Miss Diane grew up in the pre-Suzuki era of violin instruction and well before the Kodaly approach to music literacy made its way into this country. Amazingly she learned how to play the violin anyway, and along the way developed a passion for teaching others to learn the instrument. Wanting to be able to take students to a high level, she majored in violin performance at the USC School of Performing Arts and enjoyed an active performing career while establishing her first music school in Redlands. She began studying the teaching method/philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki while still an undergrad and then after graduate school (M.A. in performance practice from UCR) she earned a Certificate in Kodaly from Holy Names College in Oakland
Common to both approaches is the belief that the values and the wisdom of a culture are transmitted through its music and that all children can be educated to participate in the music of their culture. Both pedagogues developed child-friendly systems of music education that respected the natural learning abilities of young children. Before entering a class of five year olds Suzuki would say: “I must come down to their physical limitations and up to their sense of awe.” Kodaly also had great respect for the learning abilities of the young child and also worked out a sequence of repertoire and skills that honored the learning process.
Miss Diane is committed to their ideal that all children can learn to a very high level, and carefully leads each student through a well thought out curriculum that leads to the mastery of the violin and college level musicianship skills. She enjoys each step that a student takes on this journey. Now that Music Together has come on the scene, children can be in Miss Diane’s class from birth, Music Together having put together a Birth to Kindergarten plan that is totally fun for parents and child yet with a solid framework of musical elements being presented and played in the classroom.
As much fun as toddlers have in Miss Diane’s musical classroom, some of her most passionate students are senior citizens. They appreciate her ability to break down the complex physical movements required in a stringed instrument into steps that they can master. They also appreciate her patience and playfulness as they discover together the joy of mastering this instrument.