Gabriela Potter is a professional violinist, violist, and registered Suzuki violin teacher residing in North Carolina. Ms. Potter is registered for Violin Books 1-10 with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and has completed intensive long-term teacher training with renowned Suzuki Pedagogue Joanne Bath.
At the age of ten, Gabriela began studying the violin with Sandra Hunt in her home town of Chesapeake, Virginia. She continued her studies with Dora Marshall Mullins of Virginia Beach and was accepted into the prestigious Governor’s School for the Arts in Norfolk, which she attended for her four years of high school. As a member of the Virginia Beach Chamber Orchestra and the Bay Youth Orchestras of Virginia, she maintained an active performance schedule throughout south eastern Virginia.
Gabriela received her Bachelor of Music degree in Performance, Magna Cum Laude, from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina, where she studied violin and viola with Jorge Richter and Ara Gregorian. During this time, she received chamber music coachings from Hye-Jin Kim, Emanuel Gruber, and Melissa Reardon, and completed her Suzuki Pedagogy studies with Joanne Bath. She has been selected to attend the Eastern Music Festival on scholarship, and has participated in the Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival’s Next Generation and the Next Gen on the Road concert tours. She has performed with the City Ballet Orchestra (Wilmington), Long Bay Symphony (Myrtle Beach), Tar River Symphony Orchestra (Rocky Mount), Carolina Coast Festival Chorus and Orchestra (New Bern), Beaufort County Orchestra (Washington), Pitt Community College Orchestra (Greenville), ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute Faculty ensemble (Greenville), North Carolina Suzuki Institute Faculty Orchestra (Greenville), Greenville Civic Ballet, Greenville Choral Society/New Carolina Symphonia, and the East Carolina University Symphony Orchestra.
Ms. Potter has taught in Suzuki outreach programs at public schools in Pitt and Beaufort counties, and has helped coach the Eastern Youth Symphony Orchestra and the NC Suzuki Institute student orchestras. She has taught at the Third Street Education Center, Wahl-Coates Elementary School, Bath Elementary School, the Wright School of Music, Greene County Intermediate School, Arendell Parrott Academy, the ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute, and the Meredith College Community School of Music. In 2017, she was awarded the Schubert Fellowship at the West Side String School in Greenville, where she has since maintained a private studio.
Ms. Potter attended the 2014 Suzuki Association of the America’s Conference in Minneapolis, and has worked as a Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival Associate and an Administrative Support Associate in the College of Fine Arts and Communication at East Carolina University. She currently holds the position of Secretary of the North Carolina Suzuki Association, and is an active member of the Eastern North Carolina Suzuki Association.
Gabriela has enjoyed teaching her students in Greenville and Kinston, listening to audiobooks, camping in the state’s national forests, and collecting houseplants. She is excited to be moving to Durham, NC, where she plans to perform and teach, starting in the summer of 2019
East Carolina University, B.M. in Performance Magna Cum Laude (Violin and Viola), 2015
Suzuki Association of the Americas Teacher Registration in Volumes 1-10, 2012-2014
Governor’s School for the Arts, Norfolk VA, High School Diploma, 2010
Deep Creek High School, Chesapeake VA, High School Diploma, 2010
Jorge Richter, Violin and Viola Professor at East Carolina University, Greenville NC
Ara Gregorian, Four Seasons Distinguished Violin Professor at East Carolina University, Greenville NC
Joanne Bath, Hardy Distinguished Professor of Suzuki Pedagogy, Suzuki teacher-trainer, Greenville NC
Dora Marshall-Mullins, first violinist with the Feldman Chamber Music Society, Norfolk VA
PROFESSIONAL TEACHING EXPERIENCE
NC State-Wide Play-In, Violin Teacher/Chamber Music Coach, 2017-present
West Side String School, Schubert Fellow/Instructor, Greenville NC, 2017-present
Private Studio, Violin/ Viola Teacher, Kinston NC, 2016-present
Private Studio, Violin/ Viola Teacher, Winterville NC, 2016-2017
Community School of Music (Meredith College), Violin Teacher, Raleigh NC, 2015-2017
Greene County Intermediate School, Violin Teacher, Snow Hill NC, 2015-2017
Arendell Parrott Academy, Violin/ Viola Teacher, Kinston NC, 2015-2017
ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute, Alumni Artist/ Violist, Greenville NC, 2015-present
Hardy Outreach Program (Bath Elementary School), Violin Teacher, Bath NC, 2014-2015
Third Street Academy Summer Camp, Violin Teacher, Greenville NC, 2014, 2018
Wright School of Music, Violin Teacher, Greenville NC, 2014-2016
NC Suzuki Institute, Orchestra Assistant/Staff Assistant, Greenville NC, 2012-present
Eastern Youth Orchestra, Sectional Coach/ Violinist, Greenville NC, 2012-2014
Freelance Violin and Viola Teacher (Suzuki and Traditional methods), VA and NC, 2010-present
PROFESSIONAL PLAYING EXPERIENCE
New Bern Civic Theater Pit Orchestra, Violinist/Violist, New Bern NC, 2017-present
City Ballet Orchestra, Violinist, Wilmington NC, 2017-present
Tar River Symphony Orchestra, Violinist/Violist, Rocky Mount NC, 2017-present
University of Mt. Olive Hymn Festival, Violist, Mt. Olive NC, 2017
