Shuling Yang, Mother of Mengdie Hu
My son, Mengdie Hu, became a student of cello with Michael Linert at the age of 6. As parents who know little about music, we were impressed instantly by his enthusiasm at teaching. He worked out so many different ways to keep children’s interests in practicing those tedious exercises, such as bow holding, bow movement, and scales. Michael was always so patient and caring, dedicating his whole to involving young children in learning music. He paid much attention to details and perfected every recital for Mengdie. He showed great passion in music and passed it to the children who played with him. We were so sorry that we had to leave Bloomington and leave Michael after two years. Michael helped us to find another cello teacher in Lincoln, Nebraska. It is fortunate for those who would be his students.
"That day you taught made the music that much more real, like it was a physical thing and you could touch it and see it rather than just hear it, and it gave music a new perspective for me."
"I felt an inner connection to the music. It literally was like my heart was attached to the strings. He is a fantastic teacher."
"I feel like I have a lot to say thank you for when it comes to you. I remember, what seems like way back when, forever ago, when I was a little fifth grade/sixth grade student and you were in high school. Besides having older siblings that played, those private lessons with you are what really got me started in cello. I remember hearing you play and thinking it was the most amazingly beautiful thing ever. You taught me, and motivated me, and truly inspired me. It was from you that I first learned to move with the music. I know that you will continue to be a great teacher, and you will continue to inspire many. Thank you for teaching me, cello is one of the best decisions I've ever made!"
Students from the Lawrence Central High School Orchestras
"I like how you teach. It's very professional and helpful. We have a busy schedule so there's no time for me to get bored!"
"Mr. Linert is a very helpful and kind man - Probably one of my favorite teachers. He is helpful and kind-hearted. He is also very enthusiastic about the music."
"I love his charisma. He's very nice and understanding, but stern. I enjoy that he is always happy and energetic. It just puts a smile on my face. He never called anybody out if they were playing the wrong note. He would just go to that person and help them out."
"You are very patient and interactive with the class."
"Mr. Linert is awesome! I have enjoyed having him as a teacher!"
"I really liked how professional you are. I think I have learned a lot with you being here."
"He's great at breaking down parts that are hard to understand."
"I think his exercises of rhythm and his enthusiasm makes the class brighter as a whole. He's very animated. I believe that's one of his greatest strengths as well as connecting to the class through music."
"Some of your greatest strengths are your ability to explain things. You take pride in your work, and you don't let kids get too far off track."
"I think the way you teach is very effective. I felt like what you taught will stick with me while I'm playing."
"I think that your greatest strengths are how well you can keep us on task and focused. I think that sight-reading went a lot better than it used to, and I loved that we followed the same schedule every day. Having you as a teacher was fun!"
"He is very good at conducting, and in sectionals, I liked how we worked through it note by note."
"I think that you are good at bringing the emotion to the pieces that we play and have played."
"I enjoyed most of the things he did when teaching. He interacted with us and let us give input on a lot of things, and I like that a lot. Another thing that I believe he did well is conducting. He knew how to show us rhythms and how loud the piece should be. He was very organized with how he taught and also how he organized the classes' music."
"I suggest he continues with bow exercises because they are helpful. We as musicians need to be more aware of our bow than we are. Having the respect and cooperation from most of the students are part of his greatest strengths. I've enjoyed have a new perspective on music with Mr. Linert."
"I suggest to keep continuing what has been going on these past few weeks. I think everyone has learned a lot from this method of teaching. I've enjoyed how calm the atmosphere is when class is going on. There's not too much negativity, and it helps everyone play better."
"Mr. Linert should continue with almost everything he does. I really like his way of teaching. He is really strong at getting students to become more involved in the class. I really enjoyed how the class was never too serious. I think your effectiveness as a teacher is excellent."
"I think that you have great organization and move efficiently throughout the class period. We don't spend too much time on one thing, which is nice because no one will get bored. I have enjoyed the fact that you can have an open rehearsal and have room for others to give input."
