Heartstrings Violins-Lessons/Weddings

Call to schedule a summer lesson and start this fall ahead of the game!





I am a violin/viola instructor from Jackson where I run Heartstrings Studio; a violin and viola lesson studio from my home. I've offered violin and viola lessons for 20+ years after attending UW-Milwaukee where I received a Bachelor?s Degree in Fine Arts-Music Performance (violin). After moving to Jackson 14+ years ago and setting up the lesson studio, I coached the Washington County Youth Orchestra based out of UWWC in West Bend. In 2012, I joined Kettle Moraine Symphony (KMS) as a first violinist and am presently a member. 2013 brought an additional opportunity when a position for string instructor was created at Hartford Union High School. I taught individual and group lessons as well as assisted in leading sectional rehearsals. The summer of 2015 I was offered the position of Director of the Schauer Youth String Orchestra in Hartford which provides all area string students the opportunity to "fine tune" their string skills as well as provide them with a social outlet to connect with other ambitious, young musicians. The summer of 2016 I accepted a string instructor position with the West Bend District where I lead small group instruction at Silverbrook Intermediate and support the orchestra teacher at West Bend High Schools.

On weekends over summer I'm pretty busy teaching...but also tending to my gardens and often focused on reading a biography of one of my favorite composers or a string pedagogy book. I'm also an avid scrapbooker, cook/baker and die-hard Green Bay Packer fan. I also enjoy playing in The Mosaic String Quartet with friends from Kettle Moraine Symphony.

In addition to teaching, I am available to play for weddings as a soloist or with the quartet-- whether it is simply for prelude music, processional/recessional or if you are having pre-reception music for your guests as they gather. 

As for the lessons; each lesson takes into account each student?s goals, abilities, experience, strengths and weaknesses. I also structure the lesson around each individual student; something you can only get in private lessons. My teaching style is open and honest, fun and encouraging. For young beginners, I typically will incorporate games, music listening, charts, toys, even illustrations to provide motivation and to keep learning fun and exciting.
 I truly feel it is far more important to teach the basic concepts of violin playing rather than simply teaching notation and tune playing?.    
Teaching the ?fundies? is well; fundamental. Private lessons include music theory as a musical notation of rhythm, melody and sight reading. The students will have the opportunity to explore and become familiar with music of different periods and genres for the age- appropriate repertoire.  To encourage my students to apply what they are being taught and to teach them to think for themselves -I will quiz my students on occasion. Questions may range from how to hold the instrument in a sitting position versus a standing position-and ask for a demonstration to asking my students to explain the "circle of fifths?. It just puts their minds in motion!
?Brushing your teeth every day isn?t optional, neither is practicing??
Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

  The Practice Cycle


I have very strong beliefs about teaching, and about practicing. It is my hope that the combination of great lessons and hard work at home will result in many wonderful musical experiences.  Without  1:1 instruction/lessons combined with daily practice; students will learn bad habits. The tendency is for students without guidance to naturally hold the instrument wrong, and place one's fingers incorrectly, not to mention a host of other potential problems. Rather than creating frustration and grief; consider private lessons. It's much easier to learn things correctly the first time, rather than undoing those bad habits and mistakes. Yes, learning to play violin does take dedication and work. With the right attitude, the right teacher and the desire to learn...playing can be ultimately rewarding. Do try to keep your expectations to a reasonable level, don't set them so high that you set yourself up for disappointment. Learning something new is a challenge. Learning violin is the same. I expect my students to accomplish goals set weekly. These goals are reasonable..."baby steps", I say. Everything comes in time as long as you stick with it! 
    On a final note (pun intended) I would like to state that I strive to spend the majority of my energy and time as a teacher on areas that are in need of focus for each student. It doesn't mean spending weeks repeating one exercise simply for the sake of repetition, but rather to focus on identifying an area of weakness or problem, fixing it and then polishing it off. With the aid of repetition, the solution can be found and applied. The concentrated thoughts spent on identifying the problem, replacing it with the solution and promoting that; is what each student should strive for. Not only shall I devote my teaching to pointing out these errors, but to teach the student to point it out to themselves as well as remedying. My students should take pride in the fact that they will not have to rely solely on me to point out what needs to be corrected. They will realize when something is out of tune, wrong fingering or perhaps incorrect bowing or articulation. Then, they will also know how to correct it! It is at this point the joy of success is felt by myself as well as the student.
Well, that should give you a snapshot of my teaching style, philosophies or my approach. I hope you take the second step and set up a time for me to hear you play! The first lesson is an evaluation where I can best prepare the course of instruction. See How to Get Started for more info.



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