I have played and studied music for 30 years, performing internationally and appearing with groups on local and national radio and television, and have had the good fortune to share the stage and even record with some very talented individuals!
As for teaching, I've taught hundreds of students over almost 20 years, and over that time, I can say I've learned that what can make or break a student's success is whether or not they enjoy their teacher and the work they are doing.
I love helping my students learn to read and play, discover their own love of music, and conquer their fears of performing. I've been described by students as encouraging and fun, and my teaching style is warm, positive, and relaxed. I have worked with many students, including some with learning disabilities, physical limitations, PTSD, and just plain ol' stage fright! I work with you to play the music you enjoy and set your own goals, and I look forward to helping you reach them... It's what I love about what I do.
I began my violin studies at age 9, with my public school string program. I continued through high school and into college, playing and singing with auditioned district ensembles, school musicals, and chamber choirs, coming in as runner up in my high school's concerto competition, landing a full-tuition scholarship, and performing twice in Carnegie Hall. I studied opera, vocal pedagogy, and passed my piano proficiency exam from the advanced class.
In 2003, I earned my violin performance degree at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln, and soon after, joined the Kansas City-based Celtic folk group, Tullamore. I have enjoyed 15 seasons with this lauded regional group, playing countless esteemed Celtic festivals across the country and embarking on six international tours of Ireland and Scotland, as well as a Caribbean cruise hosted for our fans. Our seventh international tour is scheduled for 2021 in Ireland.
In 2014, I relocated to Hampton, Virginia, where I auditioned for the Hampton Roads Philharmonic, and played as a first violinist until March of 2018.
From 2015-2018, I also had the joy of singing and playing guitar and fiddle with Brackish Water Jamboree, an award-winning Americana band, featured on NPR's Blue Plate Special, the Out of the Box series with Paul Shugrue, and founding host of the NorFOLK Festival.
Throughout this time, I have enjoyed teaching a full and enriching music studio of students: hosting recitals, open mics, and ensemble rehearsals, and watching students achieve goals they didn't know were even possible. I continue to teach online via Skype, Zoom, Facebook chat, Facetime, and TakeLessons Classroom, and I look forward to working with you to accomplish your own musical aspirations!
Speaks English, Spanish
Teaches students 2 and up
Rachel is great. She takes the time to get to know you, she is patient and she tailors the content to your specific needs and wants.
Rachel was very nice and her she really took the time to get to know me. Her lesson was very thorough and in only the first lesson I’ve learned a lot. I highly recommend Rachel for those who want to learn or play violin!
Rachel was very helpful during my time with her. She was patient and engaged with my learning.
Love Rachel - I'm an adult learner with no musical background. I can tell a difference after each lesson. We always have a good time - she's very patient and encouraging!
Rachel has been very sweet and patient with me in working on the mandolin. She listened and was willing to work with me in my personal goals, and is exactly what I needed as far as inspiration and motivation! Thank you!
My son took lessons with Rachel mostly online and sometimes in person. She was excellent at challenging him and letting him persue his interest in music, not just a book of lessons that sound "babyish". He learned some music theory, proper technique, form, and the fundamentals for lifelong playing. Few instructors can inspire a kid to want to sit in front of a webcam but Rachel can. She is an excellent instructor for all age levels.Show More
This lesson was amazing!!!!
Lessons with Rachel is really fun!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
Rachel was very helpful and knowledgeable. She made me feel very comfortable and I learned a lot my first lesson! I can't wait for the next one!
Rachel is an excellent teacher!
Rachael is patient, thorough in explaining what and how to accomplish the notes of the exercise or song you are working on. She is a great listener. Really enjoyed working with her and look forward to each new lesson.
Rachel was awesome. She listened to what I was saying and he knew exactly what to help me with the first time I began to play for her. She is very patient and got me going in the right direction. Can’t wait for my next lesson.
Rachael is great at student-directed teaching. We followed the curriculum but Rachael was also able to branch out and go "off-script" and still teach very effectively too.
Rachael gives some of the best technical and most practical instruction I've ever received. She's patient and consistently focused and fun during my lessons! I am making better progress with Rachael than I have with previous instructors in Mandolin too.Show More
Rachel's level of patience with our son is commendable! His skill level has developed noticeably especially these past 6 months and the skill of reading music and playing guitar are both maturing and making it all the more fun to watch his confidence grow.Show More
Rachel is very patient and kind. She explains methods clearly and is good at setting goals. The only reason I am leaving is for in person lessons. If she lived near me I would stay with her! I am an adult who has started back to viola after years of not playing.Show More
Rachel is an amazing violin teacher!
