Teacher Profile: Reuben Foley

Reuben Foley

Reuben Foley

Instrument(s): Bass, Cello, Viola, Violin

City: Washington, DC


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About Reuben Foley

Reuben Foley is a strings teacher and performer based in Washington, DC. He began his musical training at age 8 through his public school music program, and ever since he has been dedicated to sharing the joy and power of music with others through performance and teaching. He believes that the core of that powerful experience is a strong relationship between student and teacher, and he works to develop a comfortable and positive rapport with every student that he works with.

Reuben's training as a teacher has given him years of experience working with students of all ages. At Ithaca College, he worked closely with students in kindergarten through 12th grade. Teaching this range of students has aided him in developing a structure of learning for each student individually, working with them where they are at and helping them learn in a way that is tailored to their needs. He primarily uses teaching methods and repertoire drawn from the work of Shinichi Suzuki, Robert Gillespie, George Vance, Ivan Galamian, and other respected names within the world of string education. At Ithaca College, he received extensive training in playing and teaching all classical stringed instruments in addition to his primary instrument, violin. In addition to teaching violin lessons, he has taught cello, viola, and bass lessons to students of all ages, and deeply enjoys the experience of teaching and playing all of these instruments.

An avid lover of classical, jazz, folk, and electronic musical styles, Reuben believes that music performance on any instrument should not be limited to a specific style or range of composers. He has arranged numerous pieces for his students from different sources, including an elementary string orchestral arrangement of Old Town Road by the hip-hop artist Lil Nas X. He works with his current students often to adapt songs for their instrument that they personally enjoy, making them part of the arrangement process. This helps every student develop a personal relationship with their instrument and with their own sound, showing them that they can and should take ownership of their musical experience and have agency to play anything that they set their mind to.

In college, he received his primary professional training from Dr. Susan Waterbury, and worked extensively with renowned teachers Calvin Wiersma, Kyle Armbrust, and David Quiggle. He has performed as concertmaster of the Ithaca College Symphony Orchestra on numerous occasions. He participated in a memorized and choreographed performance of Wagner's Siegfried Idyll at Alice Tully Hall in Lincoln Center, NYC with the Ithaca College Chamber Orchestra. He considers this to be one of the most formative experiences of his musical career. In addition to symphony work, he has experience performing chamber music, with performances at the British Embassy in Washington, DC, Ford Hall at Ithaca College, and other venues.

In addition to music, Reuben loves cooking, biking, and the great outdoors. He lives in northeast Washington, DC with his partner and two adorable cats.

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