Jacqueline has performed as a soloist and chamber musician in concert venues across the United States, Canada, and Europe and has recorded for Naxos and Albany Records. An avid chamber and orchestral musician, she served as a fellow at the Opéra Bastille in Paris and at the Dutch Orchestra and Ensemble Academy. A “strong believer of music as a means for both individual empowerment and social change,” Jacqueline founded the violin program within “Right Trak,” and served as a violin teacher for Instrumental Connection, where she was a volunteer teacher and mentor to at-risk youth. She has held teaching positions with the Long Ridge Music Center, the Hillel Community Day School, and with the Miami Music Project, an El Sistema-inspired music education program. Jacqueline holds a Bachelor of Arts degree, cum laude, with Distinction from Yale University and a Master of Music degree in violin performance from Purchase College Conservatory of Music, where she served as a teaching assistant. She also studied at the Paris Conservatory. Her primary teachers include Wendy Sharp, Laurie Smukler, Marie-Christine Millière, and Mark Steinberg. A gifted musician and dedicated educator, Jacqueline joined the Harmony Program last fall.
How and when did you start playing music?
I started playing the violin when I was 5. My parents took me to a children's concert of Peter and the Wolf, after which I started asking for violin lessons..
Who is your favorite music teacher? Can you tell us something about him/her?
All of my music teachers and coaches have impacted my life, musically and otherwise. My most recent teacher, Laurie Smukler, showed me the importance of playing with your whole heart. She embodies this, which is not an easy thing to do!
If teaching is a form of learning, what do you hope to learn this year?
I hope to learn new ways to connect with and inspire my students to reach high and succeed. I know that I will learn a lot from the El Sistema-inspired, holistic approach to teaching music.
One of the hallmarks of El Sistema is creating a supportive and positive environment for children. How do you do that in your classroom?
I expect a lot from my students but approach teaching with a positive attitude. I do not impose limits on their potential, and they seem to enjoy the challenge. I correct mistakes without judging the student and use them instead to think about how to make the music better. How can we improve our playing position? Create a more beautiful tone? Play better in tune? Play more expressively? The key is putting the music first. I often put students in pairs and encourage them to help each other. I have been happily surprised on several occasions to see one student correct another and have that student reply, “Oh, thanks!”
Trust is so essential to the student-teacher relationship. How do you foster trust with your students?
My students know that they can talk to me about anything. Class time is reserved for music, but I am available to them before or after class. Students often tell me about both their accomplishments and difficulties in school and in social situations, and I try to give the best advice I can.