Janai Fuller, violin
Janai Fuller holds a degree in music education and a master’s in violin performance. She has studied Suzuki pedagogy in Matsumoto, Japan with Shinichi Suzuki. Her U.S. Suzuki education has included institutes with John Kendall, Lorraine Fink, Doris Preucil and others. Many of her students have gone on to major in music and have teaching and playing careers. Janai plays in the Auburn Symphony and Quartet Con Brio.
Leah Hoffman, violin and viola
Leah Hoffman has been teaching at the Suzuki Institute of Seattle since 2006. She is an active member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) and has completed Suzuki training courses with Cathy Lee, Allen Lieb, Joseph Kaminsky, Joanne Melvin and Judy Bossuat. Recently, she has performed with NOCCO (North Corner Chamber Orchestra). Leah is a violin and viola coach for the summer camp Marrowstone in the City. From 2006-2011 Leah was a sectional coach for the Seattle Youth Symphony’s Debut and Junior Symphonies. Leah is a former member of the New World Symphony under the direction of Michael Tilson Thomas in Miami Beach, Florida. She earned her Master’s degree in viola performance from Rice University and her Bachelor’s degree in viola performance from the Cleveland Institute of Music. Outside of teaching, Leah enjoys ballroom dancing, cooking, trying new restaurants and reading on her Kindle.
Natalie Ingrisano, Explore Suzuki Music
Natalie moved to Seattle this Fall after completing her Master’s in classical voice performance at Roosevelt University in Chicago. She also holds a bachelor’s degree in music education and voice performance. She has worked in public and catholic schools teaching preK-8th grade general music, middle school choir, preK-3rd grade violin program, and 4th-8th grade band. From 2012-2015 she was a voice teacher for middle and high school students at the acclaimed Latin School of Chicago. Natalie has enjoyed performing as a soloist and professional chorister in the Midwest, Pacific Northwest, and Italy. Recent solo performances with orchestra include Mahler’s Symphony No. 4 (2015), Purcell’s Te Deum Laudamus (2014), Mendelssohn’s Hear My Prayer (2014), Fauré’s Requiem (2013), and Bach’s Magnificat (2012). Natalie enjoyed the honor of performing the United States and French National Anthems at Alliance Française and City of Chicago’s Bastille Day celebration (2014 & 2015) in Daley Plaza. As a chorister in 2013 she rocked it hard singing with the Rolling Stones. Natalie is currently a full time student in the Artist Diploma in Early Music program at Cornish College of the Arts with primary instructor Nancy Zylstra.
Kevin Leiferman, cello
Cellist Kevin Leiferman began his studies in Billings Montana under the tutelage of Dr. Nancy Critelli. He then went on to receive a BM Performance from the University of Montana, an MM Performance from Miami University, and Certificates in Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from the University of Denver. His primary teachers have included Fern Glass-Boyd, Pansy Chang, Richard Slavich and Carol Tarr. Since receiving his long-term Suzuki training from Carol Tarr he has had the opportunity to see the immense benefit of an early start and loves seeing the positive impact music can make in a child’s life. Kevin is very excited to be joining the Suzuki Institute of Seattle this coming July!
Hilary Lim, piano
Hilary Lim received her BM degree in piano performance along with a minor in education from the University of Washington, where she studied with Dr. Patricia Michaelian and Dr. Nancy Jang. Hilary was raised in the Suzuki program, and has studied Suzuki pedagogy with Diane Williams and Pam Chang. She has collaborated with instrumentalists and vocalists around the Seattle area, as well as working with the University of Washington’s drama department. Hilary has adjudicated for the Seattle Federated Music Teachers’ Festival and is a chamber music coach at Vivace Chamber Players. Hilary’s students frequently comment on her compassionate and gentle style of coaching, and her fun sense of humor. She enjoys the unique creativity that music offers, and loves working with students of all ages to explore and discover a lasting enjoyment of music.
Robert Murphy, violin
Robert T. Murphy holds a BM in violin performance and an MM in violin pedagogy. He studeied violin with Myron Kartman and Bernard Zinck, and string pedagogy with Darcey Drexler and Mimi Zweig. He has been instructed in Suzuki teaching by Joanne Melvin, Edward Kreitman, Karren-Michele Kimmett, Kathleen Spring and Cathy Lee. He is currently assistant principal second violinist of the Cascade Symphony Orchestra, violinist with the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra at Eastman School of Music, and teaches 4th-12th grade strings at Seattle Waldorf School. Mr. Murphy enjoys reading books, cooking, bowling, and going hiking.
Linda Peterson, violin
Linda earned a BA in Music Education and a MA in Violin Performance. She studied Suzuki pedagogy with Shinichi Suzuki, Yuko Mori, John Kendall, Mark Bjork and numerous other clinicians. During her training she observed weekly lessons given by Miss Aruga and Tove Detrekoy.
Linda is a frequent clinician at the Washington State Suzuki Festival. Prior to joining the Suzuki Institute of Seattle, she maintained a large, private studio and was active in the local home school community. Her former students have been regional Solo and Ensemble winners, pursued music majors at universities, earned positions in professional orchestras and became Suzuki teachers.
She enjoys the opportunity of taking students on the journey of learning violin and the many life lessons that violin study teaches.
Meg Risso, cello
Meg Risso grew up in the Seattle area, playing in the Seattle Youth Symphony orchestras and studying with Fay Chi, David Tonkinogui, and Ray Davis. She graduated from Oberlin with a degree in Music Performance, studying under Hans Jensen and Peter Rejto and lingered in the Midwest to play with the Oakley Street Cello Ensemble in Chicago. Now back in Seattle, Meg teaches cello, adjudicates at Solo & Ensemble festivals, and coaches cello for Marrowstone in the City, Seattle Youth Symphony’s Symphonette Orchestra, and for local high schools. Meg plays with the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra and for various group gigs. Meg has worked with kids musically and academically for the last 13 years and has taken Every Child Can with Pam Davenport and Suzuki training with Rick Mooney. She loves fostering confidence through the process of learning music and sharing her passion for cello with all of her students.
George Steward, trumpet
George earned his BM in trumpet performance from Wheaton College and his MM in trumpet performance from Yale School of Music. He has performed as featured soloist with many local orchestras and bands. He is principal trumpet with Cascade Symphony, Everett Philharmonic, and Octava Chamber Orchestra. He has taught in public and private schools, and directed church choirs. In 2015, George studied the new Suzuki trumpet method in Stockholm, Sweden with Ann-Marie Sundberg. He is the first to teach Suzuki trumpet in the United States. The Suzuki principles of patience, encouragement, and joy in music are a perfect fit for how he has always worked with students.