(Faculty roster is subject to change and we can’t guarantee that you will have a certain faculty member as your teacher.)
Meredith Blecha-Wells: Cello
Praised for her “beautifully full and lyrically strong tone” by Gramophone Magazine, Meredith Blecha-Wells is a sought-after performer and instructor. She has played throughout much of the United States, as well as Europe, Australia, South America, and Asia. Dr. Blecha-Wells is currently the Professor of Cello at Oklahoma State University where she also runs the Suzuki program. Her students have won a number of competitions, including prizes in Classics Alive Artists, Enkor International Competition, American Protégé Competition, Ad Astra String Competition, MTNA, Hyechka String Competition, among others. Dr. Blecha-Wells received a bachelor’s and master’s degree in Cello Performance from Indiana University and a Doctor of Musical Arts in Performance and Literature from the Eastman School of Music. She has completed Suzuki training with Tanya Carey, Gilda Barston, Pamela Devenport, Carey Cheney, and David Evenchick.
Andrea Glass: Cello
Andrea Glass received her Masters degree from the University of Northern Colorado and her Bachelors degree from Bowling Green State University, both in cello performance. She received her long-term Suzuki training in cello with Carol Tarr and violin with James Maurer at the Lamont School of Music, University of Denver, and has taught Suzuki group cello and violin classes with Longmont Suzuki Strings and Denver Talent Education. She has been a judge for Solo and Ensemble Contest of Northern Colorado, and chamber music coach for CelloFest at the University of Denver. S
he has been an active recitalist and teacher in the music community of Colorado, and has played with the Fort Collins, Greeley, and Cheyenne Symphonies. Ms. Glass has performed in master classes with David Ying, Janos Starker, and Yo-Yo Ma. She is also a studio musician at the Blasting Room in Fort Collins, Colorado, and has played with over twenty bands such as Rise Against, Drive By, Melissa Ivey, and Tickle Me Pink. She has recorded for Wind Up Records and Warner Bros. In 2009, Ms. Glass accepted the Suzuki cello faculty position at Macphail Center for Music in Minneapolis, MN. She is a former president of the Suzuki Association of Minnesota and committee chair for the annual S.A.M. Statewide Graduation Recitals. Ms. Glass enjoys teaching at Suzuki institute in the summer, coaching chamber music, and developing her teaching skills online from College Station, TX. to London, England. She is also a Suzuki parent.
Christopher Becknell : Guitar
Christopher Becknell has been passionately teaching Suzuki Guitar and Violin for 15 years. This work is primarily done at his private studio in Minneapolis Minnesota. He is also on the faculty at Minneapolis Community and Technical College working with students pursuing performance degrees in Music and Music Education.
In 2015 Christopher released an album of fingerstyle gospel and folk song arrangements for solo guitar called Just Beyond the River. It receives regular playtime on Minnesota Public Radio and is available on CDBaby or iTunes. Having grown up as a Suzuki student from age 5 himself, Christopher is now reveling in the chance to be a Suzuki dad to his own young son.
David Madsen : Guitar and Teacher Trainer for Guitar Book 1
David Madsen founded the Hartt Suzuki Guitar Program in ’90. David graduated with a BM in guitar performance from UConn and has since studied with David Leisner and Pepe Romero. His Suzuki guitar training has been with Bill Kossler and Frank Longay, and he has also trained with Lynn McCall in Suzuki Early Childhood Education. He is a registered Teacher and is a member of the SAA Guitar Committee, and a former member of the Board of Directors for the SAA.
In 2008 he was invited to direct the Advanced Ensemble at the 1st International Suzuki Guitar Festival in Santa Cruz, CA, and he was also invited to direct the Guitar Ensemble at the SAA conferences in 2014, 2016 and 2018.
David received a “Creating Learning Community” award in 2014 for his work in producing “The Sound of Success” video for the SAA, about the Suzuki guitar method.
