Sigrid Karlstrom

Sigrid Karlstrom
Age Groups
  • Suzuki
  • Viola
  • Violin
Violinist and violist Dr. Sigrid Karlstrom possesses a great love for teaching and is an active private and group instructor for all ages and abilities. Her 15 years of teaching experience include lessons for children, teens, and adults through the Neighborhood Music School, Suzuki School of Westport, Eugene Youth Symphony Program, and University of New Mexico Lab School.
Sigrid’s teacher training is extensive and encompasses the pedagogies of Shinichi Suzuki, Ivan Galamian, Michiko Yurko, Paul Rolland, and John Kendall. She completed Suzuki long-term training, violin books 1-10, with Susan Kempter at the University of New Mexico and later finished additional long-term training (violin books 1-6) with Christie Felsing at The Hartt School. She also registered short-term viola training, books 2-7, with Elizabeth Stuen-Walker.
An active performer, Sigrid was a tenured member of the New Mexico Philharmonic viola section and a member of Opera Southwest. She has appeared as a violinist and violist in solo and chamber recitals and orchestras in Connecticut, Massachusetts, Oregon, Colorado, New Mexico, New York, Italy, Brazil, and Australia.

Sigrid holds a Doctoral degree in viola from The Hartt School, a Masters degree in violin from the University of Oregon, and a Masters degree in viola and string pedagogy from the University of New Mexico. Her major teachers include Rita Porfiris (The Hartt School), Ole Bohn (Sydney Conservatory of Music), Fritz Gearhart (University of Oregon), Guillermo Figueroa (Lynn University), Kim Fredenburgh (University of New Mexico), and Susan Kempter (Suzuki Teacher Trainer).

Why I teach at NMS:
I love the complete and diverse musical experience that NMS offers. At what other school can you take violin lessons, play in a jazz ensemble, learn how to play early music from the Renaissance and Baroque periods, buff up on your music theory, and improve your rhythm through dance, all with extremely accomplished faculty?
Fun Fact(s):
Because my dad is a geology professor with major research interests in the old rocks at the bottom of the Grand Canyon, I rafted the Grand Canyon for the first time with one of his research trips at age eight and hiked to the bottom of the canyon for the first time at age nine. I also got washed off the boat into the Colorado River at age eight while running the famous mile 232 rapid! Luckily my mom was holding tight to my life jacket, or I might not be here to tell the story.
My grandpa was also a geologist and worked with geological training for the astronauts in the United States' moon mission. He was also instrumental in mapping Alaska.
My hobbies: I love to bake sourdough bread, and have recently started experimenting with other types of fermentation, making sauerkraut and pickles. I started taking composition lessons a couple of years ago and enjoy creating pieces specifically for viola, and especially for students. I also love spending time reading about women composers and pedagogues of the past, and looking at old documents. My dissertation was about women composers for viola...if you want to read it you can find it online!

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