"The organization was very good, and I liked how expressive he was in showing dynamics. He focused on the parts that we needed to work on without over-working it to where I could no longer play it."
"I would suggest that Mr. Linert continue doing all the exercises he is doing in class. His greatest strengths are teaching and conducting the sections in the music that someone might have trouble with. I enjoyed the way how everything goes smoothly during class."
"He stayed positive and organized. He was organized and had our agenda ready for us at the beginning of the class."
"Mr. Linert had a lot of energy which gave me energy, especially with the dynamic changes."
"You have very good teaching methods. Everything is well planned and thought out. You were a good conductor, and we spent a lot of time on detail making sure we had notes or rhythms correct which I found to be very effective."
"He is organized and tells us what is going to happen and when. I have just enjoyed having him as a teacher."
"I think that Mr. Linert's biggest strengths are not only teaching how to know the sheet music but also to know the concept of the type of note or sound. I also think he conducts well towards how the sound is at piano or forte."
"I stress that he keeps teaching the way he does, which is taking things slow when we really messed up, but then taking it faster to do a self examination of our selves. His greatest strengths are making sure we have the difficult parts down before we go onto a different section. I have enjoyed Mr. Linert's teaching and comprehension skills."
"I really like how he helps students and just overall how he teaches. He is very organized and he made the class more efficient in getting through lessons. I feel one of his greatest strengths would be the way he relates to the class. He's very friendly and easy to talk to, so students may be more comfortable in asking questions or asking for help."
"His greatest strength is his positive energy. I've enjoyed watching you conduct because of all the emotion you put into it. It makes me get into and feel the music."
"I suggest that Mr. Linert continues the body warm-up. We do it begrudgingly, but it actually really helps me. Also, continue the positive attitude. I've enjoyed watching you conduct because you get into it, and I can tell that you really care."
"He really kept on task and with a cool head and didn't go off on long-winded speeches. It was nice how we just played! He' was good at pointing out our mistakes quickly and conducting with a clear sense of time."
"I like how he goes though little sections of our pieces, and how we write a lot in our music that is helpful and understandable. I like his rules and how he explains what we are going to do for the day and how he takes the time to make a piece better. What I have enjoyed the most is him teaching us a different way, helping us understand, and he is nice."
"I like Mr. Linert's enthusiasm. He gives a fun feel to orchestra. He is patient and deserves a lot of credit for that, especially with our class. I like how occasionally he'll notice something someone is doing and will take the time to correct them, a note, posture, and more. I think he should continue to work with students individually (on occasion) about things such as intonation and bowing. It helped a lot for me."
"I think you should continue to do the warm-up exercises. I don't really like them, but I do feel that I'm more ready to play effectively when we do them. I feel that you're definitely a people person and your warm personality is awesome. It's great to be around anyone like that, especially a teacher. I say that because I don't really feel like I'm learning, though we are. Almost as if you're tricking me into learning."
"His biggest strength is the ability to organize and effectively teach with a laid back "chill" attitude. I enjoyed whenever he said, "YAAAYYY!!!" It honestly made my day. Mr. Linert also always had a bunch of cool ideas for performances. His creativity is something we all valued."
"I suggest that Mr. Linert continue interacting with students and keep the class in a fun and exciting atmosphere. I think that one of his greatest strengths lies in this capacity for all of his students to greatly enjoy his teaching style."
"He is very level-headed and professional. He's straight to business and we accomplish a lot as a class. I'm not saying he is super-serious and harsh - he knows how to have a laugh, but at the same time he keeps the class focused. You can tell he puts a lot of time and effort into the class. He always has an agenda, various things around the room are organized (music, instrument storage room, etc...), and he always comes to the rehearsal with new ideas or an exact idea of what he wants to accomplish for the orchestra. I have enjoyed the enthusiasm he brought to the orchestra. He made it fun to attack a new challenging piece. When we messed up he would say it's ok , just continue and don't worry. He is very reassuring and made us feel confident to play. He overall brought a good vibe to the orchestra."
