Music Academy Strings

The Music Academy’s String Program offers private lessons in violin, viola, cello, and classical guitar, as well as supplemental weekly violin group lessons. The string program  believes that all children can learn to their potential when placed in an environment that includes clear instruction, an involved parent, and regular opportunities to listen and perform.

Beginning string students may have the opportunity for additional coachings  with university students who are in pedagogy classes. Parents are required to attend all lessons and supervise daily home practice sessions. Group and solo performance opportunities are offered each semester and chamber music is available for advanced students.  A summer chamber camp is held in the month of August.

Instruction is based on a combination of the methods of Shinichi Suzuki, Paul Rolland, and the experiences of the professional teachers. Instructors  emphasize  an easy and balanced approach to playing the instrument, with a wide range of repertoire, and strive to instill a sense of discipline and a love for music.


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Lessons Top

String Private Lessons

Tuition: Contact Music Academy
Time: TBA/11 weeks
Location: 1818 Hinman Ave.
Structure: 30-minute lessons (beginner), 45-minute lessons (intermediate), 60-minute lessons (advanced)
Instructor: Various

String Combination Lessons

(private plus a weekly group lesson)

Tuition: Contact Music Academy
Time: TBA/11 weeks
Location: Private lessons (1818 Hinman), Group lessons (Ryan Center, 70 Arts Circle, rooms 160-164-168)
ContactStacia Spencer


 

Faculty Top

Music Academy Strings Faculty

STRINGS COORDINATOR, VIOLIN, VIOLA

847-467-6514

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Stacia Spencer

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STRINGS COORDINATOR, VIOLIN, VIOLA

stacia-s@northwestern.edu

847-467-6514

Stacia Spencer is a senior lecturer in string pedagogy at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music and string coordinator for the Northwestern Music Academy. She also has been on the faculty of the Northwestern National High School Music Institute teaching violin, viola and chamber music. Prior to moving to the Chicago area, Ms. Spencer was an assistant professor of music at Indiana University School of Music where she taught classes in violin and viola pedagogy and was the assistant to Mimi Zweig at the IU String Academy. Ms. Spencer has a special interest in contemporary music, working with composers and performing new pieces. An eclectic musican and performer, she has been a vocalist and jazz singer in the Jon Eaton Pocket Opera Company in Chicago and New York.  As a singer and electric violist she has also performed and recorded in the rock genre. She received her bachelors and masters degrees in viola from Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Mimi Zweig, Kim Kashkashian and George Janzer. Ms. Spencer’s students have won many competitions and have been featured on “From the Top”. They also participate in their school orchestras as well as the Chicago Youth Orchestras and the Midwest Young Artists Orchestras.

 

VIOLIN

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Kate Carter

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VIOLIN

Dr. Kate Carter is a versatile violinist who is proud to claim Chicago as her adopted hometown. A California native, her musical education spans from the Eastman School of Music to Northwestern University, where she earned the Doctorate of Music in Violin Performance. She frequently appears as soloist with the Elmhurst Symphony, where she serves as Assistant Concertmaster. She also collaborates in recital with pianist Louise Chan, with whom she has performed on the “Dame Myra Hess” series, broadcast live on WFMT. She has performed internationally as a member of Camerata Chicago and with the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. She has recorded as a member of ensembles including Camerata Chicago, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and Ensemble Nouvelle Epoque. In addition to teaching at the Academy, she is on the artist/teaching faculty of Lake Forest College, and she coaches chamber music at Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She is passionate about helping students to overcome stage fright, and has lectured at the ASTA National Conference and ISMTA State Conference, among others. She writes a blog about performing and practice-related ideas at www.fearlessfiddler.com

VIOLIN

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Amy Goldberg

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VIOLIN

Amy Goldberg joined the string faculty in 1999, teaching private and group violin lessons. She has taught at Southwest Missouri State and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, and has an extensive background in orchestra performance, including serving as concertmaster of the Chicago Civic and the Elgin Symphony Orchestras. She is active as a studio musician, having recorded for numerous national television/radio commercials, documentaries, and record albums. Goldberg holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern, where she completed a doctoral degree in violin performance.

