Our People

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Sepehrdad Aazami 
Violin
Teaches on: Sunday Afternoons, Monday Afternoons

What is your educational background?   
I’ve received a bachelor degree in Classical Violin Performance from School of Performing Arts in Iran and I have been participating as a violinist in the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra for the past few years.

Of which performance are you the most proud? Why?
Throughout my professional career, I have collaborated with numerous prestigious Persian ensembles such as Iranian National Orchestra. Some of my other favorite performances include performances at the Kennedy Center, on the radio, TV shows, and festivals.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I strive to teach my students at the level that was present in my education. I find this works best due to the rigor of course, because students become devoted to the fundamentals of music. I believe that any student with the proper foundation can become great with their instrument of choice, and I aim to make violin students great with their selection.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
Cooking and traveling are the things I I enjoy doing the most. Travelling is a fascinating way to discover and learn new things.  I have also discovered my passion for dance. It gives me the chance to express emotions and helps to relax me and raises my mood. Another favorite hobby of mine is hiking, I love to carry my backpack with some sandwiches and water, and walk around mountains and valleys.


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Deb Brudvig
Cello

Deborah Brudvig, cellist, is originally from Lancaster and then Harrisburg, PA. She attended the University of Michigan as a cello performance major and received her Bachelor of Music in Cello Performance from Boston University. Ms. Brudvig completed her Master of Music degree from the University of Maryland. Her teachers have included Samuel Mayes, George Neikrug and Evelyn Elsing. She also studied chamber music with Leslie Parnas, Eugene Lehner and members of the Guarneri Quartet.

Deborah has been an active freelancer in the Washington, DC area for over thirty years, performing at venues including the Kennedy Center, Wolf Trap, the National Gallery, National Cathedral, Corcoran Gallery of Art and the Phillips Collection. Her work as a theatre orchestra musician has included runs at the National, Ford’s, Shakespeare and Signature Theaters. One of her favorite places is Arena Stage where she has been the cellist for fifteen productions. She has done recordings with local artists including the Washington Bach Consort and singers Sally Martin and Beverly Cosham. Ms. Brudvig has also premiered new music both locally and in New York.

In addition to joining the Day Violins studio, Deborah is currently an instructor at the Washington Conservatory of Music. She has maintained a private cello studio during all of her life as a professional cellist and enjoys teaching cellists of all ages, believing in the value of learning new and improving old skills throughout life. “You don’t have to be perfect to have value as a person or as an artist. Besides, it’s impossible! Care about what you do–the entire process–and give it your best. That will bring a sense of joy and accomplishment that will be yours forever. And you’ll spread that joy to those around you, which is a great gift.”


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Hiroko Furie
Early Études Piano
Teaches on: Wednesdays

What is your educational background?
I graduated from the University of Mary Washington with a Bachelor of Arts in Music degree and I am currently studying to obtain a Master of Music in Piano Pedagogy at George Mason University.

Of which performance are you most proud? Why?
Currently, I enjoy performing for my Piano Pedagogy degree. My life experience in teaching piano combined with all of the new things I am learning in my courses make me very proud to teach students.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I remember the first time I heard the sounds coming from the piano played by my own fingers. I was so impressed and almost cried.  I want to share with students the same type of joy that I experienced as a child.  I believe everybody deserves to enjoy the personal expression felt when playing the piano; therefore, I love watching my students progress and develop their own expression.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I love to travel! I also enjoy spending time with my three children.


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Elena Haramalis 
Violin
Teaches on: Wednesday Afternoons

What is your educational background? 
I completed my Bachelor of Arts degree in Music Performance at The Academy of Music, Theater and Arts “G. Muzicescu” in Chisinau, Moldova in 2006.  

