String Lessons At The Conservatory

Strings

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

 

EXPLORE STRING PROGRAMS MEET THE FACULTY


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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.
Violin Teacher

New Student Private Lesson Discount

$185 for six 30-minute lessons

Thinking about taking string lessons? Enjoy the comfort and ease of learning with a private lesson at a great price. Get six 30-minute lessons for only $185!

REGISTER

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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.

ABOUT SUZUKI STRINGS

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Music Theory Classes

Open for String Students

Create compositions, learn basic piano skills, and better understand the music that you create with our new Music Theory classes – now available for all ages.

Music Theory Classes can be taken individually or bundled with a private lesson and group class (Conservatory Prep package), for a comprehensive musical experience.

EXPLORE MUSIC THEORY CLASSES

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New For String Students

Royal Conservatory of Music Certificate Program

The Royal Conservatory of Music Program is available to all students enrolled in private lessons, from beginner to advanced levels of study. Over half a million students worldwide participate in this program which meets the highest standards in music education and assessment.

Register by calling Student Services at (414) 276 – 5760 or ask your private lesson teacher for more information.

More About The Program

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Community Partnerships

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!

CONSERVATORY CONNECTIONS

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String Faculty

Meet Our Teachers

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Beth Breslin

Education

  • Master of Music | Cleveland Institute of Music
  • Bachelor of Music | Oberlin Conservatory

Background

  • Member of the viola section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra.
  • Member of the viola section in the Grant Park Music Festival in Chicago.
  • Was a member of the San Antonio Symphony, and is currently a substitute with the Saint Louis Symphony and Houston Symphony.
  • Performs with the 414 Quartet and the Prospect Quartet.
  • Performer at festivals such as the Tanglewood Music Center, the National Repertory Orchestra, Kneisel Hall, and The Round Top Festival Institute.
  • Has also performed as a soloist with the Cleveland Institute of Music, National Repertory Orchestra and the New World Symphony.
  • Primary teachers include Robert Vernon (Cleveland) and Peter Slowik (Oberlin).

Joanna Grosshans

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign
  • Master of Music | Boston University

Background

  • 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.

Jeff Hamann

Education

  • Wisconsin Conservatory of Music

Background

  • WCM faculty member since 1998.
  • A member of the Conservatory’s We Six jazz sextet, Mr. Hamann attended the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music, winning first place in the Jazz Studies Scholarship competition four years in a row.
  • He has worked as a clinician and jazz festival judge in the Milwaukee, Kenosha and Waukesha public schools as well as at UW-Milwaukee, UW-Madison and UW-Green Bay.
  • Performing with such well-known artists as Frank Morgan, Marlena Shaw, Steve Allen, and Eric Alexander, he has toured throughout the Midwest and has appeared at Jazz Yantra in Bombay, India.
  • Jeff is also the bassist on Michael Feldman’s Whad’Ya Know show, airing Saturdays on Wisconsin Public Radio and broadcast nationally on NPR stations.

Mary Kelly Hutchinson

Background

Bio coming soon!

Jasmin Jawad

Education

  • Bachelor of Music – Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University
  • Master of Music – Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University

Background

  • 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.

Alexander Mandl

Education

  • Bachelor of Fine Arts | Carnegie Mellon University
  • Master of Music | Yale University
  • Artist Diploma | Yale University
  • Doctor of Musical Arts | University of Wisconsin – Madison

Background

  • 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.

Jon McCullough-Benner

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Summa Cum Laude | University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music

Background

  • Member of the Conservatory String Faculty since 2018; has been teaching privately for 10 years.
  • Principal bass with the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra and Artist Faculty of double bass at Roosevelt University.
  • Former violinist that has studied many areas of string pedagogy, coming up with a method to train young bassists with a logical progression in music theory training, reading, and overall basic fundamentals that can be applied to any piece of music.
  • Before performing with the MSO, was Principal Bass of the Oregon Symphony, and was involved with the Portland Youth Philharmonic Free Bass Class while living in Portland.
  • Aims to give every player the tools needed to play comfortably and efficiently, which in turn leaves a lot more energy to devote to music making.

Tatiana Migliaccio

Education

  • Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | Lviv National Music Academy
  • Master of Music in Violin Performance | Lviv National Music Academy

Background

  • 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

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | Indiana University
  • Master of Music | University of Michigan

Background

  • 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.

Jim Paolo

Education

  • Bachelor of Music, Jazz Performance

Background

  • WCM faculty member since 1981.
  • Regional freelance performer and teacher, as well as leader of his own small ensembles.
  • Has performed with top jazz artists in the United States, including Buddy Montgomery, Melvin Rhyne, Frank Morgan, Berkeley Fudge, David Hazeltine, Brian Lynch, Manty Ellis, Wille Pickens, Ali Ryerson, Greg Abate, Von Freeman, and Henry Johnson.
  • Paolo can be heard on the CD On the Edgewith The Luis Diaz Quintet, WYMS radio sampler CD with Berkeley Fudge On a Misty Night, and Jeanne Woodall’s It’s NeverToo Late.
  • Currently on faculty teaching Jazz Bass, Theory and Performance at the Conservatory, and serves as clinician for the Jazz Experience for Milwaukee Public Schools and at various colleges.

Talia Pavia

Co-Chair – Strings

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | Northern Illinois University
  • Master of Music | Northern Illinois University
  • Performer’s Certificate | Northern Illinois University

Background

  • 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.

Charlie Rasmussen

Co-Chair – Strings

Education

  • 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

Background

  • 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

Education

  • Bachelor of Music Education with a Strings Emphasis | Baylor University
  • Master of Music in Violin Performance | University of North Carolina

Background

  • 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

Director, Community Partnerships

Education

  • Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | University of Wisconsin – Oshkosh
  • Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from the Peabody Conservatory

Background

  • 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.

Margot Schwartz

Education

  • Yale School of Music
  • Northwestern University School of Music

Background

  • A member of the First Violin section in the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra
  • Summer performances include the First Violin sections of both the Bellingham (WA) and Peninsula (WI) Music Festivals
  • As a chamber musician, she has performed at New York’s Bargemusic, and for the Chicago Symphony Orchestra’s MusicNOW, and can be heard on numerous series in the Milwaukee area, including Frankly Music and Present Music.
  • Soloist with the Milwaukee, Berkeley, and Oakland East Bay Symphonies
  • Performs as a member of the Arcas String Quartet and the violin/viola duo Bowing Rogue.

Ilana Setapen

Education

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

Background

  • 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

Education

  • Bachelor of Music | University of Wisconsin-Madison
  • Master of Music | Juilliard School

Background

  • 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.

Natalie Stawarski

Education

  • Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance | Millikin University
  • Master of Music | Illinois State University
  • Suzuki Training | Southern Illinois University – Edwardsville

Background

  • 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.

Emily Watson-Stodola

Education

  • 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

Background

  • 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.

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