We are proud to welcome such a distinguished faculty to our Workshop, and to give our students an opportunity to learn from some of the most gifted teachers in the country.
They are dedicated to the art of teaching, and bring experience, wisdom and creativity to make each student's time here educational, enjoyable and inspiring.
Cathy Allen (body mapping)
Cathy Allen is a San Francisco Bay Area cellist and teacher. She is also certified in Body Mapping for musicians. Cathy teaches Body Mapping classes each year at her Summer Cello Camp, incorporates Body Mapping activities into her Crowden Music Center classes and has given several Body Mapping overview presentations for parents and students. She performs with the Sacramento Philharmonic, the contemporary music ensemble, Sounds New and the Carol Trio. Cathy has a private studio of students in El Cerrito California, teaches technique classes and chamber music at Crowden Music Center in Berkeley and coaches in the Oakland Middle Schools for the HOUSE chamber ensemble project. She lives in El Cerrito with her husband Brooke Aird and their two cats.
Katherine Baird (assistant director, cello)
Katherine Baird is Director of Preparatory Music at Holy Names University, a community music school, and has been a private cello instructor and music & movement teacher for twenty-one years. She teaches cello in the Crowden Suzuki program.
Katherine graduated from Holy Names College in 1993 with a Bachelor's Degree in Cello Performance, where she studied with Jennifer Culp, former cellist with the Kronos Quartet. Other teachers have included Milly Rosner, Margaret Tait, Peter Shelton, Peter Wyrick and most recently Stephen Harrison. Katherine is Principal Cellist in the Holy Names University Orchestra, with whom she had the opportunity to be featured soloist played the Elgar Cello Concerto in 2007, and the Beethoven "Triple" Concerto in 2014.
Katherine received her Certificate in Orff-Schulwerk in all three levels from Mills College, and also completed all levels (1-10) of Suzuki Teacher-Training, with Barbara Wampner, Tanya Carey, and Nancy Hair.
Under her leadership at Prep Music, the school has developed an array of new programs and been recognized twice as "Best Place for Children's Music Education" in Oakland by Oakland Magazine's 2011 and 2013 readers' polls.
Christina Berg (music & movement)
Christina is a licensed Kindermusik teacher and a trained Montessori teacher, and guitar instructor at the Sycamore Strings Academy. She studied music and movement at the Royal Music Academy in Stockholm and has taught at several Suzuki workshops and institutes in Sweden and the U.S. She is teaching Twinkle Music & Movement at the Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute, ISSI, in Utah each summer. She teaches her Twinkle class at Nevada School of the Arts in Las Vegas, Holy Names University in Oakland, CA and Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, CA.
Goran Berg (chamber music, violin)
Goran Berg holds a Bachlor's Degree in Violin Pedagogy from the Royal Swedish Music Academy at Stockholm University, and a Master's Degree in Music Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy in the String Development Program at the Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville. He is strongly dedicated to the teachings of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and his own teacher, Professor John Kendall. He has 36 years of music teaching experience, the last 30 years including the Suzuki Method. He conducts parent and teacher educational training classes throughout the United States and Europe.
Goran is the Founder of the Crowden Suzuki Workshop, was its Director until 2014. He is currently the director of the Suzuki Program at the Crowden Music Center in Berkeley, where he teaches violin and viola. He is also the Artistic Director and owner of the Sycamore Strings Academy in Livermore, CA, where he teaches violin, viola, chamber music, and orchestra. Among other music styles, he likes to utilize fiddle tunes as part of his teaching as a complement to classical instrumental studies. Goran writes original arrangements of Scandinavian fiddle music, both for violins and orchestra/string quartet. His "Fiddle Heart" books are used by educators internationally. He has published Violins Go Vivaldi and string arrangements in the new Eclectic Strings Series, Book 1 at Alfred Publications.
Renata Bratt (fiddling, jazz, improvisation)
Renata's arrangements and books are published by Mel Bay, Alfred and Strings. She is Kuumbwa Jazz Artist in the Schools in Santa Cruz, CA, chair of ASTA's Eclectic Styles Committee and teaches cello, as well as beginning and middle school orchestra in Santa Cruz, California. She has taught classical styles, jazz improvisation and fiddling in Australia and New Zealand and at national string workshops including Alasdair Fraser's camps, National Cello Institute, Wintergrass, Mandolin Symposium, ASTA, MENC and Suzuki Institutes.
