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Professor Profile: Violinist Manami White

By John Reese
On January 17, 2012

The Xavier Newswire Manami White is a violin/viola professor at Xavier who is also a world-class musician. She plays in local symphonies and chamber music

orchestras. She has traveled around the world playing in countries such as England and Japan. In addition, she has been taught by famous violinists and has won several


  • Xavier Newswire: Tell us about your musical background.
  • Manami White: I started playing when I was about three and a half and I studied the Suzuki method. And then I went to CCM (University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music) and got my undergrad. I studied with Dorothy DeLay there.
  • XN: Is she a famous musician too?
  • MW: Yes, she was a famous teacher. She taught people like Itzhak Perlman and others. So, she was a great teacher.
  • XN: So you always wanted to be a musician?
  • MW: Pretty much.
  • XN: What kind of music do you currently play?
  • MW: I play a lot of different kinds. It's mostly classical. I play with symphony orchestras, Chamber orchestras, Chamber music and smaller groups. In one of the orchestras I'm in, we have a ragtime band. So we do a lot of ragtime music. I also play in a boogie band, which is part of the Kentucky Symphony Orchestra. So, I pretty much do everything.
  • XN: What classes do you teach at Xavier?
  • MW: I teach private violin lessons and private viola lessons. And I also coach Chamber music.
  • XN: What is Chamber music?
  • MW: It's like smaller groups of people, like a string quartet for example.
  • XN: Do you enjoy teaching at Xavier?
  • MW: I do. I love it here. They're wonderful students. They're really great people because they're bright, inquisitive and talented.
  • XN: How long have you been teaching at Xavier?
  • MW: Around four years.
  • XN: What's your favorite thing to teach?
  • MW: I really enjoy coaching Chamber music.
  • XN: Do you have any advice for aspiring musicians?
  • MW: Practice hard [laughs].
  • XN: For example, what advice would you give a younger student?
  • MW: Definitely practicing is key. If it's really something you love you should follow your heart and do it.
  • XN: How many hours a day do you recommend practicing?
  • MW: Well it depends on what instrument you play. As a violinist, you know, when I was younger I went to the Aspen Music Festival. We were required to practice four hours a day there. When I was growing up I practiced between three to four hours a day. When I was in college, four to six hours a day.
  • XN: Was playing the violin hard for you at first?
  • MW: I think strings are one of the most difficult instruments to learn, especially in the beginning.
  • XN: Why is that?
  • MW: Playing the violin, and especially the upper strings on violas, require you to be in a very unnatural position. It's unlike anything else you've done with your body.
  • XN: What are some of your hobbies?
  • MW: I love to hike. I love to cook. I'm pretty crafty. I run a handmade card business, like greeting cards, with a friend of mine.
  • XN: Who are your favorite artists in classical music?
  • MW: Probably Bach. J.S. Bach [Johann Sebastian Bach] is my favorite composer. I listen to a lot of Baroque music. I love Baroque music.
  • XN: Outside of classical, what is your favorite type of music?
  • MW: You know, I'm really collective. I like everything.
  • XN: Who are some of your favorite players that you looked up to when you were younger?
  • MW: When I was younger it was David Oistrakh and Ginette Neveu.
  • XN: What other musical activities are you involved in?
  • MW: I'm also involved with the Kentucky, Cincinnati and Columbus Symphony Orchestras. Basically I stay busy, but I love it.

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