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STRATA (plural of STRATUM) : parts of a historical series representing a period or a stage of development​ 

FLUTISTRATA- This is my word for the many aspects that shape my life as a professional musician. 

Each day presents variety and discovery as I practice, teach, listen, study, and perform. 

Strata, or more broadly layers, relate to practice. Over time, practice unfolds into new skills, tools, and ways of learning. Seen in my pictures below, I am inspired by nature where layers and unfolding occur naturally.

red rocks 1
red rocks 2


Since the age of eight, Maria Schwartz has been captivated by the flute and orchestral music.
Maria is a professional flutist who performs, teaches, and collaborates throughout the Chicago area. As a trained Suzuki Flute teacher, Maria inspires many young flutists through private instruction. In addition to her private studio, she is a faculty member at North Park University and The Music Institute of Chicago. She holds the position of Second Flute with Northwest Indiana Symphony Orchestra and New Philharmonic. Maria has performed on flute and piccolo with the Elgin Symphony, South Bend Symphony, Chamber Opera Chicago, Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, Rockford Symphony, and Civic Orchestra of Chicago. She has previously served as faculty at DePaul's Community Music Division.
Maria began private lessons with Berta Frank at age eleven. She received her Bachelor's Degree in flute performance from the Crane School of Music at SUNY Potsdam, studying with Kenneth Andrews. While earning her Master's Degree and Professional Studies certificate at the Cleveland Institute of Music, she studied with Joshua Smith. Maria also studied extensively with Mary Kay Fink and has played for Emmanuel Pahud. Her Suzuki training began in 2014 at the Great Lakes Suzuki Institute in Hamilton, ON. 
Recently, Maria completed training in Mental Health First Aid. She has also participated in Racial Healing Circles and Cultural Awareness Teacher Training.


TEACHING PHILOSOPHY                             

My approach to flute playing is strongly rooted with the Suzuki Method. Rich resonant sound, strong technique, and innovative practice habits are my teaching pillars for students at all levels.
The opportunities I have to perform and continue my personal practice support my ability to remain a creative and flexible teacher. I describe my teaching style as constructive and encouraging. Due to my own inspirational learning experiences, I am very curious about how my students learn best. Each time I work with a student, I gain greater insight into their learning preferences and how I can specifically approach topics with them. 
Reflecting on the training and guidance I received from my teachers furthers my inspiration as a dedicated teaching artist, organized individual, and trusted colleague.


"Words cannot accurately express the impact that Ms. Schwartz has had on my daughter both personally and musically.  Maria is one of the most talented, gifted teachers I have ever had the pleasure of working with. She is not only a wonderful musician herself, but also a kind, caring, patient teacher who instills a love of learning and music into her students. We have certainly been blessed by Ms. Schwartz and her gentle spirit! She is a one in a million, masterful teacher!"

Sandy Holbach, St. Edward School

"My daughter has been taking weekly flute lessons with Maria for two and a half years, starting right from the beginning which for her was 4th grade band in our school district.  Maria is pure delight and brings joy every week to my daughter. She has a very unique and creative way of connecting with young learners. She makes learning fun and my daughter is so engaged while in her lessons and is inspired to practice throughout the week. Maria touches on all aspects of learning: technique, position, breathing, relaxing, stretching, theory, history, and more. She has a plethora of information to share every week! We are so very blessed to have connected with Maria and affectionately consider her my daughter's "secret weapon.""

Zoe's Mom & fellow flute player

"I am an adult in my 60s who wanted to return to flute-playing after being away from it for several decades. I had the good luck to meet Maria through a friend, and have taken lessons from her for the last several years. She has guided my development both as an instrumentalist, with good advice on tone production, breathing, posture, and rehearsal techniques. As a musician, she has helped me to understand what the music is trying to say and how best to express it; and always with patience and good humor. With Maria's help, I've progressed from barely being able to sound the instrument, to playing with fluency and confidence. If you're an adult who, like me, is thinking of getting back into music, I cannot recommend Maria highly enough."



Maria Schwartz is a founding member of ChiFlutes, the Chicago based flute quartet. ChiFlutes frequently records new compositions and arrangements along with great quartet repertoire.

Newly formed PandaCat Players began as a way to safely collaborate with colleagues amidst the months of this pandemic. 

She also performs as flutist with Tempest Winds, a woodwind ensemble. Tempest Winds presents educational concerts and began

The Yellow Book Project.

Listen to our YouTube videos and subscribe to hear more!





Did you know that ensembles may perform in more than one location?
Check out your local groups, invite your friends, and keep supporting the arts!

Blue Hummingbird


Sheet Music


Recent performances include:

South Bend Symphony Orchestra - Pops III, MasterWorks II, and Young People's Discovery Concerts

Elgin Symphony Orchestra - Classics VII, VI, and II 


Would you like more information about Maria Schwartz's availability, lesson locations & pricing, or performances?
Send an inquiry and I will respond!

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