String Lessons At The Conservatory
Wisconsin’s Top String Program
The experienced faculty of the String Department work with students on balanced posture, beautiful tone production, accurate intonation, and musicianship skills. At the same time, students master a sequential body of musical repertoire. The String Department offers instruction in both solo repertoire and chamber music to beginners through advanced players of all ages.
New Student Lesson Discount
$215 for six 30-minute lessons
In-person and online Zoom lessons give you access to more than 90 skilled faculty members for any instrument and genre. Join a community of more than 10,000 students and schedule your first lessons today!
String Lessons At The Conservatory
What You Can Expect
In addition to our comprehensive Suzuki program for young students, Conservatory instructors are available to teach students of all ages – from pre-teen to adults – violin, viola, cello, harp, bass, double bass, and more!
- The String Department’s mission is to help students achieve technical proficiency on their instruments.
- We offer customized instruction whether you’re a beginning Suzuki student, preparing for a youth orchestra audition, or dusting off your instrument after years of inactivity.
- In addition to classical string training, students can pursue fiddle music or jazz bass.
String Studies At The Conservatory
Suzuki String Packages
Group classes & private lessons are together an essential component of the Suzuki Method. The method treats music education in the same way that people learn to speak their native language; through listening, imitation, and repetition in a positive, nurturing learning environment. At the heart of the Suzuki philosophy is the idea that everyone has talent and can become a successful, sensitive, and caring person through the study of music in the Suzuki method.
To register for your Suzuki package, please call Student Services at (414) 276 – 5760.
ONLINE APPLICATION DEADLINE: FEBRUARY 3, 2024
2024 Scholarship Auditions
Through generous financial support of our donors, the Conservatory annually awards merit scholarships to new and current students. These merit scholarships are meant to reward accomplishment, effort, and to encourage our talented students to further their skills. The Conservatory’s scholarship auditions provide a wonderful opportunity for students to have a professional assessment of their abilities within a positive and supportive environment.
Auditions for the 2024-2025 school year will take place on March 3, 2024.
Jazz & Contemporary Music
The Conservatory’s new Jazz & Contemporary Music offerings will continue to preserve and share the unique heritage of American Jazz — a longstanding WCM tradition — while celebrating its proud heritage that is ever present in the music of today.
For Ages 9 – 14
Strings Beginnings Package
In addition to individual music lessons and classes, kids & teens can enroll in several comprehensive packages that include a group class, private lesson, and music theory component.
For Students with 2+ Years of Experience & Beyond
Intermediate & Advanced Programs
Students with at least two or more years on their instrument can enroll in an ensemble or audition for the Advanced Chamber Music Institute and the Honors Jazz Institute.
Meet Our Teachers
WCM Board Faculty RepresentativeSuzuki, Violin & Viola, Early Childhood, Board of Directors
- Bachelor’s degree in Music Performance – Butler University
- Master’s degree in Performance – University of Oklahoma (where he expanded upon his ever-growing musical repertoire with Doctor Anthony Stoops)
- Alec’s first private teacher was Laura Snyder, a prominent bassist in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, with whom he studied in high school in Brookfield, Wisconsin
- Studied under Professor David Murray, internationally renowned solo bassist and educator
- Joined WCM in 2023
- Alec Henry is a multifaceted bassist and teacher
- Born and raised in West Allis, Wisconsin, he is currently an instructor for the Connections program at the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music in Milwaukee, Wisconsin
- He also maintains a private studio for various string students throughout Southeastern Wisconsin
- Before settling down again in Milwaukee, Alec was the String Bass Graduate Assistant at the University of Oklahoma
- He played in various local orchestras throughout the Midwest, serving as principal bass in both the Hendricks Symphony Orchestra and Philharmonic Orchestra of Indianapolis
- During his youth, Alec spent eight years with the Milwaukee Youth Symphony Orchestra
- His Indiana summers were spent teaching for the various youth music camps led by the Butler Community Arts School on campus
- Specifically, Alec specializes in the teaching and performance of 21st Century solo bass literature, euro-classical music, and modern jazz compositions on both the upright and electric bass.