Of which performance are you the most proud? Why?
I am most proud of my 2008 solo performance in Sarajevo, Bosnia before the orchestra of the National Sarajevo Symphony. I received the honor of performing a solo concert under the conduct of Julio Maric. We played Mozart, Sinfonia Concertante for Violin, Viola and Orchestra in E Major. I was overjoyed playing Mozart’s immortal music, and delighted in the amicable environment and professional support from all the contributors of the project. This brought all of us great success.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I enjoy being around students of all ages, and I especially like the energy and enthusiasm of kids. They are open to learning and not afraid to play and perform. I believe that all kids are gifted without exceptions. The mission of a music teacher is to see the talent in a child, then nurture and pamper that talent to support the child’s growth and progress in music. I enjoy working with preschoolers and love seeing them performing on stage. Watching them being successful makes me feel very proud of them. Cheerful support, guidance and motivation are the integral parts of my teaching practices.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
This year I participated in 4 running marathons and fell in love with running. Besides that, I like designing and sewing clothes with the elements of embroidery and beading.


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Daisy Hsieh
Voice and Piano
Teaches on: Thursday Afternoons

What is your educational background?
I am a classically trained singer, and a recent graduate of The Catholic University of America with Doctor of Musical Arts degree in voice performance. In 2011, I received a Graduate Performance Diploma from The Peabody Institute of the Johns Hopkins University in voice performance. Previously, I obtained Bachelor and Master of Music degree from Taipei National University of America in voice performance.

Of which performance are you most proud? Why?
Every performance has made me a better singer and musician. My favorite experience was singing two of my dream arias, “Si, mi chiamano Mimì” and “Donde lieta usci” at the opera workshop of The Peabody Institute. I was so proud of the results and the amount of energy I had put into my studies and rehearsals. It was truly a dream come true because La Bohème is one of my favorite operas.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
My teaching philosophy is that nothing is more important than to make the student love music, because it is a helpful way to unlock students’ full potential. My favorite thing about teaching young kids is their creative thoughts, natural instinct and beautiful innocence. I think communication and trust between parents and teacher is a crucial part of teaching young students, since I believe teaching is about building lasting relationship with each family. I also love the journey of accompanying teenage students and to see them grow. They start to discover themselves, build their own taste, and choose new songs for working on. The most fascinating aspect about teaching adults is their passion for and philosophy of music. They are always eager to learn and interested to know the background of each composition in-depth. When I see my students smile after they nail a part of their song or hit that money note, I know I’m doing my job!

What are your hobbies outside of music?
During my free time, I love watching diverse genres of movies, such as animation, horror movies, and detective-mystery films. Visiting every aquarium and zoo while travelling, spending quality time with my friends’ cats, and going out to play Pokémon Go are some of my favorite things. I’m also a postcard collector, so I always send postcards to my friends and family around the world.


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Merzana Kostreci
Piano
Teaches on: Thursday Afternoons, Saturdays

What is your educational background?
I hold a diploma in piano performance from the University of Music, Cologne, Germany. During my studies in Cologne, I participated in numerous master classes, and studied for a semester at the National Superior Conservatory in Paris, France. In addition, I have taken college-level educational courses in Germany and the U.S.

Of which performance are you most proud? Why?
All my performances have helped me become a better musician. I am especially proud of the audition at the University of Cologne, and the first time I performed with an orchestra, in Subotica, Serbia, at the age of fourteen. Prior to that concert, I participated in a week-long master class, and after the final successful performance, I felt proud of my accomplishment.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I think there are many things to love about teaching, but what I love the most is the bond I create with the students, and the sharing of my own knowledge and experience. No matter what the age, every student is unique. My favorite kind of student is a student who loves music. My goal is to give students the skills necessary for them to become independent.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I like to read, and I enjoy nature. When I am not practicing or teaching, I spend a lot of time with my family: my parents, sisters, and their children, as well as with friends.


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Emily Midulla 
Piano
Teaches on: Monday Afternoons, Wednesday Afternoons, Friday Afternoons, Saturday Mornings

What is your educational background?
I went to a small private school in Watertown, Wisconsin called Maranatha University.  It was there that I studied Piano Performance. Continuing my education at Bob Jones University, I completed my Master of Music degree in Piano Pedagogy.

