Dr. Susan Baer is a freelance violinist and violin teacher. She currently divides her time between Lubbock, TX, and Whidbey Island, WA. In her four decades of experience with the Suzuki method, Susan has run a thriving private studio, co-founded a Suzuki school, organized workshops, taught in a long-term training program, and served on the board of directors of her local foundation. Susan is in high demand as a Suzuki clinician and registered SAA violin teacher trainer. She has served as area coordinator for six SAA conferences, has been published in the SAA journal, and is currently serving on the SAA board of directors. Dr. Baer holds a bachelor of music education degree, a master of music degree in violin performance, and a PhD in fine arts.
Donna Davis began her musical journey as a cellist at Carnegie-Mellon University and later received a degree in cello performance from the Hartt School at the University of Hartford. She began conducting soon after, leading string ensembles for Young Artist’s Philharmonic in Connecticut, the Erie Youth Orchestra in Erie, PA. and Youth Orchestras of San Antonio. Currently, she is the co-director of the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute in Texas, teaches at the Suzuki Institute of Dallas and is a conductor for Cross Timbers Youth Orchestra. She has taught in Suzuki cello programs at the Bethwood Suzuki School and Mercyhurst College. She has developed Kodomo Music, a music program for children aged 18 months to 4 years. Donna has been teaching the Suzuki method for over 20 years. After taking her first Suzuki workshop while still an undergraduate, she began her teaching career in Connecticut working with Diana Tillson, one of the pioneers of the Suzuki method in America. Donna lives in Plano, Texas with her cello playing husband and son.
Marilyn Kesler has recently retired after forty-two years as a teacher in the Okemos, Michigan Public Schools teaching 7th and 8th Grade strings and three high school orchestras. She is continues to be the director of the Community Education Suzuki program where she teaches Suzuki cello lessons.
Ms. Kesler began her teaching career as a general music teacher in Alton, Illinois; while there, she earned a Masters Degree in Music Education at Southern Illinois University where she specialized in the adaptation of the Suzuki Violin Method for the cello with then professor, John Kendall. Her undergraduate degree in Music Education was from Indiana University where she studied cello with Janos Starker and Leopold Terraspulsky.
She is presently on the Suzuki Association of the Americas Board of Directors. Past offices in clued President of Michigan Chapter of the American String Teachers Association, Secretary of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Chairman of the SAA Cello Committee, Public School Committee, and Michigan School Band and Orchestra Association vice-President of Orchestra Activities. In 1990, she was the first recipient of the ASTA National School Educator Award which is presented to the outstanding public school music teacher in the US. In 1998, she received the “Distinguished Service Award” from SAA. Other honors include, MSBOA, MASTA, and Indiana University Alumni “Teacher of the Year”.
Paul Landefeld holds a Bachelor of Fine Arts in Viola Performance from Carnegie Mellon University and a Master of Music Education degree from Duquesne University in Pittsburgh. He has participated in Suzuki conferences, workshops, and institutes throughout the United States as well as Germany, Japan, Taiwan, Korea, and the Philippines.
In 1981 he received a certificate of Observation and Study from the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan under the tutelage of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Mr. Landefeld performed with colleagues at the memorial service for Dr. Suzuki in March 1998 in Japan.
Mr. Landefeld taught in the Pittsburgh area for 20 years, both in public and private programs. He is the founder and former Executive Director of Talent Education of Greater Pittsburgh. Prior to moving to Dallas as the new Director of the Suzuki Institute of Dallas, he was Director of the American Suzuki Institute at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point. He also served as the Director of the Texas Christian University Suzuki Institute in Fort Worth.
He has held the position of CEO of the International Suzuki Association (ISA) from 2003 until July 1, 2011 and currently serves on the ISA Board of Directors representing the U.S. as Member-at-Large.