Playing in a variety of styles, she has performed with luminaries such as Liz Carroll and John Doyle, Darol Anger and Alasdair Fraser and played back-up with Jimmy Page and Robert Plant, David Sanborn, Lyle Lovette, and Dionne Warwick. Rolling Stone dubbed her an "ace performer" for her work recording and touring with alternative rocker Cindy Lee Berryhill's Garage Orchestra. She tours nationally with Cindy Lee Berryhill (rock), New Almaden Trio (jazz), Mountain Time (eclectic string quartet) and Reel of Seven (Scottish Dance Band). Her CDs range from meditative relaxation music to uptempo and soulful Celtic and Americana. Those CDs, "Woven," "Celtic Conversations," "A Slice of Summer," "Great Big Taters," "Sunset Cello" and "Pacific Cello" are available through CD Baby and iTunes. She received her Ph.D. in Music from UCSC, served on the ASTA National Board of Directors and is a former president of the Suzuki Music Association of California. www.renatabratt.com
Danielle Charboneau (violin)
Danielle Charboneau, a transplant to the California Bay Area, began her violin and viola teaching in a number of programs in her native Michigan. With a Bachelors and Masters in Violin performance, a Specialization in Dance, and completion of her Suzuki teacher training with a variety of trainers including Linda Fiore, James Maurer, and Almita Vamos, Danielle taught for nine years with the Michigan State University Suzuki Violin Program then eight years in the Chicago area at both the Music Institute of Chicago and DePaulʼs Community Music Program. At Michigan State University, besides directing the Tour Group, Movement for Musicians Program, and Chamber Music Program, Danielle developed a number of teaching aids and etudes. After moving to Chicago, Danielle continued to develop her teaching materials, coached chamber music, occasionally gave chamber music recitals, and was the chair of the faculty committee and string coordinator for the Music Institute of Chicago. Beyond her direct involvement with the schools, Danielle was president of the Chicago Area Suzuki Association and is currently the president of the Suzuki Association of Northern California.. At present, Danielle runs her own Suzuki violin, ,viola, and chamber music program in Oakland, California, has been researching injury prevention and technical development facilitation through the use of Integrative Manual Therapy and other physical reeducation techniques, and is studying both Integrative Manual Therapy and non-violent communication. New this year, Danielle is now the director for the Advanced Suzuki Institute at Stanford.
Caroline Fraser (guest speaker)
Caroline is from Aberdeen, Scotland. She graduated from Edinburgh University with a Bachelor of Music degree and studied at the Royal Academy of Music in London obtaining diplomas L.R.A.M. (in piano teaching) and A.R.C.M. (in violin teaching). She obtained a Masters Degree in Music with Kodaly Emphasis, from Holy Names University in Oakland, California.
Caroline started to teach using the Suzuki Method in 1974 in California. She pioneered the Suzuki Method in Peru (1981) and from 1992 until 1999 she was a lecturer in music theory at Holy Names University, where she directed the Summer Suzuki Teacher Training Institute. Caroline has been a teacher trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas since 1985 and is also a teacher trainer for the European Suzuki Association.
She now lives in Lima, Peru and is Latin American Liaison for the SAA. Caroline has traveled to give pedagogy courses in Canada, the United States, Taiwan, the United Kingdom, Germany and throughout Latin America: Argentina, Bolivia, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, Dominican Republic, Ecuador, El Salvador, Guatemala, Mexico, Paraguay and Puerto Rico. Caroline has taught at World Conferences in Japan, Italy and Korea, and given presentations at SAA and European Conferences.
Katheryn Hewatt (violin)
Katheryn grew up in rainy Seattle, Washington. She began her violin studies at the age of 2, making her debut with orchestra the age of 9. She has studied with highly acclaimed violin teachers including Margaret Pressley, founder and director of Seattle Conservatory of Music, Stephen Clapp, Dean Emeritus of The Juilliard School, and Paul Biss, violin and viola professor at New England Conservatory of Music. She holds her bachelor's degree in violin performance and was awarded a concentration in Music-in-Education for her research in violin pedagogy. Katheryn is an experienced performer and teacher, affiliated with Music Teachers National Association, American String Teachers Association, and Suzuki Association of the Americas. She has worked professionally as a solo performer, collaborative musician, and instructor.
