- Training, Degrees and Qualifications: B.Mus, Violin Perf,; M.Mus, Violin Perf, C-CM Univ of Cincinnati Suzuki Association of the Americas - Registered Teacher Training, Units 1 - 10, Supplementary SAA courses:
Simon Fischer, on Pedagogy of Dorothy Delay in Action;
Linda Case, on Extending Repertoire Horizons after Bach A min Concerto
Cathryn Lee, on Development of the Bow. from Twinkles to Mozart
Advanced Diploma, Kodály Approach to Music Education; British Kodály Academy and F. Liszt Academy of Music. Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Training. J.D., Cl. State Univ, Cleveland-Marshall College of Law. (Former practice included International and Immigration Law, Consumer Rights, Family, Employment Discrimination, Music and Arts Law.)
- Professional Violinist: Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra; Primavera Chamber Orchestra - London UK; Cleveland Chamber Symphony, Ohio Opera and Ballet Orchestra; Ann Arbor Symphony Orchestra sub; Saginaw Symphony Orchestra; Dayton Philharmonic; Cincinnati Chamber Orchestra; Madison Symphony Orchestra.
- Teaching Experience and Pedagogic Positions: Director, Zohar Violin Studio, offering individual and group lessons for all ages. Also: chamber music coaching, courses in music theory, composition, fiddling, improvisation, song writing, basic guitar accompaniment, and more. Over forty years private studio teaching experience. Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute, Violin and Viola Faculty. Blue Lakes Family Arts Camp, Violin Faculty Ann Arbor Schools - orchestra string sectionals coach for upper strings String Division Chair, Michigan Music Teachers Association, Director of Student Achievement Testing for Strings Adjudicator, Michigan Federation of Music Clubs - annual competition
Longer prose version for those interested to read more. At the end, a few words for Parents and Students.
Wendy Zohar, violinist and violist, teaches using the Suzuki Approach as well as traditional approaches to learning violin and viola. She works with students of all ages in her Ann Arbor studio. She is on the faculty of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute, a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, American String Teachers Association (ASTA) and its Michigan organization MASTA, and the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA) and its Michigan branch, MMTA. She is affiliated with the Kodaly Educators Association and with the Paul Rolland String Pedagogy organization.
Wendy is a presenter at professional pedagogic courses and conferences, gives public master classes and clinics, adjudicates at regional instrumental exams, and writes her own pedagogic and music theory materials. She performs with regional ensembles and is invited to play as soloist in concerts and events. Her extensive teaching experience and professional performance and pedagogic training give her tools and depth to work with a broad range of students at many stages of learning, and students with a wide range of giftedness as well as physical, cognitive and emotional challenge.
Wendy believes that the study and performing of music can unlock human potential for excellence and and can bring about fuller realization of an individual's potential. Fulfillment through music can lead to greater capacity for realization of potential, teamwork and leadership, higher cognitive attainment, sense of love and self-worth, and a connection to community, for people of at stages of life.
Wendy focuses on helping her students develop into dedicated, refined individuals who learn to listen, expect the most of themselves, open their horizons, work together and enjoy working hard. They become fine and sensitive players, whatever their level, and gain immense satisfaction reaching their goals. It is crucial to Wendy that her students love music and have fun playing, while cultivating kind and caring hearts. Enriched by her Kodály training, she has made singing, rhythm, pitch, solfege, harmony, ear training, improvisation and composition central pillars of learning music, right from the start.
In addition to her studio teaching, Wendy leads string sectionals at area schools, gives workshops, masterclasses and clinics, adjudicates at regional music competitions and exams, and has taught at summer programs including Blue Lake Arts Camp in Michigan. She taught at the Jerusalem Academy of Music and Dance and at the Queensgate School, a private girls’ college in London.
Wendy played for many years as a member of the Jerusalem Symphony Orchestra and the Primavera Chamber Orchestra of London, UK, in which she served both as section leader and soloist. She toured Europe with these orchestras. She’s also played with the Ann Arbor, Saginaw, and Adrian symphony orchestras, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony and the Orchestra of the Ohio Ballet and Opera. Her love of chamber music blossomed during summers with the Castleman Quartet Program. She has been a member of the Van Leer Chamber Players and Chamber Soloists of the Jerusalem Symphony, and has performed chamber music with many colleagues in the U.K. and the U.S.
Ms. Zohar has an avid interest in Early Music which she developed starting in her college years, at C-CM where she played in Collegium Musicum on period instruments, both string and wind. She also sang in the madrigal group. She played and recorded with a baroque chamber orchestra led by Christopher Hogwood; coached with Baroque violinists Michael Sand and Sergiu Lucas; led Handel and Bach oratorio orchestras in Israel; and has participated in the Tafelmusik and the Oberlin Baroque Performance Institute summer programs. She has performed with period performance ensembles in Ohio, Michigan, the U.K. and Holland, and incorporates understanding of early music performance practice in her playing and teaching of Baroque and Classical music.
