About Suzuki Violin Lessons Teacher Marnie Thies in Minneapolis & St. Paul, MN

Suzuki Violin Educator


Master’s Degree
Violin Performance,
DePaul University, Chicago

Bachelor’s Degree
Violin Performance,
University of Wisconsin, Madison

Suzuki Teacher Trained
All Ten Books

I teach in St. Paul/Falcon Heights, Maplewood (close to 3M) and Crystal.  For my lesson locations, please see  http://www.proviolin.com/lesson-locations/.  Additionally, lesson openings can be found here: http://www.proviolin.com/lesson-openings/.


My interest in the violin began when my kindergarten class studied the letter v and my teacher’s son played the violin.  My teacher asked if anybody wanted to learn to play the violin and I raised my hand.  Lessons were begun shortly.

During my high school years, I studied with the legendary Mary West.  The biggest impression Mary West made on me as a teacher was that no aspect of violin technique was neglected.

My Teaching Method

 The Suzuki method, the method I use to teach violin, does an excellent job developing a student’s ear.  By learning to play by ear, a violinist can learn music that he/she hears online or on the radio.  He/she can play other genres of music when they are able play by ear such as the fiddle piece shown here: Maytime Swing.   While being able to play by ear is important for being able to tell if a note is in tune, if a student is old enough, I like to introduce note reading as soon as the student is ready for it.

A chief component of the Suzuki method is parental involvement.  I have observed that when students whose parents, both musical and nonmusical, coach their child’s practices at home, musical progress is quicker than students whose parents do not help them practice.  Many notable violinists began their musical education with the Suzuki method.  In a typical lesson, I demonstrate to both students and parents how to practice and what technical aspect should be practiced at home.

 Teaching Philosophy

My interest in teaching the violin began during my first year of graduate school while pursuing my Masters Degree in Violin Performance from DePaul University.  Studying music teaches work ethic, persistence and discipline so that students can be successful in their chosen career field later in life.  It is rewarding to teach students at any level and see their transformation.  I have taught using the Suzuki method since 2002 and attend the Suzuki Institute at Stevens Point annually to get new ideas for teaching the violin.

I enjoy working with students of all ages/abilities and backgrounds.  I have experience working with ADHD and students on the autism spectrum as well as the gifted and talented.