Rachel is a excellent teacher. I love have her as my instructor.
She is very patience with me and when I have a question or don't understand something, she will take her time to explain it and to be sure that I finally understand.
My daughter has just completed a full semester of classical guitar lessons with Rachel. During these lessons, Rachel has demonstrated an amazing ability to teach classical guitar. She keeps the classes packed with informative technique and musical insight. Rachel's winsome approach to the technicalities of the instrument and her sincerity in communication guarantees a fantastic learning experience. As a result my daughter has made great progress since beginning and is excited to continue learning and improving.Show More
Rachel has a great manner with young children. She is very positive and is creative about handling children's mistakes. She has a good grasp of Suzuki method and implements it well. She is patient and fun.
Rachel is a very patient and knowledgeable instructor. She knows lots of tips to help the beginner accomplish things and acquire skills more easily. She has a wonderful personality and obviously loves what she's doing, and that comes across in her lessons. I feel very fortunate that I have her as a guitar teacher. Thanks Rachel!Show More
Rachel is a great teacher. She makes both adults & kids feel very relaxed and safe to learn. She creates unique lessons for each student based on their interests, learning style and challenges. My son got rewards for practicing, got to learn songs that he was excited about (Star Wars theme!) and had performing opportunities that challenged and excited him. I highly recommend her.Show More
I take both guitar and singing lesson with Rachel in her studio. She is taking me a musical journey I did not know I could take; I could not imagine taking this journey with anyone else. Rachel is patient, articulate, passionate, and kind. She is genuinely interested in seeing you succeed. Rachel’s love of teaching and music shines through. Her passion motivates me to do better. She performs locally in many genres; meaning she keeps her musical skills honed. I have seen her perform several times and she makes me proud to call her my teacher. If you are thinking about taking any of the lessons that Rachel offers, go ahead and give her a try, you won’t regret it.Show More
Rachel enjoys sharing her passion for music with others. She takes the time to get to know her students in order to understand how to help them be successful. She is knowledgeable, caring, and pleasant. Highly recommend.
We have nothing but great things to say about Rachel. My daughter (7) absolutely loves going to her lessons every week and it's really fun to see her learn so much each class. Rachel is amazing with both her own musical skills as well as how she interacts with the kiddos and all of her students. We would definitely recommend Rachel to anyone who was thinking about taking lessons!!Show More
Rachel is very personable, understanding, and I enjoyed my lesson. I am looking forward to the remaining lessons.
Patient but direct about areas of focus for the next lesson.
Rachel is a very good teacher she males sure you feel relaxed and comfortable during lessons. She always answers any questions I have in a clear and easy to understand way. I would definitely recommend her to others.
Good instructor I enjoyed my first lesson looking forward to the next lesson.
I had a wonderful experience taking online mandolin lessons from Rachel. She was fun, easy to work with, and incredibly patient. I plan on learning the violin in the near future and will definitely use her again!
I have been taking theory lessons from Rachel for several months now to help learn the guitar. Learning theory can be very complex and quite a daunting task for a new music student. What I really appreciate is Rachel's patience and ability to try different approaches with me if a certain method doesn't quite resonate. She communicates and asks questions about the material she's going over to ensure that I'm comprehending what she's teaching. Another aspect that I'm very appreciative of is that Rachel gives me small, bite sized "chunks" of information that is easier to digest so that I'm not overwhelmed with learning too much at once. I intend to continue my musical journey with Rachel and also take on vocal lessons with Rachel as time permits. Her personality is very warm and personable and her commitment to helping others pursue their music goals really shines through. I consider Rachel to be a very well rounded musician and a master at her craft. I admire her musicianship and hope to attain her level of confidence and abilities as I pursue my own musical journey!!!Show More
I have always wanted to learn to play the viola but time has always been a fickle mistress with me so the viola I bought in late 2014 barely got played because of nursing school. I had an online violin lesson with Taylor Davis to support her new album and it gave me the idea to start taking lessons through skype. I spent my time looking through all the instructors on takelessons and chose Rachel because she plays the five string violin, which helps her understand both worlds and what can cross to violas and what can't. I took the plunge and signed up for lessons with her and it was one of the best decisions I've made.
Rachel is very knowledgeable and willing to work around a schedule, she's very quick to praise you when you get something right and also quick to correct to prevent bad habits from forming. Due to my inability to take lessons in real life I chose to take lessons from her but now that I am taking lessons from her I don't think I'd change to an in person instructor if I had the option.
Thank you Rachel for taking on someone who loves classical music and no idea how to play and starting me on the journey of one day playing the Walton viola concerto and the Vieuxtemps viola sonata.