Wendy won a full scholarship to the University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music (C-CM) where she completed a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance with Henry Meyer; chamber music with LaSalle Quartet and Lynn Harrell.; She was awarded a full cost quartet fellowship including stipend to the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Music, where she completed a Master of Music in Violin Performance, studying with Thomas Moore, and chamber music with Pro Arte Quartet. She received an Advanced Diploma in the Kodály Approach to Music Education, from the British Kodály Academy, London and the Liszt Academy of Music, where she studied with Cecilia Vajda and Erzebet Szönyi. Her Suzuki pedagogy and teacher training, registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, is with Ronda Cole, Nancy Jackson, Anne Montzka Smelser, and Linda Case, and includes advanced violin pedagogy with Simon Fischer, and an overview of Supplementary Literature from the Bach A minor Concerto to the Mozart Concerti.
Influential violin master teachers and players have included Jeanette Drinkall Meyer, Charles Castleman, Henry Meyer, Max Hobart, Ramy Shevelov, Haim Taub, Immanuel Horowitz, and Simon Kuhn. She counts among her top viola instructors, Heidi Castleman, Paul Doktor and Garfield Jackson. She has coached with Joseph Gingold, Janos Starker, Nobuko Imai, and members of the Amadeus, Tokyo, and Borodin Quartets. The violist Rivka Golani has heard her playing with strong commendation, and over the years, pianists Talila Reuvner, Ora Rotem, Yael Hochenberg, and Denella Sing have been close friends and collaborators.
Wendy is dedicated to helping students learn and develop, but she also strives to help her students find inner and outer balance, feel better, get stronger, and heal, at all levels. She studied the Alexander Technique with Shmuel and Ora Nelken in Jerusalem, and began teacher training in AT with Shoshana Kamenitzer in London. She applies what she learned from her work in AT to her physical approach in the use of the body and finding core strength, comfort, and natural balance in playing violin and viola. Along similar lines, she employs Eurhythmics of Jacques Dalcroze, for the physical embodiment of rhythm, pulse, and tempo, and she incorporates the teachings of Paul Rolland and his Action Movements in her pedagogy.
She is particularly interested in the physical side of playing; developing an approach to the instrument and bow for each individual so that tone is optimized while avoiding injury. Moreover, she has developed methods for overcoming pain and debilitation after accidents that may have resulted in injury to back, neck, shoulders, arms or fingers. Her approach is that of a physical therapist, using gentle and gradual practice motions leading to healing, using soft movement techniques as a form of physical therapy until full range of motion, ease of use and comfort is restored so that the student can play once again, often better than before.
As a registered Suzuki teacher, Wendy finds great wholesomeness and wisdom in the naturalistic approach of Shinichi Suzuki to child development; the acquisition of musical ability, the development of talent and enriching the soul of the child. Central to both her Suzuki and traditional pedagogy are the dual pillars of the mind and the physical body in learning to play.
She works with each student according to how they learn best, embracing both intellectual and kinaesthetic learning. Wendy builds into her teaching, at the foundation levels, elements of deep listening and response by the student. This enhances her teaching of music theory and structure, musical phrasing, singing and movement, the study of solfège, improvisation, and interactive musical games that enhance students’ understanding of music. Her students learn to make a beautiful tone and play expressively. She believes that every child CAN learn to play and sing, and find their own voice through the music within.
Wendy is a member of the American String Teachers Association and its Michigan affiliate, MASTA; the Music Teachers National Association and its Michigan affiliate, MMTA; serves as the SAT, Strings Division Chair (Student Achievement Test program), and is a member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Wendy also enjoys painting and culinary arts, loves to read and to write, and is a singer/songwriter, song-leader and guitarist. She aspires to be a really good gardener when she has the time. Housekeeping is not her favorite pastime. While raising her sons she studied law and practiced as an attorney for a period of about twelve years. On a personal note, Wendy feels blessed and thankful for her parents who raised her with love and wisdom, and are celebrating their 71st anniversary. She has three brothers with families each, and has three boys who’ve grown up into fine young men and are now independent and successful in their careers, and to have two grandchildren and a third on the way.
About raising children, she raised her sons to be curious about the world, to think on their own, be respectful of women, and seek their own answers. She immersed them in the music, art, literature and languages of our culture as well as many others. She imbued in them a strong sense of responsibility, love of family and a strong work ethic. Raising them largely on her own she felt at times it was a difficult, thankless struggle, as they were strong willed, much too smart for their own good, and independent minded children. Thankfully they have developed into responsible, hard-working, thinking, creative individuals of whom she is very proud. They are caring, loving, devoted sons, husbands and wonderful fathers who also nurture their children, cook, write, produce, enjoy success in their chosen fields, and make terrific art and music. The upshot: For parents of new and continuing violin students – find patience! Be strong. Be positive role models. Hold on to your visions and ideals! Your children will absorb, remember and learn, even as they struggle against adapting to expectations. They will thank you one day for your efforts, for instilling these ideals in them and not giving up; and for giving them music as a gift for the rest of their lives.
And children - listen to your parents! Be patient with them; they most often do know best even if as kids you may not think so some of the time! And grownup students – congratulate yourselves, be patient with yourself as you learn, don’t rush, and love the process! Learning to play the violin is a lifelong adventure, a worthwhile struggle which will yield treasure and pleasure in your life no matter what field you pursue. You will learn to stick to your pursuits and nothing will seem too great a challenge! Most of all, you’ll find that the treasure of being immersed and comfortable in making music will provide a life full of pleasure, friendships and will yield life’s greatest wonders!
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