Samantha Hiller Drake, Traditional and Suzuki Violin
Utility NavTop NavContentLeft NavSite SearchSite SearchSite Search

Undergraduate Commencement Advisory

The University of Hartford's Undergraduate Commencement main ceremony takes place as scheduled today beginning at 10 a.m. on the campus green. Graduates should report to line up no later than 9:30 a.m. Following the main ceremony, graduates and guests will proceed to separate sites on campus for diploma presentation ceremonies with the following change from the original schedule: the Hartford Art School will hold its ceremony in Gengras Student Union cafeteria while University Studies will move to Wilde Auditorium in the Harry Jack Gray Center. Participants who did not pick up their cap and gown in advance can do so In Konover Campus Center beginning at 8 a.m. See more Commencement information here.

Samantha Hiller Drake

Traditional and Suzuki Violin

Samantha Hiller, Traditional and Suzuki Violin

A native of Milwaukee, Wisconsin, Samantha Hiller Drake began her violin studies in a Suzuki Program at age four. She earned a BM in Violin Performance from The University of Iowa and an MM in Violin Performance with an emphasis in Suzuki Pedagogy from The Hartt School. She has studied violin with Anton Miller, Scott Conklin, and Samantha George, and chamber music with Astrid Schween and Elizabeth Oakes. In addition to her long-term Suzuki teacher training with Teri Einfeldt at Hartt, Drake has taken courses with Christie Felsing, Ronda Cole, Alice Joy Lewis, and Mark Bjork. During the summer months, she teaches violin and chamber music at Interlochen Arts Camp. In addition to teaching students of all ages, Drake maintains an active performance schedule as an orchestral and chamber musician. Samantha has performed with multiple professional orchestras, including the Quad Cities Symphony and the Southeast Iowa Symphony. Her passion for theater has also allowed for participation in pit orchestras for numerous opera, musical theater, and ballet productions. Drake is currently on faculty in The Hartt School’s Community Division.

Teaching Philosophy 

My teaching philosophy embodies Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophy: every child can learn, given a nurturing environment. Children learn to speak their native language with constant repetition and encouragement from adults in their lives. Talent is not inborn, and each child has their own rate of learning and learning style. Suzuki’s quote, “Character first, ability second,” is always in the front of my mind as I approach a student in lessons, group class, chamber music, or even in hallway interactions. Yes, I am there to guide their musical development, but I am most concerned with their development as good human beings.