William Kossler : Guitar
William Kossler has placed as a finalist in regional and national competitions and received positive reviews for his compelling performances. He has conducted Long Term Artist Residencies with both the South Carolina and Tennessee Arts Commissions and has served on the North Carolina Arts Council’s Touring Artists Directory as a performer on the guitar, lute, and vihuela. As a recipient of a Rotary International Scholarship he spent a year in Japan studying with pedagogue Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1985-86. A co-author of the Suzuki Guitar Method, Mr. Kossler has conducted pedagogy workshops for guitarists throughout the United States, South America, Canada, Europe, and Australia. He currently is the director of the Winston Salem Suzuki School and in his free time enjoys fishing and gardening. His three sons are all successful professional musicians.
Gail Gebhart : Piano and Teacher Trainer for Piano Book 4
Gail Gebhart is a private Suzuki piano teacher in Farmington Hills, Michigan. In addition to maintaining an active studio, she is on the faculty of Wayne State University where she teaches private and class piano. She received a B.M. With Distinction from the University of Michigan and a M.M. in Piano Performance from Wayne State University. She received Suzuki training from Mary Craig Powell, Yasuko Joichi and Renee Robbins.
A coordinator the piano area for the Suzuki Association of the Americas’ Biennial Conference in 2014 and she has taught at the Peaks to Plains Suzuki Institute, Colorado Suzuki Institute, Oregon Suzuki Institute, Calgary Suzuki Institute, and the Chicago Suzuki Institute. In August 2016, Gail became a piano Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
Annette Lee : Piano and Teacher Trainer for Piano Book 6
Annette Lee began teaching piano at the age of 14 in her hometown on Long Island, New York. She has gone on to become a highly sought-after Suzuki Piano Instructor and Teacher-Trainer. Her training includes a Bachelor of Music from the Wheaton Conservatory of Music, a Master’s Degree at the University of Michigan as a fellowship student, and additional studies at the Aspen Music Festival, Blossom Music Festival, and the Chicago Suzuki Institute.
Ms. Lee has taught in the Suzuki Department at The MacPhail Center for Music located in Minneapolis since 1995. She exemplifies the Suzuki Philosophy that every child can learn, honoring each child for who they are and enlivening their eagerness to engage in the journey of learning music through piano.
Jane Reed: Piano and Teacher Trainer for Every Child Can! and Piano Book 1
Jane Reed is an internationally recognized Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and a Suzuki Piano Educator. In addition, she serves as a facilitator for Parenting and Teaching the Love and Logic Way and the Right Question Institute. She dedicates herself to promoting finer education for students, teachers and parents by advocating deeper thinking, validated learning skills and building meaningful relationships between the child, parent and teacher.
Jane and her husband, Bob, founded Solutionary Insights, an educational business, which is dedicated to Nurturing Thinking Minds™. The unique signature of Solutionary Insights is the intertwining of the respect for the value of individuals, the belief that all are capable of excellence, and the resolve that fine and purposeful teaching and parenting develops outstanding abilities.
Making a difference is her purpose!
Fay Adams: Piano
Fay Swadley Adams, Professor Emeritus, has retired after forty-four years of service to the University of Tennessee School of Music. While at the university she served as the Coordinator of the Keyboard Area and taught piano, piano pedagogy and Suzuki pedagogy. Her awards include: YWCA Outstanding Woman in the Arts; Chancellor’s Citation for Service to the University of Tennessee; first recipient of the Distinguished Faculty Teaching Award in the UT School of Music; Volunteer Spirit Award; Music Teachers National Association Foundation Fellow; TMTA Distinguished Service Award; Past Director of MTNA Southern Division; MTNA Board of Directors; MTNA Senior Performance Competitions Coordinator and the 2016 MTNA National Teacher of the Year. She is a registered Suzuki Piano Teacher Trainer, former member of the SAA Board of Directors and former member of the SAA Piano Review Committee. She has served as a Suzuki piano clinician at workshops across the United States, Mexico, Bermuda, Australia, New Zealand and Canada.
Kirby Kay : Viola and Violin
Kirby Kay grew up with music education as an integral part of her family life. She graduated from the University of Illinois with her Bachelor’s of Music in Violin Performance in 2008 and found her true passion for teaching upon graduation. She has pursued training with such teachers as Doris Preucil, Alice Joy Lewis, Carol Dallinger, Winifred Crock, Vera McCoy-Sulentic, Nancy Jackson and Edmund Sprunger.
