Faculty

2017 Institute Faculty

 Violin

Fiddling

Viola

Cello

Orchestra

Eurythmics

Piano Accompanist

Little Bach Double on the faculty recital

Little Bach Double
on the faculty recital

Meet the Faculty




Kristy Baker (accompanist) has been an accompanist for the Atlanta Suzuki Institute for many years and is one of the accompanists for North Atlanta Talent Education. She is a certified middle school teacher and has been the musical director for Crabapple Middle School’s productions of “Wizard of Oz”, “A Night of the Arts”, “Seussical the Musical” and “Alice in Wonderland”. She is a self-taught musician. She is also a Suzuki mom to her daughter (violin) and son (cello).

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Joanna Binford (viola/violin) is currently the Coordinator of the Suzuki Program at the Academy of Music, based in Norfolk VA. She freelances in the Hampton Roads area and performs frequently with the Virginia Symphony. Awarded the Kentucky Chapter of the American String Teachers Association 2013 “Outstanding Service” award and District 7 KMEA “Outstanding College/University Music Teacher of the Year”, she is a sought after Suzuki institute and workshop clinician around the country. Ms. Binford is a member of the Suzuki Teachers Association of Hampton Roads. She prepared viola students to perform on the STAHR tour of Peru (June 2014). In addition to her Suzuki classes, Ms Binford also teaches a Fiddling in D class, coaches chamber music and offers an Improvisation Techniques Workshop, upon request. She is featured on several recordings, including the 2016 release of “Almost Home” by the Endless Road Strings, an ensemble specializing in alternative styles.

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Reagan Brasch (violin) graduated with a Bachelors of Music in violin performance and received her Masters in Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Denver. After teaching with Denver Talent Education for five years with James Maurer, she moved to Chicago to teach at the Music Institute of Chicago under the direction of Gilda Barston. Mrs. Brasch gives both private and group instruction in Suzuki. She also teaches early childhood musikgarten classes to toddlers and preschoolers as the part of the Music Institute’s SMART Start program. Her most recently published article was in the Suzuki Journal concerning teaching pretwinklers. Mrs. Brasch has taught extensively at Suzuki institutes and workshops around the country.

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Corina Brito (orchestra) has a B.A. in violin performance from St. Marcelina College in São Paulo, Brazil, and an M.A. in arts administration from the London City University in the UK. Ms. Brito has been teaching and performing for over twenty-five years. She has performed with trios, quartets, symphonies and string orchestras in Latin America, Europe and the United States.
Ms. Brito is the founder and conductor of the Forsyth Youth Orchestra, a community based orchestra for string students. Among their concert highlights is the world premiere of the string orchestra arrangement of “Solitude” by Malcolm Parson (cellist of the Turtle Island String Quartet), and their annual improvisation workshop with Dr. Martin Norgaard from GSU.
She is also the host of Classics & Beyond, an internet TV show from Best of Atlanta Concerts, providing coverage of some of the top classical, contemporary and world musicians and performances that take place in Atlanta.
Being always passionate about her Brazilian roots, Ms. Brito founded and is the president of the Brazilian Music Society, which goal is to showcase and educate others on the richness and diversity of Brazilian culture. She was also the cultural attaché for the Atlanta-Rio de Janeiro Sister Cities Committee and has been a member of committees for the Brazilian Consulate in Atlanta and for the mayor of Baltimore. She is a member of the American String Teachers Association, the National Association for Music Education, the Georgia Music Educators Association, the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the Suzuki Association of Georgia where she was the vice-president for the 2014-2016 term.

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Amanda Brown (accompanist) received her Bachelor of Music and Master of Music from the University of Georgia. An accomplished vocal coach and pianist, she currently teaches and accompanies at North Atlanta Talent Education in Roswell, Georgia. She is also a Suzuki mom to her sons, Graham and Ellis.

