Rachel Brown - Violin
Rachel “The Philosopher”
There is so much that we can gain from music, both as listeners and creators. As performers and students, we gain the most from music when we sound the best we possibly can. To this end, a solid understanding of the physical mechanics of playing the violin comes first. I also believe that habitual practicing leads directly to good sound which leads directly to you enjoying your craft. Also, there’s so much to communicate through music performance, but it can only be done effectively if the performer truly understands the music theory elements that the composer selected for his or her piece. To that end, our lessons will involve a ton of work on the physical set-up of violin playing, on developing methodical practice strategies, and on exploring the music theory that drives the compositions we study!
Rachel “The Teacher”
I started teaching violin when I was ten years old; I forced my three year old sister to be my guinea pig. She’s still my most accomplished student. I received Suzuki Training in books 1-10 while I was earning my Bachelor of Music degree at Southern Illinois University Edwardsville, and I’ve maintained a private studio ever since! I have taught Violin, Chamber Music, Music History, World Music, and Music Theory at Harold Washington College. Currently, I am the Chair of the Music Department at the Chicago Academy for the Arts.
Rachel “The Performer”
I moved to Chicago in 2007 to earn my Master of Music and Certificate of Performance degrees at DePaul University. Since then, I have made Chicago my performance home. Chicago is a great city for a musician because one can exist as a chamber musician, an orchestral musician, a contemporary musician, and a soloist all at once! As far as chamber music is concerned, I am the artistic director and violinist of Ursa Ensemble, and am a guest artist for CHAI Collaborative Ensemble and the Michigan City Chamber Music Festival. I am the Associate Principal Second Violin of the South Bend Symphony Orchestra, and I also play in the first violin section of the Fort Wayne Philharmonic, Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Rockford Symphony Orchestra. I perform regularly with my duo partner James Barnett on the LoftRecital series in Minneapolis, and in the summers I take up the role of Concertmaster in the pit for the Chicago Folks Operetta productions. As an advocate for the continuous compositions of classical works, I have given over a dozen world premiers on multiple continents, and I have worked with composers such as Augusta Read Thomas, Mathias Spahlinger, George Flynn, Jeff Kowalkowski, and Mark Anthony Turnage.
Rachel “The Cat Lady”
I have a tuxedo cat named Kirby Lee. Kirby loves violin and music in general. His favorite composers are Maurice Ravel and Beethoven, and he prefers music that is in D Major. I have another cat named Baxter who is much nicer than Kirby. I also have a puppy named Blue. When I’m not practicing, teaching, or hanging out with Kirby, I enjoy swimming, reading, playing catch, taking long walks, and posting on Instagram.