Of which performance are you the most proud?
The performance that I am most proud of is the recital I performed for my Master’s Degree.  It was an accomplishment I was proud to be a part of and most of all I enjoyed sharing the music I diligently worked on for my friends and family.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is to see a student get excited about learning new concepts. I also really enjoy recital time because the student can showcase their talents and be so proud of their work.  My favorite thing about teaching elementary students is that they are not afraid to clap and march to rhythms and play fun character songs.  My favorite thing about teaching upper school students is that they play more difficult music and it’s exciting to see the process of working through a longer piece.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I enjoy being active whether it’s going to the gym or cycling on the trails and roads in D.C..  I also enjoy eating out, going to concerts, and shopping.  My husband Barrett and I will be celebrating our 2-year anniversary in October.  Ironically, I was introduced to him by a 10-year-old piano student of mine.  Barrett took me to see Flashdance the Musical for our first date.  He then proposed a year later on top of Paris Mountain in Greenville, South Carolina.


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Rezeda Minnushina
Early Études Piano
Teaches on: Thursdays and Fridays

What is your educational background?
I graduated from the Kazan Pedagogical University as a Music Teacher in 2005. In 2007, I           attended a course in musicology at La Sorbonne in Paris, where I specialized in teaching      music to children of preschool age.

Of which performance are you most proud? Why?   
I am most proud of my past experience sharing music abroad with a variety of cultures. In 2009 in Tunisia, I joined an elite private music school and developed a program of preschool children’s initiation to music theory and piano through game playing. In the school they studied in three languages, French, English and Russian. There I taught solfeggio, choral, and music literature to older students as well.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I am passionate about teaching. I always work to establish a connection with the students from the very first lesson to ensure that the training takes place in a friendly atmosphere, where the children and I learn from each other. In lessons, I try to adapt my approach to each child’s abilities and motivations. I believe that every child is naturally talented, and it is the teacher’s job to nurture and develop this talent to the child’s interest. I always choose the repertoire with the children, so they enjoy what they are performing.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
I have been married since 2005 and have a ten-year-old son and five-year-old daughter. I like spending time with my family, walking in nature, travelling, attending sports and cultural activities, and entertaining guests at home.


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Quinn Moss
Piano
Teaches on: Tuesday Afternoons

What is your educational background?
I graduated with my Bachelors of Music degree in Piano Performance from Stetson University. I also attended Georgia Southern University, where I earned my Master of Music degree in Piano Performance and worked as a Graduate Teaching Assistant.

Of which performance are you the most proud? Why?
When I was working on my Master’s degree, one of the main components of the degree was a recital that showcased all that I had learned in two years. Although the performance itself went well, I am proudest of the amount of time and energy I put into preparing for the recital. As one of my wisest professors taught me, performing is a type of practice.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
There are many aspects of teaching that I love. One of the most rewarding is seeing a student get excited about a new piece they’ve learned or discovering a new concept of music. I love seeing their faces light up with pride as they show me a piece they have memorized on their own, or when they move on to the next level books. This lets me know that they too, are excited by and find joy in what they are achieving. However, I feel that my teaching style changes too depending on the student’s age. I enjoy teaching young students, because they are generally very quick learners and pick up concepts right away. For older kids and teens, they are generally more disciplined and focused, so we can accomplish more things in one lesson. And I enjoy teaching adults, beginning and advanced, because they are always eager to learn, and I always enjoy the conversations we have about music.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
In my free time, I enjoy cooking for others and looking for new recipes to try, exploring the natural beauty of DC and the surrounding area, working on puzzles, playing board games, and generally hanging out with friends and family. My parents both teach at a college in my hometown, Daytona Beach, FL. Perhaps my love and passion for teaching came from them!


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Yunzhe Qi
Early Études Piano
Teaches on: Fridays

What is your educational background?
Currently, I am a D.M.A. student in the Piano Pedagogy Doctoral Program at The Catholic University of America.  I hold a Bachelor of Piano Performance Music degree from Xiamen University (China) and a Master of Piano Pedagogy Music degree from the University of Missouri.

Of which performance are you the most proud? Why?
In January of 2017, I gave my D.M.A. solo recital in The Catholic University of America, Ward Recital Hall. The recital was 1.5 hours long, in which I played the music of J. S. Bach, Beethoven, Prokofiev, and Svirdov. As a doctoral solo recital, it was a high standard for me to perform. I practiced hard preparing all of the repertoire, and I performed confidently and successfully!

