Lillie Manis serves as Assistant Director of the UO Community Music Institute and directs the UO’s violin and viola pedagogy program. In addition, she serves as teaching faculty and Director of the Northwest Suzuki Institute. She is also active as a violinist and violist in orchestral, chamber, and recital settings, alongside her fellow UO faculty and throughout the larger community.
Since joining the UO faculty in 2009, Manis has developed pedagogy courses that place a strong emphasis on regular and in-depth self and peer teaching evaluation and analysis through the use of video recording and review. Her pedagogical interests include teacher assessment, applying current classroom management techniques to the Suzuki group class setting, and relating educational theories of self-efficacy in young children to studio teaching work. She is currently pursuing her doctorate in music education in a program for collegiate educators at Teachers College, Columbia University.
Manis’s pedagogy students have won college-level teaching appointments and full-time positions at highly regarded community music schools; received grants and teaching assistantships to further their professional and educational development; and are regularly awarded scholarships through the Suzuki Association of the Americas. The UO Community Music Institute’s annual spring workshop provides Suzuki Association training and registration to students from the UO and across the country: guests have included Bob Duke, Susan Baer, and Beth Goldstein-McKee, among others.
Manis maintains a violin and viola studio of students ages four through college. Her private students have soloed with their local youth symphonies, won full scholarships to competitive summer music programs, and been selected for masterclasses with internationally recognized artists.
Active as a clinician, adjudicator, and conference presenter, Manis has pursued her commitment to music education through service on the Eugene Symphony’s Education Committee and ongoing advocacy for public school music programs in collaboration with local P-12 teachers. She helped to found the Eugene Suzuki Strings Association, and was elected to the Oregon Mozart Players Board of Directors in 2016.
Before returning to her home state of Oregon, Manis was a freelance performer and teacher on violin and viola in the Boston area. She received her MM and completed her long-term Suzuki teacher training with Teri Einfeldt at the Hartt School, where she was winner of the Miami String Quartet Competition, replacing the resident quartet's first violinist in a subscription-series concert, and received additional honors for her performance of chamber music. She particularly values her experience teaching in grant-funded programs in some of Hartford and Boston’s lowest-income, inner-city neighborhoods.
Manis’s major performance teachers were Fritz Gearhart, Katie Lansdale, and Leslie Straka; her Suzuki teaching has been strongly influenced by the additional mentorship of Shelley Rich, Karin Hallberg, and Dr. Susan Baer.