Originally from Sault Ste. Marie, I am a violin instructor with the Laurier String Academy. I am also an Assistant Professor – Music Education in Western University's Don Wright Faculty of Music, where I teach Group String Instruction (Violin/Viola) and String Pedagogy. I completed a Doctor of Philosophy in Educational Studies degree (with a focus on violin pedagogy) from the University of Windsor. I also earned a Master of Music, a Bachelor of Music, and a Performance Diploma in Violin Performance from the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music (IU) where I studied violin with Mimi Zweig, Kathleen Winkler, Baroque violin with Stanley Ritchie, and string pedagogy with Brenda Brenner. My passion for teaching was sparked at Indiana University where I was appointed as an associate instructor from 2005-2008 and assisted Zweig with the Indiana University String Academy. Through my experiences at IU, I established the first Canadian model of this preuniversity program at Laurier, in addition to a unique string pedagogy course for postsecondary performance and music education students at both Laurier and Western University.
I have spent summers touring with the National Youth Orchestra of Canada; participating in the Casalmaggiore International Festival in Italy; teaching in Tuscany for a Professional Teachers Workshop alongside Mimi Zweig; and studying at the Banff Centre for the Arts with the Très Chic Piano Trio (Chamber Music Residency for Pre-Formed Ensembles). Recent performances have included chamber music concerts with the Penderecki String Quartet, the Kitchener-Waterloo Chamber Orchestra, and the Windsor Symphony Orchestra.
In addition to teaching and performing, I have pursued a variety of professional development opportunities. I have presented my research at provincial and international conferences (including the International Society for Music Education, the American String Teachers’ Association, the Ontario Music Educators’ Association, and the Canadian Society for the Study of Education), and have recently submitted articles to the Journal of Research in Music Education and the International Journal of Music Education. I have adjudicated various festivals across Canada, including the upper string division of the Ontario Music Festivals Association Provincial Competition in May of 2017. I have also participated in an intensive pedagogy seminar at The Royal Conservatory of Music (College of Examiners), taught at the Nova Scotia Suzuki Violin Institute in Halifax, NS, attended the Starling-DeLay Symposium for Violin Studies at The Juilliard School, participated in a workshop led by Brian Lewis at the Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute, and attended a Retreat for Violin and Viola Teachers at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. I have presented string workshops and demonstrations at the Kitchener Public Library and at numerous public and high schools throughout the Kitchener-Waterloo region in order to foster music education within the community through outreach programming.
I am a member of the American Federation of Musicians of the United States and Canada (AFM), Canadian Music Festival Adjudicators’ Association (CMFAA), Ontario Music Educators’ Association (OMEA), Canadian Music Educators’ Association (CMEA), American String Teachers Association (ASTA), International Society for Music Education (ISME), and the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA).
As, a performer, pedagogue, and scholar, I am passionate about teacher training, remedial pedagogy, and string education research. I was awarded a prestigious national Doctoral Scholarship from the Social Sciences and Humanities Research Council (SSHRC) for my doctoral research, where I investigated the remedial strategies of postsecondary violin instructors. In July of 2016, I served as the principal investigator of a qualitative study alongside Brenda Brenner at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. This research study expanded upon my doctoral research to investigate the perceptions, progress, self-efficacy, and motivation of adolescent violin students as they engaged in remedial pedagogy while studying at the IU Summer String Academy. Through my current research interests, I hope to contribute significantly to the field of string pedagogy as the scope of my research expands.
As a string instructor, I have been greatly influenced by my mentors, Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner, who always instilled the importance of a nonjudgmental environment and creating a healthy technical/musical foundation in their teaching practice. I believe that all students from the outset of instruction must be encouraged to establish a strong foundation, as this affects all future development and potential for musical artistry. I am passionate about music education, string pedagogy, and in particular, teacher education, and I hope to leave a lasting influence on the next generation of musicians and music educators at Laurier.