Teacher, author and guitarist, Sonia Michelson specializes in teaching music and classical guitar to young children, using a method she developed and refined over a four year period (New Dimensions in Classical Guitar for Children).
Born in California, she graduated from the University of California at Berkeley. She moved to Chicago in 1960 and began raising a large family of seven children while continuing to teach guitar.
Having found no methods for teaching children, she began developing her own method. Along the way she attended Suzuki workshops and studied Kodaly methodology with Livia Ayal, a student of Zoltan Kodaly in Hungary. She also studied classical guitar with composer-teacher Richard Pick, as well as Flamenco study with Julio de las Reyes and Bruce Becker. She gained great insight into piano pedagogy while studying with Edna Gurevitz.
Sonia Michelson established her own private studio in Chicago in 1969. The address, of the Michelson Classic Guitar Studio on Mozart Street was a happy coincidence.
During this time, she developed other musical interests including teaching adults. In 1970 Michelson inaugurated a class for blind young adults, translating the songs into Braille. In addition to this, she started a folk guitar class for young mothers and taught at a conservatory, The Music Arts School in Highland Park, Illinois.
She published her first book "Easy Classic Guitar Solos for Children" in 1976, followed by "Classic Guitar Study," a guide for teachers and parents
From 1975-1985, Sonia Michelson attended many guitar symposiums including the ASTA Guitar Symposium in Illinois and the Guitar Teachers Workshop in Minnesota giving papers and lecture-demonstrations on "Teaching Classical Guitar to Children." She also brought her trio of students to the Music Educators National Conference in Atlantic City.
In 1984, Sonia Michelson self-published "New Dimensions in Classical Guitar for Children," the method she had been successfully using with her students. "New Dimensions" is now published by Mel Bay Publications.
For 10 years she was also co-editor of "Independent Guitar Teachers Forum", a column in Soundboard (GFA.) In 1985, Sonia Michelson appeared with her student quartet at the Skokie Library. This performance was televised by cable TV in Skokie, Illinois.
She re-established the Michelson Classic Guitar Studio in Los Angeles after moving back to California in 1988. In 1991, Mel Bay Publications
In addition to teaching her "musical family" and writing, Sonia Michelson enjoys very much being with her children and grandchildren in Los Angeles and travels each year to New York and Israel to see the rest of her children (who live outside of California.) There she has the pleasure of giving music lessons to some of her grandchildren.
As Sonia Michelson said in a recent interview, "It's such a joy working with children and to see them develop musically. It is my great privilege to help children become more sensitive and discover the joy and pleasure in music and doing so, to enrich their lives".