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Sarah Plum has had a long and fruitful career as a teacher of violin and viola to all ages and levels of students from beginners to graduate students. She recently moved her family to Evanston to focus on teaching pre-college students and create young musicians who love playing and are ready to achieve!


Plum is on the faculty at the Music Institute of Chicago and teaches privately at her home in Evanston. She is eager to take on new students and build a studio of young talent. You can contact her directly at


Her teaching specialties include:


  • Competition and audition preparation 

  • Preparing orchestral excerpts for auditions and auditions for summer programs

  • Recording preparation – her experience making solo and orchestral recordings means she is adept at guiding students through the process

  • Starting young players – as a college professor Plum taught violin pedagogy and trained teachers.  She has developed her own method of starting players using a large variety of repertoire (not just Suzuki) with a focus on right hand flexibility. 

  • Intermediate players – Plum excels at teaching students who are just learning to shift, vibrate and play 3 octave scales.  She has developed exercises and strategies to prepare students for advanced repertoire.  

  • Teaching viola to violinists – Plum has taught dozens of violin students to play viola either to supplement their violin playing (necessary in today's professional music world) or to make a permanent shift.


Plum had the good fortune to study with the great pedagogues of her day – Lyman Bodman, David Cerone, Dorothy Delay, Szymon Goldberg and Joyce Robbins. She relishes her role in passing on the tradition she learned from these artist teachers to a new generation.

Sarah is encouraging, passionate, easy to work with and patient with her students.  She is completely dedicated to the development of her students and brings out the best in them.  Our kids’ enjoyment of playing violin and music has increased tremendously because of her.

- mother of two former students who studied with Sarah from age 9 through high school, one of whom was a MTNA prizewinner

We switched to Sarah when my child was in 8th grade since she wanted to pursue a career as a violinist. Sarah offered mindful teaching in technique and musicality, but even more, she gave my daughter foundational guidance and a vision of the musician's life that motivated her to put in many hours of practicing.   We will forever be grateful to Sarah.

- mother of former student and MTNA prizewinner


“When I started with Sarah in 8th grade, I had had four violin teachers in eight years. I had a lot of fundamental technical issues to fix and I was struggling and discouraged. Sarah was able to completely “rewire” how I had been trained and playing violin came more easily and naturally to me. After a few years studying with Sarah, I won the Des Moines Symphony Concerto competition. I studied with Sarah for nearly 8 years, and I know she had everything to do with transforming me from a stiff, awkward violinist to an experienced musician that has soloed with symphonies.

- former student

Working with Sarah Plum was a real treat. Her passion for music is contagious and she truly inspires her students to be their absolute best, 100% of the time.

- Bailey Wantuch

2017-18 Zodiac Music Festival alumni

2018 winner of Zodiac String Solo Prize
BM Northwestern University 2017

MM Candidate McGill University

Reuben was indeed fortunate to study with Dr. Sarah Plum.  Her high expectations, excellent instructional methodology, and the special role she played in mentoring him, were exceptional. Thank you Sarah for preparing Reuben for the real professional music world!

- Diane Kebede, mother of Reuben Kebede, MM candidate at the University of Michigan School of Music, Violinist in the Ivalas Quartet, 2018 Fellowship Quartet at Bowdoin International Music Festival


I am thrilled to teach at these two excellent summer festivals!
Zodiac Festival and Academy
The Zodiac Festival and Academy (July 2-15) in the south of France is a chamber music festival for advanced players 17 and older. I have been a part of this festival since the planning stages and feel strongly that we have created something of quality.
University of Oklahoma Summer String Academy
Started just last year, the OU Summer String Academy (July 21 – August 3) at the School of Music of the University of Oklahoma has already expanded to 2 weeks. We accept students from 12 years old to graduate students at the beginning of their professional career for an intensive chamber music experience.
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