Mr. John Marttila
5th-8th Grade Orchestras
Like most of his students, Mr. Marttila started playing violin in the 5th grade. He started in the Okemos Public Schools' 5th Grade Strings program and his love for playing violin led his parents to sign him up for lessons with the Okemos Suzuki Program. Mr. Marttila was very active with his school orchestras, and was fortunate to have many opportunities to participate in summer music camps and other extra-curricular music activities. One of Mr. Marttila's most memorable High School experiences was traveling to Caracas, Venezuela with the Okemos High School Orchestra where he was awestruck by a performance of Tchaikovsky's 1812 Overture performed exceptionally well by a Venezuelan Symphony.
Mr. Marttila earned his BA in music education from Michigan State University where he studied violin with I-Fu Wang, Walter Verdehr and Sharon Leventhal. Teaching became a great college job as Mr. Marttila taught private and group lessons for the MSU Community Music School and substitute taught for many of the area schools. While at MSU, Mr. Marttila served as president of the student chapter of the American String Teachers Association and he was chapter president of the professional music fraternity, Phi Mu Alpha. He also worked summers as a cabin counselor and lifeguard at Interlochen Arts Camp and a Suzuki Camp counselor for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp.
Before coming to Davison, Mr. Marttila worked as the 5th-12th grade orchestra director for Waverly Community Schools and Portage Public Schools. He spent many summers working as an orchestra director for Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp and is the former Chamber Music Director for Michigan's American String Teachers Association summer camp.
Mr. Marttila loves teaching young people the joy of playing stringed instruments but, fundamentally, he views music education as an enjoyable conduit through which children may learn discipline, problem solving skills, perseverance, and character development.