I was raised in a musical family in my home country of Bulgaria, where I attended a highly competitive full-time performing arts school from age 6. I was trained in the Russian school of violin playing and have found this to be a very successful method for my younger students in the United States. Another important pedagogical mentor for me is my viola teacher at Rice University, Ivo-Jan Van der Werff, who has developed a systematic approach to building technique fundamentals in advanced violists and violinists. I believe that studying music is very valuable for instilling self-motivation, discipline, and dedication for students of all ages. I was involved in the Mercury Orchestra's outreach partnership with YES Prep schools, which serve underprivileged communities in Houston. I was also a string specialist at the Village School in Houston, and my students there and in other public schools in the area excelled in the All-Region and All-State competitions.