Sylvia has been making music nearly as long as she can remember. She began piano lessons at age 4 and violin lessons at age 8. In the years that followed, she played in an honors orchestra in elementary school, and continued with private lessons, chamber music, and orchestra study in the New England Conservatory Preparatory School through middle school and high school.
Sylvia earned a Bachelor’s of Arts in Music from the University of Massachusetts-Boston, followed two years later with a Masters of Music in Pedagogy from Boise State University. Her private teachers have included Krista Buckland-Reisner (UMass-Boston), Craig Purdy (BSU) and Margaret Baldridge (UM). Since moving to Missoula in 2007, Sylvia has played in the Missoula Symphony Orchestra and the Helena Symphony Orchestra, as well as other ensembles in the area. She is also a certified teacher with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Around the same time as she began private music study, Sylvia began playing “teacher” with any friend or sibling who would agree to be a “student.” She still loves sharing what she’s learned with others, and has been doing so as a private violin teacher since 2002. She finds helping the youngest beginner first play “Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star” a fun challenge, and she enjoys problem-solving with the high school student about how to most expressively play a passage of a Mozart concerto. Adult students bring a special dynamic of camaraderie to the studio, and Sylvia likes helping them discover a new way to express themselves. She seeks to challenge and encourage each student, no matter their age or level, to pursue enjoyment of the violin to the best of their ability.