Emily Sunderman began her violin studies at the Hartford Conservatory at age three with Suzuki Violin visionary Barbara Embser. After earning her Bachelor’s Degree in Fine Arts at Hampshire College, in Amherst, MA, her primary violin studies were with Arturo Delmoni. She has also studied privately with Katherine Winterstein, Sebu Sirinian, Nickoli Sikorsky, Laura Bossert, Paul Reynolds, Gillian Rogell, Miho Zaitsu and Anton Miller. She is committed to lifelong learning and continues to take lessons and study Suzuki pedagogy. Emily is currently on the violin faculty at The Middlebury Community Music Center (MCMC) in Middlebury, Vermont. During the summer, she directs the Middlebury Chamber Music Festival in Middlebury, Vermont and is a chamber music coach at MCMC Camp Adagio.
The Suzuki Method combines a music teaching method with a philosophy, embracing the total development of the person, which follows Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s guiding principle, “character first, ability second”. The Suzuki Violin Method involves a combination of weekly private lessons and regular group classes. The Suzuki approach is based on the belief that students can learn to play music in the same way they easily learn their native language – through listening, repetition, motivation, encouragement, and love. Parents of young students take an active role in the education process by attending lessons and group class and practicing daily with their child at home.
Emily’s goal as a Suzuki teacher is not only to develop the violinist and musician in every student but to nurture the entire person and support the development of life skills such as coordination, self-evaluation and motivation, listening, patience, and perseverance. The Suzuki method is structured in such a way that new ideas are presented in small steps so the student can succeed and be proud of their achievements with every new skill. Old skills serve as building blocks for new material so the child is always developing a larger vocabulary. Review and refinement of skills is integrated into daily practice and teaching through review of repertoire. With positive guidance and support, the student develops confidence and a strong self-esteem.
Emily is certified in Suzuki violin pedagogy for books 1-5. She completed Book 1 and 2 certification with Carrie Hummel-Reuning at Hartt School of Music, Books 3 and 4 with Ed Kreitman and Book 5 with Kimberly Meier-Sims at Ithaca College.
In addition to teaching students of all ages, Emily is a Suzuki Parent to her eleven year old son and maintains an active performance schedule as a soloist, orchestral and chamber musician. She performs frequently at the Middlebury Town Hall Theater, Robison Hall and Mead Chapel at Middlebury College, and in churches, barns, town greens, living rooms, recital halls and community centers across New England. Recent performances include duet recitals with cellist Brian Donat, and solo performances with organist George Matthew Jr. and pianists Sadie Danforth, Becky Metcalfe, Cynthia Huard, Jorge Martin and Sarah Trouslard and with the Middlebury College Community Chorus Orchestra. She is a founding member of The Addison, a group of professional and passionate chamber musicians based in Addison County, Vermont who perform most frequently as a string quartet.