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Our Story


Meet some of the best music teachers in Austin!

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Laura Poyzer

Founder and Director

After studying at the Royal Welsh College of Music in the UK, Mrs. Laura moved to Austin and completed a Masters in Music and Human Learning at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas. Mrs. Laura has been teaching music students in Austin since 2009.

'Teaching has been an incredible journey. I love to see students grow through hard work, to see their friendships blossom as they support one another in group-class, and most of all I love to see them gain the ability to express themselves through music.'

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Asha Poyzer

Assistant Director

Asha and Laura have directed the school together for many years. Currently, Asha provides a supportive role while studying for a psychology degree. You'll find him mostly behind the scenes helping to develop and guide the school's programming, philosophy, and future.

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Jane Etherington

Violin & Viola Teacher

Along with a violin performance degree from the University of Utah where she studied string pedagogy under Dr. Sokol-Borup, Mrs. Jane brings an infectious enthusiasm and charm to lessons! When not teaching, Mrs. Jane loves hiking and is an awesome illustrator. 

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Shelby Dems

Violin Teacher

Shelby received a Master’s degree in Suzuki Pedagogy & Violin Performance at Ithaca College. She strives to inspire students and parents to enjoy practicing while learning how to problem-solve and find their voice. She encompasses breathing, stretching, yoga, and dancing and believes these actions are vital for the success of our minds and bodies, both with our instruments and in life. 

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Maddie Bowsher

Cello Teacher

Maddie is a cellist and strings teacher originally from upstate New York. She studied music education at Syracuse University and has taught both cello lessons and middle school orchestra. She enjoys helping students learn more about themselves through music and develop a lifelong appreciation for art and beauty.

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Saber Walters

Violin & Viola Teacher

Saber attended Trinity University in San Antonio and received a Master's in violin performance and pedagogy at Texas State University, where they studied with Paula Bird. Saber believes firmly in the principle of “every child can” of the Suzuki method - every child can learn to play violin!

Maggie Molleur - Songbird Rising

Maggie Molleur

Yoga Instructor

You know that feeling when you take a deep breath and a big stretch and you can feel it in every cell of your body? Well, Maggie's goal is to help kids find that feeling in each of her classes. Maggie has been working with kids of all ages in the mindfulness field for years and curates classes that include movement, games, crafts, props, and conversations to socially and emotionally grow together. 

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Julia Masters

Piano Accompanist

A native Texan, Julia obtained a Bachelor of Music in piano performance from the University of Texas at Austin. She is a Nationally Certified Teacher of Music and an active member of the Texas and Austin District Music Teachers Associations. When not teaching or playing piano, she enjoys practicing yoga and spending time with her dog, Blondie.

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John Wassmuth

Piano Accompanist

John received a Master's degree in piano performance at the University of Texas at Austin, where he studied under Anton Nel. He is a piano instructor at St. Stephen's Episcopal School and an active performer/educator in the Austin area.

Cello Teacher, Songbird Rising Suzuki School, Austin TX
// To guide us all toward Joy, Freedom, Maturity, and Integrity. The highest ideal is to develop our musicianship to its fullest potential.

Create a nurturing environment


We are honest and genuine, and we accept each other for who we are.

Live into our potential


We open ourselves to possibility, and in doing so, make available our fullest potential.

Practice Well


Mindful practice each day. Ask for and accept help, we don't need to do it on our own.



// Established in 2010, Songbird Rising has changed over the years. We have grown in both size and programming. From a single violin studio in Austin, TX offering private lessons, we are now a comprehensive curriculum of private and group violin, viola, and cello lessons, recitals, concerts, community shows, international tours, summer camps, and a school performance group playing professional shows!


// Songbird Rising is committed to guiding the school and its students toward their goals and potential with our core values as the foundation. Our commitment to each student is a solid foundation in skill and musicianship while having fun and leveraging the potential of study for personal growth and the development of character.


// At Songbird Rising Suzuki School a clear vision as well as a strong foundation is important. The school, ever-evolving, will always offer a high level of education, opportunity, and understanding to our students and their families. 'Growth, Joy, Community' is our school motto and an invitation for us to ground our studies in the support of one another's well-being and potential. 


The Suzuki Method

// Who, What & Why....

Shinichi Suzuki Portrait

The Suzuki Method was developed by Japanese violinist Dr Shinichi Suzuki. He desired to bring beauty to the lives of children after the devastation of  WWII.

Every Child Can

The essential components of the Suzuki Method are that we are all capable of learning from our environment and that successful learning relies on creating the right environment. Suzuki noticed how children pick up their native language. He reasoned that if children have the skill to acquire their native language, then they have the necessary ability to become proficient on a musical instrument and learn the language of music.

It is often said within the Suzuki Community the ‘Every Child Can’, a statement that recognizes the ability to learn as important over innate ‘talent’.


Suzuki pioneered the idea that pre-school age children could learn to play the violin if learning steps were small enough and if the instrument was scaled down to fit their body. He modeled his method, which he called "Talent Education", after his theories of natural language acquisition. Suzuki believed that every child, if properly taught, was capable of a high level of musical achievement. He also made it clear that the goal of such musical education was to raise generations of children with "noble hearts" (as opposed to creating famous musical prodigies).

Music is an important and powerful form of expression for Human Beings

This is very much inline with Mrs Laura's own motivation to teach, that music is an important and powerful form of expression for human beings, this implies an importance on the process rather than only the product of learning to play.

Every Adult Can

Important to Mrs Laura is the idea that every adult can, in opposition to the popular idea that we can be 'too old' to learn. 

Shinichi Suzuki playing violin

Suzuki Association of the Americas

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