Cello

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Paula Kosower

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Cello

Paula Kosower is an active performer and teacher currently residing in Chicago. She frequently performs for the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, the University of Illinois Tuesdays-at-One Series, North Park University Faculty Concerts, Bach Week Festival Concerts, for events at the Music Institute of Chicago, and for live performances on WFMT 98.7. She enjoys contemporary music and has played consistently for the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. In addition to recital and chamber music performances Ms. Kosower regularly performs as a cello substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For the past three seasons, 2012-2015, she has served in the cello section for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ms. Kosower completed her B.M. and M.M. degrees at Indiana University and her D.M. degree at Northwestern University, where she studied with Hans Jorgen-Jensen and during this time also served as principal cello of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Stacia Spencer

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STRINGS COORDINATOR, VIOLIN, VIOLA

stacia-s@northwestern.edu

847-467-6514

Stacia Spencer is a senior lecturer in string pedagogy at Northwestern University Bienen School of Music and string coordinator for the Northwestern Music Academy. She also has been on the faculty of the Northwestern National High School Music Institute teaching violin, viola and chamber music. Prior to moving to the Chicago area, Ms. Spencer was an assistant professor of music at Indiana University School of Music where she taught classes in violin and viola pedagogy and was the assistant to Mimi Zweig at the IU String Academy. Ms. Spencer has a special interest in contemporary music, working with composers and performing new pieces. An eclectic musican and performer, she has been a vocalist and jazz singer in the Jon Eaton Pocket Opera Company in Chicago and New York.  As a singer and electric violist she has also performed and recorded in the rock genre. She received her bachelors and masters degrees in viola from Indiana University School of Music, where she studied with Mimi Zweig, Kim Kashkashian and George Janzer. Ms. Spencer’s students have won many competitions and have been featured on “From the Top”. They also participate in their school orchestras as well as the Chicago Youth Orchestras and the Midwest Young Artists Orchestras.

 

Kate Carter

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VIOLIN

Dr. Kate Carter is a versatile violinist who is proud to claim Chicago as her adopted hometown. A California native, her musical education spans from the Eastman School of Music to Northwestern University, where she earned the Doctorate of Music in Violin Performance. She frequently appears as soloist with the Elmhurst Symphony, where she serves as Assistant Concertmaster. She also collaborates in recital with pianist Louise Chan, with whom she has performed on the “Dame Myra Hess” series, broadcast live on WFMT. She has performed internationally as a member of Camerata Chicago and with the Lucerne Festival Academy in Switzerland. She has recorded as a member of ensembles including Camerata Chicago, Chicago Jazz Philharmonic and Ensemble Nouvelle Epoque. In addition to teaching at the Academy, she is on the artist/teaching faculty of Lake Forest College, and she coaches chamber music at Chicago Youth Symphony Orchestra. She is passionate about helping students to overcome stage fright, and has lectured at the ASTA National Conference and ISMTA State Conference, among others. She writes a blog about performing and practice-related ideas at www.fearlessfiddler.com

Amy Goldberg

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VIOLIN

Amy Goldberg joined the string faculty in 1999, teaching private and group violin lessons. She has taught at Southwest Missouri State and the Oklahoma Summer Arts Institute, and has an extensive background in orchestra performance, including serving as concertmaster of the Chicago Civic and the Elgin Symphony Orchestras. She is active as a studio musician, having recorded for numerous national television/radio commercials, documentaries, and record albums. Goldberg holds degrees from Oberlin Conservatory and Northwestern, where she completed a doctoral degree in violin performance.

Paula Kosower

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Cello

Paula Kosower is an active performer and teacher currently residing in Chicago. She frequently performs for the Chicago Philharmonic Chamber Music Series, the University of Illinois Tuesdays-at-One Series, North Park University Faculty Concerts, Bach Week Festival Concerts, for events at the Music Institute of Chicago, and for live performances on WFMT 98.7. She enjoys contemporary music and has played consistently for the Fulcrum Point New Music Project. In addition to recital and chamber music performances Ms. Kosower regularly performs as a cello substitute with the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. For the past three seasons, 2012-2015, she has served in the cello section for the Lyric Opera of Chicago. Ms. Kosower completed her B.M. and M.M. degrees at Indiana University and her D.M. degree at Northwestern University, where she studied with Hans Jorgen-Jensen and during this time also served as principal cello of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago.

Guitar

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Mark Maxwell

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Guitar

In addition to teaching guitar at the Northwestern University Music Academy, Mark Maxwell has served as the Coordinator of Classical Guitar Studies at the DePaul University School of Music since 1986.  He also works with young guitarists at DePaul, MIC and the Northwestern Summer Guitar Workshop.  Mark has performed with his wife and NU guitar faculty member, Anne Waller, as the Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo since 1981, performing in the U.S. and abroad.  They are featured regularly on WFMT, WBEZ and have been guests on the “Studs Terkel Show.”   Mark is also an active soloist and chamber player in the Chicago area.   Waller and Maxwell have served on international juries as well as adjudicating local competitions. Their students have won and placed in numerous events, including the Guitar Foundation of America’s Youth Division, all levels of the Society of American Musicians, and the New England Conservatory Guitar Competitions among others.   Mr. Maxwell regularly arranges works for his students, for two and more guitars, and for large guitar ensembles.   He serves on the board of the Chicago Classical Guitar Society and works to coordinate participatory and collaborative guitar events in the city and surrounding area for guitar students and the general public.

