Nominated a “Citizen Musician” by the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, Maggie Cerjan has established herself as a committed and passionate educator over the past decade. Currently the director of the Junior Strings Intensive at the Boston University Tanglewood Institute, Maggie is the founder and director of Stonybrook Strings.
Maggie has enjoyed a full and varied career as an educator-performer. After graduating with a Bachelor's in Violin Performance from Northwestern University, she joined the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, and became a faculty member at the YOURS Project, an orchestral program based on Venezuela’s El Sistema, that teaches students leadership, responsibility, and teamwork through music. Inspired and motivated by her violin students’ progress in one year from performing simple beginner songs to Beethoven’s Fifth Symphony, Maggie dedicated herself fully to teaching and began training with with some of the country’s leading pedagogues. She studied the Suzuki teaching method at the Chicago Suzuki Institute with trainer Ann Montzka Smelser, and at Ithaca College with Stevie Sandven and Ed Kreitman, and completed her Orff-Shulwerk Certification at George Mason University with Donna Fleetwood and Matt McCoy.
Maggie coached the Chicago Symphony Youth Orchestras and performed over 40 concerts a year at public schools and community centers as a teaching artist through the Chicago Symphony’s Institute for Learning Access and Training. As a founding member of the Chicago-based Élan String Quartet, Maggie was invited to perform at the Utah Symphony’s Emerging Quartets’ program, collaborated with the Chicago Symphony’s Institute and Chicago Young Authors to create beat poetry and classical music concerts with poets from Englewood High School, and performed the Schubert Cello Quintet with Yo-Yo Ma at the Chicago Symphony’s Citizen Musician Week.
Maggie moved to Boston to complete her Master of Music degree at Boston University. During this time, she served as a faculty member at The Chestnut Hill School, Dana Hall School, and Conservatory Charter Lab, in addition to maintaining a studio of talented private students and performing widely. Believing deeply that true musicianship is a holistic process that benefits from inspiration and collaboration, Maggie’s students have gained access to youth orchestra programs and summer festivals, created multi-subject performance art and digital music, explored the scientific principles of music, and incorporated mind-body practices into their playing.
In 2018, Maggie founded Stonybrook Strings to educate young musicians to perform beautifully, lead confidently, and build community through music.