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PPSI 2017 Faculty Biographies


Celina Joy Boldrey Headshot Celina Joy Boldrey, MO
Celina (violin/baroque violin) received her B. Mus. in violin performance from Oberlin Conservatory and her M. Mus. in violin performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where she studied with John Kendall. She has performed throughout the St. Louis area, playing both modern and baroque violins in chamber concerts and recitals. Her early music work includes regular appearances with Early Music St. Louis as well as concerts with the Kingsbury Ensemble, Collegium Vocale, and Musicke’s Cordes. Her modern work includes teaching institutes and workshops around the country and solo recitals.

Reagan Brasch Headshot Reagan Brasch, IL
Reagan grew up in the Suzuki method studying with Paula Woyton in Texas. She graduated with a bachelors of music in violin performance and received her masters in music with an emphasis 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. She has had additional Suzuki training from Linda Fiore, Joanne Bath, Ann Smelser, and Pat D’Ercole. Mrs. Brasch gives both private and group instruction in Suzuki. She also is program director of the early childhood Musikgarten classes to toddlers and preschoolers. She was awarded Outstanding Teacher by the Winnetka Alliance for Early Childhood. Mrs. Brasch has taught extensively at Suzuki institutes and workshops around the country..

Hiroko Driver Headshot Hiroko Driver Lippman, KY
A graduate of the Suzuki Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Hiroko was trained by Dr. Suzuki and William Starr. After coming to the US, she taught in the Suzuki Program at the University of Tennessee and, later, at the University of Louisville, both as a director and teacher-trainer. She also studied at the Indiana University with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brunner. Currently, she is the director of her own studio, Suzuki School of Louisville, and is also a concert mistress of the Kling Orchestra

Helen Higa Headshot Helen Higa, HI
Helen Higa comes from a family with 3 generations of Japanese and Western music teachers, and was born and raised in Honolulu. Her Suzuki Teacher training includes study with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki for two and a half years at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, where she received her Teacher Certification from him in 1973. She continued her Suzuki teacher training at the University of Tennessee with William Starr, and Louise Behrend at the School for Strings. In NYC, she also worked with Gerald Beal on violin performance skills. Since 2000, Helen has continued research and study with Felicity Lipman, violin professor and Coordinator of Chamber Music for London’s Guildhall School of Music and Drama (Junior Department), on her visits to Hawaii.
      In 1983, Helen became a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique at the American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York City. She taught AT in the Center’s Teacher Training Program for 4 years, and violin for 5 years before returning to Hawaii in 1987. From 1990 -1998, she taught with the late Hiroko Primrose who founded the Suzuki Violin Program at Punahou Music School. Helen is currently the head of Punahou Music School’s Suzuki Violin Program, and privately teaches over 50 violin students. Other teaching positions have included the University of Tennessee’s Suzuki Program, New York’s School for Strings, and the Diller-Quaille School of Music.
      Helen enjoys exploring how Alexander Technique principles can complement Dr. Suzuki’s violin pedagogy and educational philosophy. In 2004, Helen was invited to give a presentation on this topic at the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference in Minneapolis. At the 2006, Conference, she and Hiroko Driver-Lippman, gave a Heritage Night Keynote Presentation, called Okagesamade (in your honorable shadow) Suzuki Sensei.
      Helen has been invited to teach at summer Institutes on the mainland, including the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute (UT), the Oregon Suzuki Institute, the Northern California Suzuki Institute (Santa Rosa), the Peaks to Plains Suzuki Institute (CO), the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute (WA), the Stanford Advanced Suzuki Institute (CA), and the Idaho Suzuki Institute (ID), Helen serves as the President of Suzuki Talent Education of Hawaii, is a member of the Honolulu Symphony, and serves as the part-time musicians’ representative on the Honolulu Symphony Musicians’ Orchestra Committee.

