I began playing viola in 4th grade as part of my public school orchestra program in East Aurora, NY. By 8th grade a private teacher took me on for classical viola, and a friendly group of self-taught musicians showed me the ropes of bluegrass violin. Everything I know about stage presence I learned by playing at monthly bluegrass jam sessions held at a nearby farm. There's no better way to learn improvisation than performing in front of a live audience. I encourage my students to explore a variety of musical styles. I strongly believe that a solid technique applies to all genres and I teach fundamentals the same regardless what type of music a student decides to play.
I went on to complete degrees in viola performance and music education at the Oberlin Conservatory of Music. My performance experience included the Aspen Chamber Symphony Summer Festival orchestra and Collegium Musicum in Pommersfelden, Germany.
Since college I've obtained multiple levels of teacher certification through the Suzuki Association of the Americas and have kept current with modern methods, notably Mimi Zweig at Indiana University. My teaching has become a blend of traditional and Suzuki approaches.
I am licensed as a school psychologist in WA state and served in this capacity for five years before taking on my current role as elementary music specialist in the Issaquah School District. I enjoy working with local middle school orchestras as a coach and clinician.
When I'm not practicing or teaching, you can usually find me either parenting my three teens (and two dogs), or off hiking somewhere in the Cascade range.
To nurture the artistic spirit in every student and a lifelong love of music and learning.
To help each student achieve his or her highest musical potential.
To have fun while playing a stringed instrument!
Provide a positive, enthusiastic atmosphere and encourage a feeling of success at each student’s individual rate of learning.
Be specific with assignments and expectations for the week. Give detailed techniques to support quality practice.
Continue to further my teaching skills and musical knowledge by belonging to professional organizations, attending workshops, reading publications, and engaging in activities leading to professional growth.
Arrive at each lesson on time, well-prepared and with all necessary materials.
Please have nails on left hand and right thumb trimmed.
Daily quality practice is necessary and required.
Parents are encouraged to attend lessons. I am always eager to suggest ways for you to support your student’s practice.
Set aside a daily time and place for quiet, uninterrupted practice. Good habits develop with consistent routines.
Listen to your student practice.Many tiny steps are needed to produce great results.
Listen to recordings of the pieces your student is studying. Attend live performances.
Check your student’s binder. Please email/call/text or leave me a note if you have questions.