- In addition to his teaching at the Wisconsin Conservatory, Alec likes to stay involved with the string bass community by attending the biannual International Society of Bassists Conventions as well as volunteering with the Richard Davis Foundation for Young Bassists in Madison, Wisconsin
Born in Albuquerque NM, Freya Irani began to play the violin at age 4 and the viola at the age of 13. Her string quartet at the New England Conservatory garnered recognition as a 2017-18 Honors Ensemble, where they made their Jordan Hall recital debut in May 2018. Additionally, as a chamber musician, she won the Bronze Medal at the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition Junior Division 2016, the 2nd Prize Laureate in the inaugural M-Prize Chamber Music Competition Junior Division 2016, and 2nd place at the A.N. and Pearl G. Barnett Chamber Competition with Quartet Vibrante. With Quartet Étoile, she has been named the Overall Winner and Strings and Piano category winner of the 2015 Midwest Young Artist’s Discover National Chamber Competition. She has also won 1st place at the Rembrandt Chamber Players High School Chamber Music Competition and has received recognition as a Rembrandt Young Artist 2015. In addition, her group placed as a Semifinalist in the Junior Division of the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition 2015 and got invited to perform at Pianoforte’s “Playful Talk” with pianist Yana Reznik. They performed as guest artists with the Northbrook Symphony in their 2015-16 season.
She has been named a 2017 National YoungArts Honorable Mention Winner. As a soloist, she has received honorable mention from the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra Stars of Tommorrow Competition, MSO Bolz Young Artist Competition, and the WCO Young Artists Competition, and has been named a High School Showcase Scholarship Award Winner in the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee Competition of 2015.
Freya has had the honor to concertize in esteemed venues such as Carnegie Hall’s Weill Recital Hall, Lincoln Center, Northwestern University’s Pick Staiger Hall, Ravinia’s Bennett Gordon Hall, New England Conservatory’s Jordan Hall, and Chicago’s PianoForte Studios, among others. She has been privileged to participate in masterclasses with Ettore Causa, Robert deMaine, Yizhak Schotten, Helen Callus, Tom Rosenberg, Stephen Wyrczynski, Peter Slowik, James Dunham, and the Ying Quartet. Additionally, she has received instruction from members of the Cleveland, Orpheus, Ariel, Borromeo, Parker, Dover, Cavani, Tokyo, and Vermeer Quartets. Her greatest inspiration outside of music is nature and the outdoors. She has performed in the Czech Republic, Mexico, United States, and Germany. Freya completed her Bachelor of Music degree with Prof. Hartmut Rohde at the University of Arts in Berlin.
Currently, Freya is a violist with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra, among other orchestras. She believes that being involved in musical communities brings joy to young people’s lives, allowing them to express themselves, make close friends, and form lasting connections. Learning music at a young age provides children with experiences they will never forget. It also teaches vital life skills such as self-discipline, collaboration, and dedication.
- Bachelor of Music | Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University
- Master of Music | Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University
- Joined the Conservatory Faculty in 2019.
- Served as Principal Harpist with the Columbus Indiana Philharmonic.
- Performed at the Ravinia Festival in Chicago with Joshua Bell.
- Played under the baton of Franz Welser-Most, Michael Stern, Giancarlo Guerrero, Andrea Quinn, and Bramwell Tovey.
- Traveled to London to research performance related injury prevention techniques for musicians.
- Taught an orchestral repertoire class to college harp students as the Associate Instructor at Indiana University, and is currently working towards completion of Suzuki certification.
- Bachelor of Fine Arts | Carnegie Mellon University
- Master of Music | Yale University
- Artist Diploma | Yale University
- Doctor of Musical Arts | University of Wisconsin – Madison
- Joined the WCM violin and chamber faculty in 2003.
- Has taught worldwide with 35 years of teaching experience, ranging from beginners to graduate school and professional level musicians.
- Has performed worldwide in prestigious venues such as Carnegie Hall, Weill Recital Hall, Avery Fisher, Auditório Manuel de Falla, and Memorial of Latin America.
- Has shared the stage with eminent artists such as Yo-Yo Ma, Mathieu Dufour, Eric Friedman, Sidney Harth, Caio Pagano, Frank Morelli, Wang Jian, Amit Peled, Susan Babini and Aldo Parisot.