Leo Kitajima Headshot Leo Kitajima, CA
Leo Kitajima is a Los Angeles native and has studied with violin teachers Margaret Shimizu, Fung Ho, Chan Ho Yun, and Janos Negyesy. Besides classical music, Leo has always been interested in learning from all genres of music. As an undergraduate student at the University of California, San Diego, he performed with the jazz band transposing the alto saxophone and trumpet parts on his violin. Leo continued his musical exploration at the University of Southern California, earning a B.M in Jazz Studies, as the only violinist in the jazz program. Leo has performed alongside many great musicians, such as Tony Bennet, Christian McBride and Stevie Wonder. Studying jazz and other forms of music made Leo realize the important role improvising and composing plays in helping individuals craft their musical voice. Interested in the integration of improvisation and composition in all music learning environments, Leo attended Northwestern University, Illinois, to earn a Master in Music Education with an emphasis on improvisation and composition. In the past, Leo has served as faculty at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts. He is currently the Music Department Chair and Orchestra Director at Westridge School in Pasadena, CA.

Allen Lieb Headshot Allen Lieb, NY
Allen Lieb received his M.M. in Performance from SIU/Edwardsville, studying Suzuki pedagogy with John Kendall. He holds a Teacher Training Certificate from the Talent Education Research Institute in Japan following several years' instruction with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. A registered Teacher-Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas since 1981, Allen has taught at institutes, workshops and conferences across the US, Canada, Central America, Europe, Asia, Australia and New Zealand. In July 2017, Allen will become CEO of the International Suzuki Association. He is Chair of the ISA and SAA Violin Committees, a member of the SAA Heritage Committee and a frequent contributor to the SAA Journal. Currently residing in New York City, Allen is Head of the Violin Department and Instructor for the Teacher-Training Seminar at The School for Strings. He is also a violin instructor at The Diller-Quaile School of Music where he was a recipient of the 2012 Clifford/Levy Creativity Grant. For 13 years Allen served as Curriculum Coordinator for the Newark Early Strings Program, a Suzuki-based violin program jointly sponsored by the Newark Public Schools and the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra, for which he was recognized with the 2008 Samuel Antek Award for Music Education.

Susan Reed Headshot Susan Reed, MA
Susan Reed is a classical violinist, folk musician, singer, storyteller, recording artist, author and educator from the Boston area. Susan is a multi-instrumentalist who uses original songs and stories to work magic with families, on local and national stages. Common to all of her performances is a trademark sense of humor and optimism, and her conviction that music has the power to broaden people’s understanding of the world around them. Susan performs her songs and stories with orchestras, drawing audiences into the rich world of classical music, connecting audience to ensemble, and strengthening musical communities. Susan also performs with her daughters in Tatu Mianzi, a fresh twist on the classical string trio. She is an active Suzuki clinician through the US and is dedicated to education in the arts on every level. She is presently serving on the President’s Council for Entrepreneurship and also the former Chair of the Board of Overseers at New England Conservatory of Music, in Boston, MA. Susan has recorded many award winning CD’s and books. All of Susan’s recordings and books are available on her website www.susanreed.com.

Amanda Schubert Headshot Amanda Schubert, TX
Amanda studied Suzuki violin with her father, Lacy McLarry, from age three through college, receiving a bachelor’s of music degree in violin performance from Oklahoma City University. She received a master’s degree in violin performance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she studied with Norman Paulu and was coached extensively by the Pro Arte String Quartet. Mrs. Schubert holds a Teaching Certificate from the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, where she studied with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. She also has received training in the United States and is registered through the SAA in Suzuki Violin Books one through ten. From 1992 to 2009, Mrs. Schubert was a member of the Honolulu Symphony Orchestra. She served on the violin faculty of the Brevard Music Festival in North Carolina from 1996 to m2011. Curretnly she performs with Waco Symphony and Temple Symphony, plays viola in the Temple Symphony String Quartet and freelances. She served on the violin faculty of the Central Texas String Academy since 2009. She resides in Waco, Texas with her husband (a trumpet player), and their two daughters (both violin students of hers).

