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  • karinegaribova

Celebrating the End of the School Year!

Updated: May 7

This year went by so fast! Whew, it was so busy… When will I figure out how to slow down?

The kids grew up very fast too, almost as if I, along with making them practice, pushed them to get taller, bigger, more mature (or maybe not?), going for the next shoe, clothes, and violin sizes. Check out sweet Aubrey shopping for the next violin size, isn’t she delightful? She also has an expensive taste, she wants a red violin, kinda like mine.

Even the youngest member of the studio, Gracie, is going for the next violin size. And sometimes she even smiles in lessons, the serious little thing. Grace is the oldest child in the family with a darling baby brother welcomed to the family in December. Gracie’s Mom Hannah took notes during lessons. I don’t even notice I talk like this, but it is sure fun to read: "Pull your wrist to your nose, otherwise who will notice your nose?" or, "A cute girl like you doesn't play like she has a hatchet in her hand." 

Gracie is seen here with her new dog, names Karine, I am honored by the trust. :-)

And I can’t resist sharing the video of Ana playing the Variations by Komarovsky. Ana drew a whole story with a prince and princess, a sister who doesn’t want to wake up early, a bear, and much more. Watch out for this one, she is a fountain of talents, and she is simply lovely!

I wish I had the space to praise each and every one of my students, they are all deserving every drop of attention and support! But my focus today will be on my graduates, as I am full of joy (and a bit of sadness) sending them off.  What a brilliant bunch! Check them out!


Christian Baeck, the one and only trombonist in the studio (no, I only taught him violin), joined the studio in 2022. He begged to start playing violin, as I was naturally skeptical about taking a sixteen-years-young beginner. Christian persevered and is making significant progress, he is now working on Meditation by Massenet. Wow! Bravo!

Christian is going to the Lamont School of Music at Denver University to pursue degree in Trombone Performance and jazz studies. He plans to continue playing violin. Besides everything with music, Christian enjoys paining and hiking in his very little free time.

Isabel “Izzy” Gring has been in the studio for nine years. Izzy, still petite, was a cute little thing who loved to giggle. She didn’t want to grow up but to remain a kid, just so the fun never ends. Isabel grew up to be the most responsible, professional, punctual, respectful adult, and a pure joy to work with and be around. The dearest for me fact is that Isabel purchased the violin I used to play in high school back in Russia in the 1980s. Izzy is dreaming of playing in a professional string quartet, I am guessing it is all that violin’s fault? Agh, that precious bug of chamber music! Once you get it, it is not getting out of your system. “I would like to be a part of, and possibly manage, a professional quartet someday (despite how stressful that can be) because I like the teamwork and connection possible in the small ensemble and the music that exists for string quartets”. 

Izzy is graduating from Colorado Early Colleges and will be attending the University of Wyoming in the fall double majoring in Music Performance and Engineering. Besides music, her favorite subject is math. Math and Music are actually not that far off from each other, one would be surprised.

Erin Mijares also has been studying with me for nine years. Little Erin was always ready for a hug and smile, igniting the room, concert hall, and entire universe. Her music books looked like Picasso paintings, highlighted beyond recognition. Erin was excelling amazingly fast. And her tone! Simply contagious! People are very jelous for this sort of tone, deep, strong, with all shades of palette! And one can’t teach it, it is inborn. Erin is a savvy player, and now it is hard to believe that she came very close to quitting violin as teenager. Erin and Maya’s mom Jodi made trips from Divide for years, in any weather. Bravo, Jodi! Your girls rock! Thanks for all of your support and sacrifices. Erin is a third Mijares family "project" of mine. Her sweet sister Maya and brilliant cousin Toby were sweating on the studio floor a few years before Erin. What a musical family! All of these kids are playing on instruments built by our own Colorado Springs luthier Juan Mijares, simply Uncle Johnny to Erin.

Erin is graduating from Woodland Park High School and will be attending Oregon State University in the fall studying speech pathology. “I love animals, and also hiking and being outside”. Yep, Erin is a true Coloradan, bare feet in the snow kind of person.

Lydia McConkie has been in the studio since she was nine. This kid always had an opinion and mind of her own. Oh, these streaks of tears on the top of her half size violin! I wish I took that picture at the time! Just so her mom doesn’t hear and critique her (I actually call it “helping at home”), she would get up and practice in a basement before school, in a very tender age, on her own, her way.

Lydia didn’t just “make it”, she persevered at the most amazing level through a very difficult life patch. Oh, boy, she is such a strong spirit! Lydia is a prize winner of the 2022 Colorado Music Teacher’s National Association Competition, 2023 Colorado Springs Youth Symphony Concerto Competition, and 2023 & 2024 Chamber Orchestra of the Springs Young Artist Competitions. This school year a concertmistress of the Colorado Springs Youth Symphony, Lydia is graduating from Liberty High School, and will be pursuing a violin performance degree at the Eastman School of Music this fall, for which she received a full ride scholarship. We didn’t know it was possible, really! Wow! Brava!

“I feel incredibly grateful for the memories and experiences I have from this studio and know that Karine was my teacher for a special reason. Outside of music, I will continue to enjoy doing yoga, playing tennis, and baking.” 


Save the date to hear Lydia play!


Lydia McConkie’s Senior Recital

Saturday, May 18, 12:30 PM

The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints

5485 Hopalong Trail, Colorado Springs, CO 80922

Performing works of Dvorak, Bach and Sibelius

Refreshments will be provided


Lydia is a featured soloist with the Chamber Orchestra of the Springs

Saturday, June 1, 3:00 PM

Broadmoor Community Church

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