Patricia Purcell has been an active member of the SAA for more than 20 years. She teaches in a unique Suzuki in the Schools program in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford School District. She is currently president of the North Texas Suzuki Association and works with Fort Worth-area Suzuki teachers to provide students opportunities for education and performance, primarily through the Suzuki Program of Youth Orchestra of Greater Fort Worth. She has organized teacher development workshops and assisted in establishing teacher training at the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute. While a member of the TCU School of Music faculty, she directed the TCU Suzuki Institute.
Ms. Purcell holds degrees from Texas Christian University and studied violin with Fredell Lack at the University of Houston. She taught in the Suzuki program while studying at The Hartt School of Music. She currently serves on the SAA Board of Directors and the SAA Conference Committee.
Danette Schuh is the Director of Dolce Music Studio, home of Dolce Strings and Dolce Babies, where she teaches violin, viola and Suzuki Baby classes. She has been teaching for over 25 years. Formerly the President of the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association, she has been instrumental in bringing Suzuki ECE to the Houston area. She was the recipient of the Houston Music Teachers Association President’s “Bravo” award and was named HMTA 2001 “Teacher of the Year”. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree with honors from Indiana University. Mrs. Schuh also performs with the Möbius Chamber Ensemble and Houston’s First Baptist Church Orchestra. She and her husband, Todd, reside in Sugar Land, Texas.
Lucy Shaw is an active performer, Suzuki teacher and clinician currently based in the Seattle, WA area. A native of Nova Scotia, Canada, she received her Bachelor degree at the S.C. Eckhardt-Gramatte Conservatory of Music at Brandon University in Manitoba, Canada, and her Master of Music in Violin Performance at the Shepherd School of Music at Rice University. Important musical influences include Sergiu Luca, Francis Chaplin, Sydney Harth and Jean-Jacques Kantorow. For eighteen years Lucy was owner/director of the Village Violin School in Houston where she was an active member of the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association coordinating annual teacher development seminars, Suzuki graduations and workshops. As a guest teacher and clinician Lucy has taught at Workshops and Institutes in Canada, Mexico and throughout the continental United States. An ardent supporter of the SAA, Lucy served as violin coordinator for the Suzuki Association of the America’s 2008 National Conference and currently serves on the SAA Board of Directors.
Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze eurhythmics instructor. An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs in the US, Switzerland, and Italy. Mr. Dittus has also presented Dalcroze workshops at home and abroad including the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, National Dalcroze Conference, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, among others and in addition to several summer music institutes.
He completed a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder; for the master of music, he studied piano performance and music theory at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate work, he obtained bachelor degrees in piano performance and chemistry. His Dalcroze License and Certificate comes from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, while the Diplôme Supérieur (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) comes from the L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in conjunction with La Haute École de Musique de Genéve and Le Conservatoire de Musique de Genéve. While in Geneva, he received top honors including the 209 Prix our les qualities musicales exceptionnelles and the 2010 Prix pour les qualités artistiques et pédagogiques exceptionnelles.
Currently, he is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado. The DSR offers Eurhythmics classes for children ages 4-14, adult enrichment classes, and full time study toward the Dalcroze Certificate/License (Eurhythmics, Solfége, Improvisation, and Methodology/Pedagogy).
Eric Ryan-Johnson teaches the Suzuki Violin Method and Irish Fiddle to a home studio of 45-50 students. He has taught both classical violin and traditional Irish fiddling at workshops, schools and festivals—including the Ottawa Suzuki Institute and the O’Flaherty Irish Music Retreats and Youth Workshops.
As a child, Eric began Suzuki violin in 1969 at age 4. He was fortunate to meet Dr. and Mrs. Suzuki, and participate in group lessons with Suzuki. Eric earned his Bachelor of Music-Composition degree from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and has studied pedagogy with many distinguished Suzuki teachers, including Craig Timmerman, Kay Slone and Alice Joy Lewis. He is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA), and has registered teacher training with SAA through book five.
Eric also performs Irish traditional music and has a solo recording, “The Wonderful Day,” a collection of traditional Irish and original fiddle music.