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Linda Case (Teacher Training) is a Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas. Teaching for 45 years, Linda has performed, taught workshops and teacher development courses throughout the United States, Canada, New Zealand, France and Italy. She maintains a private violin studio in Ithaca, NY. Linda retired last year after serving as concertmaster of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra in Ithaca, New York for 32 years. She was Professor of Violin at Ithaca College School of Music from 1983 to 1996 and also taught at Eastman School of Music, Cornell University and Mount Royal Conservatory in Alberta, Canada. Linda is a certified Kundalini Yoga instructor and a trained Brain Gym Instructor and Educational Consultant. Linda studied with Josef Gingold at Indiana University where she received her Bachelor of Music Performance degree and with William Starr at the University of Tennessee where she received her Master of Music Performance degree. Linda was introduced to the Suzuki Method in 1974 by Dr. William Starr and is most grateful to have received his Suzuki pedagogy training.

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Teri Einfeldt (violin teacher trainer) is the Chair of the Suzuki Department at The Hartt School Community Division of The University of Hartford, where she maintains a studio of 26 students from ages 4 to 18. In her role as adjunct professor at The Hartt School, she instructs Master of Music candidates in Suzuki pedagogy. For more than twenty years, Ms. Einfeldt has been shaping these components into a program which is now considered a national model for teaching the Suzuki method within a university setting. In an effort to provide year-round opportunities in the greater Hartford area, in 1988 Ms. Einfeldt founded the Hartt Suzuki Institute, a weeklong summer workshop for children as well as teachers.
Born and raised in Kingston, New York, Ms. Einfeldt began her study of violin at the age of 7 in the public schools. As a child and growing musician, she enjoyed playing chamber music and participating in orchestra. While at Ithaca College, she studied violin with Thomas Michalak, and began Suzuki training with Sanford Reuning, one of a small group of educators who pioneered the Suzuki method in the United States.
A Suzuki Association of the Americas registered teacher trainer, Ms. Einfeldt is a frequent clinician at weekend string workshops and summer Suzuki Institutes throughout the United States and Canada. She has participated and presented at several international conferences of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, at the Pan Pacific Suzuki Conference in Sydney, Australia, and at the Suzuki World Conference in Turin, Italy. She has also lectured before the Connecticut chapter of American String Teachers Association.
In addition to her busy teaching, training, and lecturing schedule, Ms. Einfeldt continues to be an active performer. A devoted chamber musician, she also plays frequently with the Hartford Symphony Orchestra. She is the former Assistant Concertmistress of both the Northeast Pennsylvania Philharmonic and the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra. Not surprisingly, Ms. Einfeldt has designed the Hartt Suzuki program to offer ample opportunities for students to participate in the orchestra and chamber music activities that she has always loved. She delights in beginning young quartets and developing them through high school.
Teri is a past chair of the SAA. She continues to be an active member in her roles as chair of the Teacher Development Committee and the Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) Committee.

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Christie Felsing (violin teacher trainer) received her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, studying violin with Vartan Manoogian and pedagogy with Marvin Rabin. After a year of graduate studies at Boston University, including long-term Suzuki teacher training, she pursued a nine-month Suzuki internship with Doris Preucil at the Preucil School of Music. This experience led her to complete a Master of Music degree in Suzuki pedagogy at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville with John Kendall. Christie is also a graduate of the National Guild of Community Schools of the Arts’ administrative training program, AMICI. From 1996-2014, she was on the violin faculty of the Preucil School of Music (Iowa), where she served as Assistant Director. During that time, she was presented the 2013 Leopold LaFosse Studio Teacher of the Year award by the Iowa String Teachers Association. Her service to the Suzuki Association of the Americas has included being a member of its Board of Directors (2004-2009), SAA Conference Coordinator (2010), Teacher Development Advisory Committee, and past SAA staff member. Christie is a registered SAA Violin Teacher Trainer, teaches in the Hartt Suzuki Program, and leads long-term Suzuki pedagogy courses at the University of Hartford.

