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 completed four 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.
In addition to WA state teacher certification, I am a licensed school psychologist and currently serve in this capacity in the Snoqualmie Valley School District. Prior to this position I served in the Issaquah School District as a school psychologist and elementary music specialist.
When I'm not practicing or teaching, you can usually find me either parenting my three teens (and two dogs), or off hiking in the Cascade foothills.