My father began teaching me piano when I was 6, and I went through a succession of instruments including many years playing folk, bluegrass, blues, and rock guitar before I came to classical violin. It was with the violin that I found my musical “true love” and I’ve never looked back. I still play my guitar to accompany my students on fiddle and folk tunes, but it’s the violin that I really love to play.
The other thing I love to do is teach so in 1983 I started my violin program, Woodsong Suzuki Violins, with 3 students at H.B. Woodsongs music store in Boulder, CO. I have since moved my studio to my home in Boulder.
My students range in age from 4 years old to adults who have grandchildren. Mostly I teach kids from 4 to high school seniors. Woodsong Suzuki Violins is a “full service” violin instruction program.
In addition to the weekly private lessons and monthly group classes that are the core of the program, we have formal solo recitals with piano accompaniment for all students, and we perform as a group in different venues several times a year.
Starting as young children and saying goodbye when they go off to college (often to participate in orchestras at their college). It’s one of the things I love about what I do—I get to watch them grow up as they develop over the years from beginners to accomplished musicians. Some of them go on to study music at conservatories and music schools, and a few of my alumni are currently making their living as violin teachers and performers. For many, their musical skills become an avocation, and they play in chamber groups, bluegrass, swing or rock bands, and community orchestras as they pursue careers in other fields. My goal for every beginner is that they will have a high level of ability on the violin that they can return to throughout their lives.
I hold a Bachelor degree in Political Science from American University and a Bachelor degree in music from the University Of Colorado School Of Music, where I studied violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy with William Starr. In addition to my career as a violin teacher, I’ve been a regular performer with local community ensembles, including the Longmont Symphony, the Boulder Philharmonic, and the Timberline Symphony. I also conduct one of the 3 orchestras in the Boulder Youth Symphony.
When I’m not teaching or practicing the violin, I spend my time riding my bike, hiking, reading, and spending time in the mountains with my wife, Carolyn, and my daughter, Hannah.