Ms. Julie T. Maura Bickel

Violin, Viola Teacher

Julie Maura Bickel

SAA Member


Wheaton, IL
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Julie Maura Bickel joined the Wheaton College Community School of the Arts faculty in 1999 as a
violin instructor and Director of the Vivaldi Strings chamber group. She holds a B.A. in Violin
Performance and a B.S. in Pre-Med from the University of Notre Dame, as well as a M.M. and
Performers’ Certificate in Violin Performance and Pedagogy from Northern Illinois University.
Bickel studied with Betty Monahan, Almita and Roland Vamos, Rachel Barton Pine, Simin
Ganatra, Mathias Tacke, Vermeer Quartet, and Brian Lewis. She has performed the
Mendelssohn, Khachaturian, and Beethoven Concerti with orchestra and currently performs with
the Butterfield String Quartet with colleagues, Anita Arch, Emily Puntuzs, and Dr. Tanya
Carey. She has trained extensively since 1996 in Suzuki Pedagogy and has taught at various
music institutes, including Sound Encounters in Ottawa, Kansas; Texas State University Suzuki
Strings Institute in San Marcos, Texas; Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in Draper, Utah;
DFW-WOW in Dallas, Texas; American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wisconsin; and the
Chicago Suzuki Institute in Deerfield, Illinois. She has taught String Pedagogy, continues to
mentor interns at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music, and has also been a participant in
all nine Starling-DeLay Symposiums at the Juilliard School of Music.

As the director of the Wheaton College Community School of the Arts’ Vivaldi Strings touring
group, she has prepared the group for national tours to Alaska, California, Indiana, Kansas,
Kentucky, Michigan, Minnesota, Missouri, New York, Ohio, Washington, and Wisconsin;
internationally, they have traveled to Africa, Austria, Canada, China, Czech Republic, German, Italy,
Japan, Puerto Rico, Scotland, and Spain. The group has been featured on both ABC and NBC Chicago
affiliates as well as Beijing TV and the NHK Japanese-English website. In 2012, the group was
invited, all expenses paid, by the Chinese government to represent the USA along with 42 other
countries in the International Children’s Culture and Art Festival. This year they will travel to
Spain and Morocco.

Bickel coordinated the Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas for the 11th and 12th SAA
Conferences. At the 13th and 16th SAA Conferences in 2008 and 2014, Vivaldi Strings was
selected to perform for the International Ensembles Concerts. In 2014, Bickel was awarded
Teacher of the Year from the Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra.

Bickel embraces the teaching philosophies of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, positing that every child is
born with an innate ability to learn when provided a nurturing environment and exposure to high
quality models. Bickel’s students focus on technique as a means of reaching their musical
potential, but also grow in character development enabling them to become strong contributing
members of society. Her students focus on service to their community thru music and service
related activities such as Feed My Starving Children and Lutheran World Relief. Although her
students achieve high levels of musical proficiency, her focus is on the student’s academic
achievements with many pursuing careers other than music.

An avid quilter for Lutheran World Relief, Bickel enjoys spending time with husband Brian,
daughters Lucy and Molly, and black lab Chloë.