Pioneering Female Violin and Viola Teachers

Presenter: Dijana Ihas



This presentation will focus on the pedagogies and legacies of two internationally-renowned violin pedagogues – Dorothy DeLay and Kató Havas – and two equally renowned women viola pedagogues – Karen Tuttle and Lillian Fuchs.

Although these women left a major mark on the development of string pedagogy, their work is still less known to wider audiences. For each of these four women pedagogues, I will explain their pedagogical approaches to teaching foundations, left-hand techniques, right-hand techniques, and musical expression/interpretation/practicing with the purpose of making their pedagogies relevant to participants.

I will then summarize their legacies and explain the significance of their work. Participants in the session will receive a handout with summaries of the pedagogical points of these four women so that they can immediately apply it to their own teaching, if desired.

Moreover, participants will gain new insights into the triumphs and challenges that accompany women in the world of string pedagogy and teaching.


Dr. Dijana Ihas is a Professor of Music Education and the Director of Orchestral Studies at Pacific University in Forest Grove, Oregon.

She teaches core music education courses along with string pedagogy, string methods/materials, and string techniques. Her primary instrument is the viola.

Dijana is a regular presenter on string pedagogy and string education topics at state, regional, national, and international conferences and is frequently invited guest conductor for school orchestra festivals around the Pacific Northwest and Canada.

Her publications appeared in the American String Teacher magazine, Journal of String Research, and Council for Undergraduate Research Quarterly, among others. Dr. Ihas holds a PhD in Music Education from the University of Oregon.

In 2018 she received Pacific University the Faculty Achievement Award for Extraordinary Achievement in Teaching, Scholarship, and Service and in 2021 she was a recipient of Oregon Music Educators Association Outstanding Music Educator award.

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