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Upcoming Suzuki workshop

Workshops, masterclasses, group events & parent talk, all levels, Feb. 24

My friend and colleague Kara Eubanks at Willamette Violin Academy has helped organize a wonderful all-levels Suzuki workshop on Sat., Feb., 24. (And yes, this is the same day as the recital, but it starts later in the day. Sometimes you really can do it all!)

A wonderful Suzuki opportunity is around the corner. On Saturday, February 24, Suzuki violin students and parents are invited to participate for an afternoon of learning and inspiration with two of Portland’s most celebrated Suzuki violin teachers, Lisa Hansen and Christine Goodner, author of Beyond the Music Lesson.

Who can attend?

Students of all ages and levels studying with a registered Suzuki teacher in any music school or studio are welcome. There is no student too novice or advanced for this event—pre-Twinkle is welcome, too! Local Suzuki teachers can register as observers to watch our clinicians teach for the day.

Even new beginners can attend?

Oh, yes! indicate on your registration that your child is a pre-Twinkle or Twinkler. Group classes for their level will be offered, and consider registering for a masterclass—our clinicians are amazing with young students, and you’ll be amazed what you can learn in a short visit with a guest clinician. Most importantly, the parent talk is a priceless opportunity for new Suzuki Parents. Christine Goodner is a brilliant guide for Suzuki parents. Check out her blog at

What does the day look like?

Some students will wish to perform in a masterclass—a short, one-on-one lesson with a clinician on their polished piece, for an audience of Suzuki families. All students will participate in at least one group class with one of our clinicians, and will participate in the Review Rumpus!, a goofy, fun review party led by some local, advanced Suzuki violinists. During the review party, parents will attend a parent talk with Christine Goodner.

What is the schedule?

Some students will attend from 12pm to 5pm, if they wish to perform in a masterclass and observe masterclasses before the group events begin. Other students who choose to only participate in group events may have a day as short as 2pm to 5pm. All registered participants are encouraged to observe masterclasses.

How much does it cost?

Participation in group events only, along with the parent talk, costs $25. Masterclass performers pay $40 for the day’s events.

Where is the event?

1390 Pearl Street (map & directions) , in the First Church of Christ, Scientist.

Can I bring my Suzuki violinist’s sibling(s) to the workshop?

Yes! Suzuki is a family affair, and siblings are welcome to observe, as long as they are supervised by parents.

Register today!


Email Kara:

Fall Term starts Sept. 11

Despite all the smoke and heat, I hope you had a good Labor Day weekend and that back-to-school week is off to a good start for you.

Quick reminder: ESMA is closed this week, and Fall Term begins Mon., Sept. 11. Here are some important dates for you:

  • Fall Term: Sept. 11-Dec. 16, 2017
  • Little Notes classes and violin lessons all resume the week of Sept. 11
  • Saturday Little Notes resumes Sat., Sept. 16… but with new times: 9:00–10:00 a.m. and 10:30 a.m.—11:30 a.m.
  • Wednesday Little Notes is unchanged, but Thursday has new times. Wednesday and Thursday Little Notes classes meet at 9:30–10:30 a.m. and 11:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.

Group Classes

  • Every Friday afternoon
  • Quarter Notes (Pre-Twinkle Beginners): 3:45–4:15 p.m.
  • Half Notes (Book 1 Group): 4:15–4:45 p.m.
  • Whole Notes (Book 2 and up): 4:45–5:30 p.m.

Fall Recital

  • Sat., Oct. 28, 11 a.m.
  • Location TBD
  • For Violin and Little Notes families
  • Halloween costumes welcome!

Other Important Studio Dates

  • Busking at Eugene Holiday Market: Sat., Dec. 9, 2017
  • End-of-Term Studio Pizza Party: Fri., Dec. 15
  • Thanksgiving Break: No lessons or classes Nov. 20–25
  • Last day of term for violin lessons: Fri., Dec. 15
  • Last day of term for Little Notes: Sat., Dec. 16

Need to register?

Register for Violin Lessons

Register for Little Notes

Here's hoping the smoke clears soon, and see you next week.

