Approach to Teaching
Photo by Matthew Cavanaugh Photography
Julie finds immense value in the Mother Tongue method created by Dr Shinichi Suzuki, which is essentially learning and teaching music the way a child learns and a teacher (parents, family, community) facilitates the learning of a language. Acknowledging that any method is adapted by each teacher who teaches it, Julie uses this method around learning by rote, especially in the early years of musical training, to encourage internalization of the music, develop the ear and build memorization skills. In addition to the early Suzuki repertoire, Julie surveys her beginning students to find tunes that are already familiar to them to play on their cellos in order to truly give them the experience of the Mother Tongue Method.
As part of her longterm Suzuki Training, Julie worked with Carol Tarr on exploring teaching reading, first through movement and then with translating that into symbols and notes on the page. As someone who started playing and reading music simultaneously, and several years later, watching her youngest sister study Suzuki Cello, it was clear to Julie that the Suzuki method offered much more ear-training and memorization than the way she learned in school group classes. Very much aware of the reputation that the Suzuki Method had for taking the emphasis completely away from reading, she worked hard to prioritize all these elements of a well-rounded musical instrument education into her own teaching.
Julie works with all of her students to develop a music reading practice early on in study, and encourages them to develop their own unique musical voices through improvisation. She places an emphasis on body awareness and balance while playing to help each student to be truly comfortable with their instrument. Students are also encouraged to participate in group classes and ensembles as appropriate for their level.
Julie also places a strong emphasis on listening to music, the music a student is working on and will learn in the future, as well as music that inspires them, challenges them and broadens their perspective. She gives specific listening assignments as well as recom-
mendations for students to explore on their own.
In her teaching and performing, Julie emphasizes the importance of knowing the history of the lands we live on as well as the origins of the music we’re playing. She is also actively working to further expand the repertoire she teaches and performs with that of
underrepresented composers, especially promoting the work of artists of color.
University of Hartford
Bachelor of Music, Cello Performance- Hartt School of Music
University of Denver
Master of Music, Cello Performance with Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis- Lamont School of Music
Long-term Suzuki Teacher training Cello Books 1-10 with Carol Tarr, completed 2001
Suzuki Teacher Training Violin Book 1 with James Maurer
Creative Ability Development Teacher Training with Laura Nerenberg
Body Mapping for Musicians with Lauren Smee, M.Mus, LBME
Professional Private teaching studio since 1999
Denver Talent Education Program
City Strings, Augustana Arts
Park Hill United Methodist Church Children’s Choirs
Ogontz Suzuki Institute
Rocky Mountain Cello Institute
Lynn Public Schools
Community Music Center of Boston
Powers Music School
Suzuki School of Newton
Artspace Community Arts Center
Strings for Kids, Greenfield Public Schools
Pioneer Valley Symphony Education Programs