Cello

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Mindy Park

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Cello

Mindy Park, a native of Chicago, performs extensively as a chamber musician and soloist throughout the United States. Having completed her bachelor of music and artist diploma at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, she was a recipient of the Colburn Conservatory of Music Teaching Fellowship in 2012. Park has garnered top prizes from the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the Corpus Christi International String Competition, the Aspen Summer Music Festival Low Strings Competition, and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition. She has performed at the Ravinia Festivla and appeared as soloist with the Aspen Concert Orchestra and numerous orchestras around the Chicagoland area. As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Park won top awards including those from the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the St. Paul String Quartet Competition. She has collaborated with distinguished artists including Edgar Meyer and John Perry and was invited to be a guest artist and master class teacher at chamber music residencies in California. Her principal cello teachers included Hans Jørgen Jensen and Ronald Leonard.

Violin and Viola

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Caroline Rothstein

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Violin and Viola

Caroline Rothstein joined the string faculty in 2014 as an instructor of violin, viola, and chamber music. She received her master’s degree in violin performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she was the recipient of the Anna Schauffler Lockwood endowed scholarship for excellence in string music. Her principal teachers and mentors include Chicago Symphony violinist Blair Milton and Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster Frank Almond. She studied pedagogy under Stacia Spencer, serving for two years as Ms. Spencer’s teaching assistant. Caroline has performed in master classes for renowned violinists and pedagogues Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cyrus Forough, Paul Kantor, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Arnold Steinhardt. She studied chamber music with Marion Feldman, Jeffrey Gilliam, Charles Pikler, Mathias Tacke, Roland Vamos, and Sylvia Wang. She is an active freelance chamber and orchestral musician in the Chicago area. Caroline also attended Northwestern as an undergraduate, where she concurrently earned Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees and graduated with honors in both programs.

Mark Maxwell

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Guitar

In addition to teaching guitar at the Northwestern University Music Academy, Mark Maxwell has served as the Coordinator of Classical Guitar Studies at the DePaul University School of Music since 1986.  He also works with young guitarists at DePaul, MIC and the Northwestern Summer Guitar Workshop.  Mark has performed with his wife and NU guitar faculty member, Anne Waller, as the Waller and Maxwell Guitar Duo since 1981, performing in the U.S. and abroad.  They are featured regularly on WFMT, WBEZ and have been guests on the “Studs Terkel Show.”   Mark is also an active soloist and chamber player in the Chicago area.   Waller and Maxwell have served on international juries as well as adjudicating local competitions. Their students have won and placed in numerous events, including the Guitar Foundation of America’s Youth Division, all levels of the Society of American Musicians, and the New England Conservatory Guitar Competitions among others.   Mr. Maxwell regularly arranges works for his students, for two and more guitars, and for large guitar ensembles.   He serves on the board of the Chicago Classical Guitar Society and works to coordinate participatory and collaborative guitar events in the city and surrounding area for guitar students and the general public.

Mindy Park

Close

Cello

Mindy Park, a native of Chicago, performs extensively as a chamber musician and soloist throughout the United States. Having completed her bachelor of music and artist diploma at the Colburn Conservatory of Music in Los Angeles, she was a recipient of the Colburn Conservatory of Music Teaching Fellowship in 2012. Park has garnered top prizes from the Irving M. Klein International String Competition, the Corpus Christi International String Competition, the Aspen Summer Music Festival Low Strings Competition, and the American String Teachers Association (ASTA) National Solo Competition. She has performed at the Ravinia Festivla and appeared as soloist with the Aspen Concert Orchestra and numerous orchestras around the Chicagoland area. As an avid chamber musician, Ms. Park won top awards including those from the Fischoff National Chamber Music Competition and the St. Paul String Quartet Competition. She has collaborated with distinguished artists including Edgar Meyer and John Perry and was invited to be a guest artist and master class teacher at chamber music residencies in California. Her principal cello teachers included Hans Jørgen Jensen and Ronald Leonard.

