MA Suzuki Festival 2022
Clinician Bios

Daina Staggs headshot low-res_edited_edited.jpg



Daina Volodka Staggs has been involved with Suzuki Talent Education for over thirty years, as a student and teacher, and now as a parent. Daina’s musical journey began at a young age through violin studies with Suzuki author and pedagogue Edward Kreitman at the Western Springs School of Talent Education. Mrs. Staggs’ interest in teaching began during her high school years, during which time she acted as student tutor at WSSTE, offering practice help to parents of excelling students.  Mrs. Staggs has taught at many Suzuki Institutes, workshops, and master classes. She has also lectured on important topics regarding violin pedagogy, early childhood music education, and the Suzuki Method. In the fall of 2014,  Mrs. Staggs left Chicago and moved to Frisco, TX, to become the Co-Director of the North Texas School of Talent Education. Her studio is located in Frisco, TX, where she resides with her husband and two young sons.

Sarah Smale headshot.jpg


Violin & Viola

Sarah Smale attended the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire where she received a BA  (honors) in viola performance, continuing postgraduate work at the Guildhall School of  Music and Drama in London, gaining the Postgraduate Diploma. Her musical education eventually took her to the Hartt School where she studied with, and was the assistant to, the  Emerson String Quartet and obtained her MM in viola performance. Ms. Smale has won  several awards, including the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire string quartet scholarship  and the Herbert Lumby Viola prize. Her experience includes numerous concerts and  seminars with talented quartets and orchestras including: Takacs Quartet, European  Chamber Orchestra, Russian National Ballet. Ms. Smale has also played with various  ensembles as principal viola, recorded television and radio for work for the BBC and Radio  Suisse. She also performs with the Orchestre des Jardins Musicaux in Switzerland, where  she is guest principal viola. She regularly performs with the Norwalk Symphony Orchestra as assistant principal and guest principal viola. Sarah is currently the Associate Director at  the Suzuki Music Schools in Westport, CT and Director of the White Mountain Suzuki  Institute in New Hampshire. She is a frequent guest teacher at educational workshops and  Suzuki Institutes around the country.




Originally from Taipei, Taiwan, Shu-Yi Scott has given teaching seminars in the States, Taipei, Beijing, Mexico, and Europe. She holds a MM in cello performance from Penn State under Dr. Kim Cook and DMA in cello performance from the University of Texas at Austin under renowned pedagogue Ms. Phyllis Young. She earned her Suzuki cello teacher trainer status through SAA in 2019. Besides teaching her students, Dr. Scott is an active teacher trainer and coach. She has given workshops on topics such as Suzuki triangle, group lesson teaching, and effective teaching skills based on mother tongue approach. During the pandemic, Dr. Scott and Dr. Merlin Thompson, a long term Suzuki piano teacher trainer based in Canada, co-created a series of video podcasts to support music teachers called: Shu-Yi & Merlin-  Let's Talk about Music Teaching- Conversations that Inform & Inspire. Dr. Scott lives in Austin, Texas with her bass player husband and two daughters, both of whom studied the Suzuki cello method.

headshot_Nancy Modell.jpg



Nancy Modell, piano, an Ithaca College School of Music graduate in piano performance and  education, studied the Suzuki approach with Sanford Reuning, Carole Bigler, and Valery  Lloyd-Watts. Nancy pioneered the Suzuki Piano method in Israel in the 1980s where she  taught students and trained local piano teachers in Jerusalem. Since 1992 she has been teaching in Springfield, NJ, inspiring students to reach their potential through innovative  learning opportunities, including original composition, music events, and field trips. Nancy  studies ways to employ the Taubman Approach to enhance Suzuki Piano Pedagogy. She  has explored ways to introduce composition to students of all levels, and has presented  her approach at various teachers’ forums, including the SAA, the 1era Convención Suzuki  de las Américas, NJMEA, and NAfME. She has trained piano teachers at institutes, college  courses and privately, and frequently teaches ECC!©. She is the Piano Coordinator and  Teacher Enrichment Advisor for the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop, Chair of both the Piano  Teachers Forum of NJ’s Composer Showcase and the Music Educators Association of NJ’s Composers’ Corner, and the Immediate Past President of the MEA-NJ.

