Hailing from Baltimore, Maryland, Danielle Sinclair is a multidisciplinary violinist, violist, and teaching artist based in the Tri-State area.
As an orchestral musician, Danielle performs prolifically across the United States, including past performances with the Marrowstone Music Festival (Bellingham, WA), the Miami Music Festival (Miami, FL), and the National Orchestral Institute (Washington D.C.). Locally, Danielle has performed with the Bergen County, Central Jersey, Summit, and Ridgewood Symphonies. Currently, she is the Concertmaster in residence at the South Orange Symphony.
Her performances have received numerous accolades including the Best Solo Instrumental Performance award at the Walt Disney World Night of Stars Talent Competition, and a “Best Orchestral Performance” Grammy nomination for 2018 album Ruggles, Stucky & Harbison: Orchestral Works as a part of the 2017 National Orchestral Institute + Festival Orchestra.
An avid theatre-lover, Danielle regularly performs as Concertmaster for semi-professional and local theater companies including the Leonia Players Guild, the Villager’s Theatre, and the Opera Theater of Montclair. Most recently she joined Big League Productions' 2022 National Tours of South Pacific and An American in Paris.
A passionate advocate for music as a vehicle for social change, Danielle is on faculty at Paterson Music Project, an El Sistema inspired program based in the city of Paterson. Danielle also maintains a prolific private violin studio where she practices a collaborative, conversational teaching philosophy to “foster love through music.”
Danielle holds two Bachelor's degrees: a Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the Cali School of Music under the tutelage of Michael Ludwig, and a Bachelor of Arts in Gender, Sexuality, and Women’s Studies from Montclair State University.
Everyone is inherently musical.
From our first breaths on Earth, our heartbeats intrinsically connect us to music. Instruments are only extensions of the music we innately know.
As we are all linked through music, everyone has a fundamental right to accessible and inclusive musical experience. The Western European classical music tradition has long since excluded folks on the basis of gender, race, and class, and yet its study continues to dominate the modern landscape of musical learning and experience.
This should not be the case.
Western European classical music is not the pinnacle of music. It’s simply a genre. Those whose music and practice exist wholly outside the sphere of “classical” music are just as valuable to study and perform. This includes aural traditions, improvisation practices, and just about any music you’ve ever heard.
As musicians and as audience members, we must actively unlearn the toxic exclusivity of “classical” music. Our craft is not exclusive.
No one needs permission to play music, nor enjoy it.
My teaching style is guided by 4 Pillars:
We learn best in environments where we feel safe. In my classes, I cultivate a healing environment designed to create a welcoming and loving space for all, regardless of gender, sexual orientation, age, socioeconomic status, and race. I actively implement anti-racist curriculum, and attend Trauma-Informed Teaching and Social-Emotional Learning trainings often.
I recognize the privileges I have as an able-bodied, white, cisgender woman, and actively work to unlearn my implicit biases.
I intentionally create loving learning environments. To me, this love includes: patience; encouragement; validation; safety; kindness; compassionate understanding, and empathetic humanity.
Music is a dialogue, not a dictatorship. I encourage all students to explore their own musical ideas and develop musical reasoning, as I recognize there is no absolute “right” way to create music. Learning an instrument is a lifelong process. As I, too, am still a student of my craft, I conceptualize myself as a “musical mentor” rather than a teacher. As the world-renowned violinist Ida Haendel once told me, “Every musician you meet, regardless of their age or ability, can teach you something.” My lessons are a space of mutual learning.
Everyone is capable of musical excellence, and it’s never too late to begin pursuing it. In my studio, each student’s musical experience is tailored to best serve their needs at that moment. Through healthy and productive practice, my students become better musicians, performers, and humans.