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© 2019 by NEIL FONG GILFILLAN and RACHEL SAMSON.

Special photo credit to Keli Cardoso de Melo who took so many of the photos we use on our website :)

We accept students of all ages, and help our students be ready for whatever goals they set--whether it be solo performance, composing their own music, or working with others as a group. We live in Frisco, Texas, but our musical roots extend all over the world.

 

Thinking about developing skills on cello, viola, or violin? Contact us to get in touch!

 

 

Rachel Samson - Violin and Viola

Rachel Samson’s first years of experience with the viola and violin took place in Columbus, Ohio, but she considers Cleveland her home and her heart. She started playing the violin at the age of 12 and the viola at the age of 13, when she heard a string quartet (and viola) for the very first time. She attended high school at Hathaway Brown School and the Cleveland Institute of Music, as part of the Young Artist Program. She also received her Bachelor of Music degree from the Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied privately with Jeffrey Irvine and Lynne Ramsey, as well as chamber music with all members of the Cavani String Quartet, and Suzuki Pedagogy with Kimberly Meier-Sims. Rachel recently earned her Master of Music degree at the University of Michigan School of Music, Theatre & Dance, where she was awarded a fellowship scholarship in viola, and studied with Caroline Coade and Yizhak Schotten.

Rachel has participated in summer programs including The Montecito Music Festival, The Perlman Music Program, ENCORE School for Strings, The Indiana University String Academy, and has taught at the Baldwin-Wallace Middle School Strings Summer Program as well as the Mentor High School Mannheim String Orchestra Camp at Youngstown State University. Her principal teachers include

"We have watched our daughter blossom into an intuitive, talented, confident, and independent violinist and we owe it all to Rachel’s hard work." Marie Anne, mother of Eva, 5

Caroline Coade, Yizhak Schotten, Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Heidi Castleman, Stanley Konopka, Deborah Price, and Michael Davis. Musicians for whom she has performed in masterclass include Kim Kashkashian, Ivry Gitlis, Helen Callus, Karen Ritscher, Carol Rodland, Michelle LaCourse, Susan DuBois, Kirsten Docter, Lisa Boyko, Charles Pikler, Itzhak Perlman, Peter Salaff, Joel Smirnoff, Paul Katz, Cavani String Quartet, Colorado String Quartet, The Jerusalem and Tokyo Quartets.

 

Rachel is a firm believer in the saying “They’re rarely too young and never too old” to learn to play the violin or viola. She loves and relates well with all ages and levels of students, and is passionate about finding fun and exciting ways to learn to play. She has been teaching since 2005, and is excited to continue working with students. Click here for Rachel's resume.

Neil Fong Gilfillan - Cello

 

"Neil possesses the extremely  rare combination of  being both a dedicated teacher as well as a cellist who understands classical AND non-classical styles on an exceedingly high level. I can count on one hand the cellists I have met around the world with such an openness and ability to continually develop such a wide range of skills and bring them into the private teaching studio." Christian Howes

Cellist Neil Fong Gilfillan hails from Arlington, Texas, where he studied with Elizabeth Morrow at the University of Texas at Arlington and co-founded the cello rock group The 440 Alliance. 

Since earning his Master’s in Cello Performance minoring in Music Education at the University of North Texas under Nikola Ruzevic, he has held positions as an assistant orchestra director (Denton ISD), cello teacher (Suzuki Royal Oak), and performed on stage with groups such as the Las Colinas and Lansing Symphony Orchestras.

 

He continues to learn as a full-time teacher and performer, training in the Suzuki Method (with Tanya Carey and Andrea Yun) and creative string playing with jazz violinist Christian Howes.


 



Neil finds real joy in helping his students access the cello with ease and confidence, instructing classical and modern styles, both in the studio and through his content online.

Click here for Neil's resume.

 

Chili the Dog

You'll probably see Chili hanging around our studio here in Frisco. She loves to spend time playing and relaxing with humans of all ages. She has very good manners, doesn't shed, and is hypoallergenic!

 

Chili's resume isn't available yet. We're working on it.