String Lessons At The Conservatory
Wisconsin’s Top String Program
* Please Note – All WCM programs have moved online while physical locations are closed.
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 Online Lesson Discount
$190 for six 30-minute lessons
Online music lessons use easy-to-use Zoom Video Conferencing and 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.
NEW THIS FALL
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
- Bachelor of Music | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
- Master of Music | Boston University
- Member of the Conservatory string faculty since 2017.
- Began violin studies at the age of five, and was mentored by Sibbi Bernhardsson, formerly of the Pacifica Quartet.
- Completed Book 1 Suzuki violin certification with Edward Kreitman in July 2018, and will finish certification for Book 2 in January 2019.
- Serves as a regular substitute musician of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
- Has worked closely with musical luminaries such as Cliff Colnot, Riccardo Muti, and Yo-Yo Ma.
- Spends her summer as a member of the Peninsula Music Festival in Door County, WI.
- 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.
- Undergraduate Degree, Violin/Baroque Violin | Eastman School of Music & Florida State University
- Masterʼs Degree | University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she played in the Strelow String Quartet and studied with Vartan Manoogian.
- Leanne League is the violin and viola professor at the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater, where she was named the 2010 Teacher of the Year by the Wisconsin chapter of the American String Teachers Association.
- Serves as the associate concertmaster of the Madison Symphony and assistant concertmaster of the Wisconsin Chamber Orchestra.
- Has also performed extensively with the Ancora String Quartet and the UW-Whitewater Piano Trio, and her performances have taken her to Amsterdam, London, Paris, Vienna, Graz, Spoleto, Slovenia, Costa Rica, and throughout the United States. Leanne League
- Was a fellow at the New World Symphony in Miami, where she performed occasionally as concertmaster and principal second violin.
- Played in the Strelow String Quartet and studied with Vartan Manoogian while at UW-Madison.
- Chamber music and orchestral festivals include the Tanglewood Music Festival, Festival dei Due Mondi in Italy, the Bach Dancing and Dynamite Society, AIMS in Austria, and the National Repertory Orchestra.
- Bachelor Degree – Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris
- Master Degree – Conservatoire National Supérieur de Musique de Paris
- Chi Li started playing the violin at 5. and made his debut with l’Orchestre de Chambre de Toulouse at the age of 12.
- Since then he has performed across North America, Asia and Europe in prestigious venues such as the Boston Symphony Hall, the John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts, Verizon Hall at the Kimmel Center for the Performing Arts, Maison Symphonique de Montréal, Salle Pleyel in Paris.
- Highlights include performances featured as the soloist with the Montreal Symphony Orchestra, Tanglewood Music Center Orchestra.
- In 2013, Chi became the first Taiwanese violinist to be awarded a prize at the Montreal International Music Competition.
- Major musical influences include Olivier Charlier, Joanna Matkowska, Ikuko Mizuno, Régis Pasquier.
- Joined the first violin section of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra in 2017.
- 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
- Instructor at the Conservatory since 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, England.
- 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.
- First prize recipient in the Fischoff International Chamber Music Competition.
- Began playing the violin as a Suzuki student at the age of three.
Co-Chair – Strings
- Bachelor of Music | Northern Illinois University
- Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
- Performer’s Certificate | Northern Illinois University
- Member of the Conservatory String Faculty since 2018
- Pavia studied with international soloist Shmuel Ashkenasi and trained with the Grammy Award-winning Vermeer Quartet as a member of NIU’s Graduate String Quartet In-Residence
- Received numerous awards and scholarships, including graduate fellowships, from both the Honor Society of Phi Kappa Phi and the NIU Graduate School to pursue violin studies.
- Currently performs as Associate Principal Second Violin of Camerata Chicago, is on the substitute list for the Minnesota Orchestra, and has touredboth nationally and internationally in chamber music festivals, including the Zeister Musiekdagen Chamber Music Festivalin the Netherlands.
- As first violinist of the Ethereal Shima Quartet, her chamber music interpretations have been called “remarkably sensitive and mature” by John von Rhein of the Chicago Tribune.
- Performance credits include the Chicago Jazz Philharmonic (Concertmaster, Emmy Award-winning recording), Chicago’s Symphony Center, and at acclaimed venues throughout the world with renowned artists including the incomparable fiddler Mark O’Connor and jazz Vocalist Kurt Elling.
- Pavia’s students have won numerous concerto competitions and have gone on to pursue classical and contemporary violin performance at universities such as the Oberlin Conservatory of Music and the Berklee School of Music.
Co-Chair – 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 instructor at the Conservatory since 2016.
- Trained by the Suzuki Association of the Americas to teach Suzuki Cello Units 1-10, and provides lessons for a full range of students.
- Studied the Suzuki Method with Carol Tarr.
- Active as a modern cellist, baroque cellist, and viola da gambist performing with the Wisconsin Baroque Ensemble and Sonata à Quattro.
- Was the guest artist for the University of Wisconsin-Whitewater’s Cello Fest Clinic in May 2018.
- Has served as the principal cellist with the Danville Symphony Orchestra (VA) and the Madison Bach Musicians.
- Previously performed with the Vitali Ensemble, the New York Continuo Collective, the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra (CT), and the Fayetteville Symphony Orchestra (NC).
- His solo CD, 11 Capricci by Joseph Dall’Abaco,was released by Centaur Records in July 2018.
- He has recorded tracks for Grammy Award Winning Broadway composer, Paul Bogaev.
- 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, Cello Performance | Wheaton College Conservatory of Music | University of Wisconsin-Madison
- Monique joined the Conservatory in 2019, and has been teaching the cello for five years.
- She is a co-founder and member of SistaStrings, a string duo that advocates for diversity in the arts.
- The duo frequently performs and teaches at schools and youth centers.