- Has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician, recording artist, pedagogue, adjudicator, and conductor.
- Founding member of the critically acclaimed Philomusica Quartet.
- Concertmaster of the Kenosha Symphony Orchestra and Racine Symphony Orchestra, and Assistant
- Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Chamber Orchestra/Milwaukee Musaik.
- Has performed at Chamber Music Milwaukee, Frankly Music, Fine Arts at First, Sunday Live from the Chazen, Dame Myra Hess Concert Series; to name a few.
- Has appeared under conductors such as Eleazar De Carvalho, Gunther Herbig, Robert Shaw, Claudio Santoro and Isaac Karabtchevsky.
- Studied with violinists Sidney Harth, Erick Friedman, Robert McDuffie, and Vartan Manoogian; as well as conductors Eleazar de Carvalho, David Stern, David Becker, James Smith; and members of the Tokyo, Yale, and the Paganini string quartet
- Recipient of the prestigious Ivan Galamian Award, Carnegie Tradition Award, Yale Alumni Prize and the Miles Prize.
- Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | Lviv National Music Academy
- Master of Music in Violin Performance | Lviv National Music Academy
- Joined the Violin faculty of the Conservatory in 2005.
- Previous teachers include Alexander Tatarinzew, Eleonor Stanlis, and Mark Zinger.
- Received Suzuki violin training for levels 1-7 from the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point and Deerfield Trinity University.
- An avid musician, Tatiana began her musical career performing in the Lviv Philharmonic Symphony Orchestra, touring to countries such as Poland, Germany, Bulgaria, and Estonia.
- Has also performed with the Rockford Symphony Orchestra, the American Polish Orchestra, and the Chicago University Orchestra.
- Had the great privilege in performing with astounding musicians, including Itzhak Perlman, Joshua Bell, and Doc Severinsen.
- Has worked with artists such as Rachel Barton Pine, Regina Carter, and Almita Vamos in numerous workshops.
- Previously taught at the Rockford College Music Academy.
- Bachelor of Music | Indiana University
- Master of Music | University of Michigan
- Joined the Conservatory in 2018.
- Received Suzuki Teacher Training with Mimi Zweig and Judy Offman.
- Has taught students of all ages and levels for 25 years.
- Created and directed Suzuki and traditional instrumental programs in schools in New York, Texas, Wisconsin, and London.
- Has enjoyed a varied career as an orchestral violinist and freelance chamber musician, performing in the US and Europe with the New World Symphony, New Haven Symphony, Bayou City Chamber Orchestra, National Repertory Orchestra, and the Spoleto Festival Orchestra.
- Chosen by Isaac Stern and Sir Georg Solti to perform and record as a member of the Solti Orchestra Project at Carnegie Hall.
- Received first prize in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.
- Bachelor of Music | Northern Illinois University
- Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
- Performer’s Certificate | Northern Illinois University
What year did you start working at WCM?
Why did you choose to work at WCM?
Mentoring Milwaukee’s string students and diligently developing their musical and character skills to realize their full expressive potential, is central to my professional mission to cultivate a love for learning.
Describe a musical experience that had a positive impact on you:
Being whisked away on tour to Europe with Camerata Chicago as Associate Principal Second Violin, was a life changing experience. Meeting and sharing music with people of many languages and diverse traditions was both empowering and highly rewarding. Touching the hearts of people on the other side of the world was a poignant reminder to share one’s gifts and appreciate the ones we are sent in return.
Chair – Suzuki Strings
Bachelor of Arts in Music – Luther College
Master of Music in Cello Performance – University of North Carolina – Greensboro
Post-Baccalaureate Certificate in Music Theory – University of North Carolina – Greensboro
Certificate in Suzuki Pedagogy – The University of Denver
Suzuki Cello Books 1-10 – Suzuki Association of the Americas
Why did you choose to work at WCM?
I chose to work at WCM to be part of a thriving Suzuki program and to teach lessons around the greater Milwaukee area.
Describe a musical experience or teacher that had a positive impact on you.
There are too many to recount! I’m very grateful to all my teachers, coaches, mentors, colleagues, and past and present students.