When I was fifteen, I was pretty much the poster child for awkward teen girl. I saw one of Rachel's flyers by pure chance, and with my mother's urging, I got in contact with Rachel. My first song choice was a pretty lofty aim of one of Evanescence's songs and I definitely didn't have the skill or knowledge of music theory to play it straight away, but that never mattered to Rachel.
What mattered to Rachel was that I follow my dream of learning to play guitar, and that I have fun while doing it. But lessons with Rachel weren't just about learning to play guitar. They were about life and learning to believe in yourself and I can not recommend her enough.
You'd be doing yourself a disservice if you didn't do lessons with Rachel. She has some serious skills, and even if she weren't one of the most talented people I know (seriously - google her band, Tullamore!), I'd have to say that everyone needs someone like Rachel in their life.
Excellent teaching ability, she teaches in a well paced style based on student's level of effort, and isn't afraid to push the student along when they are ready for more challenges. Highly recommended.
Rachel's enthusiasm for music is contagious and helps keep my ten-year old interested and focused.
The combination of experience, humor and seriousness that Rachel imbues in each lesson ensures that practice expectations are met and that progress is made.
I always wanted to learn to play an instrument and started taking lessons both in person and over Skype with Rachel after finding her website. I could not be happier with the job she has done teaching someone like me with no previous musical knowledge. Lessons are always entertaining, Rachel is very encouraging and supportive but pushes you to constantly improve. She has also been very professional and flexible with lessons and availability. Could not be more pleased.Show More
I have always wanted to learn to play the piano. I am 68 now so it’s about time. I saw Rachel’s ad and decided to give it a try. She is very knowledgeable and the lessons are actually fun and the time goes by quickly. I am glad that I called her. I like taking lessons from someone who performs.Show More
Chapman Recording Studios, Element Recording, Dragonship Studios, etc.
I have recorded on many occasions with many artists in Kansas City and Hampton Roads at Chapman Studios, Element Recording Studios, and others, both as a vocalist and violinist. Such works include styles from R&B to country, and artists including Grant Wish, Sara Morgan, Willis White, Mikal Shapiro, Vi Tran, Maria the Mexican, Joel Kraft, and many more.
Six international tours of Ireland and Scotland, four recorded albums, and over a decade's worth of Irish pubs and Celtic festivals from West Virginia to Texas to Sacramento make up the experience I have had with this hard-working American/Celtic folk group from the Midwest. I sing lead, as well as four-part backup, and gleaned invaluable experience both with written arrangements and improvised tunes and fiddling. I also have had the good fortune to get to share the stage and session circle with many other exceptional musicians from all over the world, including We Banjo 3, Mickey MacConnell, Brian McNeil, the Tannahill Weavers, the Elders, John Taylor, Ed Miller, Jed Marum, and many, many more.
I have been teaching my own students since college, and have had hundreds of students throughout my career. I have also taught in established Kansas City music studios, including Meyer Music, Heartland Music, and Blues to Bach, as well as The Music Post here in Hampton Roads. I have worked with students with all learning abilities, including advanced students as well as students with learning challenges and special needs, including physical impairments, autism, ADHD, PTSD, dyslexia, selective mutism, and Aspergers.
Brackish Water Jamboree Band
Brackish Water Jamboree is Hampton Roads' most recent award-winning Americana band, featuring banjo, fiddle, dobro, upright bass, and washboard, with some harmonica thrown in for good measure. Multi-part vocal harmonies round out the foot-stompin' sound of a good, old-fashioned jamboree. We've played venues all over Virginia and from Kansas City and Knoxville to the D.C. area, including being featured on NPR's Blue Plate Special and Out of the Box series. We've also had the pleasure of playing many festivals in the area, including hosting the NorFOLK Festival in Hampton Roads.
Hampton Roads Philharmonic
I currently play in the first violin section of this great local orchestra in Hampton Roads. Established in 2012, this up and coming premiere orchestra has already played with a number of talented soloists, bringing quality symphony arrangements to the Hampton Roads area by focusing on full-length programming, challenging repertoire, and community enrichment. As the orchestra in residence at Ft. Monroe, the Hampton Roads Philharmonic is proud to continue the long-standing musical tradition of Ft. Monroe by bringing concerts to the historic Post Theater on site.
UNL Chamber Choir
I sang high first soprano with this high-level auditioned chamber choir my sophomore and junior years at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. In winter of 2001, we performed a concert tour of New York City, culminating in a performance at Carnegie Hall.
University of Nebraska-Lincoln
Fluent / Native Proficiency
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
Missouri Department of Elementary and Secondary Education
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