A versatile musician, Melanie embraces fiddle, jazz & rock alongside her classical upbringings.
Melanie is a native of Chesapeake, Virginia and attended the Virginia Governor's School for the Arts. Starting violin at age 8, she later studied violin with Ray Pancarowicz, Dora Mullins & Dr. John MacCormack(viola). She studied violin performance at the Hartt School of Music, University of Hartford with Eugene Drucker of the Grammy award winning Emerson String Quartet and Teri Einfeldt, renown Suzuki pedagogue. While at Hartt, Melanie played violin in the Katahdin String Quartet.
During her time in Boston, Melanie freelanced throughout New England, performing in chamber orchestras, symphonies, and ballet/opera/theatre pit orchestras, including: Nashua Symphony, New England Dance Ensemble, Andover Choral Society, Boston Virtuosi, Cambridge Symphony, Boston Civic Symphony, Conductor's Institute Orchestra; international performances with ensembles in England, France, Denmark; performed by invitation at University of Nevada, Las Vegas' Las Vegas Music Festival Summer, 2000; and in Guadalajara, Mexico with the Orcquesta Filharmonica de Jalisco, 2005. She also played violin with New Hampshire's roots/rock band Big Chicken(Dave Marshall), 1999/2000.
Melanie began teaching again in 2010 after she returned to Hampton Roads, and has enjoyed every minute since! She served on the board of directors of one of the area's prominent youth orchestras, Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, from 2012-2014, and starting in the fall of 2014 will join their Advisory Board. She currently performs with local ensembles and bands, and plays with the band Solessin.
Throughout my career I have performed with various symphonies, chamber ensembles, and bands from New England to Mexico and Europe – playing everything from classical to jazz & rock.
I am passionate about leading my students towards musical excellence by sharing what I have learned in ten years of teaching, and over twenty five years of study and performing.
I treat each student as an individual, working with them to give them the tools to achieve their musical dreams. My goals for all of my students, regardless of level, are the same:
• Balanced, efficient technique
• Creative, intelligent, expressive musicianship
• Problem-solving skills
• Self-confidence developed by setting and achieving goals
I encourage my students to be self-directed learners, approaching problems in a variety of ways and help them develop comprehensive practice plans. We find many opportunities for performance, including in-store recitals. I provide constructive feedback, and a positive environment for self-expression.
Healthy & mindful playing, with freedom of movement and without pain, is incredibly important as a string player. I studied Alexander Technique with Alexander Farkas at the Hartt School of Music and I find this knowledge helps me to work with my students on physical awareness and healthy playing habits. I emphasize fluid, relaxed motion and careful attention to posture and positioning of the instrument for optimal efficiency and ease of motion.
We explore a wide repertoire of music, from early music to contemporary, and work to help students understand music history, styles, and schools of playing. I also encourage students to listen to a wide variety of recordings to enrich the learning experience.