CMU Preparatory School

As an active performer of solo and chamber music, Monique Mead imbues her teaching with a focus on frequent, positive concert experiences for her students and their audiences. Her approach is “music as a way of life”: a lifelong practice that deepens awareness of oneself and others, uplifts the human spirit, and develops a refined sensibility for beauty.

Her students participate in recitals, competitions, outreach performances, music festivals, and mentoring opportunities. Mead also trains them in public speaking, stage presence and ambassadorship, and offers opportunities to hear and meet great musicians.

Monique has been teaching the violin almost as long as she has been playing it: At age ten she crafted violins out of cereal boxes to amuse neighborhood children and soon thereafter began teaching her first group of students.

Studies of violin pedagogy with Mimi Zweig at the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University added scholarly backing to her years of practical experience, and at age 21 Monique took over the directorship of the Indianapolis String Academy, a modified Suzuki program, serving 130 students. She also taught violin as an Associate Instructor at Indiana University.

With her own musical heritage based in both the Russian and the Franco-Belgian schools of violin playing, Mead places value on connecting her students to the great tradition of violinists who have preceded them. Since 2009 she has been teaching violin in the Preparatory Program at Carnegie Mellon University, where she also serves as Director of Music Entrepreneurship Studies.

Masterclasses & Private Sessions

Playing music—not just the instrument—is a musician's goal; providing the inspiration to achieve that goal is the ultimate purpose of a masterclass. Using the challenges posed by a particular student, Mead addresses themes that are relevant all those attending. She frequently uses principles of Dalcroze Eurhythmics to help students “feel” the gestures of the music, then focuses on the violin technique needed to satisfy those musical demands.  Upon request, Monique also teaches private sessions, either in person or via Skype.


Day-long seminars or week-long residencies offer the opportunity for repeated interactions with students, be it ensemble coachings, string sectional, violin masterclass, private lessons, or concert attendance. Mead also offers workshops on many subjects pertaining to life as a performer. She has held an annual residency with the Orcas Island Chamber Music Festival since 2009.