I teach violin as a means to help children become the most beautiful and successful version of themselves.  It is a privilege to be a long-standing presence in a child's life and requires nothing less than the highest standards and the greatest respect for the child and the music.  It is this responsibility  to the whole child that called me to teaching.  I hope that my experience and devotion to music and children will inspire a lifetime of love for music in your child as well as a talent for playing! 
    My focus for all of my students, whether 3 years old or 17 years old, is to ensure  they are playing in the most natural way and with the least amout of tension and excess motion.  If a student is comfortable, playing and practicing will be much easier.  With that ease, comes more progress, a more complete command over the instrument and more confidence.  
      Along with this constant attention to proper technical development, I aim to instill an desire for excellence in every student.  Setting technical and music goals that the student can understand and work for each week develops a habit of detailed focus and steady progress.  My standards for students are very high, but with positive encouragement, precise instruction and active goal setting, students can successfully play beautifully and be proud of their accomplishments. 
     I received my bachelors degree in violin performance from Valparaiso University, my masters degree in violin pedagogy from the University of Wisconsin in Milwaukee and did a couple years of work with Luc Vanier in the Alexander Technique.  I have taught the Suzuki Method for over a decade and worked with the acclaimed Latino Arts Strings Program for seven years, and now serve as the String Specialist for Ronald Reagan IB HS. My students have received top results at Solo and Ensemble contests and have been invited to play with the State Honors Orchestra.  
      Outside of lessons, I spend my time with my husband, also a violin teacher, and my young son.  You can find me curled up with a book, outside on a walk or in the WI North Woods in a cozy little cabin.

Preparing for Twinkle is a practice guide for parents and children as a supplement to private lessons.  It will lead you through the skills your child will need as he or she progresses through the beginning stages of learning to play, and help establish a solid foundation for an enjoyable and successful start to many years of playing the violin.  


* Detailed charts and explanations for parents

* Pictures of children demonstrating correct postures and movements

* Engaging games                        * Skill-based songs

* Clear goals                                 * Blank pages for taking notes in lessons

* Motivating progress tracking   

Rhythm Board

The Rhythm Board is a self-correcting learning tool that makes rhythm tangible and fun.  It easily shows the relationship between rhythmic lengths.  Based on the assumption that a quarter note gets the beat, students learn how do subdivide and how to execute a rhythmic passage.  The larger 4/4 spaces enable intuitive understanding of how the notes are named (quarter note, half note, etc.) and demonstrates how music is divided into measures.  The Rhythm Board comes with 4 full beats of each rhythm and each note has its equivalent rest on the back.  

Violin Notes

This board game of sorts helps students understand how notes fit on the staff in relationship to their violin.  Since students will learn the names of the notes on their violin first, it makes sense to them to see where the notes on each string fall on the staff.  Students can move notes from fingerboard to staff and back again to develop a connection between how a note looks on the staff and how it is played on the violin.  Use the Answer Sheets (with notes printed on them) for beginning note reading and the Blank Sheets (without notes printed on them) when students are feeling more confident.  Later, use the the blank fingerboard to show the difference between sharp, natural and flat notes and how the fingers adjust for each accidental.  

* Also available for Viola, Cello & Guitar

Please go to www.musicalimplements.com to purchase these and other products created by Gretchen and her husband Travis.