Dr. Aaron Jacobs’ teaching blends influences from the pedagogy and teaching philosophies of Ivan Galamian, Paul Rolland, Shin’ichi Suzuki, Mimi Zweig and traditional methods. With nineteen years of teaching experience among all age and ability levels, he has taught at universities, academies, music schools, and summer camps throughout Ohio, Maine, Wisconsin, and Illinois.
Currently, Aaron mentors a full studio of 30+ violinists and violists, and a staff of 15+ graduate and post-doctoral instructors through the School of Music at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he founded the Illinois String Academy as part of the School of Music’s community education offerings. What started as just a small private studio in 2009 is now the musical home to more than 125 string students, offering private lessons, group instruction, a pre-college chamber music program, a spattering of music theory, ear-training and composition classes for youth, and a popular internship program that provides university string majors with pedagogical training, observation and hands on experience. Aaron also created a violin program for Danville, IL school district 118. Beginning in January of 2015, this program offers violin instruction to nearly 200 first and second grade students at two elementary schools in Danville, IL. Aaron’s private students consistently win top honors and receive numerous performance awards each year, including solo concerto performances with orchestras as well as admission and scholarship offers to prestigious collegiate music institutions.
As a performer, Aaron is in high demand as a soloist and chamber and orchestra musician. During the past decade he has performed as concertmaster or principal second violin for twelve different orchestras throughout Illinois. As an active chamber and solo recitalist, Aaron has performed throughout the United States and Europe, and has been the featured soloist for orchestras in Ohio and Illinois. He has also been the recipient of several honors and awards, and a prizewinner at international competitions. In duo with his wife and pianist, Tatiana Shustova, performances of recent years have ranged from concert halls in the Midwest and East Coast to Italy and Russia. Tatiana and Aaron currently reside in Urbana, IL, with their two sons, Pavel and Mikhail.
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Music degree in music education and an Artist’s Certificate in violin performance from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, a Master of Music degree in violin performance and string pedagogy from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in violin performance and literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.