When I was in the fourth grade a group of students from our school visited to show us their stringed instruments.  What could be better?  No math AND cool looking wood screechy things!  There were strings to pluck and scrape with a stick. What more could a 9 year old need? It was great fun and I wanted to be a part of it.


I don't remember who those students were or what they said to us that day, but I'll always remember how I felt, the first time I got to play a violin.  

I have been passionate about performing and teaching the violin and viola since my school days. I would be thrilled to share my training and experiences with you.

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Bachelor of Music Education. 1994, Wright State University

Global String Intensive, Berklee College of Music, 2018

Advanced Violin Studies Symposium, The Juilliard School, 2019


Massachusetts ASTA Special Projects Grant, 2013

American String Teacher's National Conference Presenter, 2013

Concerto Competition Winner, Wright State University, 1993

Course International de Musique, Morges, Switzerland, 1993


Miami Valley Symphony Orchestra, Principal Second Violin

Miami Valley Symphony Youth Strings, Director

American String Teacher's Association member


The studio isn't just a place to learn how to play violin; it's a community.  Through lessons, recitals and studio classes, families become part of an important support network students need to thrive. The studio is a place to grow, get out of your comfort zone; to try, fail,succeed.  I truly value the commitments families make to provide this experience for their children.


Students in the studio are expected to play in two recitals per year.  Every performance is a chance to share the work they do each week with family and friends and should be regarded as a moment of accomplishment and honor.


Students who have been challenged to perform do better under pressure.  Of course performance is the best way to becoming a better musician, but it's not because my students will become musicians that I require recitals. The confidence it takes to perform a piece of music in front of an audience from memory translates into so many critical life skills like job interviews, lectures, auditions or speeches.


Once before each recital I will hold a studio class. These are usually held in a public space and are a time for students to get together and practice performing in a low pressure environment.  It also serves as a time to socialize and gather good vibes.


In person lessons

McCutcheon Music, Franklin Street Studios, 18 E Franklin St, Dayton, OH 45459


High quality virtual lessons are held through StringMasters.com.

"Our son has been studying with Denise since July 2012, and the simplest thing to say is that he loves Loves LOVES going to his lessons."

Denise has a deep and true understanding of the psyche of the young mind. She strikes an impeccable balance between challenging and pushing students while maintaining a fun and encouraging learning environment for them

"She gives every ounce of herself to her teaching and to changing music students’ lives."

"Every single one of her students adores her and extends themselves to be able to grow to their fullest under her tutelage"

"Ms. Carter is patient with students and willing to help them learn and solve problems.  She has a very good fundamental knowledge about music pedagogy. Students from her private studio are often principal players in my school ensembles."

"Denise lights up any endeavor she is part of with an infectious energy and creativity. She is resourceful, sharp, witty, and deeply committed to music education."