Our Teachers

Karen Lauffer, owner

violin, viola
Suzuki Certified & Certified K-12 Music Teacher
B.S. Music Education, M.M. Violin Performance & Pedagogy
(all levels, and ages 3 through adult)

Teaching days: Tuesday, Thursday, Friday
Rate: $35 for 30 minute, $50 for 45 minute, $65 for 60 minute

Ms. Lauffer has extensive and diverse experience in both teaching and performing, as well as training in a number of pedigogical styles. She has maintained a private studio of over thirty students a week for the past twenty years. This means she has taught over 30,000 private lessons! Her students have been in the top levels of the Denver Youth Artist Orchestra, Front Range Youth Symphony, Colorado Youth Symphony, Western States Honor Orchestra, and Colorado All-State Orchestra, and Lamont Summer Music Academy. Some of her students have gone on to study music at the University of Colorado, Boulder; University of Northern Colorado, Regis University, Indiana University of Pennsylvania, and Sunderman Conservatory. In addition to directing and teaching at Silver Strings Academy, Ms. Lauffer is a professor at the University of Colorado Boulder, where she teaches String Pedagogy (she trains future teachers how to teach stringed instruments.)

After attending Baltimore School for the Arts High School, Karen received a Music Education degree from York College of Pennsylvania. As a result, she now has a teaching certificate valid in both Pennsylvania and Colorado. While living in York, Karen performed regularly with the York Symphony Orchestra on both violin and viola. As a member of the YSO, Karen accompanied world-renowned guest artists such as Joshua Bell, Nadia Solerno-Sonnenburg, and Christopher Riley.

Ms. Lauffer continued her training at the University of Colorado at Boulder, where she received a Master’s Degree in Violin Performance and Pedagogy.  She also completed her Suzuki Certification under the nationally renowned pedagogue, William Starr (author of “the Suzuki Violinist” among numerous other publications), who studied with and taught along side Dr. Suzuki himself. During her time as a graduate student, Ms. Lauffer also taught general music and group Suzuki classes at the Jarrow Montessori school for two years. She was also on faculty at the University of Colorado at Boulder for two years teaching violin to non-music majors.

Since moving to Colorado, Karen has decided to focus primarily on teaching, but still performs regularly. She loves playing folk music, and performed all across the midwest with a Celtic Folk Band for several years. Prior to covid, she was the violist for the Mile High String Quartet and violinist in Colorado Classic Duo, a harp and violin duet. She also plays with a unique performance art group called Tree-o. Tree-o has performed at the Breckenridge International Festival of Arts, and is best known for writing all-original classical/folk tunes and performing them mounted in trees about 15 feet in the air. Tree-o has been named one of the top nine wildest, weirdest, most spectacular outdoor art experiences by CNN. In 2019, Karen was the on-stage electric violinist for the Broadway division of Cirque du Soliel, Cirque Dreams.

When not teaching or making music, Karen enjoys mountain biking, hiking, and spending time with her dog.

Live Performances

Regina Vendetti

violin, viola, beginning cello
Suzuki Certified Teacher. K-12 Certified Teacher in Illinois.
B.S. Music Education, second year Master’s student in Viola Performance and Pedagogy
(all levels, and ages 3 through adult)

Teaching day: Wednesday
Rate: $35 for 30 minute, $50 for 45 minute, $65 for 60 minute

Regina Vendetti is a second-year master of music student at the University of Colorado Boulder studying viola performance and pedagogy with Erika Eckert, and serving as a graduate teaching assistant. Vendetti completed her undergraduate degree in music education and performance at Illinois State University where she studied with Katherine Lewis and taught in the university’s after-school orchestra program- String Project. Before moving to Colorado, she taught in public schools as a substitute teacher and a general music and choir teacher at a K-8 district. She also taught private violin and viola lessons in central Illinois for 6 years and has played with regional orchestras in the area. She is an active member of the American String Teacher’s Association, American Viola Society, and Suzuki Association of Americas. Regina enjoys helping students to find music that they are excited about playing, and is passionate about teaching non-traditional music, and music by female composers.

Dr. Ryan Jacobsen

violin, viola
Suzuki Certified Teacher
D.MA Violin Performance and Pedagogy
(all levels, and ages 3 through adult)

Teaching day: Monday
Rate: $35 for 30 minute, $50 for 45 minute, $65 for 60 minute

Dr. Ryan Jacobsen completed his Doctorate at the University of Colorado at Boulder and is a full-time member of the Boulder Philharmonic Orchestra. As a violinist, he has won several prestigious competitions, including the MusicFest Northwest Young Artist competition as well as the Whitman Symphony Concerto and Aria competition. Ryan has also been invited to solo with the Spokane Symphony, the Walla Walla Symphony, and the Whitman Symphony. He is a Suzuki Certified violin teacher who has been teaching violin and viola for over twelve years. He specializes in working with young children and has a gift for connecting with budding musicians. Ryan incorporates a variety of repertoire and techniques to enhance the student learning experience. It is important to him that each student is fully engaged in the learning process and he emphasizes student driven learning.

Adam Riggs, teacher

Bachelor’s Music Performance, M.M Music Performance, DMA Music Performance
Suzuki Certified
(all levels, children and adults)

Teaching days: Wednesday, Thursday, Friday
​$35 for 30 minute, $50 for 45 minute, $65 for 60 minute

Noted for his passionate and expressive playing, Dr. Adam Riggs is an avid chamber musician, teacher, and performer. He has performed and attended music festivals across Canada, the United States, Italy and the Czech Republic.
An avid teacher, Adam completed his Suzuki Teacher Training with Carol Tarr at the University of Denver and also completed his Suzuki Book 1 teacher training with Rick Mooney at the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute. He serves on the board of the Suzuki Association of Colorado and teaches at Rockley Music in Lakewood and Silver Strings Academy in Westminster, while maintaining a robust private studio in Arvada.

Learning the cello is something that everyone can do, with hard work and consistency. The skills that are required to become a good cellist and musician, such as tenacity, self awareness, posture, and listening, are skills that will build character and lead to success in any chosen field. Through the use of positive reinforcement and an emphasis on a strong technique, Adam helps his students achieve their goals.