// Recognizing the desire to teach, and the value of a nurturing education.
Mrs Laura attended the Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama where she studied Violin performance for 4 years. It was during this time that Mrs Laura recognized her own desire to teach and the value of a nurturing education. She started to orient herself towards a future in education, ultimately taking her on a journey far from home.
Mrs Laura’s journey across the atlantic from Wales UK in 2009, was inspired by a wonderful man and master teacher, William ‘Bill’ Dick. Laura met Bill 9 years earlier on Ciaconna International Music Course, an intensive String Camp in England.. Throughout her Bachelors degree Mrs Laura visited with Bill in Austin TX to study Violin. With his encouragement she made an application to complete a Masters in Music and Human and Learning at the Butler School of Music, University of Texas.
Moving to Austin with her husband Asha, it was not long before the very beginnings of Songbird Rising were conceived. Alongside her study, Mrs Laura taught with the UT String Project, directed by Dr Laurie Scott. This gave her the chance to learn her craft in a very practical way, putting the advanced teaching methods and values she learned during class directly into practice.
Founder and Director of Songbird Rising Suzuki School.
Songbird Rising is an opportunity for all involved to delve deep and live into their potential.
The dedication required to play is character building, the places we must go in order to profoundly express ourselves allow us to grow comfortable with the uncomfortable - an invaluable ability.
Mrs. Elizabeth began Suzuki violin lessons on a Fruit Roll-Ups box at the age of six. Little did she realize back then what a tremendous impact her elementary school's Suzuki program would have on her life. She grew up to pursue playing the violin full time and is currently a tenured member of the Austin Opera Orchestra and occasionally subs for the Austin Symphony Orchestra.
Mrs. Elizabeth strongly believes in Mr. Suzuki's philosophy of educating the whole child through violin. The ultimate goal is not simply to create a virtuosic violinist, but a well-rounded young musician of character and integrity.
Mrs. Elizabeth graduated summa cum laude with a Bachelor's degree in Violin Performance from Southern Methodist University where she studied with Jan Sloman, John Gilbert, and Chee-yun Kim. She was the founding director of the Fine Arts Academy at FUMC of Coppell, TX where she taught violin, viola, and guitar lessons. She is also a licensed Kindermusik instructor. Upon moving to Austin, she worked alongside Mrs. Laura as a founding teacher for Austin Soundwaves, a music program at East Austin College Prep. She has taught violin lessons since 2003 and is very excited to be joining Mrs. Laura at Songbird Rising Suzuki School.
When not playing violin, Mrs. Elizabeth enjoys cooking, gardening her roses, and spending time with her husband Aaron and their daughter Cecilia.
Violinist Jane Etherington grew up in Salt Lake City, Utah. She received her Bachelor of Music in Violin Performance from the University of Utah in 2018, where she studied under the instruction of Lynnette Stewart and Kasia Sokol-Borup. Jane placed significant emphasis on studying string pedagogy under Dr. Sokol-Borup and has taught violin privately for five years, including two semesters at the String Preparatory Division at the University of Utah. Jane has worked through the Undergraduate Research Opportunities Program, studying early women composers and adapting their music for beginner to advanced violin students.
In addition to teaching, Jane enjoys hiking through Utah mountains, painting, and loves all plants.
SONGBIRD RISING CORE VALUES
// To guide us all, towards Joy, Freedom, Maturity and Integrity. The highest ideal is to develop our musicianship to its fullest potential.
Create a nurturing environment
We make ourselves available to each other, we are honest and genuine and accept each other for who we are.
Live in to our potential
We open ourselves to possibility and in doing so, make available our fullest potential.
Mindful practice each day. Ask for and accept help, we don't need to do it on our own.
SONGBIRD IN A NUT SHELL
GROWTH. JOY. COMMUNITY.
WHERE WE ARE FROM
// Established in 2010, the summer string camp has grown from only 8 students, taught from our home in Hyde Park, Austin TX, to camps for 24 students running twice a year out of the beautiful Trinity United Methodist Church. Mrs Laura's violin studio has been changing too and now includes a comprehensive curriculum of private violin lessons supported by group lessons and twice yearly studio recitals.
// Mrs Laura is committed to guiding the school and its students towards their ideals and potential with our core values as the foundation.
WHERE WE ARE GOING
// At Songbird Rising Suzuki School, a strong foundation, as well as a clear vision is important. The school, ever evolving, has always consisted of both private violin lessons and the summer string camp. Throughout we have endeavored to provide a high level of education and understanding for our students. We want the Violin Studio and String Camp to be space for a strong community of joyful play and personal growth in Austin.
THE SUZUKI METHOD
// Who, What & Why....
The Suzuki Method was developed by Japanese violinist and pedagogue Dr Shinichi Suzuki, who desired to bring beauty to the lives of children in his country after the devastation of WW II.
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 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.
Suzuki Association of the Americas