Lucy Shaw Headshot Lucy Shaw, WA
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 was violin coordinator for the Suzuki Association of the America’s 2008 National Conference and served on the SAA Board of Directors 2011-2014. Lucy currently maintains a private studio, directs the State Suzuki Festival and serves as Vice President of the Suzuki Association of Washington State.

Lucy Shaw Headshot Laura Shuster, OH
Violinist/Violist Laura Shuster holds music degrees from the Cleveland Institute of Music, the Peabody Institute, and a degree in Religions from Case Western Reserve University. Currently maintaining a full time violin and viola studio at the Cleveland Institute of Music's Sato Center for Suzuki Studies, she helps coordinate the program and as well as the preparatory viola program at the Institute. As a busy freelance violist, she is currently principal of Bluewater Chamber Orchestra, the Cleveland Chamber Symphony, and the Blossom Festival Orchestra. She has also performed with Pittsburgh Symphony, Opera Cleveland Orchestra, Apollo’s Fire, Playhouse Square productions, and various chamber ensembles. She is on the recent recording of music by Margaret Brouwer entitled “Shattered.” Laura lives in Cleveland Heights with her husband, photographer Robert Muller, and their children, Sophie and Christopher and a menagerie of pets. When not engaging in musical activities, Laura enjoys being a Suzuki parent to both of her children, swimming, reading, and the outdoors.


Blake Brasch Headshot Blake Brasch, IL
Blake Brasch is cello teacher at the Music Institute of Chicago and admin. Director of the Chicago Suzuki Institute. He studied with Alan Harris at The Cleveland Institute of Music and Mark Schroeder at Ohio University. He did his pre-college studies with Carol Tarr and Gilda Barston. He teaches at workshops and institutes around the country throughout the year. His students have placed and/or received top prizes in regional competitions such as the Society of American competition, Walgreens Competition and the Depaul Concerto Competition. He is a certified Suzuki CelloTeacher Trainer from the Suzuki Association of Americas. He began his Suzuki training at the age of 6 and attended MANY Suzuki institutes with his family growing up and is very proud to now attend them as a parent.


Jeremy Chesman Headshot Jeremy Chesman, MO
Dr. Jeremy Chesman is Professor of Music and Interim Department Head of Theatre & Dance at Missouri State University. He has performed extensively throughout the US and Canada as well as in Australia, Belgium, France, Portugal, and the Netherlands. Jeremy teaches Suzuki harp, as well as piano, organ, and voice. Previously, he taught harp at the Eureka Springs Suzuki Institute, and has attended PPSI as a student for two years. He is excited to return this year as a teacher.

Mary Kay Waddington Headshot Mary Kay Waddington, CO
Mary Kay Waddington authored the Suzuki Harp School and has been teaching Suzuki harp in Denver for more than 35 years. She has worked extensively with harp builders to make small harps available to very young students and has invented right hand levers and pedal extensions to further the use of these instruments. Presently, Mary Kay is working on new ways to make music reading more accessible to all students, working with the ISA committee to publish new Suzuki harp volumes, and trying to start Suzuki harp programs in South America.

Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE)

Stacy Brady Headshot Stacy Brady, CO
Stacey Brady, a Colorado native, is a Suzuki Violin teacher, a SECE teacher and a Suzuki parent. She holds a Masters in Violin Performance degree from the University of Colorado at Boulder, completed her long-term Suzuki training with William Starr and did her Stage One SECE training with Dorothy Jones and Sharon Jones. She currently teaches with Boulder Suzuki Strings under the direction of Amy Gesmer-Packman and has been honored to teach at many Suzuki Institutes and Workshops, including Peaks to Plains Institute in Colorado, International Suzuki Institute in Utah, the Mid-Winter Workshop at the Music Institute of Chicago, and STXSA Winter Workshop in Houston. Besides teaching, Stacey loves performing on both Modern and Baroque violin with a variety of professional groups and she is a current and founding member of the Baroque Chamber Orchestra of Colorado. Stacey is currently living in Broomfield CO with her very supportive husband and her three active children.

