Wayzata school district, Plymouth MN, 55447
Instruments:Viola, Violin

Levels:Beginner, Intermediate, Advanced
Experience:12 years
Rate:$48 / hr

Personal Statement

Methodology/Philosophy: A positive learning environment is essential, to allow each student to achieve their best during every lesson. I like to keep the number of new ideas to a few new essentials at each lesson, and check to make sure they understand exactly how to practice these on their own time. Progress on violin or viola does not happen as quickly as a text message can be sent—this is sometimes hard for students of today to understand—but if the essentials are in place, the student knows how to practice, and they have a desire and love for music, I believe there is no limit to what they can achieve.

Who do I teach: My students range from total beginners (age 5 or beginning to read books, and older beginners) thru middle schoolers, high school, and college students. Dedicated adult students are encouraged to return to, or begin, taking lessons!

Scheduling: Lessons may be scheduled 30, 45, or 60 minutes apart (most students do best with the 45 min lesson), in my new home music studio, or at an area church, or at your home (limited number of home lessons available, travel charges do apply).

Summer lessons: are very important—if you want to maintain your skills (and not dismay your school orchestra director in September) you must take lessons over the summer. If you’ll be out of town over the summer, we can set up video lessons or other arrangements.

Cancellations/Rescheduling: Flexibility is needed by today’s students who may also be involved in sports, dance, SAT preparations, etc. If your family needs lots of flexibility in your music lessons we can work out a schedule and cancellation policy that will fit your needs.

Materials: younger aged beginners will start with the Sasshmanhaus Books 1-4, along with my own supplementary methods (see below for my education details). Middle school beginners will be supported in their school district’s method book, Suzuki books, and supplementary materials personalized to their needs for progress and/or rehabilitation.

Rehabilitation Services: is sometimes needed if a student has not mastered the essentials, and I do not hesitate to take a student back to the very beginning. Rehabilitation is an intensive process and is best reserved for students who are able to clear their schedules for more frequent lessons, such as over the summer months.

Youth Orchestra & Competitions: as a frequent adjudicator for competitions and youth symphony auditions, I am well-qualified to assess suitability of your student for these, and to prepare them well in advance of the audition date. I also serve as a judge for the MN State string contests, other teacher’s student exams, and coach sectionals on both violin & viola for GTCYS.

Instrument & accessory selection: I am available to help you in selecting an instrument, from any source you choose, as well as what chin/shoulder rests will work best for students’ physique.

Education / Training

My String Pedagogy Instruction: Mimi Zweig (Joshua Bell’s first teacher) at String Academy of Wisconsin (University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee)Mary West, Julie Lyonn-Liebermann, and

My High School and University Education: MacPhail School of Music (high school music history, theory & ear training). Northwestern University School of Music and University of Minnesota–B.Music including Symphony Orchestra, Chamber Orchestra, Opera Orchestra, Collegium Musicum Ensemble, recitals. Summer Music workshops at Wilfrid-Laurier University, Oberlin College Performance Institute (4 years), Vancouver (BC) Early Music Festival, Scotia Festival of Music (Nova Scotia, CA), St Olaf music retreat with Lyra Baroque. Principal teachers: John Tartaglia, Marilyn McDonald, Stephen Marvin, Marc Destrube, Thomas Georgi. Chamber music coaches: Stephen Marvin, Catharina Meints, Tanya Remenikova.

Performing Artist on violin, viola and viola d’amore with: Lyra Baroque, Trillium Music Ensemble, Bach Society, Rose Ensemble, Ensemble Sebastian, and other free-lance opportunities in and around the upper Midwest.


Trillium Trio performing Haydn


Cheryl Zylla