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Chris Fiore (cello) began his cello studies when he was four years old with his parents, both of whom are established Suzuki Teachers. At the age of 12, Chris began double bass lessons with his father, and has continued to play bass as a secondary instrument. When he was 16, Chris attended the Hartt School of Music where he studied with Pamela Devenport, currently part of the faculty at the School for Strings in New York City. He transferred to the Cleveland Institute of Music to finish his Bachelor’s degree, where he studied with former principal cellist of the Cleveland Orchestra, Stephen Geber. After graduating from CIM, Chris was accepted into the Masters of Music program at DePaul University, where he received his Master’s Degree in Performance studying with Stephen Balderston, former member of the Chicago Symphony. Chris is also a fully registered Suzuki teacher, and has received training with world renowned Suzuki Pedagogue Tanya Carey. Chris currently performs and teaches in the Chicago area.

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Kirsten Marshall (violin), Director of the Orchestral Program and violin instructor, is on the faculty of Ithaca (NY) Talent Education (ITE), as well as Lecturer in violin performance at Ithaca College. Ms. Marshall received Bachelor and Master of Music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music (CIM) with majors in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy. Ms. Marshall also holds a Bachelor of Science degree in music education from Case Western Reserve University, with an emphasis in strings. Her conducting studies were with David Einfeldt (Hartt School of Music, Connecticut), Carl Topilow and Louis Lane (CIM). She is a member of Pi Kappa Lambda, the National Music Honor Society.
Ms. Marshall has conducted the 2014, 2012 and 1998 Suzuki Youth Orchestra of the Americas at the biennial Suzuki Association Conferences, as well as conducting the faculty orchestras for the youth piano soloist in both the 2008 and 2010 conferences. She has also been a featured conductor at Suzuki institutes and All-State festivals across the United States. An avid supporter of contemporary music, Ms. Marshall co-commissioned and premiered a new sonata for violin and piano by Robert Paterson. Additionally, she composes and arranges for string orchestras. She also conducted and produced two premiere string orchestra pieces on a CD released by ITE (Bach to the Future).
Ms. Marshall is an active violinist in the Ithaca area and is a member (David and Lesli Sagan chair) of the Cayuga Chamber Orchestra, Ithaca’s professional ensemble. She is frequently sought after as a string clinician at Suzuki institutes and workshops across the United States. Her high-energy style blends humor and passion, engaging players at the highest level for riveting performances.

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Kimberly Meier-Sims (violin teacher trainer), Director of the Sato Center of Suzuki Studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music became one of the youngest registered Suzuki Teacher Trainers in the country in 1988. As a faculty member of the Cleveland Institute of Music, she oversees the Master of Music in performance and Suzuki Pedagogy degree program, conducting long-term teacher training & practicum courses. From 1996-2004, Ms. Meier-Sims was a full-time faculty member at the University of Memphis where she conducted long-term teacher training, was the Coordinator for the University of Memphis Suzuki String Program and Director of the University of Memphis Suzuki String Summer Institute. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in education and performance from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville, where she studied with John Kendall, the first American Suzuki pioneer. At Western Illinois University she received her Master’s degree in performance, studying violin and pedagogy with Almita Vamos. The summer of 1986, Ms. Meier-Sims traveled to Japan for a six-week study with Dr. Suzuki. From 1984-1996 Ms. Meier-Sims was a violin instructor at the Preucil School of Music in Iowa City, where she also served as Suzuki Teacher Trainer, Faculty Program Assistant and Chamber Music Coordinator. She has published articles in the *American Suzuki Journal* and the *Tennessee Musician*. An active performer, Ms. Meier-Sims has played with the Memphis Symphony and has held the positions of associate principal second violin and first violin in the Cedar Rapids Symphony Orchestra. In 2001 she was recognized as one of Tennessee’s outstanding educators by the Tennessee Governor’s School of the Arts. She was the Violin Coordinator for the 2002 10th SAA National Conference in Minneapolis. In April 1999, she attended The Thirteenth World Suzuki Method Convention in Japan. Ms. Meier-Sims has taught Suzuki workshops in Cork, Ireland and throughout the U.S. She has taught summer institutes at Atlanta (GA), Chicago (IL), Columbus (OH), Denver (CO), Hartford (CT), Fairbanks (AK), Fort Worth (TX), Ithaca (NY), Louisville (KY), Memphis (TN), Spartanburg (SC), Stanford (CA), and Stevens Point (WI).