- A main focus of Monique’s is to help students better express themselves creatively – cultivating one’s own connection with music – and her passion for music helps to motivate and inspire.
- Outside of being an educator and half of SistaStrings, Monique also tours, records and travels with other bands and artists.
- Bachelor of Music, Violin Performance | University of Michigan
- Joined the Conservatory faculty in the Fall of 2019.
- In 2011 she attended the New York String Seminar under the training of Jaime Laredo, and began to think aboutcombining the various bits of her background, and bring all of that diversity into her music.
- As a result of that, Chauntee started the Violin/Cello duo SistaStrings with her sister, and the ladies have performedwith Grammy winning artist Malik Yusef, and have opened for legends like The Roots, Lupe Fiasco, Bone Thugs’N Harmony, Black Violin and the list goes on.
- The ladies collaborate with local artists and perform in schools and churches as well as concert halls and modernvenues.
- Fall of 2018, she joined the Sphinx Virtuosi on a two-month tour that included stops at the Isabella Gardner Museum, Cleveland Institute of Music, and Carnegie Hall among many others.
- Her background in music is mostly classical in training but her diverse social background allowed her to step out of her comfort zone and pursue music in whatever genre speaks to her.
Director, Community Partnerships
- Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
- Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory
- Conservatory violin faculty since 2017.
- Has studied chamber music with members of the Tokyo, Juilliard, Cleveland, and Orford String Quartets.
- Coached advanced chamber music groups in the Pre-Conservatory Violin Program, created and coached the Adult Chamber Music Program, and led Suzuki group classes while teaching at the Peabody Institute in Baltimore for 16 years.
- Barbara’s students have been consistently recognized for their talent, being accepted into major music schools and festivals including the Manhattan School of Music, the Ithaca Summer Institute, and the Interlochen Arts Academy.
- A founding member of the Tempest Trio, and a recipient of the Peabody Development Grant for the trio.
- Performed regularly with orchestras such as the Baltimore Opera Orchestra, the Baltimore Chamber Orchestra, the Wolf Trap Opera Company, and the Annapolis Symphony Orchestra.
- Has served as the concertmistress of the Bach Cantata Series, the Young Victorian Theatre Company, and Opera Vivente.
- 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.
- Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | Millikin University
- Master of Music | Illinois State University
- Suzuki Training | Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville
- Joined the Conservatory Violin faculty in 2017.
- Studied under Georgia Hornbacker at Millikin University, and Dr. Lenora Anop at Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville.
- Teaching for 9 years, Natalie became trained in Suzuki violin up to Book 8 under Vera McCoy Sulentic.
- Had the honor of performing at the International Chamber Music Festival in Kyustendil, Bulgaria in 2014.
- Has participated and performed in various classical, bluegrass, and free improv ensembles as an active musician, in addition to doing work within the recording studio at Millikin University.
- Undergraduate Degree | Northern Arizona University
- Master’s Degree, Cello Performance | Chicago College of Performing Arts
- Studied at the Chicago College of Performing Arts under renowned pedagogue and former Suzuki Association of the Americas President, Dr. Tanya Carey.
- Recently completed his training through Book 8 in the Suzuki Method, and looks forward to completing all 10 books in the next year.
- Before moving to Chicago, George completed his undergraduate degree at Northern Arizona University under Dr. Mary Ann Ramos.
- As an accomplished performer, has held principal seats in numerous orchestras, including the CCPA Symphony and NAU Symphony Orchestra, as well a cello section member of the Flagstaff Symphony Orchestra.
- He is also a recipient of numerous performing arts awards, including the Nadene Bean Cello Scholarship.
- Enjoys performing and teaching in a variety of styles, and takes special interest in performing contemporary works for the cello.
- He is always looking for new ways to play and teach, and enjoys the fusion of traditional and Suzuki methods, with an additional interest in making contemporary music accessible to beginners.
- His students have won numerous regional competitions, as well as placing in regional and All-State programs.
- Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | University of Minnesota
- Master of Music in Violin Performance | Texas Tech University
- Master of Music Education, Suzuki Violin emphasis | University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point
- Joined the Conservatory Suzuki Faculty in 2014.
- Worked with Professor Pat D’Ercole while at Stevens Point, and was awarded the Margery Aber Talent Education Scholarship for two consecutive years.
- Pursued Sonata Repertoire training with Tom Wermuth, and Suzuki Early Childhood Education with ECE pioneer, Dorothy Jones.
- Has also studied with Jerome Franke of the Milwaukee Symphony and Klara Fenyo-Bahcall, professor of violin at UW-Oshkosh.
- Started as a Suzuki violin instructor in Lubbock, Texas in 2002 and has taught Suzuki violin in Milwaukee since 2005, both independently and on the faculties of North Shore Suzuki Strings and Barcel Suzuki String Academy.
- Has been a clinician at workshops throughout Wisconsin, and served as interim faculty for the Aber Suzuki Center at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.
- Maintains involvement with the Suzuki Association of Wisconsin where in 2010, she served as organizational chairperson for their biennial workshop.
- As an avid performer, has served as concertmaster of the Green Bay Civic Symphony from 2007-2011, and is now currently a member of the Wisconsin Philharmonic.
- Bachelor Degree | Michigan State University
- Master Degree, Jazz Studies | Florida State University
- Performs professionally in a wide variety of musical styles, as a leader and as a sideman, on upright bass and electric bass.
- While at Michigan State University, studied with world- renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker.
- Has also studied classically with the Assistant Principal of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Robert Goodlett, and taught alongside Robert at the Quattro String Academy in Indianapolis, IN.
- Currently serves as the Bass Instructor at Eastern Illinois University.
- As a seasoned teacher, Sam enjoys working with students with experience ranging from beginners to professionals.
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!