Flori Muller Headshot Flori Muller, CO
Flori Muller holds a BM in Violin Performance from the Blair School of Music at Vanderbilt University, a double MM in violin performance and Suzuki Violin pedagogy from the University of Minnesota Twin Cities, and earned candidacy for the DMA from the University of Colorado Boulder. She has been teaching violin for more than twenty years and currently teaches violin with Boulder Suzuki Strings and also teaches Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) classes as a founding Partner Teacher of Prelude Music, LLC. She has led clinics and sectionals for schools, officiated at competitions, and has been a guest clinician at Suzuki Workshops and the Peaks to Plains Institute. She has registered SAA training in Suzuki Violin Books One through Ten as well as SECE Stages One and Two. She has served as president of the Houston Area Suzuki Strings Association (now STXSA) and has also served on HASSA’s board as vice president and past president. Flori currently lives in Broomfield, CO, and loves spending time with her husband and their two children (a Suzuki violinist and a Suzuki cellist). She also saves time to enjoy her other passions—cooking, photography, reading, running and hiking.


André Mallinger Headshot Marimba - André Mallinger, CO
André Mallinger’s musical study began as a young child with classical piano and orchestral percussion. She studied percussion performance at Ithaca College and received her M.A. in cultural anthropology at the University of Colorado. For over 20 years, André has studied, taught, and performed traditional and contemporary music from southern Africa, playing marimba, hand drums, drum kit, mbira and percussion with Zimbabwean-style marimba ensembles throughout Colorado. She currently has a private teaching studio of young aspiring pianists, directs the Afro-pop ensemble, Nokuthula, and is the principle accompanist of the Peak to Peak Chorale. In recent years, André has enjoyed studying the music of Frank Zappa and has become the Denver area’s go-to xylophonist for Zappa tribute bands. André’s recordings include Tobatana Marimba’s Zin’anga (2007) and the Low Flying Knobs’ Sahwira: Friends Across the Water (2002), both of which she co-produced, as well as guest performances on Natural Fire: Humanspiration (2006); Tryptych: In the Cold Morning Mist (2002); and Marimba Ava Murewa: Mazuva Ano (1997). Last year, André co-guided two groups of musicians and artists to Cuba to study traditional Afro-Cuban drumming, dance and religion from notable Cuban teachers and ensembles. With the success of these trips, André now has her sights on Africa!

Kristen Rubow Kinesthetic Integration - Kristen Rubow, CO
Kristen Rubow developed the Matrix curriculum over the past three years, drawing from the 35 year harp performance and teaching career. The years of teaching and performing exposed her to aspects of music training in Suzuki, Dalcroze, Orff, and Music Mind Games. Courses in Brain Gym, Executive Function, TBI rehabilitation, brain wiring, dyspraxia, PTSD, and anxiety, grew in response to the unique needs and challenges presented by her students and family. Through intentional movement and musical concepts we can integrate aspects of ourselves not easily accessed through singularly cognitive endeavors or isolated physical activities.

David Sullivan Headshot Art – David Sullivan, CO
Dave is an Artist and Cartoonist from Arvada, Colorado. He is currently teaching a variety of programs for the Science Discovery program at the University of Colorado, plus Technical Cartooning and Art programs for the Arvada Center for the Arts and Humanities. Dave also teaches workshops for the Denver Museum of Nature and Science and the Denver Zoo, as well as programs for many of the local Libraries. Besides working as a freelance graphic illustrator Dave enjoys spending time the rest of his time with his wife, two sons and daughter; though he often dreams of tricking fish with bits of string and feathers.



Martha Albrecht, CO - Martha Albrecht received a Bachelor degree in Piano Performance and Pedagogy from Utah State University, and later received a Master of Music degree and a Doctorate of Musical Arts degree from the University of Colorado.  She has taught piano for twenty-eight years and currently has a private studio in Superior, Colorado.  In addition to her teaching, Martha is an active accompanist, playing for numerous auditions, competitions, and recitals, involving local organizations such as the Young Musician’s Foundation of Colorado, Boulder Suzuki Strings, and several Suzuki Workshops.



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