About Madison Conservatory

Madison Conservatory, a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, is dedicated to providing musicians with the highest level of training, and competitive career advising and development. Madison Conservatory is an inclusive place for students of all ages and backgrounds in which to hone their skills, and we offer merit-based financial assistance so that talented artists can receive top-notch instruction, regardless of family financial circumstances. We share the dream of creating art and inspiring life-long learning in a non-competitive and supportive environment. Our hope is that our students will use music to reach across social, economic, and ideological divides, and enrich their communities, all while embracing their own exceptional abilities.

The Conservatory provides the Madison community with access to world-class resources, such as courses in Keyboard Skills, Music Theory and History, Composition, Musicianship, and Pedagogy, as well as performance ensembles focusing on chamber and orchestral music, Improvisation, plus recitals and lectures, and guest masterclasses. Our teachers, guest artists and performers, and guest lecturers are International performers and professors at the college and university levels, and their diverse backgrounds position Madison Conservatory to provide our students with an unparalleled quality of music education.

Regardless of whether a student chooses to pursue a professional career in music, Madison Conservatory’s creative environment positions students for success in their fields of choice, and inspires them to pursue excellence in whichever discipline they are passionate about.


Shannon Farley has taught violin and viola privately since 2002, and holds a M.M. degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison where she studied violin with Professor Tyrone Greive. As an undergraduate, Shannon studied visual arts and violin performance at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities where she studied violin with Professor Mark Bjork and viola with Tom Turner. Prior to that, Shannon studied violin and viola at Interlochen Center for the Arts on a scholarship from the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras. In addition to teaching, Shannon plays with Fresco Opera, the La Crosse Symphony, the LunArt Music Festival, and The Underground Chamber Collective of Madison. Shannon is the artistic director of Farley’s Chamber Program as well as a board member for Bach Around The Clock.

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Founder & former Executive Director of Madison Music Makers, a non-profit offering free or reduced-cost lessons for families who are economically challenged. Greene has enjoyed a long career as a professional violinist, violist, and organist. In addition to her extensive experience as a private studio teacher of violin, viola, and piano for students from ages four through high school, she has many years of experience as a clinician, composer, and arranger for private studio, ensembles and orchestral string students. Since 1990, her work has been made available through One World Strings. She was also a piano editor/arranger for Hal Leonard Music Publishing.

Greene has studied Music Education and performance at the University of KY, UW-Madison, and Indiana University at Bloomington. Her work as a composer and teacher/clinician have taken her to settings in Austria, Italy, Maui, Haiti, Alaska, Buenos Aires, and Peru.

Greene considers her specialties to include string pedagogy, with an emphasis on the comfortable physical set-up for students from ages four through high school. Also included are remedial technical work and the use of motivating, eclectic repertoire at all levels.

Bonnie Greene is the recipient of the American String Teachers' Marvin Rabin Award, the WYSO Distinguished Artist Award, and was designated as a Fellow for the Purpose Prize, sponsored by Civic Ventures, for projects created for the community after the age of retirement.

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Melanie de Jesus, viola and violin, is a career teaching artist. After graduating with high honors in performance from the Jacobs School of Music at Indiana University, she played with orchestras around the midwest before moving to Madison. In addition to maintaining a private studio, she has served the Wisconsin Youth Symphony Orchestras as viola section coach, chamber music coach, and workshop teacher since 2011. Ms deJesus’ private studio produces highly sought-after soloists, chamber, and orchestral musicians. She maintains relationships with faculty members and admissions directors at major conservatories, and frequently hosts guest masterclasses for her students. Ms. de Jesus’ comprehensive approach has prepared her private students to win concerto competitions, scholarships to major conservatories, and principal seats at prestigious festivals, as well as providing many principal players to WYSO orchestras and universities. She is an in-demand clinician, and has been invited to give masterclasses internationally, in addition to guest teaching at universities in the United States. Although her Madison studio has nurtured primarily competitive pre-college and collegiate musicians, Ms de Jesus initiated her work with beginning string players in the early 2000s while studying in the renowned String Academy pedagogy program at Indiana University. She is committed to excellence in foundational string teaching and pedagogy, and has taught, collaborated, and presented with the Madison Music Makers and the String Academy of Wisconsin.

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Polish cellist Magdalena Sas performs internationally as a solo, orchestral, and especially a chamber musician. A graduate of the Royal Music Conservatory in Brussels, Belgium and Academy of Music in Cracow, Poland, she also completed a postgraduate course in string quartet performance at the University of Music and Performing Arts Vienna and was a member of the renown European Chamber Music Academy in Austria. Magdalena was invited to perform at multiple international chamber music festivals including: Consonances Chamber Music Festival in France, Mozartiade in Germany, Ad-Libitum in Poland, Norfolk Chamber Music Festival in USA, and Paschim Rang in India to name a few. She had a privilege to share the stage with Ivry Gitlis, Gary Hoffman, Philippe Graffin, Marie- Luise Neunecker and many other acclaimed musicians and appeared in renown concert halls such as Musikverein and Konzerthaus in Vienna, BOZAR in Brussels, Witold Lutoslawski Studio in Warsaw, NCPA in Mumbai. As an orchestral musician, Magdalena had the opportunity to collaborate with ensembles such as the Australian World Orchestra, the Israeli Philharmonic Orchestra, and was a guest member of the Sinfonietta Cracovia, the Beethoven Academy Orchestra in Poland, YES Camerata and Hulencourt Soloists in Belgium, and SFK Orchester in Austria. While working in India, she collaborated with world-famous Indian musicians: Zakir Hussain, Rakesh Chaurasia and Sabir Khan, and appeared as a soloist at the opening concert of the Royal Opera House in Mumbai. Passionate for teaching, Magdalena is a faculty at the Emporia State University String Camp in Kansas and Community Music Lessons Program at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and was a teaching fellow at the International Cello Institute in Northfield, Minnesota. In 2015-17 she was in charge of the cello program at the Mehli Mehta Music Foundation and volunteered as teaching artist at the Happy Home and School for the Blind in Mumbai, India. In 2019, she participated in the MusAID Teaching Artist Summer Lab conducting individual and group classes as a teacher for EL SISTEMA in San Salvador.

A Fulbright alumna, Magdalena is a recipient of the Paul Collins Wisconsin Distinguished Fellowship (USA), and is currently a doctoral student in the Mead Witter School of Music at the UW Madison, under the tutelage of professor Uri Vardi. In 2019/2020, she will represent Poland as a member of the international Global Leaders Program.

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