Joanne Martin is a Canadian violist, composer, Suzuki teacher and Suzuki teacher trainer.
Her career has included performing as a violist with numerous orchestral and chamber groups including the Winnipeg Symphony Orchestra, Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, and Concertante Chamber Players.
Since her graduation from the University of Winnipeg, Joanne has taught using the Suzuki Method. She has been appointed a Suzuki Teacher Trainer by both the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the European Suzuki Association.
Joanne now divides her time between Winnipeg, Canada and Montpellier, France. She has taught, lectured, and performed at prestigious conferences and workshops in many countries. Her compositions and arrangements are performed worldwide by students and professionals.
Information about Joanne’s upcoming Teacher Training and Viola Conversion Courses is available at:
Joanne Martin first encountered the Suzuki Method in the early 1970s when she heard two young Suzuki-trained violinists playing the Bach Concerto for Two Violins. She was amazed by their natural, joyous and seemingly effortless playing as well as the lovely sound they produced. That experience was the beginning of Joanne’s life-long involvement in Suzuki teaching.
The Suzuki Talent Education movement was founded in the 1940s in Japan by Shinichi Suzuki, and has since has spread throughout the world. Shinichi Suzuki lived and taught in Matsumoto, Japan until his death in 1998. His philosophy of education was based on the belief that we are products of our environment, and that we all have enormous potential for learning.
The Suzuki approach has been applied to the teaching of mathematics, language and other subjects in addition to many musical instruments including violin, viola, cello, bass, piano, flute, and guitar.
The Suzuki approach has been called the ‘mother tongue method’ because Dr. Suzuki based his approach to learning music on how young children learn a language – by listening and imitating. In the Suzuki method, children begin playing music as early as three years of age, absorbing the language of music along with the technique of playing their instrument. In language development, children learn to speak before learning to read. Similarly, Suzuki students learn to hear and play music before they learn to read music.
The child’s parents are actively involved in the learning process. They attend lessons, practise alongside their children at home, and often learn to play an instrument themselves.
Suzuki students learn a set repertoire, with each instrument having its own carefully structured progression of pieces. Children listen to the pieces on a recording before playing them. They continue to review previously learned pieces, and thus refine their technique and musicality.
Dr. Suzuki’s goal was not merely to develop fine musicians, but to nurture each child’s full potential as a sensitive human being through the study of music.