"Mr. Linert has been a very open-minded teacher. He doesn't take just one interpretation of a piece and run with it. He teaches in many interpretations and even ideas from the students. His strengths are that he focuses on the piece as a whole but also everything within that whole, like intonation, articulation, etc. The thing that I have most enjoyed is seeing a happy face everyday when I enter the orchestra room. There is no tension in the air. Mr. Linert's patience and understanding has more for a nice and relaxed rehearsal every time. It is a rehearsal where we can get things done but also have a nice enjoyable time while doing it."
"Mr. Linert is very good at being organized and communicating, adapting, and collaborating with students."
"I liked how your voice was never raised. You were calm and the environment was more enjoyable. The structure to the class has helped a lot. I've enjoyed having a calm time in class, that even during high-stress moments, it was calm, fun, productive environment. We got to learn while having fun with it. I also like the fact that no matter where we are in a piece we fine tune as we go along."
"I would suggest that Mr. Linert continue to use his skills of interpretation to make music more personal. Mr. Linert's greatest strengths are those concerning conveying emotion in musical pieces. I have enjoyed Mr. Linert's ideas about the winter concert. There really made the show much more interesting."
"I enjoyed your attitude and how you pushed us to succeed, but you did it in a nice way."
"I really enjoyed how you maintained a strict, yet laid-back teaching style, which is really rare. Also, I really appreciated how you respected us as capable, talented students and in turn we respected you. The body warm-ups really helped me relax and prepare myself and the way we had a very structured, definite, daily routine made me feel more confident and less frazzled."
"I would say his greatest strength is definitely his balance between being a cool teaching while still being professional and respectable. I have really enjoyed his optimism throughout every rehearsal. Even if we didn't do well as an orchestra, we all knew that we could actually improve. The whole environment has been very motivational and exciting. Music is fun if we all work together."
"I think Mr. Linert's biggest strengths have to do with organization. This along with his constant ability to put the student first are my favorite attributes of his time here. I thought his creativeness during class and at our winter concert was inventive."
"I really appreciated his overall professionalism and having a professional mindset. I think his methods for dealing with talking actually worked really well - like that when he gets on the podium, people should prepare to go into rehearsal mode. I especially liked our tuning process. It helped us to really focus on our pitch. Also, the tuning plus the stretching made me very calm and made me feel ready to play. Overall, he is very organized, and I like having a set schedule or routine, and he is great at building teacher-student relationships with a mix of fun and professionalism."
"He is a fantastic conductor. He always is very passionate and happy when he conducts/teaches. His attitude gets me in a better mood."
"His greatest strengths are his clear conducting and openness to suggestions."
"His conducting and energy have to be his greatest strengths. As an energetic conductor, the orchestra feeds off of his energy. The class has improved so much because of his energy. The orchestra is able to play with the same enthusiasm as he shows when he conducts. Also, his professional style is awesome. He deals with all issues directly and very professionally."
"I really enjoy your whole approach to teaching. Your ability to stay positive everyday is amazing, and I really admire it. This semester, I learned a few new things which will be helpful. At first, I thought the warm-ups were a little juvenile and silly, but I think they do help a lot and I think you should continue with that. A lot of people in the orchestra respect you because you give everyone the respect they deserve. Rather than talking down to us and pointing out our flaws, you encourage us to improve our skills and compliment us when we do something correct. That's always the best thing a student can hear from a teacher, along with constructive criticism. I think everything you're doing is perfect and you should continue to do it."
"I would suggest he continues with his friendliness. He is like fun, but strict at the same time, and I think that's super cool because while we are having a fun time, we are also getting a lot of stuff done. I really enjoyed having Mr. Linert as a teacher because he's super cool and 'gets' our technology influenced brains and manages to incorporate that into class."
"I think your biggest success is your start-of-rehearsal routine. It helps give a feeling of order and purpose to the rest of the rehearsal. Telling the structure of the rehearsal beforehand helped me better know what to expect when I walk in."
