I hold a music performance degree from in cello from Southern Methodist University, where I studied with Lev Aronson and served as principal of the Arlington Opera and Plano Chamber Orchestra. I also served for several years as assistant principal in the Santa Fe Symphony and various free-lance groups in the Albuquerque and Santa Fe area. After moving to Cleveland in 1998, I became a member of “The Strings” chamber group with members of the Cleveland Orchestra, and have performed as a free-lance musician.
In addition to Lev Aronson, my teachers include instrument maker Anne Cole and members of the Boston Symphony at the Tanglewood Institute. I have performed in a master class with the late Mstislav Rostropovich and served as principal cellist under the baton of Leonard Bernstein and Jahja Ling at the Tanglewood Institute. Other notable performances include composer and pianist Marc Neikrug as part of the Santa Fe Chamber Music series, Grammy award winner Marc Doss in recital at The Music Settlement and members of the Blue Water Chamber Orchestra.
I have over twenty-five years of teaching experience in both traditional and Suzuki cello methods, and am certified by The Suzuki Association of the Americas in Suzuki books 1 through 10 and cello practicum. In addition to learning how to teach from my former teacher and mentor Anne Cole of Albuquerque, my Suzuki method instructors include Barbara Wampner, Pam Devenport, Nancy Hair, Tanya Carey and Carey Beth Hockett. Because I believe in continuous learning, I possess additional certifications in the Orff Schulwerk method and am trained in the Music Together® early childhood music program for children, newborn to five.
I encourage my students to participate with their school orchestras and take advantage of the many extracurricular performance opportunities which are available to them. Several of my current and former students are members or have been members of The Contemporary Youth Orchestra, The Cleveland Orchestra Youth Orchestra, have participated in The Cleveland Composers’ Guild Creativity: Learning Through Experience program and have participated in The Cleveland Cello Society’s solo competition.
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My first teacher, Anne Cole, remains a tremendous influence upon me. I studied with her from the age of nine until I graduated high school. She was a second mother to me as I matured both as a person and as a musician, providing not only excellent cello instruction but love, advice, and loyalty. I saw her almost every week during the school year and most summers starting in third grade. With her as my role model, I strive to provide the same quality of instruction, love, and loyalty to my own students as she gave to me. I believe that a successful teacher / student relationship requires an intuition for balancing excellent teaching with genuine interest in the student as a person and developing human being. I truly believe that Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy of creating “noble human beings” is the primary goal to be achieved through learning music.
Although I have a family dedicated to the teaching profession, I began to really love the idea of teaching relatively late in my life. It wasn’t until I had my own daughter that I fully realized my deep passion for children and for helping them grow from little balls of potential into young adults with the promise of a bright future. I still remember those first years, when I began with five students, all playing Twinkle. I never could have imagined that these little beings would eventually grow up to be not only accomplished musicians, but successful young adults and leaders in their schools and communities. My mission is not only to teach cello, but to build a musical family of cellists – connected to me and each other forever through music.