have malleable motor skills that aid in learning the violin or viola, older students tend to be more aware of themselves and therefore know how to discern what is right and what is wrong.

Patience is an important idea in learning these instruments. Patience on my part as an instructor. Patience on the part of the student. Patience on the part of parents or anyone else involved with the student. Individual students will learn at different paces, and that is quite OK. We will go on this journey of music together, overcoming obstacles as they arise.