Influences: Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev
Miles Davis, Lester Young, Charlie Parker, Regina Carter
I have over 15 years of teaching experience with students of all ages, from 3 year-olds to adults. I am an upbeat and engaging teacher who focuses on proper form and technique, while maintaining the student's interest and encouraging creativity. I teach a combination of Suzuki and traditional methods, catered to the needs of the individual. Many of my students have had leadership positions youth orchestras and have won regional competitions.
As a native of Orlando, FL, Amy has been a member and performed with many orchestras in the Southeast, including the Tallahasse Symphony, Pensacola Symphony, Orlando Philharmonic, and Mobile, AL orchestras. In 1999 she was invited to join the Eastern Music Festival's faculty orchestra for performances throughout their summer program.
In addition to the classical realm, Amy also enjoys performing in a variety of genres. She has performed in sold-out arena shows with popular artists, such as Kanye West, Marco Antonio Solis, and the Three Mo Tenors. She has been recording and performing with noted composer and pianist, Tim Janis, and appears in Carnegie Hall annually with his ensemble. Beginning in August, 2008, Amy went on a national PBS tour for three months with the composer, covering 60 cities all across the United States.
Currently, Amy leads the Eliot String Quartet, which has been performing in many chamber music concert series throughout the Northeast since 2008. She also performs and tours with the critically acclaimed jazz group, Iron City, which has performed at such notable venues as the Iridium Jazz Club in New York City, the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA, Trumpet's in Montclair, NJ, and Columbia Greene College in Hudson, NY. Amy is a guest artist on Iron City's recent album, "Sparks," hitting the top 20 on the jazz radio charts in May, 2010. This album has been reviewed in 5 countries and in "Jazz Times" magazine, and the band has been featured in "Jazz Inside," and "Vintage Guitar" magazines. Amy has shared the stage with jazz legends such as Dave Stryker, John Blake Jr., Avery Sharpe, Steven Riley, and Larry Coryell.
Elementary School, Pre-teen, Teenage, Adult
To inquire about lessons with Amy, please fill out the Inquiry Form on this page, or call us at (800) 417-4620.
- Violin professor, Greenfield Community College
- Orchestral director, The Hartsbrook School (Hadley, MA)
- Strings instructor, program director, Artspace Community Arts Center (Greenfield, MA)
- Orchestral director, Gadsden County Public Schools (Gadsden County, FL)
- Novi Cantori Orchestra, concertmaster
- Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra, section violin
- Graduated, Master's of Music in Violin Performance (M.M.), University of Massachusetts 
- Marylou Churchill [2004 - 2006]
- James Buswell 
- John Blake Jr. [2007 - 2011]
- Regina Carter 
- Iron City - "Sparks" 
Student Reviews for Amy
(5.0 out of 5 stars)
Review for Amy - March 3, 2012
By Abby T.M. - Bellerose Village, NY, Violin Lessons
My five year-old daughter requested a violin for her birthday. Not just any violin. A PINK violin, her favorite color. So, her uncle had researched and bought her first PINK violin, which my daughter relentlessly 'played' with day and night. As her interest peaked, my husband and I researched for private lessons to help enhance her growing fascination. After three recommendations given by Encore, we confidently chose Amy after multiple exchanges of emails and telephone calls to ensure that it was a match. And happy to say, it was one of the best decisions we made! Growth is evident since my daughter had her first private lesson with Amy two months ago (once a week sessions, 30 minutes per session). This is the result of Amy's professionalism, passion, and pedagogy!
Amy keeps her session very engaging, meeting my daughter at her level and piggy backing on her interests. In other words, Amy follows my child's lead and she challenges her a bit but knows when to back off. She gives the 'just-right-challenge', where it is not very easy (daughter might get bored) or too difficult (daughter might get too frustrated and give up). This shows flexibility, creativity, and resourcefulness, which are great assets.
Amy breaks down the instructions, uses technical and child-friendly terminologies (my daughter knows both, like 'staccato' and 'pizzicato'). She uses my daughter's other 'nonmusical'-related strengths, including her love of art and dolls, by allowing my daughter draw 'apples' and 'bananas' to capture musical lines. She also serenades her dolls, which are sometimes present during her sessions with Amy.
Amy encourages parent participation and believes deeply that this partnership and commitment help facilitate success. This is not a requirement, but I make it a point to videotape and take down notes on each session so that home practice under my supervision (or dad and grandma's) is maximized. I have to follow-through on certain bow grips and arm positioning, making sure that my daughter puts additional pressure when playing the 'Grandpa (G)' string, etc. This dynamic is important so that we are all on the same page.
Giving praise and positive reinforcement is empowering and is much easier to dispense, compared to providing constructive criticism. Providing developmental feedback can be tricky especially at the beginning part of the experience (as it can lead to detriment if not provided properly and timely). Amy uses a game called 'You're the Teacher' where Amy shows correct and deliberately plays incorrect techniques or notes, then my daughter identifies the incorrect item, explains why the technique is wrong, then shows Amy the accurate response. This technique of role reversal as a manner of providing developmental feedback has been helpful. We get 'giggles' at the end, because my daughter thinks 'Ms. Amy's forgetfulness is silly.' (This was the comment she made after reviewing the videotape that I took).
And remember the PINK violin from the intro? Amy took her time to really listen to my daughter in order to learn the history (and my daughter's close relationship) with that particular violin. Amy was extra careful on the way she delivered the message the PINK violin definitely is unique and 'cool' in color. And because of the extra paint lacquer that was used to get that 'cool' color effect, the body of the violin has become slippery, and the shoulder piece just won't stay in place, so a traditional violin was needed. Amy took the time to explain the rationale behind her recommendation, and the sensitivity and careful way of relaying the message did NOT break my daughter. Providing developmental feedback can be tricky especially with young children, at the beginning phase of the learning curve.
She still has the 'cool' PINK violin. And the compromise is that she sometimes practices using the 'PINK' bow. She practices daily and to us, she has come a long way as she can now play 'Twinkle, Twinkle' using the 'Suzuki method.'
It has been only ten sessions since my daughter started. She continues to grow. The discipline of practice, paying attention to the beats from the metronome, following directions, improved patience and frustration tolerance, are just added bonuses (valuable life skills) that my daughter gets from her experience receiving musical instructions from Amy. (And did I say she learned a new technique called "glissando" and my daughter has been showing it off these past two days (she doesn't realize that she's already practicing when she thinks she's showing off...) Thanks Amy for keeping my daughter interested in violin).