University of Louisville Suzuki Piano Institute


Karmalita Bawar (VA) - Piano   Karmalita Bawar has been teaching the Suzuki Method for over 20 years and currently teaches in her private studio, Piano Basics of Richmond, in Richmond, VA.  She is a graduate of VCUarts, with a BM in Music Composition and Theory with her primary instrument being the piano. She has researched Suzuki Piano under Dr. Haruko Kataoka, Keiko Ogiwara, Keiko Kawamura, Elaine Worley, Cathy Williams Hargrave, Dr. Karen Hagberg, Linda Nakagawa, and Bruce Boiney. She also has SAA training through Book 3 and was certified under Mary Craig Powell and Yasuko Joichi.

Her students have performed in 10-Piano Concerts in Matsumoto, Japan and have attended Suzuki Piano Institutes throughout the Unites States. Karmalita has hosted many workshops in Richmond and is founder and past president of the Suzuki Talent Association of Richmond. Besides teaching, she enjoys working part-time in the Music Department at Virginia Commonwealth University, teaching Origami, and spending time with her husband, two teen daughters, and three fancy cats.

Rae Kate Shen (CA) - Piano    Rae Kate Shen holds a Bachelor’s degree in Piano Performance and a Master of Music in Accompanying Performance from the University of Southern California.  She teaches piano and coordinates the Suzuki Program at the University of Redlands, and formerly at The Colburn School. She is also an adjunct faculty member teaching Piano classes at Riverside Community College. She is a registered teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and trains teachers in the Suzuki piano method on a year-round basis.

Ms. Shen has studied extensively with Dr. Kataoka in the U.S. as well as many times in Matsumoto, Japan, most recently this past April with Dr. Kataoka's former trainees. A frequent guest clinician at numerous institutes and workshops throughout the United States, she is also an adjudicator for the Music Teachers’ Association of California, a founding teacher in the inaugural year of the Carnegie Hall Royal Conservatory Achievement Program, and a concertizing pianist for the Marina Chamber Ensemble.

Michael Jacobsen (NJ) - Piano   Michael Jacobsen began learning music early in life, singing at age three and studying piano from age six. He is a faculty member of Westminster Conservatory of Music in Princeton, New Jersey and has a private Suzuki Piano studio in Plainsboro.  He attended Central Washington University and the University of Northern Iowa, earning respectively a Bachelor’s degree and a Master’s degree in Piano Performance. While in college he began studying Suzuki Piano pedagogy, a pursuit he continued post-graduate in a course of long-term, comprehensive, S.A.A. teacher training under Peggy Swingle.  He enjoys serving as clinician for Suzuki piano workshops and is a past President of the Suzuki Association of Washington State.

In addition to piano, Michael has developed numerous Conservatory programs including a series of children’s concerts and a Youth Opera Workshop. He has written five operas for young performers that have been continually re-staged by schools and opera companies throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Leila Trindade (KY) - Orff    Leila Trindade holds a Bachelor degree in Music Education from the University of Louisville and a Bachelor and Masters Degree in violin performance from the University of Rio de Janeiro and Florida International University.

Leila holds all levels of Violin Suzuki certification and has been teaching violin Suzuki for the past 20 years. She holds Orff Schulwerk levels certification from the University of Kentucky and teaches Suzuki, Orff, and general music at Rangeland Elementary School in Louisville. 

Katie Allen (KY) - Chorus Katie Allen is in her sixth year of teaching music in Jefferson County Public Schools in Louisville, Kentucky.  She is currently the choir director at Doss High School, where she directs the Beginning Women’s Choir, Men’s Ensemble, Advanced Women’s Choir, and an after school a cappella ensemble.  She also teaches History and Appreciation of the Visual and Performing Arts.  In addition, Ms. Allen serves as the Arts and Humanities Department Chair at Doss High School and the 2017-2018 All County Choir Chair for JCPS.   Previously, she taught K-5 general music at Klondike Elementary School.

Ms. Allen received a Bachelors in Music Education from the University of Louisville in 2012, where she sang with the Cardinal Singers under the direction of Dr. Kent Hatteberg.  She is currently pursuing a Masters in Music Education from Eastern Kentucky University, where she will graduate in August 2017.  She holds a Level I certification in Kodály (a methodology of music education that focuses on music literacy).

Mark Tate (KY) - Percussion Mark Tate is the percussion instructor at Indiana University Southeast in New Albany, IN, and Georgetown College in Georgetown. He serves as percussion coordinator for the marching bands at both New Washington High School in New Washington, IN and du Pont Manual in Louisville. He also coaches percussion ensemble at Crosby Middle School and the “Junkyard Hawks” at Hite Elementary School. He maintains a full service studio in his home, specializing in concert percussion instruction for students in the area band programs.

Mark began performing as a percussionist with the Louisville Orchestra in 1983. He has also performed as percussionist with the Lexington Philharmonic Orchestra. He is also a percussionist with Louisville Chorus, the Louisville Choral Arts Society and the Derby City Brass Band. He received a Bachelor of Music degree in Percussion performance from the University of Kentucky and a Master of Music in Performance and Pedagogy from Washington University in St. Louis.

Jason French (KY) - Piano Improvisation   Jason French is the owner and teaching mentor of Crossworks School of Worship and Music International where he teaches students of all ages to reach their fullest God-given potential. Jason plays the piano for the Jazz Harms Jazz Quintet, has toured internationally, and is currently working on his doctorate in Christian Worship.

Originally from Tahlequah, OK, Jason began playing the piano at the age of 9. He earned a Bachelor's degree in Music with an emphasis in Jazz studies. He studied under Dr. Will Campbell, former saxophonist for Harry Connick Jr.

Jason on Soundcloud: