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Margaret Pressley is known as one of the foremost instructors of pedagogy for pre-college violinists in the United States, as well as an advocate for thoroughly educated pre-college musicians of all instrumentation. Founder, and as of 2016, Director Emeritus of Seattle Conservatory of Music, she guided talented young musicians in progressive pre-college training programs toward collegiate entry into music schools. In 2016, Ms. Pressley was honored by National Music Teacher Association as a National Fellow. In 2010, she was inducted into Washington State Music Teacher Association’s Hall of Fame for her exceptional support, inspiration and outstanding contribution to the growth and development of music and music education, both public and private, in the state of Washington. Pressley Violin Studio students have been recognized in local, regional, national and international competitions, and have been sought by collegiate music schools around the country. Studio alumni hold leading positions as chamber musicians, orchestral players, international soloists, professors of violin and free-lance musicians in the United States and Europe. Conservatory alumni have been accepted into every major collegiate music school in the country, and are now holding prestigious positions across the U.S. as well.
From 2001 to 2016, Pressley was an annual recipient of a prestigious Dorothy Richard Starling Violin Foundation Grant. As Founder and Director of the Pacific Northwest’s first music conservatory, Seattle Conservatory of Music (SCM), Pressley held the torch for training classical musicians of the future. After attending the University of Washington as a violin performance major, she chose to focus on a teaching career that has spanned 50 years. Pressley held faculty positions as Scholar-in-Residence at University of Colorado Boulder, Lecturer at Western Washington University and Adjunct Professor at Seattle Pacific University. She served as a Master Teacher at Indiana University’s Summer String Academy, the Heifetz Institute, Schlern International Music Festival in Italy, the Nationalla Ungdomssymfoniorchestern in Stolkhom, Sweden, and the New Conservatory of Dallas’ Music in the Mountains Music Festival. Pressley has presented master classes and clinics in state and national conferences, and has sat on regional and national advisory panels. She is former String Chair for Washington State Music Teacher Association. Pressley was a featured author in 1994’s American String Teacher national magazine with her article “My Journey Toward Teaching Success” and was recipient of a Washington State Outstanding Studio Teacher of the Year Award by American String Teacher Association.
As Founder/Director of Seattle Conservatory of Music, she was the subject of an article in the December 2005 ‘Clavier’ magazine. Ms. Pressley has recently moved to Colorado Springs, where she is looking forward to becoming part of its musical community while presenting pedagogy workshops to violin teachers around the world and consulting with aspiring musicians who dream of entering collegiate music schools in the future.