Mrs. Jessica Retana

Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education Teacher

Jessica Retana

SAA Member


Albquerque, NM
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Jessica Retana is a Suzuki violin teacher, early childhood music educator, and founder of The Well-Balanced Violin Studio, a Suzuki violin program in Albuquerque, NM. Jessica offers an exceptional musical education for children ages 4-18 through expert instruction and a variety of musical opportunities.

Jessica received her Bachelor of Music in Classical Violin Performance from Belmont University in Nashville, TN. She studied with Elisabeth Small, former Associate Concertmaster of the Atlanta Symphony and student of Dorothy DeLay, as well as Alison Gooding Hoffman, First Violinist of the Nashville Symphony and founding member of the Grammy nominated Alias Chamber Ensemble. While studying at Belmont University, Jessica received multiple opportunities to participate in major festivals in the United States, including the National Orchestral Institute and the National Music Festival. Through Belmont University and summer festivals, she has a great deal of orchestral recording experience on NPR, Naxos records, national televised broadcasts on PBS, and many other recording projects in Nashville.

After her studies at Belmont, Jessica received her Masters of Music in Violin Performance from Southern Methodist University in Dallas, TX where she studied with Diane Kitzman, Principal First Violinist of the Dallas Symphony Orchestra. While in Dallas, Jessica regularly performed with regional orchestras and maintained a private studio.

Jessica studies violin pedagogy from her principal mentor Charles Krigbaum, as well as additional Suzuki teacher training from Daina Volodka Staggs, Edward Kreitman, Ann Montzka-Smelser, and Teri Einfeldt. She has also received training in Suzuki Early Childhood Education from Lynn McCall and Wan Tsai Chen. 

Most recently, Jessica was awarded the Suzuki Association of the Americas Certificate of Achievement, an award given to teachers that demonstrate an outstanding commitment to lifelong learning and excellence in their teaching. She is also Vice President of the New Mexico Chapter of the American String Teachers Association. In addition to teaching, Jessica actively performs with many ensembles in New Mexico and Southern Colorado including the New Mexico Philharmonic, Santa Fe Symphony, San Juan Symphony, and the Giovanni String Quartet.