Seth Himmelhoch headshot.jpg



A prominent member of the Suzuki Guitar Community, Seth Himmelhoch serves as a chair of the Guitar Development Committee of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and is a Teacher Trainer of the Suzuki Guitar School. He has published articles on the Suzuki method in the American Suzuki Jounal as well as guitar related articles in Guitar International Magazine. Mr. Himmelhoch has made solo appearances at the 92nd St. Y, Alice Tully Hall, Wagner College in Staten Island, and St. Paul’s Chapel in New York City, among others. He has performed as a member of the flute and guitar duo, Duo Cavatina, which was selected as a winner of the Artists International Auditions, leading to a debut recital at Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall. Mr. Himmelhoch can be heard as a soloist in the recording, Seth Himmelhoch Guitar Recital, and on Duo Cavatina’s recording, Songs and Dances of the Americas. Mr. Himmelhoch earned a bachelor’s and master’s degree from the Manhattan School of Music, studied guitar with Carlos Barbosa-Lima and Jeffrey Meyeriecks, and participated in masterclasses with Manuel Barrueco and David Leisner. Mr. Himmelhoch is director of classical guitar studies at William Paterson University in Wayne, NJ.




In love with movement arts, Ms. Ausch found in Dalcroze Eurhythmics the space in which she could express her Renaissance approach to all Arts. She received her Master's Degree in Dalcroze Eurhythmics and the Dalcroze License at Longy School of Music.

In her native country, Romania, Ms. Ausch studied classical piano at the Tg.- Mures Conservatory, earned her Master's Degree in Architecture and City Planning in Bucharest and parallel with her architectural and stage design career, she became an across-style singer and songwriter. She appeared on television and radio shows, toured Romania, and released a CD in Germany, where she lived before moving to Boston. She holds several performance awards as a singer-songwriter and belonged to the Romanian protest song and folk movement in communist times, when music seemed to be one way to protest against the status quo.

For the last ten years, Ms. Ausch has performed in the Boston area primarily as a solo singer, focusing on twentieth-century art song, and appeared with the cabaret group Follen Angels and the vocal group, Pandora's Vox.

For the last couple of years, Ms. Ausch has been invited back to Romania and Germany to participate in different festivals and appeared in self-produced and directed recitals under the title "Outsider" and "Imagine," collage-like shows around a theme bringing together different musical styles, languages, and moods. She plans to expand her performing activities in Boston and overseas, pursuing the idea of intimately designed, eclectic musical shows.



Alexander Technique & Violin

Angela Leidig’s involvement with the Suzuki method goes back 40 years. She started playing violin when she was five years old in a Suzuki public school program in Pennsylvania. She began teaching in 1991 while finishing high school and continued teaching ever since. She completed her Suzuki Teacher training for Books 1-10 under Kimberly Meier-Sims, Linda Fiore, Ronda Cole, Ed Sprunger and Ed Kreitman. 

     Currently Angela is on the Suzuki faculty at New England Conservatory teaching both private lessons and group classes and maintains a private studio in Somerville, MA. She was on the Suzuki faculty at the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, MA from 2008-2013. In the summer, Angela teaches at the NEC Summer SuzukiFest and at White Mountain Suzuki Institute in New Hampshire. 

     Angela is also a certified Alexander Technique teacher; she is dedicated to teaching young children how to play with an attitude of creativity and enjoyment, developing a technical and musical foundation of ease, balance and freedom from the beginning stages. She works closely with parent and child to develop healthy habits with the instrument and practice at home from the very beginning. Angela teaches AT group and private lessons in the greater Boston area, as well at the Alexander Technique School of Cambridge teacher training program where she trained and graduated in 2011.

     She began teaching AT with Robyn Avalon at Meadowmount String Summer Institute to advanced string players ages 13 and up in 2019 and teaches AT courses at NEC Prep, NEC conservatory and in the greater Boston community. 

     Angela received her M.M. from Boston University with Bayla Keyes and did doctoral work in violin performance at the University of Colorado in Boulder under the Takacs Quartet. Angela has dedicated much of her performance career and study to chamber music and continues freelancing and giving chamber music concerts in the Boston area.



Creative Music Magic

Sarah Tenney, Marimba Magic, teaches Marimba Magic and percussion and directs The Marimba Magic Ensemble at Rivers School Conservatory. She founded Marimba Magic in 1989, a musicianship training program which has been featured at national and international conferences. She holds a certificate from Music for People to teach Improvisation. She received a Master’s degree from The New England Conservatory and a Bachelor’s degree from Bennington College.