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Crystal Plohman (violin/fiddle) is no stranger to the wide world of fiddling styles or to the Suzuki Method. Raised in the Suzuki program as one of the first students of the late Alison Rhyles and the Brandon University Suzuki program, Crystal went on to follow in her father’s footsteps as champion Canadian fiddler. She is the only person to place as a top finalist (top 4) in both the Canadian and American Grand Masters Championships, as well as the Canadian Open Fiddling Championships. After successfully competing for 15 years across Canada and the US, Crystal moved to Nashville, Tennessee in 1994 after an invitation from Mark O’Connor to be his assistant in his fiddle program at Vanderbilt University. Crystal later went on to serve as Director of the Fiddling program and created the International Fiddle School. She has worked with Chet Atkins and other country greats and performed in several countries including Ireland, Japan, and China. Crystal is most widely known for her work with children and teachers in her clinic program, “Connecting the Strings” which has been presented at hundreds of schools and educator conferences across the country. She has served as the fiddle instructor at many weekend workshops and summer Suzuki institutes including Chicago, Atlanta, Memphis, Baltimore and Colorado.

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Aron Rider (Cello) received her M.M. in Cello Performance from Louisiana State University where she studied principally with Dennis Parker and B.M. in Cello Performance from Indiana University where she studied with principally with Tsuyoshi Tsutsumi, and secondarily with Janos Starker, Helga Winold and Ede Banda. As a student, her notable masterclass performances include: Yo-Yo Ma, Lynn Harrell and Norman Fischer. She is completely registered as a Suzuki teacher in cello, having completed her training with Alice Vierra, Jean Dexter, Gilda Barsten, Carey Cheney, Beth Cantrell, and Pamela Devenport. Aron also learns from every single cello teacher and student she gets the honor of observing and working with! Aron is Chair of the Strings Department and an Associate Faculty Member at Levine School of Music in Washington DC, teaching Suzuki Cello both privately and as group class instructor. This year Aron was a guest cello clinician for the Music School of Delaware Suzuki Day in March, as well as preparing her own program’s cellists for the Levine Spring Workshop weekend. Aron also performs throughout the DC Metro area, particularly as a theatre musician, and has two teenage boys, who taught her how to be a Suzuki parent as well as instructor!

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Laura Simna (Eurhythmics/violin) holds an M.M. in Violin Performance from The Ohio State University, an M.A. in String Pedagogy from The Ohio State University, and a B.A. in Music from Case Western Reserve University with studies at the Cleveland Institute of Music. She received her Suzuki training from Ronda Cole, Martha Shackford, and Tom Wermuth. Laura has also taken extensive Dalcroze Eurhythmics training at the Cleveland Institute of Music and at Carnegie Mellon University. She is the concertmaster of the Lakeland Civic Orchestra and performs with many ensembles in a wide range of styles, including classical, rock, jazz, and bluegrass. Her students of all ages have received numerous scholarships, awards, and top rankings in musical competitions and events. Former students have gone on to degree studies in music performance, music therapy, and music education.
Laura currently teaches at the Baldwin Wallace University Suzuki Center, and also runs her own studio, North Olmsted Talent Education. She serves as an Education Consultant for the Cleveland Orchestra, teaching and lecturing in their Education Outreach programs and workshops. Laura has written and implemented successful music-based curricula for schools and education programs, including music and movement, music and literacy, and music and math courses.

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