Dr. Aaron Jacobs has enjoyed a multifaceted career as a teacher, performing artist, ensemble director, and clinician. For twenty-two years, he has taught at universities, academies, music schools, and summer institutes throughout Ohio, Maine, Wisconsin, and Illinois. At the collegiate level, he taught applied violin, string pedagogy, and string methods courses as a faculty member at Millikin University and Illinois State University, and as a graduate assistant at Northwestern University, the University of Wisconsin–Milwaukee, and the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. For ten years, Aaron worked at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he collaborated to establish the Pre-College Chamber Music Program in 2011 and personally founded the Illinois String Academy in 2015, serving as Lead Instructor and Senior Coordinator for both programs until 2021. Also in 2015, he created a violin program for Danville School District 118, which offered violin instruction to nearly 200 first- and second-grade students at two elementary schools in Danville, Illinois. In addition to teaching privately from home, Aaron currently serves as a Clinical Assistant Professor at Illinois State University and as an Instrumental Music Teacher for Champaign Unit 4 Schools. His students consistently win top honors and performance awards each year, including solo concerto performances with orchestras as well as admission and scholarship offers to prestigious collegiate music institutions.
As an active chamber and solo recitalist, Aaron has performed throughout the United States and Europe. Collaborations with his wife and duo partner—pianist Tatiana Shustova—have been particularly rewarding. Since 2005, performances have taken the Jacobs-Shustova Duo to Italy, Russia, and throughout the United States, and they have earned awards at two international competitions. Other notable chamber music collaborations have included the Sariana Trio, Chambana Arts Trio, Illinois Arts Trio, and close work with composers Stacy Garrop, Missy Mazzoli, and Bright Sheng in the performance of their works. Aaron’s extensive work as a professional orchestral musician has included numerous appointments as concertmaster, principal second violin, or principal viola. Additionally, he has been a featured soloist with chamber orchestras at Bowling Green State University and the University of Illinois, as well as the Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra (IL) and Illinois State University Symphony Orchestra.
As a clinician, Aaron has served as a Co-Director and faculty member of the Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Workshop for professional musicians and teachers since 2017. In this role, he has become a resource to string teachers throughout the United States and on six continents. He has presented research and clinical sessions at the American String Teachers Association National Conference, Midwest International Band and Orchestra Clinic, and Illinois Music Education Conference, and has been invited to lead master classes and clinics at numerous collegiate institutions in Illinois, Indiana, and Ohio. He is a certified Mentor for string teachers enrolled in the certification program of the Paul Rolland String Pedagogy Society, for which he is also a member of the Board of Directors.
Aaron holds a Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and an Artist’s Certificate in Violin Performance from Bowling Green State University in Ohio, a Master of Music degree in Violin Performance and String Pedagogy from Northwestern University, and a Doctor of Musical Arts degree in Violin Performance and Literature from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign.