Ruth Banwell


I believe that all people should have the opportunity to participate fully in the creation of music.  For me, violin, viola, cello and piano have been the most enjoyable instruments to play. I have over 35 years of teaching experience from teaching Suzuki Method from 3-year-old to adults, 18 years teaching string orchestra in the Janesville Public Schools and currently teaching in my Studio at Knapton Musik Knotes.  I design a very personal approach for each student based on their interests and abilities. I teach the Suzuki method for young 3-year-old to 8-year-old with parent involvement. 

Mrs. Banwell has a BME degree in music education from Augustana College in Rock Island Illinois with certification in Suzuki Talented Education from Stevens Point Wisconsin. She created the Janesville Suzuki Talent program in 1990 and continues to develop a program for her studio.  She has performed with the Rockford Symphony, Janesville Beloit Symphony, Turtle Creek Symphony and small quartets.

Zachary Peterson

Zachary Peterson, a Beloit-based violinist, has an extensive background in performance.    He is comfortable teaching violin, viola, and cello to all ability levels and ages, and he is happy to take on adult students as well as absolute beginners to very advanced students. He is also comfortable teaching people in fiddle and non-classical styles.

Zachary holds degrees from The University of Wisconsin Oshkosh (Bachelors 2006-2010), The University of Western Ontario (Masters 2010-2012) as well as Roosevelt University (Performance Certificate 2012-2014).  After completing his degrees Zachary went right into a two year membership with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, one of the countries leading training orchestras.

Zachary grew up in the Beloit / Janesville area where he studied with Lori Davis (Wier) and John Pickart, and later with Janet Chisholm in Madison. After graduating High School, Zachary went on to study with Klara Bahcall, Annette Barbara-Vogel, Jaime Weisenblum and Stefan Hersh.

While studying at the collegiate level, Zachary received various honors and opportunities. He was a featured soloist with both the Western Ontario and UW-Oshkosh Orchestras playing the Mozart Adagio and Rondo (Western) as well as Dvorak’s violin romance (Oshkosh). Other honors include being a UW-Oshkosh Honors Recitalist as well as passing his Master’s Degree final recital with a mark of Distinction, a mark given to exceptional student recitals the the University of Western Ontario. Zachary has also had the honor of working with as well as performing alongside some of the leading classical musicians of our time. During the end of his time at UW-Oshkosh, Zachary had a teaching studio at Mike’s Music in Fond du Lac, where he taught students aged 6 - 60.

While at Roosevelt, Zachary’s quartet was given the honor of playing the Mozart Viola Quintet with Julliard Professor of Viola Toby Appel. While at the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, Yo Yo Ma worked extensively with the Orchestra giving masterclasses, workshops and coaching, which during the Bach Brandenburg Concertos Marathon Concert in 2015, Mr. Ma sat in with the Brandenburg group Zachary was playing in. Also while in Civic, Zachary played under many influential conductors including Riccardo Mutti, Charles Dutoit and Sir Andrew Davis. At Roosevelt, Zachary performed in Masterclasses taught by concert violinists James Ehnes and Augustin Hadelich.

Outside of his training, Zachary has organized and performed in many solo recitals and concerts. He has a passion for finding and performing obscure and under-performed masterpieces and championing lesser known composers. In addition to classical performance, Zachary is an accomplished fiddler, which he hopes to showcase more in the coming years.