Fiddle & Creative Ability Development

Ellery Klein teaches youth and adult fiddle and violin at her home studio, and at Powers Music School; and directs Powers' weeklong summer fiddle day camp, "Strings Traditions." (this year to be held July 18-22, 2022) She is a member of Irish music trio Fódhla, and the pandemic-born, Irish powerhouse fiddle trio The Bow Tides. She concentrated in instrumental music at Cincinnati's School for Creative and Performing Arts, has a MA in Traditional Irish Music from the University of Limerick, and trained in Alice Kanack's Creative Ability Development method in 2019. Ellery loves to use creative teaching and improvisation to help those who play violin, and those who play fiddle, find a space to play together creatively, and discover, as our favorite cellist Yo-Yo Ma once said, it's all "just music!"

Charles Speicher headshot.JPG


History & Star Wars

Dr. Chuck Speicher currently teaches general music at Cole Manor Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District of Pennsylvania. Between 2012 and 2014 he was curriculum director to a national nonprofit called Little Kids Rock where he had the opportunity to work alongside popular music icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Lady Ga-Ga, Bryan Wilson, Elvis Costello, and Carlos Santana among others in fundraising efforts for public school music programs across the country. His teaching and performing engagements have included the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival,  the Wellington Suzuki Workshop in New Zealand, the Suzuki Institute of Alaska, the International Music Festival in Ohio, the South Carolina Suzuki Institute at Furman University, the More Than Music Festival in Kingston, Ontario, the Peaks to Plains Institute in Colorado, the Indianapolis Academy of Music Summer Festival, the Summer Jazz Workshop at Montclair State University, and the Stokes State Forest Music Festival in New Jersey. In 2006 he was a judge in the Alaska State MTNA Piano Competition and adjudicator for piano students in the cities of Anchorage and Homer. Chuck freelances regularly on piano, keyboard, and guitar, and in 2002 traveled with the "Crazy Energy Orchestra" to Morocco to perform at the wedding of King Mohammed VI. Between 1996 and 2005 he was the Suzuki Coordinator to Montclair State University where he also taught an undergraduate keyboard harmony class. In 1989 he received the New Jersey State Governors Award in Arts Education.

Angie Tung headshot.gif.jpg


Piano Workshop

Born in Taipei, Taiwan, Angie began studying music at age four within the Yamaha Music Education System, and moved to private piano lessons at age six. In 1990 she immigrated to the United States and continued to study piano privately, perform as a solo pianist, and accompany local choirs.

Angie graduated magna cum laude from Florida State University with a Bachelor of Arts in Music and a certificate in Computers in Music. She studied piano with Professor Leonard Mastrogiacomo, voice with Liane Grasso, accompanied for voice students under professors Janice Harsanyi, Larry Gerber, Gale Seaton, and strings students under professor Karen Clarke. As a vocalist, she performed with the Tallahassee Community Chorus under the direction of Dr. Andre Thomas, the Women’s Glee Club under Dr. Judy Bowers, and the University Singers under Dr. Thomas and Dr. Kevin Fenton. The Tallahassee Community Chorus collaborated often with the Tallahassee Symphony Orchestra. As a member of this choir, she also performed under conductors David Hoose and Robert Shaw.

From her accompanying work at Pittsfield Community Music School in the Berkshires, Angie was introduced to the Suzuki Method and has since studied with Caroline Fraser, Mary Craig Powell, and Doris Harrel for Suzuki Piano Books 1-4, Suzuki Principals in Action with David Madsen, plus Suzuki Early Childhood Education with Sharon Jones. Complimentary studies include Music Together teacher training under Susan Darrow, Kodaly Level 1 at DePaul University with Janell Bjorklund, Dr. Julia Shaw and Douglas Beam, plus Dalcroze Level 1 training with Adriana Ausch Simmel at Winchester Community Music School. Along with her musical studies, she also completed a MA degree in Media Arts at Emerson College.

Angie currently works as an Operations Manager at MIT’s Education Arcade research lab and teaches private piano lessons out of her home studio in Arlington. When not at her piano or her computer, Angie enjoys singing, dancing, reading, cooking, hula hooping, and being in good spirits. She is also a proud member of a chopper bicycle nerd gang.