"I have really liked the way he teaches the ensemble in terms of the music. He finds varied arrangements of the pieces we play and lets us listen to them in order to help us understand how to play the selection."
"I think he should continue relating things in different ways like compare things to how a singer does it or how a wind player would do it. Mr. Linert's greatest strengths are being approachable and having a relaxed environment."
"You should keep being your own creative mind. I respond well when I see other creative people because it brings out my creativity. Your greatest strength is that you listen and pay attention. I've just enjoyed working with you because you've helped me have a greater understanding."
"You are a good conductor and you have a nice temperament. I appreciate that you approach teaching us with a positive attitude, even when our class is unruly. I really enjoyed the music theory lessons we had every so often."
"Your greatest strength is by far conducting. It's very easy to follow. You have a nice, positive approach with students."
"I really do think that his greatest strength would have to be his conducting and how organized he is. I like how sharp and clear his conducting patterns are. I also like how he plans rehearsal. He's really thoughtful."
"Continue with the morning warm-up. It is a marvelous way of taking our attention immediately. You stay on task during rehearsal time, which makes this class more about the music than anything else. You don't allow us to get out of control, so instead of yelling at us, you can just teach. You spend time with each section to make sure that we make the most of our music."
"I enjoy the warm-up that is done each time during the beginning of class. This warm-up gets me more agile and focused, and in turn helps me play the piece with efficiency. His leadership skills are his greatest strengths which includes how he keeps the class focused, his ability to work with the class fairly and equally, and his speaking skills. I've enjoyed his ability to make class productive, yet interesting, which keeps me focused on what he says and does."
"Your greatest strengths are staying calm under pressure and not freaking out about little things. You're an awesome conductor, and it's really easy to follow you because you over-exaggerate your conducting, and that's cool. I've enjoyed your attitude the most. You are really laid back."
"Mr. Linert should continue his routine of tuning and warm-up because I noticed that we got a lot of things done and our instruments staying in tune for the whole period. Mr. Linert's greatest strengths are his communication with the class and his ability to accept that it takes more than just practice by oneself in order to understand the fluidity of a piece. I enjoyed the analogies and creative techniques Mr. Linert used to help us understand difficult parts of a piece."
"I think you should continue to demonstrate how to do things and keep on helping out the sections that need it. We all like how you're nice and friendly, but also very focused when it comes to teaching. I think your focus gets us all concentrated and not as distracted."
Professor of Music Education (Strings) and Director of the Fairview Project
Indiana University, IN
Mr. Tim Kopf
Orchestra Director and Private Teacher of String Pedagogy
Valparaiso Community Schools, IN
Mr. Soo Han
Department Chair and Director of Orchestras
Carmel Clay Schools, IN
Mr. Mihai Tetel
Professor of Cello and Program Director
The Hartt School and the ARIA International Summer Academy, CT
Dr. Brent Gault
Department Chair and Professor of Music Education
Indiana University, IN
Dr. Lissa May
Professor of Music Education and Director of Undergraduate Studies
Indiana University, IN
Mrs. Jennifer Fowler
Director of Orchestras
Lawrence Central High School, IN
Mr. Randy Greenwell
Department Chair and Director of Bands
Lawrence Central High School, IN
Ms. Elisabeth Ohly-Davis
Assistant Director of Orchestras
Carmel High School, IN
Ms. Margaret Hite
Assistant Director of Orchestras & Music Theory
Carmel High School - IN
Mr. Gary Wishmeyer
Supervisor of Music Education Student Teachers
Mr. John Love
President of Orchestra Parent’s Council and English Teacher
Carmel High School, IN
Mr. Trae Blanco
Young Winds Graduate Coordinator
Indiana University, IN
Ms. Laura Dallman
Associate Faculty in Music at Indiana University-Purdue University Forte Wayne and Adjunct Faculty in Music at Trine University
Forte Wayne, IN
Director of Choirs
Clay Middle School, IN
Dr. Nola Campbell
Director of Orchestras
Glastonbury High School, CT
Dr. Peter Miksza
Professor of Music Education
Indiana University, IN
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