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If you are ready to take on music lessons, your life will never be the same. Music enriches our minds and lives in many ways, including expanding our expectations past what we think is possible for ourselves! I've taught hundreds of students over the past 15 years, and have loved 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 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 humble 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, 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 13 seasons with this lauded regional group, playing countless esteemed Celtic festivals across the country and embarking on five international tours of Ireland and Scotland, as well as a Caribbean cruise hosted for our fans. Our sixth international tour is scheduled for 2019 in Scotland.
In 2014, I relocated to Hampton, Virginia, where I auditioned for the Hampton Roads Philharmonic, and currently play as a first violinist.
In 2015, I began playing with Brackish Water Jamboree, an award-winning Americana band, featured on NPR's Out of the Box series with Paul Shugrue, and 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, FaceTime, and Google Hangouts, and I look forward to working with you to accomplish your own musical aspirations!
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 into West Virginia and the D.C. area, including being featured by Sofar Sounds in their DC venue as well as The Purple Fiddle in WV. We've also had the pleasure of playing many festivals in the area, including hosting the NorFOLK Festival in Hampton Roads.
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.
I have recorded on many occasions with many artists in Kansas City 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.
Five 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 three-part backup, and have gleaned a lot of 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, Colin Grant, 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 autism, ADHD, PTSD, dyslexia, selective mutism, and Aspergers.
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.
The Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc. is the not-for-profit organization officially licensed to support, guide, and promote Suzuki education in North, Central, and South America. The SAA was founded in 1972 and currently has about 8,000 members.
The American String Teachers Association, founded more than 60 years ago, is a membership organization for string and orchestra teachers and players, helping them to develop and refine their careers. ASTA's members range from budding student teachers to artist-status performers. The organization provides a vast array of services, including instrument insurance, an award-winning scholarly journal, discounts on publications and resources, annual professional development opportunities, and access to collegial network of colleagues throughout the string profession.
· Acoustic Guitar · In studio 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.
· Viola · Online 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.
· Violin · Online Rachel is an amazing violin teacher!
· Violin · Online 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.
· Classical Guitar · In studio 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.
· Piano · In studio 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.
· Guitar · Online 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!
· Violin · In home 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.
· Singing · In studio 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.
· Violin · In studio 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.