Vivienne Kim (director, violin)
Vivienne Kim has been teaching for nearly twenty years, and is currently a faculty member at the Crowden Music Center and the Sycamore Strings Academy, through which she maintains studios in Danville and Livermore. Before moving to Berkeley in 2010, she taught at Concordia College and Riverdale Country School in New York. She has received her Suzuki Training from Judy Bossuat at the DFW WOW Institute in Dallas and with Cathy Lee at the Intermountain Suzuki Strings Institute.
She spent thirteen years freelancing in New York City, where she played with orchestras such as SONYC and the Mark Morris Dance Company; with chamber musicians such as Lawrence Dutton and the Lark, Cassatt, and Emerson String Quartets; in Broadway shows such as Wicked and Fiddler on the Roof; recorded numerous movie soundtracks and television jingles; and performed with Sting, Sheryl Crow, k.d. lang, and Rufus Wainwright. She spent several years as the Sarasota Opera Orchestra's Assistant Concertmaster, and was a Music Fellow at Tanglewood.
Vivienne began the piano at age 4 and the violin at age 7 (studying with famed pedagogue Alice Schoenfeld). By the age of 10, she had been a soloist with USC School of Performing Arts Orchestra, and had appeared on the Tonight Show with Johnny Carson and the Emmy Award Show. She received her Bachelor's Degree in English and American Literature at Harvard College, where she studied chamber music with Robert Levin, Eugene Lehner, John Harbison, and Leonard Hokanson, and went on to pursue her Master's Degree in music performance at Indiana University at Bloomington, where she studied with Miriam Fried.
Leo Kitajima (violin, orchestra)
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 other genres of music. As an undergraduate at the University of California, San Diego, he performed with the jazz band playing 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 faulty at the Pasadena Conservatory of Music and the Colburn School of Performing Arts. He is currently the Orchestra Director for the Middle and Upper School at Westridge School in Pasadena, CA.
Sharon Lee Kim (piano)
Sharon Lee Kim actively performs as a collaborative pianist, vocal coach, music director, choral and vocal accompanist, chamber music, and piano instructor. Ms. Kim joined the Saint Mary's College Music Faculty in the fall of 2008. She is the Assistant Director and Accompanist of the internationally award-winning Saint Mary's College Chamber Singers and GleeClub-winner of 2 gold medals from the largest international competition. Aside from teaching music history, piano, and choir at the college, Ms. Kim is the Assistant Director of the Faculty Chamber Sunday's Series since its inception in the Fall of 2013. Sharon is the co-founding member of Duo Camaraderie together with Flutist Laura Scarlata, the pianist of Ensemble Ari, and accompanist at the San Francisco Girls Chorus, and works at the San Francisco Conservatory of Music and at the Crowden Music Center. Sharon also serves as Site Director or Worship Arts at Christ Church East Bay in Lafayette, CA, and maintains a thriving private studio, teaching piano students and vocal coaching singers.
Sharon graduated with honors in music from UC Berkeley and continued her studies at the New England Conservatory where she received her Master's degree with honors and distinction in Collaborative Piano. She then furthered her studies at the conservatory to receive her Graduate Diploma. Ms. Kim's teachers have included Irma Vallecillo, Kayo Iwama, John Greer, Barbara Shearer, and Margret Elson. During past summers, Sharon attended the Music Academy of the West, SongFest Professional Program, and Mendocino Music Festival's Emerging Artists Program. She has participated in master classes with Mitsuko Shirai, Martin Katz, Graham Johnson, Pierre Vallet, Thomas Quasthoff, Warren Jones, Jonathan Feldman, Craig Smith, John Harbison, and Myung-Hwa Chung. Sharon is a frequent recitalist and has performed and recorded throughout the nation and internationally with such groups as the Voci Women's Ensemble, Handel and Haydn Society, Boston Children's Chorus, MassTheatrica, Bay Area Summer Opera Theater Institute, New England Conservatory, Wellesley College, Boston College, and San Francisco Conservatory.
Hadley Louden (Aspiring Twinklers Program)
Hadley Louden, multi-instrumentalist and faculty member at the Crowden Music Center, holds a Bachelors degree with a minor in Music from UC Berkeley (as well as a J.D. from UC Hastings), and has studied Orff music education at Mills College. He has taught general music to children and adults for over 40 years. He has been on the Faculty at UC Berkeley, Mills College, Cal State University East Bay, San Francisco State University, Washington Elementary in Berkeley, and Camp Winnarainbow among others.
