I started learning the violin in primary school, switching to the viola in my teens, as I fell in love with the deeper tone of the instrument. I’ve played viola ever since, but have also taught violin and viola for many decades. I studied at the Robert Schumann Konservatorium in Dusseldorf, and then at the Royal College of Music in London. Throughout my career in England and also in California, I combined freelance viola playing with teaching violin and viola both privately and in various schools. 

My personal passion for chamber music playing led to the formation of Navarro River String  Camp followed by Sabina Strings in the USA and Cherwell Chamber Music in the UK.

Alexander Technique & playing an instrument

I came across the Alexander Technique in the 1980’s and was fortunate enough to take lessons from Elisabeth Walker, an outstanding teacher of this technique. It transformed my playing by helping me to deal with unconscious habits of tension. In 2011 I qualified as a teacher of the Alexander Technique, and it’s use continues to inform all of my teaching. 

This means that I pay close attention to how the instrument is held, including offering advice on suitable chin-rest/shoulder-rest equipment. For beginners, I try and instil habits of good use from the start, so that playing is a relaxing and pleasurable experience, and beautiful tone results.

What they say

“I found your suggestions regarding preparing to play particularly helpful as I know how tense I am in the shoulders and arms, and breathing out at the start of playing really made a difference.”

Angela S