她是，知名中提琴家Martha Strongin Katz。
但是當年的我其實不熟悉Martha的教學方式，只知道她是鼎鼎大名的Cleveland Quartet創團成員，還有就是我高中時的中提琴老師Donald McInnes對她十分的尊敬。他說當時他們都在南加州大學時，她是William Primrose最優秀的得意門生，常常和海飛茲同台演出。
Martha無時無刻都是親切大方的，每一堂課的第一句話總是how was your week? 放假中也會抽空打電話聊天。無私的關心著我們的學習還有生活，領著所有學生互相支持。
When I was accepted to Martha’s studio at the New England Conservatory, I was not particularly familiar with the school, but what I knew for sure was how fortunate I was. She is the founding member of the Cleveland Quartet and my former teacher told me repeatedly how much he admires her. He told me how Martha was William Primrose’s best pupil, how she performed with Heifetz, and how all the other students looked up to her. He also told me about her smile.
Three years ago, when I nervously walked into the green studio for my very first lesson, the first thing Martha asked me to do was to put the viola away. Stand still, breath and relax. “Feel the support from the earth”, she said it with all the warmth in this world. Now, whenever I perform I always remind myself to take the time to feel grounded and prepare calmly. It was with that worldly support, I learned to play every note freely.
Martha is always generous and kind. Every lesson began with How Was Your Week and she also called during holidays to see how we were doing. She selflessly cares for our studies as much as our lives, reminding us the importance of sharing and supporting one another. Martha truly is the embodiment of great artistry and human-being.
In our weekly studio classes, no matter how one’s performance went, everyone would applaud for as long as we could, because that was how Martha applauded for us too. Then she would kindly ask for our comments and after we all spoke our minds, her magic would appear - the magic of finding pearls in the midst of black notes.
We were all trained to be critical for the “betterment” of ourselves - we buried our heads in wrong notes, crooked bow changes, and those failed performances in the past. But, no matter how immature our music sounded, Martha was always able to find good qualities in our playings, even the qualities we overlooked because how small they were. She taught us to believe in ourselves and our potentials, be proud of who we are trying to become. My time with her was an adventure of self-exploration, I let go of flaws and insecurities on the way, and I learned to walk forward with more confidence.
Martha said playing the viola is a beautiful and natural act, just like walking. Every note and every phrase is a journey. Life as an artist is a lifelong journey after all, we need to enjoy it. Music lives within us, we simply sing it out through our violas. And Martha, she is the most wonderful song in my world.