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
I believe that sharing my love of music to the piano students and leading them enjoy the process of learning are the most important objectives for students. I am extremely satisfied when I hear my students say that they enjoy practicing and look forward to taking piano lessons. For that reason, I aim to help students develop their enthusiasm for piano learning, and to work towards the highest level, perhaps even attaining professional skills. My aim is that my students will develop strong study skills they can translate to other areas of their lives as well as building confidence.  For the elementary-level students aged 5-12, I like to help them develop independent thinking and understanding. For teaching youths and adults, I give them opportunity to choose some pieces that they prefer. I enjoy teaching music from different styles, such as jazz, popular music, and classical works.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
Swimming is my favorite exercise, which I insist for 6 years! I like to watch movies, go to recitals, hike, and attend some cultural events with my friends during the weekend! My mother is a professor in a university in China, Shandong province. My father works in Chinese government. He is very good at making Chinese food. Our family may have a new member this summer- a lovely dog!


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Molly Schranck
Office Manager

Molly Schranck is a graduate of Longwood University in Farmville, Virginia, where she obtained her Bachelor of Arts degree in Music, her main instrument of study being piano.  Before joining the Études team, Molly worked as a music camp director for children at a performing arts school in Reston, Virginia. 

Molly has recently returned to the Washington, D.C. area and is currently pursuing a Master of Arts in Arts Management degree at George Mason University.  With this degree, Molly hopes to bring more enjoyment and more opportunity to people of all ages through non-profit arts organizations.

In her free time, Molly enjoys playing the piano, traveling, reading, photographing, exploring new experiences and hobbies, and spending time with her family and friends.


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Moriah Swindell
Violin
Teaches on: Friday Afternoons

What is your educational background?
I have a Masters in Music Performance with a concentration in Suzuki Pedagogy from East Carolina University and a Bachelor of Arts in Music Education from Campbell University.

Of which performance are you the most proud? 
I would have to say I am the proudest of my Suzuki Graduate recital. This recital was one of          the two solo recitals I performed to earn my Masters. I was proud of this one in particular not only because it was a solo recital, but I felt that it represented me coming full circle in my Suzuki violin journey. I say that because I started taking private Suzuki violin lessons when I was 9 years old, and now I was performing various pieces I was first exposed to in these lessons in order to become a certified Suzuki teacher.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing is actually two things, getting to know my students as people and watching them grow as musicians and violinists. I love incorporating students’ favorite colors, characters, TV shows, etc. into their lessons. Learning about them as people helps me to form a close bond with them and makes my teaching more effective.  I will sometimes think back after a student’s first year of learning the violin and see how much they have accomplished in that time. It never ceases to amaze me and I am always grateful that I could be on that journey with them.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
If I am not doing something with music, I love to watch TV/movies/Netflix (depending on the day), cook, spend time with my friends/family, drink tea, and read.


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Pauline Yang
Piano
Teaches on: Wednesday Afternoons, Thursday Afternoons, Friday Afternoons, Saturdays

What is your educational background?
I have a Bachelor of Music and Master of Music in Piano Performance from the University of Southern California (USC), as well as a Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from USC and a Master of Arts in International Relations from Tufts University’s Fletcher School of Law and Diplomacy.

Of which performance are you most proud? Why?
I am proudest of my performance with the Philadelphia Orchestra since I had dreamed as  a little girl of performing with one of “The Big Five” American orchestras, and when I had the opportunity to do so when I was 11, it was truly a dream come true.

What is your favorite thing about teaching?
My favorite thing about teaching is getting to see the excitement on a student’s face when he or she accomplishes something that they did not think was possible. Those moments are precious! My favorite aspect about teaching children is their natural creativity, beautiful innocence, and inquisitive minds, which often lead to great questions about why certain things are the way they are in music. My favorite aspect about teaching teenagers is their growing independence and how that allows them to explore and experiment more at the piano by selecting pieces that they have been wanting to learn, trying different fingerings and techniques, and becoming better listeners. My favorite aspect about teaching adults is their sheer joy of learning since they are choosing to learn how to play piano in their limited free time.

What are your hobbies outside of music?
My hobbies include ballet, golfing, baking, reading, learning about the world, going for walks, and spending quality time with friends and family. My family lives in Los Angeles, California. Neither of my parents are musicians. I have a younger brother, Jason, who is Madonna’s violinist. He has colorful hair!