Mrs. Charlene M. Fjerstad

Violin, Viola, Cello, Piano, Flute Teacher

Charlene Fjerstad

SAA Member


Manti, UT
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Thanks to a mother and father, aunt and grandparents who loved music, Charlene Fjerstad developed a great love for music. By the age of 12, Charlene had decided to be a music teacher. She began giving private lessons in Junior High. Her first violin teacher, Lois Nelson was a school music teacher and did much to further the interest of music in the schools in Los Altos. She organized music festivals and provided other early performance opportunities. Another school orchestra leader, Leonard Cook, encouraged Charlene and another friend who played violin. When they were in 6th grade, he had them come to the Junior High and play in that orchestra. Later when they were at the Junior High, he had them come to the zero period High School Orchestra. During this time, she also performed with The Foothill Youth Symphony; beginning last chair 2nd violin section and working up to Principal 2nd violinist and then 2nd chair 1st violin section. Mr. and Mrs. Warren K. Bohn were directors and did much to instruct and inspire. Marion Bohn was Charlene’s first private violin instructor. Credit must be given to these great teachers and 2 others in the school system who loved music namely Carol Burch and John Pleasant.
Charlene was awarded tuition scholarships to San Jose State University and received a BA in Music in 1972. She double majored in Voice and Violin, studying violin from Dr. Tikey Zes . He was a most kind and knowledgeable professor who received his degrees at The University of Southern California. Charlene received her Secondary Teaching Credential from San Jose State University in 1973. She also took classes in flute and piano, performing flute with the University Symphonic Band. Her private flute instructor, Joseph Osley was an amazing teacher! He covered all the detail of flute technique, practice and provided opportunities in the community to perform music as service. Her resident student teaching was done with Deborah Prieskop and Jackie Corina from whom she learned alot! Her first job was with the San Jose Unified School District in California as a traveling instrumental teacher. After the first 1/2 year she was assigned to be a String Specialist and taught at various schools in the district, 4th-6th grade for another 2 years. Charlene then served a mission for The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints to Buenos Aires, Argentina for 18 months.
While walking through a neighborhood with her companion one day, she heard someone practicing a Suzuki song on the violin! Upon her return she taught private music lessons. She visited with Jackie Corina and learned more about the advantages of the Talent Education Method. Teaching privately resumed until she met her trumpet playing husband to be. They were married in 1980 and started their family.
In 1989 Teacher Training in the Talent Education Method(Suzuki Method)began with Jackie Corina.
Jackie was immersed in this teaching method. It was wonderful to see her love in action and the results she was getting. The training in the Suzuki Method is as listed on the right side of this page. Charlene opened her studio and served up to 40 students a week from 1989-2005. Charlene also taught in the Cupertino Union School District’s after school program for Strings for about two years as well as in a summer school music program in Saratoga for one month.
Charlene is also a certified Modern Music Methods teacher attending a summer workshop in the method with the composer, A. Laurence Lyon at The University of Utah.
When she and her husband moved to Utah, she taught violin at a private school, taught privately and then taught the orchestra classes at Payson Middle School and Payson High School for half a year. She was being considered for the full time position for the coming year at the Middle School. Instead they moved to Manti, Utah where she teaches in her private studio today. She and her husband served on the Manti City Arts Council. They have organized concerts and performed every year for the Daughters of the Utah Pioneer’s Program in the Pioneer Heritage Garden Amphitheater.
They also enjoy hosting musical events in their home for family and friends.
Music helps to build fine character in all who participate. It can bring peace and joy to the lives of the students. A good teacher finds great joy in seeing their students progress and succeed in life!

Performance Background for Violin
Foothill Youth Symphony
Peninsula Symphony in San Mateo, California
San Jose State University Orchestra(Principal 2nd and Concert Mistress during Senior year)
Palo Alto Philharmonic conducted by Gideon Grau (2nd chair 1st violin section)
Nebo Philharmonic Orchestra in Utah Valley, Utah (Helped to start this group, played principal 2nd and also 1st violin, 3rd chair.)
Restoration String Quartet ( a group she organized in Payson, Utah)
Performances for weddings, funerals, church meetings, service projects, talent shows and other community events) These often include students.