The Work We Do: Jeannie Woelker, East End Arts School

My name is Jeannie Woelker and I teach violin, viola and cello at East End Arts School in Riverhead.

A typical day is I have students ranging in age from 2 or 3 all the way up to adult. We go through learning how to read music and playing with the proper posture, bow hold, and running through music, whether it’s solo music or music from school or orchestra music.

I do teach some piano, too. I love to open up the tops and show the kids what the strings look like inside.

There are different ages and different levels. It’s different if you’re young and you’re still learning how to play. There is always adjusting to do because the hand can do funny things and you always have to make sure that’s corrected. I draw on a white board to remind them to keep proper bow grip and posture.

My favorite part is definitely the teaching. I mean, it’s the best. I get really involved. Each student is different so each bit of teaching or skill or technique is different. All the instruments are unique. Each child or adult is different so you really have to just kind of adjust to each student individually. I even have some exchange students from other countries.

Jeannie Woelker plays the violin. (Credit: Rachel Siford)

With older students, we start with scales and we have exercises. We go from piece to piece learning each skill and building each skill on top of the next.

It’s definitely a wonderful thing to learn how to play an instrument. Dr. Suzuki, who is the founder of the Suzuki method, believed that to learn an instrument and to play the classics actually creates a noble human being and I think that’s pretty neat.

It’s really great to see some of the students really enjoy playing so much so that they go on to college and continue in their music, so that’s really rewarding for me.

‘The Work We Do’ is a News-Review multimedia project profiling workers on the North Fork. This weekly feature is made possible by Peconic Landing. See more photos on Instagram @riverheadnewsreview. See the complete list of previous profiles here.