In her teaching, Suzanne emphasizes healthy posture, and efficiency of movement, which she believes comes out of a balance of strength and relaxation. Her teaching style is greatly influenced by the Karen Tuttle approach, as well as a background in ballet as a young child. A passionate runner, she also finds inspiration for movement and posture through running and light strength training, believing that it is important for violists/violinists to be athletic, and to move their bodies in a way that is natural and healthy to balance the more twisted posture of playing.
Suzanne finds inspiration in the Feldenkrais Method, having found it to be very helpful in her own playing and physical maintenance. She finds that it not only frees her own playing, but also that it frees her thinking and her approach to students and their postural and technical challenges.
Five Seasons Chamber Music Festival—Artistic Director and faculty (2003-2017)
Performing Arts Institute at Wyoming Seminary—Viola Faculty (2012-2018)
Thurnhauer Chamber Music Camp at Kaplen JCC on the Palisades (2012)
Garth Newel Chamber Music Institute—Fellowship Program Coordinator (2004)
Cedar Rapids Symphony Quartet Program--Faculty (1997, 2000-2002)
"Every child can."
This mantra of the Suzuki method aptly describes my teaching style. Long before I did my Suzuki training, I embraced this idea. I treat each student as an individual, and think of each one as a human being first, not as "just a kid".
The biggest goal of my teaching is to get each student to think for themselves, and to see that the joy is in the process, not in instant gratification. Problem solving and exploration give me great pleasure, and because of this, I've always enjoyed practicing. I try to share this with my students, and help them pick apart the music and the physical work, and help them practice each part and then put it back together. I am very process oriented, and I encourage my students to be the same way. I've found that most of my students delight in my step-by-step work, and eventually learn to do it themselves.
I believe that all of my students are smart and creative. I love to see how each student thinks in a unique manner. Some are fast thinkers and movers, and some are more thorough and methodical. They all surprise me with their ideas and understanding of things, and for that I am grateful. They all keep me on my toes, and inspire me to continue coming up with new ways to approach them.
Major teachers include:
William Preucil,Sr. and Doris Preucil, Jeffrey Irvine, Lynne Ramsey, Roger Chase, Heidi Castleman, Misha Amory
Cedar Rapids Symphony School: Violin and viola instructor, chamber music instructor (2000-2001)
Coe College: Adjunct viola instructor (2000-2001, 2002-2003)