Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin

Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin

5.0 (2)
3 hires on Lessons.com
1 employee
29 years in business

About this pro

I'm the Violin teacher in OC with 3 years of direct daily training under Dr. Suzuki in Japan.  After graduating from his Institute I started a Violin Studio in Irvine, CA in 1992 which is open to all children from age 3 and up.  My desire was to create a safe place where children and families from every experience can learn together.

Even though I have enjoyed teaching gifted students in my program I never lose enthusiasm for starting the next new student from the very beginning no matter what their ability.

Each young musician has a unique journey toward their aspirations as a violinist.  My job as a violin teacher is to remove any of the challenges and obstacles that come between a violin student and their goals.  

Some of my students just love the joy they get from collaborating with others in music making.  A few others have gone on to pursue serious study in music.  It takes all of them to create a musically supportive community.

I love giving back to my OC community by teaching under-served children at my favorite arts non-profit.  On our Studio YouTube, you can see students who have used their musical leadership skills in their communities.  I am very proud of their accomplishments.

You can learn more about TEC: Suzuki Violin at www.got2twinkle.com and also by using the 'follow buttons' to our social media.  Please explore our Pinterest page for more information about the books and materials that Ms. Cynthia recommends for her students.

I am very dedicated to my teaching.  Having a BA in music education is only the beginning of my continuous training.  There is always one more student that challenges me to learn more about teaching.   I have Suzuki colleagues the world over that I mutually consult for their expertise about teaching.  Because every student deserves the best.

Call me in person on my landline so I can answer your questions in person.  My studio phone does not take text.

I love my most challenging violin students because I am always learning something new from them.  I even have requests from students with a wide range of disabilities from autism to visually challenged students.

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Irvine, CA 92606
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2 Reviews


  • Carol Sebbo

    I have been having a blast! This has been some of the most I’ve had learning something new. Cynthia has been wonderful and finding ways that works for me since I have no musical background. I highly recommend her!

  • Carol Sebbo


What is your typical process for working with a new student?

Every student has a unique journey toward their goals as a musician.  My first job is to learn as much as I can about each student and their experience as I recommend age appropriate materials to get started with.  All students are encouraged to start listening to recordings they will need for reference.  I have many physical games and routines for students to do while they are getting ready for their instrument depending on their age and experience.

My next important job is to get them physically comfortable with their instrument. My end goal is to make the bow and the violin feel like an extension of their own body.

Children need more games and physical activities.  My older students have more questions and want more explanations for every step of the process.

Beginning students and parents can access many resources that I have linked online to get started depending on the age of the student.

What education and/or training do you have that relates to your work?

It was a privilege to study as long as I did under one of the World's great musical pedagogues in my lifetime.  The only way I can thank Suzuki Sensei is by giving back to children in my community who have less opportunity to succeed.  And even that has been an education.

I have a BA in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa where I received some of my first exposure to the Suzuki Method in the 70s.  I have taken teacher training in Books 1-6 from American Suzuki Institutes.  After returning from training in Japan I continued adding additional training in Pedagogy with teachers like John Kendall.   Summer training is a way of life for a Suzuki Teacher.

In addition, I am Influenced by my Montessori training and Teaching Kindermusik Materials for Babies through early elementary children. 

Do you have a standard pricing system for your lessons? If so, please share the details here.

I have a rate sheet that starts with Preschoolers and ends with Adults and advanced Students.

12 weeks of 30min. private instruction starts at $300. for a Preschool child starting with no violin at the PreTwinkle stage.

12 week of 30min. private instruction starts at $360. for students age 5 and up. 

30 min. at $30 or $120/4wks.

45 min. at $45 or $180/4wks.

60 min. at $60 or $240/4wks.

These rates are based on year-round instruction or membership in the studio and can be paid in monthly installments.

How did you get started teaching?

I was the violin student who was studying privately who got asked to help tutor my fellow classmates when the teacher was busy.  I was often the one who got volunteered in my youth to teach the children's choir at church.

When I went off to college my proffesor introduced me to the Suzuki Method and I couldn't learn enough about making playing the violin a more accessible experience.  

 After teaching for one year in a public school program I was sure that I wanted to teach privately so that I could spend more time helping students to do their best.

Taking all of the training in Montessori and working as a teachers aid was a great experience.  I also took all of the Early Childhood Music Training I could get through Kindermusik while starting my Suzuki Violin program in Irvine.

I never stop wanting to learn more that I can use to help my students.  Every year research is confirming something I learned from Suzuk Sensei and it just fills me with more curiosity about how we develop musically.

What types of students have you worked with?

My studio is like United Nations.  I have had children in my studio from all over the world.  I learn so much from them.  I have taught every type of student you can imagine from Preschoolers to Senior Citizens.   I have had gifted students, students with learning challenges and special needs students.

I have taught every type of student you can imagine from Preschoolers to Seniors.   I never say no to a student with challenges.  They are my best teachers.

A few of my students have even gone on to pursue training and experience as music teachers themselves.  And I consider that the greatest compliment of all.

I love hearing from students who have grown up and become young adults.  They have wonerful stories to tell about their lifes journey's.  

Describe a recent event you are fond of.

I never know what my preschoolers will bring to their lessons.  Every day is an opportunity to learn something new from my students.

Dr. Suzuki came to my classes almost every day saying. "I have a new idea. Let's try it."

I never give up even with my most challenging students.

What advice would you give a student looking to hire a teacher in your area of expertise?

Do not feel compelled to buy a violin until you know exactly who you want to study with.  It is very expensive to buy the wrong violin.  Music stores do not refund your money.  Be suspicious of a teacher who tries to sell you a violin.  Find a teacher who does not need commissions from the music store to make a living.

Visit several teachers and observe them teaching other students before you choose a teacher.  I encourage prospective students to come and observe at least one lesson in my Irvine studio before they start.  I want students and parents to see what the best possible lesson experience is like for their level student.

Do not let anything come between you and your desire to play the violin.   


If you can not afford the tuition in my Irvine Studio for private lessons ask me about the Suzuki Violin program that I teach at www.occtac.org. in Santa Ana  for children in preschool and up.  They also offer more affordable private instruction.

Disability or Special Need

Do not give up on your desire if you have a disability or special need.  I work with special needs children in both Irvine and Santa Ana programs.  

The work I do at The Therapeutic Arts Center includes teaching special needs students.  My most challenging students play on reverse engineered violins because they are missing a left hand.  I started a project with STEM students who are designed bow arms for these students with their 3D printer.  There are a growing number of musicians who have designed devices that allow them to play the violin with everyone else. Some of them have become my students.

Be open to creating a musical environment at home where you practice.  Then whenever possible go to concerts, observe other students lessons.  Go to my Pinterest for more practice ideas and resources. And watch the Violinspirations and the other playlist I recommend on my YouTube Channel.  Keep yourself inspired with your curiosity about music.  Learn about all the different kinds of music that can be played on a violin.

What questions should students think through before talking to teachers about their needs?

My students are encouraged to listen to many kinds of music and explore what they are interested in.  There are so many kinds of music that one can play on the violin today.  Your violin can be your musical passport to the world.  Take time to find out what kinds of violin music inspire you.

Make time to listen to music every day.  Inspiration comes before perspiration.

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