About: Hannah van der Swaagh
Instrument you teach: Violin.
Do you play any other instrument in your spare time? Viola.
Education: B.A. in Viola Performance from Hillsdale College, M.M. in Viola Performance from UMass Amherst, and M.A. in Music Education from Hunter College.
Where are you from? New York City.
Favorite age group to teach: I love teaching all ages, but there’s something especially wonderful about teaching violin to a young beginner.
Favorite style of music to teach: Classical Music — anything from the Romantic Period is so much fun to teach!
Favorite song: Signed, Sealed, Delivered, by Stevie Wonder.
Favorite piece of music: Shostakovich’s 8th string quartet.
Favorite food: Pizza!
Favorite color: Blue.
Do you have any pets? Yes! My family has a 15-year-old Jack Russell Terrier named Buster.
What’s your favorite musical memory? Playing the Mendelssohn Octet with my grad school quartet on Cape Cod with the Lighthouse Chamber Players.
What do you like best about teaching music? Music opens up a whole new perspective on the world. I love seeing students learning to express themselves in new ways and finding comfort and fulfillment through the joys of music.
Who is your favorite composer or musician? I really can’t choose just one. Top three are Bach, Beethoven, and Schumann. And I am a huge Itzhak Perlman fan.
What was the first piece of music you ever learned? Twinkle!
How many hours a day do you practice? Outside of teaching, my goal is to practice at least three hours a day.
When did you start teaching at TBMS? I subbed at TBMS for about a year and then was hired to teach at SMP in November 2015.
Any fun facts about yourself that you would like to share? I’m the oldest of six kids! And my dream is to one day get to travel to Thailand and work with the elephants.