Caroline Rothstein

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Violin and Viola

Caroline Rothstein joined the string faculty in 2014 as an instructor of violin, viola, and chamber music. She received her master’s degree in violin performance from Northwestern University’s Bienen School of Music, where she was the recipient of the Anna Schauffler Lockwood endowed scholarship for excellence in string music. Her principal teachers and mentors include Chicago Symphony violinist Blair Milton and Milwaukee Symphony concertmaster Frank Almond. She studied pedagogy under Stacia Spencer, serving for two years as Ms. Spencer’s teaching assistant. Caroline has performed in master classes for renowned violinists and pedagogues Shmuel Ashkenasi, Cyrus Forough, Paul Kantor, Gerardo Ribeiro, and Arnold Steinhardt. She studied chamber music with Marion Feldman, Jeffrey Gilliam, Charles Pikler, Mathias Tacke, Roland Vamos, and Sylvia Wang. She is an active freelance chamber and orchestral musician in the Chicago area. Caroline also attended Northwestern as an undergraduate, where she concurrently earned Bachelor of Music and Bachelor of Arts degrees and graduated with honors in both programs.


Calendar Top

Fall Quarter 2018

September 24
Lessons Begin (Some lessons will begin earlier in the month)
September 25, 27
String Group Lessons Begin
October 14
Faculty Recital (Sunday) Galvin Hall, 70 Arts Circle; 3:00
November 22-23
Thanksgiving Holiday - lessons rescheduled individually
December 2
String Group Recitals (Sunday) Galvin, 70 Arts Circle; 12:00 p.m.
December 3
Last week of lessons
December 8
Guitar Recital, Regenstein MCR, 3:00 p.m.
December 10-January 6
Winter Break

Winter Quarter 2019

January 7
Lessons Resume
January 8, 10
String Group Lessons Begin
March 16
String Solo Recitals (Saturday), MCR, 70 Arts Circle; 10:00-2:30
March 17
String Solo Recitals (Sunday), MCR, 70 Arts Circle; 10:00-2:30
March 18
Last week of lessons
March 25-31
Spring Break

Spring Quarter 2019

April 1
Lessons Resume
April 2, 4
String Group Lessons Begin
May 27
Memorial Day Holiday – lessons rescheduled as needed
June 9
String Group Recitals (Sunday) Galvin, 70 Arts Circle; 1:00 p.m.
June 10
Last week of lessons
June 15
Guitar Recital, Regenstein MCR, 3:00 p.m.

Summer Quarter 2019

June 17
8 weeks, ala carte billing. Teachers often flex start and end dates
August 5-9
Chamber Camp
August 11
Chamber Camp Recital, McClintock Hall, 3:00

Note: recital dates and times subject to change.

Download this Calendar


String Division Policies Top

Registration

Students register for each new academic year in late spring with a non-refundable deposit. Families may also register for a flexible summer session with ala carte billing.

Tuition

Tuition is billed on a quarterly basis and paid in full each term. A 5% fee is assessed when late bills are mailed mid-term. Northwestern’s bank charges a $30.00 service fee on returned checks. Families who need assistance may apply for financial aid scholarships prior to fall quarter. Full-time benefits eligible NU faculty and staff may apply for a discount each year as part of their benefits package.

Refunds

Full refunds will be offered when a student withdraws before the beginning of a quarter. Partial refunds on a percentage basis may be offered only if the student withdraws during the first few weeks of each quarter. Withdrawal requests must be made in writing to the Academy Director and approved before a refund or credit is issued.

Missed Lessons

String teachers are not obligated to make up lessons cancelled by students and tuition will not be adjusted. If the teacher cancels a lesson, it will be made up. Parents are encouraged to trade lessons with other students when conflicts arise. Parents are responsible to give reasonable notice to their teacher in the event of a cancellation or traded lesson.

Dismissal

The Academy reserves the right to dismiss any student due to delinquent payment of tuition, frequent absences, failure to practice, behavioral problems, etc.

Late Arrivals

Please arrive on time to your lesson. Students who are late cannot be guaranteed their full lesson time. Teachers reserve the right to end a lesson early if a student arrives unprepared or without their books or instrument.

Weather Related Cancellations

In the event Northwestern University closes for inclement weather, Academy lessons will also be cancelled and an announcement will be placed on the school’s voice mail message (847-467-2698). Any classes or lessons cancelled due to the official closing of the school will be rescheduled.

Performances

Quarter-end recitals are held throughout the year. Students are invited to perform.

Download a PDF of these policies


Financial Aid Top

Financial aid applications are accepted in the fall for children (not adults) with completed application and the required income documentation. Download the application below. 

Financial Aid Application