Practice video: Why Live Performance Is Essential & Wonderful

How concerts inspire musicians of all ages

Welcome to Practice Corner! Whatever the season, there are live music performances you and your child can attend. From summer concerts outside, to going to a jam or concert anytime of year, live performance excites and inspires musicians of all ages. There’s nothing like seeing how music gets made! You can also work with your child to set up your own live performance, from busking at a local market, to hosting a small recital for friends, family, and neighbors at your home or in your backyard. Today we talk about why taking your kids to live music performances isn’t only essential, it’s wonderful too.

Dr. Suzuki says: “Music is the language of the heart without words.”

Watch live (and ask questions)! Tune in every other week at ESMA’s Facebook Page for new Practice Corners. You can also share your own tips and questions.

If you can’t tune in to the broadcast, no worries. You can find our Practice Corner videos on the ESMA YouTube Channel, and at the Practice Corner section of the ESMA website.

Have you taken your kids to a musical concert or performance… or maybe put on your own?

Summer Registration & Summer Term

ESMA Summer Term

Summer Term is almost here, and registration is open! During summer we change up both lessons and Little Notes classes:

Suzuki Violin Lessons

  • Lessons are available Tuesday–Thursdays throughout July 11–Aug. 31.
  • Sign up for lessons based on your summer schedule.
  • 4-lesson minimum required of all violin students (but more is better).
  • No group class during summer. Group class will resume in Fall Term.

Little Notes Music Classes

  • Little Notes classes are available only on Wednesdays (9:30 a.m. and 11 a.m.) and Thursdays (10:15 a.m.), July 12–Aug. 31.
  • Saturday class will resume in Fall Term.
  • Little Notes can be signed up for on a class-by-class basis based on what works for your schedule.

Payment for lessons and classes is due by July 10.

Complete your summer registration

Download your registration forms here:

ESMA Summer Violin Lessons Registration Form (PDF)

ESMA Summer Littles Notes Registration Form (PDF)

We’re hiring a Little Notes Assistant

Are you interested in helping Jodie with Little Notes classes, or do you know someone who would be? ESMA is hiring a part-time assistant for our Little Notes classes.


The Eugene Suzuki Music Academy is a highly regarded music school that features baby and toddler music learning. Founded by Jodie St. Clair in 2009, ESMA has become a music education staple for Oregon’s Eugene/Springfield area. We offer classes centered around Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) as well as Violin, Cello, and Guitar instruction.


Assist in the Little Notes class with instruments, greeting parents, guiding parents through class, singing, and leading. Teaching time will start with 2.5 hours on Wednesday morning and 1 hour on Thursday morning. There will also be occasional subbing opportunities and additional hours for recitals.


  • Experience with Early Childhood Education (ECE)
  • Comfortable leading a class
  • Comfortable singing in front of people
  • No formal music training required
  • Some knowledge of Suzuki philosophy preferred


Hourly rate commensurate with experience.


Please send resume and references to Eugene Suzuki Music Academy at




Welcome Meagan! Meet our new Suzuki Violin Teacher

Suzuki Violin Teacher Meagan RuvoloESMA has been growing and growing lately, and we are so glad that now there’s not just one violin teacher… there are two! Meagan Ruvolo is now accepting students to her Suzuki violin studio.

Meagan’s Teaching Philosophy

Having been a Suzuki student from the age of 4 and then studying the Suzuki philosophy long-term at the University of Denver with Kathleen Spring, I firmly believe that every child can achieve a high level of musical skill through careful instruction and a strong connection between the parent, student, and teacher. I tailor each lesson to the individual student’s goals as each family and situation is unique, and should be treated with the whole student and family in mind.

Since moving to Eugene in the fall of 2016, I have been lucky enough to meet Jodie and experience the wonderful atmosphere of community and support at ESMA. When I was a child I grew up learning violin in a similarly structured studio with the same families year after year, and they have become lifelong friends and colleagues. Most of them have continued their passion for music into a career or a fantastic personal hobby.

