Melissa Knecht

Melissa Gerber Knecht

Professor of Music
“Beautiful music is the art of the prophets that can calm the agitations of the soul.”
— Martin Luther

Faculty Information

Additional Faculty Information for Melissa Gerber Knecht


B.M., University of Michigan

M.M., Indiana University

Ph.D., University of Michigan

Teaching Philosophy

Teaching music is an art and is a life-long passion of mine. The primary objective is establishing a foundation that aids in educating for a well-ordered life.

Communicating higher thoughts and emotions through performing music such as a Beethoven sonata become an extraordinary experience for both student performer and listener.

Plato affirmed this experience when he wrote, “Music is the movement of sound to reach the soul for the education of its virtue.”


Melissa Gerber Knecht is professor of violin and viola at Hillsdale College. She has performed as a member of various orchestras both in the United States and abroad including the Florida Orchestra; American Chamber Orchestra (Chicago); The Spoleto Festival of the Two Worlds in Italy and Charleston, South Carolina; Filharmonica de Caracas (Venezuela); and the Jacksonville Symphony (CETA artist grant).

While with the American Chamber Orchestra, Dr. Knecht performed in Alice Tully Hall in New York City, and during a six-week tour of the major cities of Europe, played a series of concerts including a performance at the Vevey-Montreux International Music Festival. A devoted chamber musician, she is a former member of the Lydian String Quartet (Ann Arbor, Michigan). Dr. Knecht has taught as part of the faculty at Interlochen Fine Arts Camp, University of Toledo, and Adrian College, and is presently director of the MASTA Solo Competition. A frequent clinician at the American String Teachers Association national conventions, she has published in American String Teachers, Journal and Music Education (UK) and has written a book: Developing Your Musical Mental Map.

Dr. Knecht graduated with a B.M. from the University of Michigan with high distinction, completed her M.M. from Indiana University, and her Ph.D. from the University of Michigan. She has studied with Paul Kantor, Angel Reyes, Mimi Zweig, Donald McInnes, and Yitzhak Schotten.