About STEP

The Suzuki Talent Education Program (STEP) offers a complete string music education for children in violin, viola, and cello.

Private and group lessons for violin, viola, and cello are available for children 3 and up, and Early Childhood Education classes are available for babies and toddlers. STEP addresses the needs of learners of all levels by providing a wide range of classes, activities, and events in a positive, encouraging and supportive environment.

Based in St. John’s, Newfoundland & Labrador, STEP has been dedicated to the promotion of Suzuki Music Education and rooted in the local arts community for over three decades. Our mission is to teach children music through Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophies and principles of natural learning and inspire a deep appreciation for art, humanity, and traditional culture in Newfoundland and Labrador.

“I want to make good citizens. If a child hears fine music from the day of his birth and learns to play it himself, he develops sensitivity, discipline and endurance. He gets a beautiful heart.” — Shinichi Suzuki

When Dr. Shinichi Suzuki founded his Suzuki Method after World War II, he did so believing that children could save the world from more wars. He believed that through teaching children to play beautiful music, you also teach them to have a beautiful heart. These children become good listeners, good communicators, team players, and sensitive human beings. In nurturing musical excellence, the Suzuki Method nurtures excellent citizens.

The Suzuki Method is an immersive experience in string music education for the whole family. It’s a lifestyle – one where the commitment to learning the instrument, making beautiful music, and growing beautiful hearts is demonstrated daily; one where family life and the bond between child and parent is enriched through music.

Dr. Suzuki believed that every child can. No one child is born with more natural talent than other, and that given a supportive, nurturing environment, all children can become wonderful musicians. The Suzuki curriculum creates this environment through private lessons and group classes taught by the highest trained teachers, a core repertoire for all Suzuki students to learn and therefore be able to play together, involving the parent on a daily basis, and holding frequent performances for each other. STEP is a registered member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas. All of our teachers and faculty are certified Suzuki instructors, with training from internationally accredited program and institutes.

STEP has been the foremost music education program for string players in Newfoundland & Labrador since its beginning in 1982. STEP has also trained young fiddlers since its founding as part of its mandate to preserve and continue an important aspect of intangible Newfoundland culture. Our fiddle group classes and STEP Fiddlers ensemble are the only continual programs for young people to learn traditional folk music in the province. For 37 years, STEP has been the foundation of string playing in our community. Many other arts organizations in the province have benefited from the fine professional and amateur players that STEP trains and nurtures.

STEP alumni include Mark Fewer, McGill professor of music and former concertmaster of the Vancouver Symphony; Heather Kao, concertmaster of the Newfoundland Symphony; Rafael Hoekman, principal cellist of the Calgary Philharmonic; Jennie Press, violinist with Vancouver Symphony; Christopher Anstey, first violin with the Winnipeg Symphony; Angela Pickett, freelance violist in New York City; Romesh Thavanathan, cellist with Hey Rosetta!; Emilia Bartellas, with The Dardanelles, among many others. STEP’s most significant achievement, however, is having fostered a lifelong love of and appreciation for music in hundreds of Newfoundland families.