I look forward to becoming a part of this studio and getting to know you, as well as sharing my love of music and lifelong learning!

About Meagan

Meagan Ruvolo began studying violin in Canada at the age of 4 with Suzuki Teacher Joanne Martin. She attended private as well as a group lesson every week, and quickly excelled in her studies. At the age of 9 Meagan was performing in the Winnipeg Music Festival, taking first prize in multiple classes. Meagan began studying piano in addition to violin at the age of 5 with her grandmother and lifelong piano teacher/performer Patricia Arnason. Performing in many recitals and events over 15 years of study, Meagan has achieved a high level of sensitivity on the instrument.

Meagan went on to receive the Swedish Musical Club Trophy for violin in 1997 at the age of 12, as well as advancing to nationals on several other occasions. Throughout elementary school and beyond, Meagan competed in many competitions and recitals, taking many 1st and 2nd place awards for playing as well as composing music. Meagan enjoyed a long period of time playing violin for all 3 levels of the Winnipeg Youth Orchestras, from the age of 9 through 17, as well as being asked as an adult to play periodically for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra.

At the age of 16, Meagan began studies with Karl Stobbe, Associate Concertmaster for the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra. Meagan then studied with world famous violinist Oleg Pokhanovski during her studies at the University of Manitoba faculty of music, where she achieved mention on the Dean’s Honor Roll. Meagan began playing professionally at the age of 13 with many quartets and groups for weddings, conventions, banquets, and other chamber music settings. Meagan began teaching professionally at the age of 16, and has enjoyed enriching the lives of others through music. Meagan has also studied the long-term philosophy of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, creator and founder of the Suzuki Method, at the University of Denver under the instruction of Professor Kathleen Spring.

Meagan has completed SAA-registered training in Core Units, Every Child Can!, and Violin Units 1–4.

About Suzuki Violin Method

Meagan with studentsAs a mom and a teacher, Meagan believes that teaching is not just about the music, it is about the person. We strive to teach the whole student, not just the musician, and to create a community of music through ESMA.

At ESMA we guide parents and students with these 7 basic Suzuki principles:

  1. Every Child Can Learn
  2. Ability Develops Early
  3. Environment Nurtures Growth
  4. Children Learn from One Another
  5. Success Breeds Success
  6. Parent Involvement is Critical
  7. Encouragement is Essential

In addition to your weekly private lesson, students can also attend weekly group classes and be part of graduation and studio recitals. There is also parent support and resources to help you wherever you are on your music journey.

Want to learn Suzuki violin?

Meagan is building her local studio, and registration is open. If you have questions, please get in touch with Meagan at or 720-785-0930.

Register for Violin Lessons

Busking at Eugene Holiday Market, Dec. 10, 2016

ESMA busking at Holiday Market in 2011

Every winter, our local Eugene Saturday Market moves indoors to the Lane Events Center and becomes… Holiday Market! We like to take some time on a Saturday in December to play music for people at the market (also known as busking).

Join us on Sat., Dec. 10, 1–2 p.m., to play Suzuki songs and a few holiday tunes. Meet up with Jodie in the entry area of the Exhibit Hall. Any Violin or Cello student at any level is welcome to play.

All families, including Little Notes families, are welcome to stop by and enjoy the music. (After all, Little Notes families, someday your little note might be up there playing music too!)

Busking is a fun time for all of us. Playing music adds to the joy of the season. And any tips we receive from the public will go toward a pizza party for the studio!

See you Sat., Dec. 10, 1–2 p.m., at Holiday Market.

Suzuki Violin Festival in the Park, July 23, 2016

Summer violin fun! ESMA and other local Suzuki studios have put together a special Suzuki Violin Festival in the Park, sponsored by the Eugene Suzuki Strings Association. Join us on Saturday, July 23 10:00-11:30 at Washington Park (2025 Washington St., Eugene, OR 97405).

This festive event will feature playing violin together, fiddle tunes, prizes and ice cream! Details are below.

Please RSVP so we know how many people to plan for at this special occasion.

And also spread the word to other families who may be interested in this opportunity!

