Ann Montzka Smelser began violin studies with her father, Art Montzka, at a very young age. She continued studies at the Oberlin, Ohio, Suzuki Program with Kazuko Numanami and later in Illinois with Rebecca Sandrok and Pierre Menard. In between receiving her Bachelor of Music degree in Music Education and Master of Music degree in Performance and Pedagogy at Northern Illinois University, Ann studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan.
Ann is a member of the music faculty at Northern Illinois University and guest lecturer at Wheaton College where she teaches Suzuki pedagogy and string methods to music majors. She has been concertmaster of the Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra since 2001 and principal second violinist of Camerata Chicago www.cameratachicago.com since 2003. Ann is a Registered Suzuki Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas www.suzukiassociation.org and director of the NIU Community School of the Arts Suzuki Strings Program www.suzuki.niu.edu.
She enjoys working with Suzuki families at Suzuki institutes and workshops throughout the United States and abroad, including Singapore, Peru, Mexico, and Coast Rica. Ann lives with her husband, Linc, and children, Genevieve and Benjamin, in DeKalb.