An active performer of keyboards and percussion, Hadley has performed, recorded and toured worldwide with top African and Latin Ensembles, including Los Bros, Dr. Locos Rockin' Jalapeno Band, Judy Mowatt, Malonga Caskelourde, C.K. Ladzekpo, Machete Ensemble, Marimba Pacifica, Mickey Hart, and Fantuzzi.
Melissa Solomon deFreitas (cello)
Born in Johannesburg, South Africa, Melissa came from a family of professional musicians and developed an early passion for music. She immigrated to the United States after receiving a full merit scholarship for study at Interlochen Arts Academy. She continued her studies with internationally renowned cellist Timothy Eddy at the Juilliard School in New York City. She gained her Suzuki training at the Colorodo Suzuki Institute and the Chicago Suzuki Institute. Ms. Solomon has worked as an instructor at such programs as the Altelekker Music Festival and the Solomon Suzuki School, has presented masterclasses at the Suzuki Institute of Dallas, and is teaching at the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute in Dallas. She has performed throughout the United States, Europe and Africa, including such major cities and New York, London, Florence, Edinburgh, Johannesburg and Cape Town.
Nicolette Solomon (violin)
Nicolette Solomon is Executive Director and President of the Suzuki Institute of Dallas.
Ms. Solomon was born in Laingsburg, South Africa. She began her studies with Neil McKay in Port Elizabeth followed by Pierre de Broote at the College of Music in Cape Town. Nicolette completed her High School and University studies under the tutelage of Alan Solomon, who introduced her to the implementation of the Suzuki method. In 1975 she played at the International Festival of Youth Orchestras in Scotland and later toured Europe and Israel. She has played in the International Festival Orchestra at the Royal Albert Hall, London, and performed in Israel, Taiwan and Hong Kong with Harmonia Juventia. She studied Chamber Music from 1974-1981 with Betty Pack and Alan Solomon. She has also been an Adjudicator/Examiner for music competitions and examinations in South Africa and the USA.
Nicolette Solomon obtained a Bachelor of Music (Honors) and Higher Education Diploma (Post Graduate) at Witwatersrand University in Johannesburg, South Africa. Her Suzuki training continued with Christophe and Judy Bossuat at the Ecole Suzuki in Lyon, France. Nicolette studied with Dr. Suzuki a the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto, Japan in 1992. During that training, she taught at a private studio in Nagano City, Japan and at Shinshu University. Ms. Solomon founded and directed the Solomon Suzuki School in Johannesburg, South Africa.
In 1994, Ms. Solomon attended the International Strings workshop in France, playing in the Eduard Melckus Baroque Ensemble. She has taught at Suzuki workshops in South Africa, Dublin, Ireland, Auckland and Christchurch, New Zealand. Ms Solomon teaches at workshops and institutes throughout the USA and Central America.
Nancy Yamagata (cello)
Nancy Yamagata is the cello coordinator of the Suzuki String Program at The Colburn Community School of Performing Arts in Los Angeles. She began her cello studies in Los Angeles with distinguished pedagogue Eleonore Schoenfeld and received a Bachelor of Music Education degree from the University of Southern California where she was recognized as the Outstanding Graduate of the Thornton School of Music in 1978.
Ms. Yamagata concertized extensively with the Young International Trio and won prizes in the Coleman Chamber Music Competition in 1974 and 1975. She is a founding member of the Marina Ensemble which has been the resident coaching ensemble at the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute. Last year the ensemble celebrated its 30th year of sharing chamber music with young audiences.
In 1986, Ms. Yamagata received the SHAR Distinguished Young Teacher Award. She has served as the Cello Coordinator of the biennial SAA Conference. In addition, Ms. Yamagata is the director of the Chamber Music Workshop at the Los Angeles Suzuki Institute at Pomona College and is on the faculty of the National Cello Institute.
Cathy Allen, Body Mapping
Christina Berg, Music & Movement
Goran Berg, chamber music, violin
Renata Bratt, fiddling, bluegrass, improv
Danielle Charboneau, violin
Caroline Fraser, guest speaker
Katheryn Hewatt, violin
Leo Kitajima, violin, orchestra
Sharon Lee Kim, piano
Hadley Louden, Aspiring Twinklers Program
Melissa Solomon deFreitas, cello
Nicolette Solomon, violin
Nancy Yamagata, cello
Vivienne Kim, Director
Katherine Baird, Assistant Director
Goran Berg, Founder