WHAT: Suzuki Violin Festival in the Park

WHERE: Washington Park, 2025 Washington St., Eugene. Meet by the water park.

WHEN: Saturday, July 23, 10–11:30 a.m.

BRING: Violins, Smiles, and $3 for Ice Cream

Fiddle Repertoire

We will be playing these 3 Fiddle Tunes, and here are PDFs of the music:

Please learn pieces as is appropriate to your level. Please use a harmonic for the high E if learning Stoney Lonesome. All repertoire will be played from memory.

Suzuki Repertoire

Use the repertoire list for the Northwest Suzuki Institute listed below. All repertoire will be played from memory.

Book I

  • Twinkles
  • Lightly Row
  • Song of the Wind
  • Go Tell Aunt Rhody
  • Allegro
  • Perpetual Motion
  • Minuet 1 (Bach)
  • Happy Farmer (Schumann)
  • Gavotte (Gossec)

Book II

  • Chorus (Handel)
  • Musette (Bach)
  • Hunters’ Chorus (Weber)
  • Witches’ Dance (Paganini)
  • The Two Grenadiers (Schumann)
  • Minuet (Boccherini)

Book III

  • Minuet (Bach)
  • Gavotte in g minor (Bach)
  • Humoresque (Dvorak)
  • Bourré (Bach)

Book IV

  • Concerto No. 2, 3rd mvmt. (Seitz)
  • Concerto No. 5, 1st mvmt. (Seitz)
  • Concerto in a minor, 3rd mvmt (Vivaldi)

Book V

  • Gavotte (Bach)
  • Country Dance (Weber)
  • Gigue (Veracini)

Book VI

  • Sonata in FM, 2nd mvmt. (Handel)
  • Allegro (Fiocco)
  • Gavotte (Rameau)


Contact me with questions, I am here to help and so excited to celebrate with you!

Summer Term Registrations

Something summery

Summer Term is ready for registration! Register for Summer Term with the forms below:

Violin Lessons Registration Summer 2016 (PDF)

Little Notes Registration Summer 2016 (PDF)

Payment for lessons and Little Notes is due July 10.

Summer Term 2016

Term Dates: June 28–Sept. 1

Summer Break: No lessons or classes June 19–27

Little Notes Class Schedule

  • Wednesdays, 9:30–10:30 a.m.
  • Wednesdays, 11:00 a.m.—12:00 p.m.
  • Thursdays, 10:15–11:15 a.m.
  • No Saturday classes during Summer Term. Summer classes resume Fall Term.

Violin Lessons

  • Students must register for at least 4 Summer Term lessons to remain enrolled at ESMA
  • Lessons available Tuesdays, Wednesdays, and Thursdays. No Violin Lessons on Mondays and Fridays.
  • No group classes during Summer Term. Group classes resume Fall Term.

If you have questions, please let me know during our next lesson or class. See you during Summer Term!

May 7, 2016: Mother’s Day Weekend Spring Recital

Mom is great, Mom is great. Come and help us celebrate! Flowers please, cookies too. All for Mom, cuz we love you!

We are getting ready for our Spring Recital! Violin, Cello, and Little Notes students will be performing on May 7 at 11 a.m., at Olive Plaza in downtown Eugene. Olive Plaza has been renovating their 1133 Olive St. location, so this will be our first recital with them in a while. Friends and family are welcome to attend, and the recital will be open to Olive Plaza residents.

Violin & Cello Students

During this week you can sign up for your rehearsal time, which will be during the hour prior to the recital. If you have questions about the recital, please let me know during lessons this week, or get in touch.

Little Notes Students

Little Notes students will perform first, and are welcome to stay for as much of the recital as they want afterward. We’ll be doing “Pop Goes the Weasel” and a special Mother’s Day song to our Falling Thirds xylophone tune:

Mom is great, Mom is great.
Come and help us celebrate!
Flowers please, cookies too.
All for Mom, cuz we love you!

No rehearsals are needed for Little Notes, so just arrive a little before. There won’t be a Little Notes class on Sat., May 7. All other Little Notes classes continue as scheduled.

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