Kirby co-founded West County Strings (St. Louis) with her husband, Brad, in 2013 where they enjoy a thriving Suzuki program for violin and viola, after holding a position at the STL School of Music from 2008-2013. Her students hold leadership positions in the STL Youth Orchestra, and the Missouri All-State Orchestra. Kirby especially enjoys her time on faculty at summer Suzuki Institutes and Chamber Music Camps. She is a recurring featured soloist for the Town and Country Symphony, St. Charles Symphony, Kankakee Valley Symphony.
Heidi Brymer : Violin
Heidi grew up in the Denver area studying Suzuki piano & violin since the age of 4. She received a degree in piano performance from the University of Denver and also completed her Suzuki Violin teacher training.
She has been accompanying recitals from Suzuki book 1 to Master’s recitals since the age of 16. She currently resides in the Raleigh area with her husband & 4 children. She continues to teach & accompany.
Brad Kay : Viola and Violin
Brad teaches violin and viola in St. Louis, MO at West County Strings, which he founded and directs with his wife Kirby. Brad loves the variety in working with students from Pre-Twinkle to college and everywhere in between, and seeing students grow, develop, and mature in every step along their musical journey.
Brad grew up in the Southern Illinois Suzuki Program in Edwardsville, IL where he studied with John Kendall, and holds his Bachelors Degree from the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, where he studied with Stefan Milenkovic and the Pacifica Quartet. In addition to teaching, Brad loves playing chamber music and in orchestras throughout the Midwest. In his free time, Brad enjoys reading, practicing, and spending time with his wife and two children.
Tamara Gonzalez : Violin
Tamara Gonzalez began her musical studies at age 4 as a Suzuki Violin student, and later began viola at age 14. She is a graduate of DePaul University holding B.M & M.M degrees in violin performance with honors. She was an avid freelancer in Chicago, playing regularly with the Chicago Sinfonietta, Rockford Symphony, Classical Symphony & Sphinx Festival Orchestra in Detroit. She was a faculty member at DePaul Community Music, Music Institute of Chicago and Sherwood Community Music School, where she coordinated the Pre-Collegiate and Suzuki programs.
Tamara moved to Minneapolis in 2014 and is currently on faculty at MacPhail Center for Music and GTCYS as conductor of Concertino East. Her MacPhail duties include conducting the DaCapo & Sinfonia Suzuki Orchestras, MNYO and School Partnerships orchestras; teaching Violin & Viola Suzuki group and private lessons and coaching chamber music at the Sartory Quartet Institute. She is a Sphinx MPower Grant winner in 2015 and has taught Suzuki workshops in Rochester, Memphis, Connecticut, Missouri and Puerto Rico.
Meg Lanfear: Violin
Meg Lanfear is the founder and Director of the Oak Park String Academy and a Violinist with the Elgin Symphony Orchestra. Meg holds Bachelors and Masters degrees in Violin Performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music in addition to a Masters degree in Suzuki Pedagogy from CIM’s Sato Center for Suzuki Studies. Meg spent two months studying at the Suzuki Talent Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. In 2010, Meg was one of the first recipients of the Certificate of Achievement from the Suzuki Association of the Americas, an award that recognizes teachers with a commitment to excellence and life-long learning. Meg has performed with such illustrious artists such as Itzhak Perlman, Herbie Hancock, and Diana Krall. Meg is in her second year of studying towards a Dalcroze Certificate with Jeremy Dittus at the Dalcroze School of the Rockies. Meg lives with her husband, Randy, and their two young boys, James (7) and Henry (4), in Oak Park, IL.
Laura Seay: Viola and Violin
Dr. Seay is a violist with the Virginia Symphony, a Navy spouse, and a mom to two wonderful humans. A graduate of The Juilliard School, Columbia University – Teachers College, and the University of Colorado, Dr. Seay has enjoyed teaching and performing throughout North America, Europe and Asia. Growing up in a Suzuki family, I love how music provides an opportunity for families to express their joy and love for each other through music. Growing up in Colorado, I love how the beauty of the mountains brings peace of mind, motivation to explore, and reenergizes me. I am grateful to have the opportunity to work with the families here at CSI where I can combine my two loves: music and mountains!