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Studios

String Studios

At UCF, studios are where you study with your private teacher for lessons and masterclasses on your specific instrument. It is also where music majors form a community with others studying the same instrument in an environment that encourages learning from and performing with each other. All music majors study with our world-renowned UCF faculty members with weekly lessons and studio masterclasses.

Strings at UCF helps students develop their skills and be prepared for a professional career in performing or teaching. Students receive private instruction from faculty members that is designed for each student. There are also several opportunities to perform in ensembles including the UCF Symphony Orchestra and UCF Chamber Orchestra, exposing students to new repertoire and many opportunities to perform. Students also have the chance to work with professionals in the field through master classes.

UCF is located in the thriving international city of Orlando, a cultural and entertainment hub where students can immerse themselves in study. Even with around 70,000 students enrolled at UCF, every violin student receives an individual-focused education with all the resources a large university has to offer.

The UCF School of Performing Arts complex creates an immersive, conservatory-like environment for music students. All music majors take liberal arts courses in other locations around campus for a serious and complete education. All of this combined with UCF’s affordable tuition and scholarship opportunity make UCF a great place for the serious violin student to begin their career.

Whatever your goals and interests are, your time studying with faculty is not limited to the standard 1-hour lesson each week. All violin students gather for weekly studio class and for the all-department String Forum class. These classes develop performance habits and foster a sense of community within our corner of the school. Education majors can also take High and Low Strings Techniques classes as well as Strings Methods to ensure you learn the proper skills for each instrument and interact with all the string faculty members.

What sets UCF violin studies apart from other schools is the amount of individual one-on-one time with faculty members, exposure to professional development beginning from your first day on campus and career guidance throughout your time at UCF. Violin students also have the opportunity to work with many notable teachers, soloists and orchestral concertmasters in masterclasses and workshops.

When violin students graduate, they can expect to be equipped technically, musically and professionally to create a successful career in the music industry.

The bedrock of Dr. Winter's teaching philosophy is to develop the highest levels of self-awareness, critical-thinking and problem solving. He believes it is his job to inspire each and every student to want to reach their absolute highest potential and demands a top level of seriousness and dedication to detail while also believing that “If it isn’t fun, why do it!?”

The face of classical music has changed dramatically of the past half century and even the last decade. Student must be ready to transition into a career where they wear many hats and are familiar with many styles and genres. It is important to learn the skills of a musician but also be a master at networking, management, promotion, marketing and design.

Dr. Winter’s students have gone on to pursue careers including winning auditions in professional American symphony orchestra, serving as public and private school orchestra directors, holding university teaching positions and successful freelancing. Graduates have gone on to study at institutions such as Indiana University, Cleveland Institute of Music, University of North Texas, Peabody Conservatory, Eastman School of Music and more. Numerous others have gone on to win concerto competitions.

Students, particularly graduate students, may also work with Ayako Yonetani, director of the Pegasus String Quartet.

Students studying viola will study directly with faculty member, Chung Park. Students receive one-on-one time through private lessons as well as small and large ensemble experience, including the UCF Symphony Orchestra.

Each student will work with their studio instructor to create a course of study that fits their goals and career aspirations.

Students, particularly graduate students, may also work with Ayako Yonetani, director of the Pegasus String Quartet.

Each cellist studies directly with faculty member David Bjella on solo repertoire, orchestral excerpts, weekly cello choir compositions, chamber music and more. Mr. Bjella is an engaged, hands on, studio teacher. Cello students have significant orchestral excerpt study and have a weekly cello choir experience that culminates in a "Cellobration" concert. Other performance opportunities include solo appearances in cello studio, area recitals, forum recitals and juries.

Cello studio students can expect to study major concertos, sonatas, Popper etudes, solo Bach and contemporary selections. The studio places emphasis on cello pedagogy in the classroom with students expected to give clear feedback in a positive way to their peers.

In the fall of 2019, three students in the cello studio were winners in concerto competitions. Former students of David Bjella have gone on to terrific graduate schools including CIM, Rice, Indiana, Longy, Peabody, USC (Los Angeles) and Hartt. Recently, cellists have won positions in the Memphis Symphony Orchestra and Principal of the Mississippi Symphony Orchestra, along with winning the Second Place Prize at the 15th Annual Sphinx International Competition. Former students have also been appointed Cello Professor at the Longy School and Artistic Director of the L.A. Camerata.

Students studying bass will study directly with faculty member, Michael Hill. Students receive one-on-one time through private lessons as well as small and large ensemble experience, including the UCF Symphony Orchestra.

Each student will work with their studio instructor to create a course of study that fits their goals and career aspirations.

Click here to learn about studying bass in the Jazz Studio.

Studies in string quartet are part of a specialized String Quartet Assistantship in the M.A. Music program. String quartet students work closely with faculty member Ayako Yonetani through lessons and coaching with a range of performance opportunities with chamber music concerts and large ensembles including with the Orlando Philharmonic.


Alumni Highlights


Aaron Edrington ’00
BME | Violin
Music Teacher, Foothill Elementary; MME, Unviersity of Colorado at Boulder


Beth Bichler ’04
MMEd | Viola
Orchestra Teacher, Hunter’s Creek Middle School


Elizabeth Chaconas ’12
B.M., Music Performance | Viola
Freelance Musician; Full-Time Violinist, Violectric

Lisa Hopko ’98
BME | Viola
Music Teacher, Maitland Middle School


Yamilet Trujillo ’10
B.M., Music Performance | Cello
A Gift for Music; Teacher; Performer – Space Coast Pops Orchestra, Classic Albums Live, Violectric