What year did you start working at WCM?
WCM Board Faculty Representative
- Bachelor of Music Education with a Strings Emphasis | Baylor University
- Master of Music in Violin Performance | University of North Carolina
- Violin and Viola faculty at the Conservatory since 2016.
- Completed Suzuki Teacher Training with Julia Hardie, Mark Mutter, Doris Preucil, Ann Smelser, Nancy Jackson, and Kathleen Spring and Sarah Bylander Montzka, and long-term training with Allen Lieb at the School for Strings in New York City.
- Over 11 years of teaching experience in Suzuki, traditional, and El Sistema-inspired schools in Wisconsin, Connecticut, North Carolina, and Texas.
- Plays Baroque violin in Early Music ensembles in Beloit, Madison, and Milwaukee.
- Performed in the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra, Western Piedmont Symphony, Raleigh Symphony Orchestra, Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra, and the Waco Symphony Orchestra.
- In 2016 recorded tracks for Grammy award winning Broadway composer, Paul Bogaev.
- Bachelor of Music | University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Master of Music | Juilliard School
- Cello instructor at the Conservatory since 2018.
- Past cello teachers include Timothy Eddy, Parry Karp, and Uri Vardi.
- Has been a featured soloist with multiple orchestras, including the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra, performing Ludwig van Beethoven’s Triple Concerto, Ernest Bloch’s Schelomo, Antonín Dvořák’s Cello Concerto, and Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky’s Variations on a Rococo Theme.
- In addition to his solo playing, Taylor is an avid orchestral musician, and has performed several times at both Lincoln Center and Carnegie Hall.
- Most recent orchestral appointments include the assistant principal cellist of the Dubuque Symphony Orchestra (2010-2011), co-principal and section cellist of The Juilliard Orchestra (2013-2015), and co-principal cellist of The Orchestra Now (2015-2016).
- Former cellist of the University of Wisconsin’s Perlman Piano Trio (2010-2013).
- Has been teaching the cello privately for over a decade.
Felipe Rocha Luiz Vianna
- Bachelor of Music in Viola Performance – Universidade Federal de Pernambuco (UFPE)
- Master of Music in Viola Performance – Louisiana State University (LSU)
- Born in Vassouras/RJ – Brazil, Felipe Vianna started his music studies at PIM – Programa de Integração pela Música, a social project based on El-Sistema Music Education, having violin lessons with Daniel Andrade, and participating actively in Suzuki masterclasses with Suray Soren Doyle and Paulo Bosisio. Later, became violin, viola, and music theory teacher at the project from 2007 to 2009.
- After migrating to viola, pursued his studies at Federal University of Pernambuco, where played actively as principal and section viola at UFPE Symphony Orchestra and “Sonoro Ofício”, a historically informed chamber orchestra, from 2010 to 2016.
- Finalist at Paulo Bosisio National String Competition in Juiz de Fora/ MG – Brazil, adult division in 2013.
- Co-principal viola at Orquestra Sinfônica da Paraíba, in João Pessoa/PB – Brazil, during 2015 season.
- Received the Graduate School Tuition Award (GSTA) from Louisiana State University in 2017.
- Worked as violin and viola teacher at Kid’s Orchestra in Baton Rouge, academic year 2019-2020.
- Major viola professors (in chronological order): Dr. Savio Santoro (UFPE), Dr. Elias Goldstein (LSU) and Paul Cortese.
- Participated in festivals in Brazil, US, and Italy, under the tutelage of many great violists, such as Emmerson diBiaggi, Leonardo Piermartini, Carlos Aleixo, Marcelo Jaffé, Alexandre Razera, Gabriel Marin, Nobuko Imai, Bruno Giuranna, Carol Rodland, Michelle LaCourse, Phillip Ying, Paul Newbauer, Raimi Solomonov, Karen Dreyfous, Susan Dubois, Wenting Kang, Hella Frank, Daphne Gerling and Glêsse Collet.
Music Education For The Community
Does your school, church, early childhood center, public library, senior center, or community organization have a need for quality music education programs in the Milwaukee area? The Wisconsin Conservatory of Music offers community programs to match your need!