String Lessons At The Conservatory


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.

Ages: All Ages
Locations: Bayside/Fox Point, Downtown Milwaukee, Brookfield, Online



Violin Teacher

New Student Lesson Discount

$205 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!



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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.

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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.


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Scholarship Auditions 2023-2024

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 2023-2024 school year will take place on March 5, 2023. 



* The online application for New Students will be available on January 5, 2023. Current Conservatory students should request a scholarship audition application from their private lesson instructor. 



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.


boys playing trombone

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.


Jazz Camp 2020

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.

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String Faculty

Meet Our Teachers


Freya Irani

Jasmin Jawad


  • 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.

Tatiana Migliaccio


  • 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.

Laura Mintz


  • 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.

Talia Pavia

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
  • 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.
  • 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.

Charlie Rasmussen

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.

Anna Rasmussen


  • 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.

Barbara Schneider

Suzuki Violin


  • 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 2018.
  • 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.

Ilana Setapen


  • University of Southern California and at the Colburn Conservatory
  • Master of Music | The Juilliard School


  • Currently the Associate Concertmaster of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Has had solo performances with the Milwaukee Symphony, Festival City Symphony, the Boca Raton Symphonia, and the Amarillo Symphony, among others.
  • Frequent guest on the Frankly Music Series and the Rembrandt Chamber Players of Chicago.
  • Collaborated with such distinguished artists as Ron Leonard, Lynn Harrell, Toby Appel, Cynthia Phelps, Joseph Kalichstein, Robert DeMaine, Paul Coletti, the Fine Arts Quartet, Stefan Hersh, David Geber, and Joan Tower.
  • Summer guest appearances include at the Olympic Music Festival on Bainbridge Island, the Luzerne Music Center summer festival in Lake Luzerne, New York.
  • Performs as the violin/viola duo Bowing Rogue with her colleague Margot Schwartz.
  • Solo and chamber music performances have brought her abroad to China, France, Brazil, Holland, England, Monaco, and Italy.

Taylor Skiff


  • 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.

Joseph Steinbart


• Undergraduate Degree, Church Music and Pastoral Studies | Maranatha Baptist University (MBU)
• Master of Music, Viola Performance and String Pedagogy | University of Louisville, Kentucky (UofL)


  • As a teacher, Joseph is known for his hard work ethic, caring spirit, and analytical mind, believing each student has potential and should be taught to express their own thoughts and ideas through music.
  • Taught private violin and viola lessons, as well as weekly group and theory classes, to a variety of ages for the Maranatha Music Prep School.
  • In 2018, Joseph won the Fine Arts Commencement Competition at MBU and received the Musicianship Award for the most outstanding musician upon graduation.
  • At UofL, Joseph received the E.M. Aldrich Scholarship in his first year and in his second year, received the viola graduate string quartet position.
  • As a GTA at UofL, Joseph taught private secondary viola lessons, coached undergraduate chamber music, co-taught string methods, coached for the UofL String Academy, and worked as the administrative assistant for the UofL String Academy.
  • He has had the privilege of performing in chamber music groups throughout much of his undergraduate and graduate degrees, and in his first year at UofL, his string quartet placed third in the Macauley Competition.

George Teague


  • Bachelor of Music, Cello Performance | Northern Arizona University
  • Master of Music, 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.
  • Completed his training through Book 8 in the Suzuki Method and looks forward to completing all 10 books in the next year.
  • 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.
  • Received 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.
  • 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.
Wisconsin Conservatory of Music String faculty member, George Teague.

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.

Sam Winternheimer


  • 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.
  • Studied with world- renowned bassist, Rodney Whitaker while at Michigan State University.
  • Studied classically with the Assistant Principal of the Indianapolis Symphony Orchestra, Robert Goodlett
  • Taught alongside Robert Goodlett at the Quattro String Academy in Indianapolis, IN.
  • Currently serves as the Bass Instructor at Eastern Illinois University.
  • As a seasoned teacher, enjoys working with students with experience ranging from beginners to professionals.



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Music Education For The Community

Community Partnerships

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!