Mary received a BA in music from Grinnell College and an MA in violin performance from Western Illinois University. She completed long term Suzuki teacher training at WIU with Lois Shepherd and Moshe Neumann. Growing up a Suzuki student herself in Macomb, Illinois, she started violin at the age of four with Doris Preucil and later studied with Almita Vamos. Mary joined the PSM faculty in 1995.