A student of Yumi Hwang-Williams, Sally O'Reilly, Joey Corpus, and Mark Lakirovich, Rachel holds a Diploma in violin from Denver School of the Arts and furthered her studies in violin and viola performance at the University of Denver and the Longy School of Music of Bard College. She has played under the direction of noted conductors David Zinman, Julius Rudel, and Michael Stern at the Aspen Music Festival, James DePriest at the Las Vegas Music Festival, and, most recently, Benjamin Zander of the Boston Philharmonic. She has performed by invitation at Music on the Rhine in Dusseldorf, Germany, Aspen Music Festival, Las Vegas Music Festival, and on tour with members of the Minnesota Orchestra and St. Paul Chamber Orchestra.
Currently, Rachel is a member of the Boston Philharmonic and the classical and traditional duo Driftwood. Her repertoire also reaches beyond classical music, with recent projects including performances of jazz and traditional fiddle styles throughout the Boston area, and recordings with Ran Blake, the founding chair of New England Conservatory's Department of Contemporary Improvisation, on a CD released in 2012. In addition to her work as a performer, Rachel runs an active studio and specializes in teaching both conventional and Suzuki violin method as well as beginning and intermediate fiddle.
*** Lesson Details ***
I like to teach students using a combination of Traditional method books as well as Suzuki. I believe that it's equally important for students to be able to play music by ear as it is to be able to sight-read off of a score. In a typical lesson, we will cover scales, exercises in technique, etudes, and a movement of a classical piece. I also like to play duets with students as I believe it helps improve the ear and acclimate a student for playing in group or orchestral settings.
I encourage all students to bring a notebook with them to every lesson and will write down what is being worked on and the areas of improvement. I've found that it's vastly helpful to be able to go back and look at what was covered in a lesson when you're at home practicing!
*** Studio Equipment ***
Studio is in living room, neat, organized, with grand piano and plenty of instrument. She has a music stand, extra equipment, instruments, and seating for parents.
*** Travel Equipment ***
If a student lives in a reasonably subway/bus accessible area then I have no problem traveling to them for lessons.
*** Specialties ***
Verified Student · ·
Rachel is a warm and inviting person, and she made me feel very welcome on my first visit. She definitley does get right down to business in lessons. I am an older student and have never played violin before, so I thought I might struggle to learn. The opposite seems true. Rachel spent the first couple of sessions perfecting my posture and bow holds. We moved on to playing rhythms and reading sheet music, shortly after. I've only been practicing once a week for 2 months, and I can already play simple sheet music! That's huge for me! Rachel's instruction is clear and patient, and she's very easy-going. She also has a good sense of humor and a great way of phrasing things so that it's simple to understand her.
The only thing that can be difficult sometimes is getting a hold of her by phone or email. Sometimes she takes a bit to respond, she always does eventually catch up with me, though. Overall, I'm pleased with my lessons.
Verified Student · Violin ·
Rachel is a very nice and patient teacher. My sons have been taking lessons with her for a few months and I have noticed big improvements.
Rachel was very helpful in keeping my violin skills good over my college winter break. I'll definitely come back to her next summer. I've noticed improvements in my ability to play and it was a pleasure.
Ok, so I'm new at the Violin, but what I can tell you is that Rachel is patient, kind, knowledgeable, and really easy to be taught by. She is not at all condescending but rather gently encouraging. Im sure its her years of teaching children but it is nice to feel like your teacher cares even though you're an adult.