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Violin Book 1 Workshop

The Well-Rounded Twinkler


22-hour virtual teacher training seminar beginning June 14, 2021

While as teachers we strive to make the first year of violin fun for our students, we often see their excitement diminish over the first year. Even if they stay the course through those early plateaus, the early struggle can cast a long shadow.

Online teaching makes these challenges even harder.

I’ve been teaching Suzuki violin for 22 years. Over the last 12 I’ve researched and refined a set of tools that made it much easier to teach young beginners. The principles come from Kodaly and Montessori, but I’ve integrated them with Suzuki and figured out how to make it all work together. I would love to share these tools with you this summer.

I’ve been a Suzuki teacher for over 30 years. This approach has introduced a new level of musicianship into my studio.”

—Kay Mueller, Austin Suzuki Academy

I loved the workshop. It was truly life-changing.

Laura Syjud
Suzuki Violin Specialist
Desert Shadows Elementary School

Here are just a few of the tools that will build skills and excitement for your young beginners:

Being able to play a real song from the very first lesson.

Without any sacrifice in technique, even a young beginner can play Hot Cross Buns. The initial excitement to play violin builds over time instead of diminishing.

Many smaller songs instead of fewer longer ones.

Playing lots of repertoire reinforces skills and extends practice time. Plus, students love getting a new song every week.

Helping students discover important skills for themselves.

Montessori is about guiding students toward important insights. The result is that they internalize concepts more deeply and “learn how to learn.” You’ll almost never have to teach the same thing twice — and in the process get more lesson time to spend learning new skills!

Folk-song based repertoire for the first year.

Singing songs before playing them trains the ear and builds fluency.

Introducing one skill at a time.

Young students are not yet able to effectively channel attention. Focusing on one task at a time accelerates learning and minimizes frustration.

Rhythmic movement activities prepare left hand and right-hand skills away from the violin.

Fun, accessible movement activities are performed to authentic folk songs. These songs form the basis of the child’s pre-Twinkle repertoire.

Literacy from the beginning.

Solfege, singing, and piano are used to introduce literacy during the first year. Being able to read fluently makes advanced repertoire accessible much sooner.

Separating skills from repertoire.

Students can learn advanced skills even while playing easier songs. When they finally get a piece with those skills, they instinctively know where to use them.

I began using techniques that I learned from the workshop starting on the second day of training. Elise Winters is not only a brilliant violinist, but also a once-in-a-lifetime pedagogue. I truly believe that this program will be talked about as commonly as Suzuki and Kodaly are around the world, very soon.

Jessica Muiseke-Wilkison
Violin Teacher in Tucson, AZ

More results, less effort.

•  You may never hear the words, “I’m having trouble getting my child to practice” again. Practice games will become almost extinct in your studio.

•  Your students will come to each lesson excited to share the breakthroughs THEY have created at home.

•  As your Book 1 students harmonize their songs on piano, they will consider it obvious that the second scale degree is usually harmonized by a V chord.

• Your Book 2 students will locate and remember the chromatic pitches in their songs without your help.

• Your Book 3 students will understand key relationships that you probably learned in high school.

• Your 5-year-old beginners will routinely reach Vivaldi in four years and play Bruch by middle school.

• Your students will play for love, not duty; because they never experienced those typical plateau years when violin becomes associated with perseverance.

I love practicing violin, and I don’t need a break from it.

Elana, age 10

Eli’s study has been an amazing and fantastic experience. I’m astounded at what you and he have been able to accomplish in the last two years!

Peter K. in Austin, TX
Son age 7

The workshop will introduce you to a specialized sequence which is optimized to be a prequel to Suzuki Book 1. You can use this repertoire, or take the tools and apply them in your own way.

Get more information about the Kaleidsocopes curriculum here.

The workshop will comprise 22 in-person hours plus 10 hours of video lesson observations completed outside of class.

June 14-25, 2021
11:00 – 1:30 CST

12 – 2:30 EST
9 – 11:30 PST
18 – 20:30 CEST

Limit: 25 participants
$350 early registration
($375 after May 15)

One payment of $350
3 easy payments of $120

Need-based scholarship is available. Please write Roger at

The course is limited to 25 participants. Register now to ensure your participation.

One payment and you’re finished:

Three budget-friendly payments: 

About the Presenter

Elise Winters holds a B.A. from Rice University and a Master of Social Work from the University of Texas, with coursework in violin performance, linguistics, neurolinguistics, cognitive neuroscience, and cognition.

She completed her 3-year Kodaly training at Indiana University Jacobs School of Music. A former student of Ronda Cole, her Suzuki teacher trainers include Judy Bossuat-Gallic, Cathy Lee, Marilyn O’Boyle, Doris Preucil, Edward Kreitman, and Charles Krigbaum.

Elise has performed as a member of the Austin Symphony, Austin Lyric Opera, and the Grammy Award-winning Conspirare choir, and appears regularly as guest concertmistress of La Follia Austin Baroque. She is a published author with Oxford University Press and author of Kaleidoscopes for Violin, which blends Montessori and Kodaly principles within a Suzuki framework.

Elise’s passions include art and visual design, biomechanics, Five Rhythms dance, and sustainability. She directs a full-time studio of 50 students in Austin, Texas.

“An intellectual as well as an artist, Ms. Winters has made a major contribution to the field of violin pedagogy.

Integrating her knowledge of psychology, education, kinesiology, and music, Ms. Winters takes the best of all the major schools of violin pedagogy and adds her unique methods. I wish Ms. Winters had been my pedagogy professor in college or grad school. If I were seeking a degree in pedagogy, I would certainly study under her.” 

– Ruth Navarre, Orpheus Academy of Music

In Kaleidoscopes, Elise has merged the high standards of violin technique with joy, self-discovery, and beauty in a thoughtfully organized and fluid way. I can’t wait to take all I’ve learned to better serve my students!

Vanessa M.
Yakima, WA

Wow — my heart is full. Trusting my inner voice. Making discoveries together, providing a safe space for discoveries to be made. Being a guide... and letting the wonder and curiosity I have lead me in leaving clues for my students to follow their own curiosity and wonder. So many ideas I am eager to share with my students!

— C.H., Violin Teacher
Williamsport, PA

This workshop opened my eyes to new and exciting ways of teaching music, specifically to young beginners. Elise is thoughtful, experienced, and incredibly insightful. I can’t wait to incorporate the many things I learned from her during this workshop, and would highly recommend it to all!
Laura Cásarez
Tucson Symphony Orchestra

I went through the training twice, and I highly recommend it to all the teachers I know.

Robin Johnson
Suzuki Violin Teacher
Los Angeles, CA

This workshop inspired my teaching from the first class. I started using the teaching ideas the same day with my students. After a week I began to see an improvement in my energy level when I was teaching. After the second week, I see an improvement in my students’ posture and violin playing skills. I am happier when I teach and feel inspired to drastically change how I teach from now on!
Elizabeth Mayorca
Mayorca Violin Studio

This workshop transformed the way I think of teaching children. 

Lindsey Szczesny
Suzuki Strings, Cedar City
Viola Teacher, Southern Utah University