About: Allison McNeal
Instrument you teach: Violin
Do you play any other instrument in your spare time? Piano
B.M. in Violin Performance—Hartt School of Music ’06
M.M. in Violin Performance—Boston Conservatory ’08
Suzuki Certification Books 1-8—School for Strings ’10-’11
Where are you from? New York
Favorite age group to teach: I enjoy all ages!
Favorite style of music to teach: Classical
Favorite song: An oldie, but I’ve always liked “Tomorrow” by the Brothers Johnson
Favorite piece of music: Allemande from Bach Partita No. 2 in D minor
Favorite food: Chocolate–especially dark!
Favorite color: Blue
Do you have any pets? (Describe them!) Not currently, although I used to have a beta fish. I had a red one and a blue one.
What’s your favorite musical memory? Some years ago I had the opportunity to see Lorin Maazel conduct Mahler’s second symphony with the New York Philharmonic. It was an incredible, inspiring performance, but what struck me the most was that Maazel conducted the entire piece from memory.
What do you like best about teaching music? I really enjoy seeing my students grow. For me the best days are when students come in and say that a section or piece which had been hard for them is now easy.
Who is your favorite composer or musician? There are so many to choose from! I think it’s a tie between Bach and Prokofiev. I’ve loved both of their music since I was young.
What was the first piece of music you ever learned? I honestly can’t remember, but I would guess Twinkle Little Star!
How many hours a day do you practice? As much as I can!
How long have you been at TBMS? I started teaching here in 2012, but I studied piano here for several years as a child. I’m happy to be back!
Awards: 2011—Candidate for Marrow Stone Music Festival Violin Fellowship; 2007-Boston
Conservatory Award; 2006—Graduated Hartt School of Music Summa Cum Laude; 2005—William K. Halligan Award for a violinist; 2002—Hartt Performing Arts Scholarship; Gonsalves Award for a String Player; 2000—Douglas Cox Violin Scholarship. Played with the conductor’s Institute Orchestra at Bard College, The Chelsea Symphony, the Harlem Symphony Orchestra, Boston Opera Collaborative, and the One World Symphony.
Fun Facts: While I come from a musical family, it was actually a violinist I saw playing on TV who inspired me to start the violin. I don’t remember what show it was, but I’m glad I saw it!