Alison Tatum

Alison T.

Chicago, IL

Lesson Details



Alison delivers an exceptional lesson experience and ranks in the top 15% of our teachers nationwide.
Teaches students:
Ages 4+ and special needs

Teaching since:
September 2006

I believe that music-making should first and foremost be a joyous activity that stimulates, challenges, and rewards. I believe that while some individuals may have more "natural talent," with the right instruction and work ethic any student can progress to an advanced level, regardless of ability level or age.

My job as the teacher is to make you, the student, the best violinist and musician that you can be. Lessons combine elements of Suzuki training such as emphasis on ear training, parental involvement (for young children), and memorization with traditional methods of teaching technique and note-reading. A how-to of practicing, improvisation, music theory, and history are also integrated into the lessons. Repertoire is determined by student interest and needs.

I have taught privately since 2006. In 2011 I won the University of Missouri's Community Music Program Excellence in Teaching Award. In addition, I have experience as a violin sectional coach, camp counselor and assistant teacher at Columbia Montessori School in Missouri.

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Violin Instructor
Jun 2017 - Present
Northside Music Academy

Suzuki Violin Instructor
Sep 2016 - Present
Continuing and Community Education at Columbia College

I teach weekly Suzuki Group class for Book 1A/2B, weekly private students, and weekly Note-Readers for beginning music reading. In addition, I coach a performance masterclass once per month

Jun 2014 - Present
Theatre at the Center

Cabaret, 2017
Annie Warbucks, 2016
A Christmas Memory, 2014
The Beverly Hillbillies, 2014

Interim Suzuki Violin Group Instructor
Jan 2016 - Jun 2016
DePaul University Community Music Division

Taught three Suzuki Group Classes as a long-term substitute: Book 2/3, Book 4, and Book 5/6 levels.

Pedagogy Courses
Jan 2013 - Mar 2014
DePaul University

Have studied three terms of Pedagogy at DePaul University. Courses were taught by faculty, Dr. Olga Kaler, and guest faculty, Dr Carla Trynchuk

Camp Counselor and Violin Sectional Coach
Jun 2013 - Aug 2013
Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp

Worked as a camp counselor in the middle school division of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp. Also taught daily violin sectionals, gave mini private lessons to students throughout the summer, played 1st violin in the staff string quartet, and was the highest-seated counselor in the the faculty-staff Festival Orchestra.

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Assistant Teacher
Jun 2012 - Aug 2012
Columbia Montessori School

Rotated among classrooms in this Montessori preschool, assisting with instructing and supervising the children.

Violin Instructor
Jan 2010 - May 2012
Community Music Program

Taught students ranging from beginner to intermediate levels, ages 6 thru 50 at the University of Missouri Community Music Program. Was recognized with the CMP Excellence in Teaching Award in 2011.

Junior Camp Counselor
Jun 2007 - Jul 2009
Curiosity Camps of Earthworks and Exchange City

Taught for 3 summers in this camp in Kansas City, Missouri. Based on philosophies of experiential learning, the camps explored aspects of the natural world (Earthworks) and creating (and running!) your own business (Exchange City).


Post-Masters Certificate
Sep 2014 - Jun 2016
DePaul University
Masters of Music
Sep 2012 - Jun 2014
DePaul University
Bachelors of Muisc
Aug 2008 - May 2012
University of Missouri, Columbia


Fluent / Native Proficiency
Limited Proficiency


Suzuki Violin Book 4
May 2016
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Training at DePaul University Community Music Division with Rolando Freitag

Suzuki Violin Book 3
Feb 2016
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Training at DePaul University Community Music Division with Rolando Freitag

Suzuki Violin Book 2
Nov 2015
Suzuki Association with the Americas

Training at Merit School of Music with Edward Kreitman

Suzuki Violin Book 1
May 2015
Suzuki Association of the Americas

Training at DePaul University Community Music Division with Rolando Freitag


Excellence in Teaching Award
May 2011
MU Community Music Program

Photos & Videos

Photo by Alison T.

Photo by Alison T.

Photo by Alison T.
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2 Reviews

Write a Review
eddie Jul 20, 2017
Violin · In studio

if you look at alison's list of accomplishments and academic
achievements you have no choice but to be impressed. however,
all that is meaningless unless it can be successfully imparted to
the student and that is where alison excels. i have fortunately
been her student for over a year and from the very beginning
when i admittedly knew nothing she introduced the foundations
of playing the violin in a simple, methodical, straight forward
manner with each lesson building on the last and backed up with
understandable explanations that showcased the depth of her
knowledge in all aspects of the violin which made every lesson
instructional and interesting. i've stayed with alison because of
her patience and positive attitude, her open acceptance of
endless questions, her sharing with me the necessity of having
realistic expectations, and most importantly, in spite of teaching
violin being a job, she genuinely cares about me improving. and
as if all this isn't enough she adds humor and charm to her
lessons. thanks, alison!

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Kareem I. Jun 28, 2016
Violin · In studio

My son really likes her. She gave him very specific tips on how to improve his practice

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