Etobicoke Suzuki Music

Faculty: Tricia Balmer

  • Bachelor of Music (Cello Performance, plus education violin/viola, cello, bass, conducting, percussion and trumpet), University of Toronto
  • Bachelor of Arts (Anthropology), University of Toronto
  • Suzuki teacher training: Cello Books 1 to 10
  • Additional Suzuki training: supplementary repertoire, group class techniques, technique for advanced students, and Violin Books 1 & 2

ESM Artistic Advisor

For over 25 years Tricia has worked with children in a musical context. She particularly enjoys working with her Suzuki families and seeing the children grow from the young ages of 3 & 4 to the late teen years. Tricia also teaches adult cello students and enjoys seeing them realize their musical ability late in life.

Tricia has performed in groups such as the Rochester Youth Orchestra, Ottawa Symphony, Nepean Symphony, Symphony Niagara, and Oakville Chamber Strings, as well as many chamber ensembles. She enjoys chamber music and freelances in the Toronto and Huntsville areas.

Tricia worked as a strings specialist (violin, viola, cello, bass) for the Toronto District School Board from 1989-2001 where she taught up to 400 middle school students a year (school grades 6-8) and conducted ensembles of 50 string players and 100 to 140 strings and band combined. Feeling the need for more specific violin skills, she enrolled in violin Suzuki Teacher Training in 1989 to prepare for her first year of school teaching. Tricia fell in love with the Suzuki Method and continued her violin studies through Book 2. Realizing she might want to become a Suzuki cello teacher, Tricia started cello training in Canada as well as the United States and Europe. She continues to take training and observe other teachers regularly.

Tricia has been teaching with Etobicoke Suzuki Music for more than 20 years and has grown the cello program (from 5 students in her first year to approx. 25 to 30 students at present) to encompass children from age 3 to 17 and levels from pre-twinkle to Suzuki Book 10 and beyond.

In 2001, Tricia retired from TDSB and became a full time Suzuki cello teacher with Etobicoke Suzuki Music, as well as a part time cello teacher and conductor for the Suzuki String School of Guelph where she conducted three levels of string orchestra for six years. She has also been teaching in the Huntsville, Ontario Suzuki program for the past three years.

Tricia has led cello, ensemble and conducting workshops for Montreal Suzuki, Suzuki Niagara, Toronto District Secondary Schools, Toronto District Middle Schools, Toronto Catholic District Schools as well as Ottawa and Perth Suzuki programs, and has served as an adjudicator for London Kiwanis and the Royal Conservatory Non-Competitive Festivals. She has taught for many summer music camps and Suzuki Institutes, including:

  • Huckleberry Summer Music Camp
  • Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute
  • Etobicoke Summer Music Camp
  • Atlantic Canada Suzuki Institute (St. John's, NLFD)
  • Oakville Performing Arts Camp
  • Miles Nadal Jewish Community Suzuki Summer Music Camp


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