My teaching career spans over three decades. My teaching style can best be described as a synergy between Mimi Zweig’s approach, which stresses freedom and moving in relaxed and natural ways, and an approach which links body awareness and relaxation. I typically use the Suzuki and Mark O’Connor materials and methods combined with supplementary scales, etudes, and finger exercises.
Students are taught in a warm and welcoming environment. I love working with students of all ages and levels. And, I really like problem solving. Therefore, I am a particularly good fit for the more serious school-age player, or an adult-learner who would like to learn to self-diagnose and solve day-to-day playing problems as they arise.
You see, it’s like this:
As a teacher, I am up against a few fundamental challenges. The first is that playing violin is complex. Students must learn a set of sub-skills that comprise a proper basic foundation. Without these skills, no matter the students’ talent, they will not progress and playing will never be particularly satisfying.
The second is that student needs are individual. Each student brings different skills, understandings, abilities, and challenges.
Luckily, I have lots of ‘tools in my toolbox’ so I can flexibly respond to individual student needs.
Be advised, I accept a limited number of students. If I do not have an opening at the time of your initial consultation, I can recommend other area violin or viola teachers. Or, if you prefer, I can place you or your loved one on a wait list.
My studies began in Chicago, at Northwestern University, with violists Robert Slaughter and Robert Swan. Then, I continued study with Chicago Symphony’s Principle violist, Milton Preves, until accepting a job with the Orquesta Symphonica de Xalapa, in Mexico. After a few years in Mexico, my education continued first in New York City at the Manhattan School of Music with imminent violist Paul Doktor and lastly, with Nobuko Imai, premier violist, currently teaching at Conservatoires in Amsterdam and Geneva.
The first decade of my career I was involved with orchestral performance, freelance work, and teaching. I had the pleasure of playing in orchestras, both large and small. As a contract player with the Chicago Symphony, I had the privilege of playing with some of the most talented musicians in the country. And, in the Chicago Chamber Orchestra, I played Assistant Principle Violist for over a decade while simultaneously maintaining a full roster of Suzuki violin students.
The next decade was spent in South Carolina where I was a founding board member for the Long Bay Symphony. I also was a founding member and violist in the Upton String Quartet, a state of South Carolina Arts Council approved ensemble. We enthusiastically toured the state introducing young people to classical music. And, in addition to these activities, I led a busy family life, taught a full roster of students, and played two seasons in Charleston Symphony.
I moved to Raleigh in 2009 and Chapel Hill in 2020. I love living in the Triangle! I am still passionate about violin and viola education. I believe that it is never too late to learn something new.
Come prove me right!!
To set up an initial consult and trial lesson with Melody
Melody Heather Rike
- $142 monthly for weekly half-hour sessions
- $187 monthly for weekly three-quarter hour sessions
- $234 monthly for weekly hour-long sessions
- 43 private lessons
- 3 studio week group experiences
- 2 recitals annually
See details on FAQ
In just a few years of tutelage under Ms. Rike, she has completely transformed not only my playing and sound, but my entire approach to the art of playing violin! I have made incredible strides with her as my teacher. She masterfully combines old-school traditional methods with creative problem-solving techniques for a very tailored-to-you teaching style, which is incredibly helpful because no students learn and understand concepts in the same way. Starting lessons with her was one of the best decisions I’ve ever made! I am a much more confident player now and I know with her I am building the perfect foundation to support a lifetime worth of violin playing.– C (current student)