Specializing in Strings
Cello, Violin and Viola
Masters in String Pedagogy
Studio and In-Home Lessons
I teach cello, violin, and viola. The instruments that make up a string quartet! I offer thirteen years of experience playing the cello and five years of teaching experience. I received my Bachelors in Cello Performance at the University of Georgia where I studied with David Starkweather. Recently, I received my Masters in String Pedagogy at Temple University where I studied extensively with Jeffrey Solow. I studied abroad in Italy at the Conservatorio A. Vivald in Alessandria, Italy with Claudio Merlo. In Italy, I had the chance to perform solo works and tour with the conservatory orchestra. I have been featured in masterclasses with Narek Hakhnazaryan, Nick Canellakis, Mikhail Milman, Mihai Tetel, Michael Mermagen, David Finckel, and Duo Sonidos. I was a member of Levon Ambartsumian’s ARCO chamber orchestra and recorded and performed with the ensemble. I have also play the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina under the baton of Boston Pop’s Keith Lockhart.
While in Georgia, I taught for the University of Georgia Community Music School and the Eugene Lee School of Music where I would teach privately, give group classes, and sectionals for the orchestra. I taylor my knowledge and experience as a musician to the individuality of the student. The student’s musicality is my guide and I find importance in relaxed playing.
Along with the teachings of great string players in history, I employ the Suzuki method and Gordon Music Learning Theory in my teaching.
When did you begin playing cello, and why?:
In the first week of middle school we got to visit different music classes. The instruments were presented to us and we got a chance to try them out if we wanted. I was amazed by the noble sound by the golden french horn in the band room but wouldn’t dare play an instrument that touched someone else’s lips. The stringed instruments were more welcoming to try out. I felt like Goldilocks. I tried the bass and it was too big, the violin was too small, but the cello… just right! The person demonstrating the cello had a a black one painted like the night sky and the sound was so rich and gorgeous I just had to pursue it. With that, I entered the world of music. It felt like magic when it was time to pick an instrument from the shop. The illuminated tiger-stripped varnished instruments made my heart skip a beat. I was Harry Potter in Olivander’s wand shop when I received the last available cello the shop had. It was love at first sight and I have been hooked ever since.
What are your personal goals as a musician?:
My general personal goals are to approach the title of musician as genuinely as possible. I view the study of music as a way to reflect on life and humanity. The cello being the lens that I use to philosophize about various concepts. As a musician it is my goal to share my interpretations to an audience or students.
Do you have a memory of a time when a musical concept or technique really clicked? Something you’ll remember forever?:
I have notebooks dedicated to these clicks and “ah-ha” moments! My epiphanies! The concept that has really resonated with me is the idea of “gestalt”. That there is a big picture idea and everything should follow suit. The idea that everything is connected somehow. This gestalt concept lead me to have a shower of epiphanies that have contributed to my musical and technical growth. A related concept is that playing an instrument should not be forced and unnatural but happens the same way we approach day to day life.
What is your favorite piece of advice from one of your past (or current) teachers?:
My favorite advice comes from my teacher, Jeffery Solow. He told me to find balance when I was trying to achieve a richer tone while studying with him. It was not only the balance of the bow on the string but also the balance between the right and left arms, the neck and head, and even the weight being shifted into specific fingers on the left arm. I started connecting the dots this way and could imagine the balance and support that triangular shapes provide in architecture and engineering and started applying that into my technique.
What was your most challenging moment learning an instrument?:
My full two years of my Masters was the most challenging experience I have had with the cello. I used my time their as the perfect environment to experiment with new ideas. It was a period of constant trial and error that really tested my patience. We grow from challenging moments that truly test us and I am grateful for that.
What is your biggest musical achievement?:
My biggest musical achievement is when I finally felt like I conquered the Dvorak Cello Concerto and played it by memory at my senior recital. The concerto is a bold and difficult piece of music. It was a culminating moment and took months of blood, sweat, and tears until I finally felt victorious.
Favorite thing about teaching?:
That spark of understanding in a students eyes is one of the most rewarding moments for a teacher. It is my job to make that happen by sharing my passion and I strive to make a connection with what makes a student unique.
What is a piece of advice you would like to share with anyone learning music?:
Almost everything available to us in this rapidly modernizing world is quickly accessible at the touch of a button. Learning music is not instantaneous though, it requires patience, persistence, and a lot of practice. The nice thing about learning an instrument is that the long journey it takes to master the instrument is a beautiful one.
Personal music projects: i.e. bands, groups, shows, recording, etc:
My latest musical project is diving into the music written for clarinet trio. The ensemble consists of clarinet, cello, and piano. Luckily, some of the most gorgeous musical gems in history were written for this instrumentation. I will be performing various compositions for clarinet trio from composers such as Brahms, Beethoven, and Muczynski around Philly!