Susan received her B.M. in Violin Performance from the University of Michigan and M.M. in Violin Performance from Kent State University with a graduate assistantship. She has received short term Suzuki teacher training through Book 8 with several trainers including Kimberly Meier Sims, Ronda Cole, Christie Felsing and James Hutchins. Susan completed private studies of standard repertoire with John Kendall from 2002 – 2004 where she gave demonstrations for his teacher training classes. Other coursework Susan completed includes Every Child Can and Suzuki Principles in Action.
Performance and Teaching Experience
For many years Susan was an active orchestral musician performing as a member of the Fairfax Symphony, Roanoke Symphony and as a substitute for other groups.
Susan maintains a private studio in Prince William County and has organized and taught chamber music for students in that community.
In 2006, Susan premiered “Tango Variations” for solo violin and orchestra by Armando Bayolo with the Great Noise Ensemble in Washington, DC.
Susan joined the Levine faculty in 2005, and accepted the position of Chair of the Suzuki Strings Department in 2010. She maintains a studio and teaches group classes.
“I value the collegial environment at Levine where outstanding faculty can share ideas and support one another.”
Teaching Philosophy and Approach
“I help my students and parents meet the challenges of playing an instrument step by step with encouragement, good humor and creative practice. My job is to cultivate the student’s technical, musical and learning skills to a high level in a nurturing environment, to give them a strong foundation they can build on for the rest of their lives. I support their progress through the repertoire with additional age appropriate materials including scales, exercises and etudes.
The ultimate purpose of private lesson studies goes beyond playing the violin well. Learning to make music in a positive environment can help children grow into secure, compassionate and capable human beings. My philosophy is informed and governed by that of the Suzuki Method and perhaps best summed up in the statement ‘empathy is the first rule of teaching.’”