No Mere Mortal: An Extraordinary Mentor

This past week my mother, four sisters, all of our spouses and I celebrated my Dad’s retirement after over four decades of surgery. It was wonderful to gather together to hear his surgery stories and to give tributes to his incredible career. I wrote:

On Father’s Day several years ago, I interviewed my dad to hear his perspective on the role of a teacher.… Read More...

Music Update

Hello Music Friends!

It’s been too long! I hope you all are doing well. I thought it was about time I give an update on my music endeavors. This school year, in addition to teaching foreign language at my children’s school, I also took on the role as one of the choir directors, as well as the strings director.… Read More...

The Songs That Could Have Been-Interview and Giveaway With Musician/Author Amanda Wen

Professional musician, native of Wichita, Kansas, and inspirational fiction author who shares my same maiden name, Amanda Wen is an author I personally couldn’t wait to interview! Listen to the end for a special performance by Amanda and me as we “hymnprovise” on Amazing Grace!

Although surprisingly we aren’t related, she’s a kindred spirit whose books ring true and strike a chord that resonates with me, and countless other readers as well.… Read More...

“Borod-in” Class

Cellist Jerry Chang is bored in class due to the repetitive nature of his music. What’s the point in playing an instrument if he’s stuck accompanying Franklin, the uppity first violinist? Even the second violinist and violist, the pretty Pearson sisters, seem ready for a change in tune. When Jerry suggests they play a song by the Romantic composer Borodin, the girls jump at the opportunity.… Read More...

The Audio Visual Debate

Have you ever been surprised by someone who said that they couldn’t speak another language, but you found out that they could actually read it really well? Or have you been confused when meeting a musician who admitted she couldn’t read music? Welcome to the audio vs. visual debate!

Don’t miss a post!

Spring Break! Brass at the Beach

Etta, a tuba player for the Belton University Symphony, is forced to face her fear of the ocean when the orchestra travels to the Caribbean for a concert. French horn player Terrence makes it his mission to help Etta become more comfortable with the sea. Will Etta find a way to be noticed in spite of her position at the back of the orchestra?… Read More...

Family Dynamics: Embrace Your Sound

Family, Fiction, and an adorable violin as the main character? How could I resist this fabulous children’s book by music teacher/author Courtney Woodward?

A fellow music fiction author with an amazing passion for bringing music education to students of all ages and stages, I had a blast chatting with Courtney today!… Read More...

Using the Enneagram to Write Fiction: with Host Kent Sanders and Guests Teresa McCloy and Ashley Rescot

Excerpt by Author/Podcast Host Kent Sanders. Click HERE for the episode!

I’ve always been fascinated by personality assessments and typology. If you’ve been paying attention the last decade or two, the Enneagram has been the tool of choice for many people. A lot of organizations, companies, and churches use it to help people better understand themselves, and to enhance teamwork, as well.Read More...

A Tribute to Pianists: The Ivory Touch

I can’t believe I wrote this short story nearly two years, at the start of the pandemic. It feels appropriate after the passing this week of my own Grandmother, a wonderful pianist/author to the end.

Pauline, a senior piano major at Belton University, nearly lives at the music school as she prepares for her capstone recital.… Read More...

Farewell to Family Legend, Ruth Scheer: Musical Matriarch and Children’s Author

Farewell to a Legend

A legend died today, I know
It’s hard to comprehend.
That after nearly a century
Your era came to end.

You taught me how to write in verse
When I was just a girl.
The words would form within my mind
Then on the page unfurl.

Your love of music, poetry,
And all creative things,
Developed deep within your soul,
Then flew on feathered wings.

Labor Day Book Baby is Here! Early Paperback Release

After a long labor, I’m having a book baby! After years of waiting, multiple drafts, revisions, tears, and several days of nearly giving up, my first novel is finally here! And thanks to you all, it’s already the #1 New Release in the Teen & Young Adult Music Fiction category.

If you have enjoyed my work so far and you want to help share our love of music to others, please help me spread the word.… Read More...

A Dad’s Take on Parenting Musicians

Dr. Stacy Peterson, M.D.

What is it like to be the non-musical parent of a budding musician? I couldn’t think of a better person to ask than my own amazing dad. Having attended countless violin recitals, orchestra concerts, and gigs, he’s been my number one supporter. A seasoned teacher and mentor, as well as a leader in his field, I decided to interview him to get his take on the world of music education.… Read More...

The Music Mastery Experience

Concerts and auditions are coming back, and I have the perfect solution to get you, or your students, in peak performance state!

