Julie Bickel

Violin and viola faculty (Suzuki); Director, MIC Virtuoso Strings
Program Area: 
Private Instruction
Suzuki Education
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

MM, Northern Illinois University
PC, Northern Illinois University
BA, University of Notre Dame
BS, University of Notre Dame

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Bickel studied with Betty Monahan, Almita and Roland Vamos, Rachel Barton Pine, Simin Ganatra, Mathias Tacke, Vermeer Quartet, and Brian Lewis. 

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

My teaching philosophies are based on the Suzuki Method and my Christian faith. Bickel embraces the teaching philosophies of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, positing that every child is born with an innate ability to learn when provided a nurturing environment and exposure to high quality models.  Bickel’s students focus on technique as a means of reaching their musical potential, but also grow in character development enabling them to become strong contributing members of society.  Her students focus on service to their community thru music and service related activities such as Feed My Starving Children, Together We Rise, and Lutheran World Relief.  Although her students achieve high levels of musical proficiency, her focus is on the student’s academic achievements with many pursuing careers other than music.

Awards and achievements: 

She has performed the Mendelssohn, Khachaturian, and Beethoven Concertos with orchestra and currently performs with the Butterfield String Quartet with colleagues, Anita Arch, Emily Puntuzs, and Dr. Tanya Carey. She has trained extensively since 1996 in Suzuki Pedagogy and has taught at various music institutes, including Sound Encounters in Ottawa, Kansas; Texas State University Suzuki Strings Institute in San Marcos, Texas; Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in Draper, Utah; DFW-WOW in Dallas, Texas; American Suzuki Institute in Stevens Point, Wisconsin; and the Chicago Suzuki Institute in Deerfield, Illinois.  She has taught String Pedagogy and continues to mentor interns at the Wheaton College Conservatory of Music.


Starling-DeLay Symposium on Violin Studies Participant, 2001-2021, Juilliard School of Music
Music Educator of the Year Award, 2013-14, Elgin Youth Symphony Orchestra

Professional affiliations & activities: 

Suzuki Association of the Americas


Bickel coordinated the Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas for the 11th and 12th SAA Conferences.  At the 13th and 16th SAA Conferences in 2008 and 2014, Vivaldi Strings was selected to perform for the International Ensembles Concerts. 

Interests outside of music: 

An avid quilter for Lutheran World Relief, Bickel enjoys spending time with husband Brian, daughters Lucy and Molly, and black lab Chloë.