Aaron Jacobs, who has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a teacher, performing artist, ensemble director, and clinician, will begin a new chapter this fall at The University of New Mexico. Jacobs will assume leadership of String Pedagogy—including the Master of Music degree in String Pedagogy—as assistant professor of Music and director of the UNM Music Prep School and String Pedagogy Lab School.

Jacobs’s past teaching experience includes public school, community, pre-college, and university level studio and classroom teaching. His performance experience includes extensive work as a soloist, chamber musician, and orchestral musician. Additionally, he has an extensive background in program building, curriculum design, pre-service and professional teacher education, administration, and leadership. 

For over 20 years, Jacobs has taught at universities, academies, music schools, and summer institutes throughout Ohio, Maine, Wisconsin, and Illinois. At the collegiate level, he taught applied violin, string pedagogy, and string methods courses as a faculty member at Millikin University and Illinois State University, and as a graduate assistant at Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.

For 10 years, Jacobs worked at the University of Illinois, where he collaborated with a team of faculty and graduate students to establish the Pre-College Chamber Music Program in 2011 and personally founded the Illinois String Academy in 2015. There, he maintained a studio of roughly 25–30 violin and viola students annually, mentored a staff of undergraduate, graduate, and post-doctoral instructors, provided his staff with pedagogical training on a weekly basis, taught a wide range of violin and viola group classes, coached pre-college chamber music, directed two chamber orchestras, and administered all the Academy’s offerings.

Also in 2015, he created a violin program for the Danville, Ill., school district 118, which offered violin instruction to nearly 200 first and second grade students at two elementary schools in Danville. Jacobs continues to instruct young violinists and violists privately, and his students consistently win top honors and performance awards each year, including solo concerto performances with orchestras as well as admission and scholarship offers to prestigious collegiate music institutions.

As an active chamber and solo recitalist, Jacobs has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Collaborations with his wife and duo partner, pianist Tatiana Shustova, have been particularly rewarding. Since 2005, performances have taken the Jacobs-Shustova Duo to Italy, Russia, and several U.S. states, and they have earned awards at two international competitions.

Notable chamber music collaborations for competitions and tours have included the Sariana Trio (violin, saxophone, and piano), Chambana Arts Trio (violin, cello, and piano), and the Illinois Arts Trio (violin, cello, and piano). Aaron has worked closely with composers Stacy Garrop, Missy Mazzoli, and Bright Sheng in the performances of their works. His extensive work as a professional orchestral musician has included numerous appointments as concertmaster, principal second violin, or principal viola, and he has been a featured soloist with chamber orchestras at Bowling Green State University and the University of Illinois, the Danville Illinois Symphony Orchestra, Jacksonville Illinois Symphony Orchestra, and the Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra. His repertoire in teaching and performance covers the entire range of classical art music from baroque to contemporary and works by underrepresented composers. 

As a clinician, Jacobs has served as co-director and faculty member of the Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Workshop for professional musicians and teachers. In this role, he has become a resource to string teachers throughout the United States and on six continents. He has presented research and clinical sessions at the American String Teachers Association National Conference, the Midwest Band and Orchestra Clinic, and the Illinois Music Educators Conference, and has been invited to lead master classes and clinics at several universities throughout the Midwest. Additionally, he is a certified Mentor for string teachers enrolled in the certification program of the PRSP Society, for which he is also a member of the Board of Directors. Visit paulrollandsociety.org for more information about PRSP workshops and certification events.

For more about Jacobs’s training and education as a musician and to see performances, see his website.