This past week, I had the privilege of chatting with one of my wonderful colleagues and fellow Francophile violinist, Dr. Renée-Paule Gauthier. I have loved listening to her delightful Mind over Finger podcast for the past year, and have attended several practice workshops in her Facebook Group.… Read More...

What Does it Feel Like to Be a Classical Musician?

This week, I was thrilled to speak with Jerry Pollio from Applause to the Musician about the wonderful profession of being a classical musician. We delved into many of the career opportunities it affords, as well as how to keep it relevant and thriving in our 21st-century society.

I hope you’ll check it out, and please share feedback with more ideas on how to make classical music accessible for listeners today!… Read More...

My Story Behind the Music

Music has played a significant role in my life since before I can remember, weaving its melodies into the fabric of my identity. My mother, a violinist and singer by trade, began to teach me violin at the age of two. She taught my four younger sisters to play the instrument at a young age as well.… Read More...

How Do I Motivate my Child/Student to Practice?

While most people find it daunting to motivate even one child to practice regularly, my mother Allison managed to motivate all four of my sisters and me to practice nearly every day from the age of 3 until we went to college, all of us with violin scholarships in hand. As the mother of a budding music student myself, I wanted to find out her tricks of the trade, not just as a professional violin teacher, but also as a busy mom, with all of the responsibility that entails!… Read More...

Violin Studio 101: Box Violin Craft

Me at the age of 2, playing on my box violin

Build your own little violin! This craft works great for teachers as well as parents of young students. It can also just be a fun introduction to musical instruments.

Prospective students are usually anxious to get started on the real violin, but often they’re not ready.… Read More...

Violin Book Club: The Main Dish and more!

Like many of my fellow music teachers, I’m looking for new ways to connect with students and help them connect with each other. When I found Victoria Kimble’s new Young Adult release The Main Dish with a violin featured on the front, I had to check it out.

Victoria Kimble

As it turns out, Victoria must be my long-lost twin, considering we share a love of music, fiction, faith, and sisters.… Read More...

Violin Studio 101: The Nuts and Bolts: Who, What, Where, When, How Much: Part 2

Whether you’re a veteran music teacher or just starting your studio, it’s important to consider the nuts and bolts of your business. These are the “who, what, where, when, how” questions about your studio. Those of us who’ve been in the business for awhile know several of the traps people can fall into in a small business, so it’s best to address these issues before they even start.… Read More...

Violin Studio 101: The Nuts and Bolts: Who, What, Where, When, How Much: Part 1

Whether you’re a veteran music teacher or just starting your studio, it’s important to consider the nuts and bolts of your business. These are the “who, what, where, when, how” questions about your studio. Those of us who’ve been in the business for awhile know several of the traps people fall into, so it’s best to address these issues before they even start.… Read More...

Violin Studio 101: Get Philosophical

Me philosophizing at the café by my apartment in Paris

Random fact: I majored in violin performance for undergrad, but I got my Master’s Degree in French Literature. A bit of a shift in areas of specialization, I know, but both disciplines have shaped who I am today. 

The French are a philosophical bunch.…

Ruth Scheer: Musical Matriarch

4 Generations of musicians

Mother of ten, grandmother, great-grandmother, fellow musician, and author, this larger-than-life person has inspired so many people over the course of nearly a century. Today, I’m honored to talk with my own Grandmother, Ruth Scheer.

Grandma Ruth, how did you develop an interest in music?

I discovered music for myself when I was about eight years old.… Read More...

Violin Studio 101: Get Connected

After nearly a decade of running my own studio, I decided to re-examine my studio and methods, taking a good look at which techniques I’ve found successful, and which areas leave room for improvement. 

Rather than reinvent the wheel, I want to share the resources that have been most beneficial to me over the years.… Read More...

Music Mom

Mom and me playing together

I don’t want this music to die. The older people are passing it on to the younger generation so the younger generation can pass it on to the next generation.
-Vy Higginsen

I hope that all of you moms enjoyed Mother’s Day this past weekend. As a mother of two young children myself, I am fascinated by the family life of composers.… Read More...

Interview with RB Hayek Productions

This week, I was honored to be featured for the Author Spotlight on RB Hayek Productions.

Photography by Rachel Kabukala

In the interview, I talk about the role of family on my family, as well as the relationship between music and foreign language pedagogy.

Robert Hayek writes:

“Learning how to play an instrument and learning a different language are two of the most difficult concepts to many people.… Read More...

Music Madness Practice Contest

In addition to virtual lessons, I am offering my students a virtual practice contest to keep them motivated/practicing during this unusual time!

1. Set up a Facebook Group or Zoom for your Studio families. (Or some other way for the studio members to communicate with each other.)

2. Group students into pairs.…