Peace Presbyterian Church, Music Associate/Musician, Winterville NC, 2016-2017
Long Bay Symphony Orchestra, Violinist, Myrtle Beach SC, 2016-present
ECU Summer Chamber Music Institute, Alumni Artist/Violinist/Violist, Greenville NC, 2015-present
Beaufort County Orchestra, Violist, Washington NC, 2015
Carolina Coast Festival Chorus & Orchestra, Violist, New Bern NC, 2015
Greenville Choral Society/New Carolina Sinfonia, Violinist, Greenville NC, 2014
Eastern Symphony Orchestra “The Nutcracker”, Violinist/ Principle Violist, Greenville NC, 2013-present
NC Suzuki Institute Faculty Orchestra, Violinist/ Violist, Greenville NC, 2013-present
Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival, Next Gen Series, Violinist/ Violist, Greenville NC, 2011-2016
Hollywood Presbyterian Church, Violinist, Chicod NC, 2011-2016
Eastern Symphony Orchestra Summer Concert Series, Violinist, Greenville NC, 2011
Governor’s School for the Arts Opera Orchestra, Violinist, Norfolk VA, 2008-2010
Virginia Beach Chamber Orchestra, Violinist, VA Beach VA, 2008-2010
Freelance solo, chamber, and orchestral musician, VA/NC, 2008-present
Welcome to my Music Studio! I am looking forward to starting our musical journey together. I hope to provide a structured, fun-filled learning environment in which your son or daughter can thrive.
Basic Philosophy of the Suzuki Approach
Violinist and teacher Shinichi Suzuki developed what is known today as the “Suzuki Method” after he realized that children all over world learn to speak their native tongues effortlessly. Through my training with Mrs. Joanne Bath at ECU, and my own hands-on teaching experience, I have adopted the Suzuki philosophy that “every child can learn to play a musical instrument”. Some key components to the success of this approach include:
An Early Beginning
The early years of development are most crucial for both muscle coordination and ear training. The traditional Suzuki approach starts children with formal lessons and music appreciation as early as possible. Although starting musical training at an early age is beneficial, we believe that one is never too old to begin.
The Suzuki Triangle is the symbol used to show that the teacher, the parent, and the child are all necessary to the learning process. Each is equally important and each needs to be able to work together and support one another.
Therefore, parents should attend lessons, take notes on what to practice, and serve as their child’s at-home teacher. The parent should understand the basics of the instrument in order to do so with confidence. Email me with questions and concerns about this, as I am more than happy to offer advice and suggestions!
Listening and Repetiton
Just as your child learned to speak by hearing thousands of words daily, your child can learn music by listening every day. Repetition is essential when learning how to play an instrument. The CD that accompanies the Suzuki books, when listened to daily, makes practicing and attending lessons more successful and enjoyable!
It is constant praise and encouragement that makes this approach most successful. Although Suzuki taught that every child can learn and develop musicality, I also believe that each child learns at his or her own rate. My teaching style incorporates praise and new challenges in each lesson. As the parent or guardian, you are always encouraged to praise your child, but please allow the teacher to offer corrections and instruction during lessons, as this will prevent confusion.
Monthly Saturday morning group classes are a great way to meet other students in the studio and in the surrounding area. These classes also prepare students for the performances we will present to the community at retirement homes, hospitals, and other locations. Classes will take place at 10 A.M. the Third Street Community Center and cost $10 per family.
Additionally, the Eastern North Carolina Suzuki Association will host three events this year, which I hope you will be able to attend! Registration for the ENCSA is $20, and covers the events in September and March, and allows for a discount to be applied to the January Play-In.
Each family should arrive at their lessons on time (early enough to unpack, get settled, etc.) with all necessary materials (instrument, shoulder rest, books/music, notebook). The parent or student should use a practice notebook to write down questions, as well as at-home practice assignments. Each student should have access to recordings of their working pieces at home (Suzuki CD, YouTube or iTunes playlist).
Students are expected to maintain a regular practice schedule at home. Dr. Suzuki said, “Students should practice only on the days they eat”! The study of music is very rewarding, but requires daily effort and discipline. I will assign specific weekly practice goals, and you are encouraged to email me throughout the week if you have questions about any of these assignments. Parents are expected to oversee practice sessions of their young children, so feel free to ask about games and activities that can make difficult musical challenges more successful and rewarding.
Scheduling conflicts / make-ups
I will alert you in the event of any conflicts with the semester schedule. If I need to cancel a lesson, I will provide a make-up lesson at an agreed upon time.
Due to having a full teaching schedule, I am unable to offer regularly scheduled make-up times. If you let me know in advance about an absence, I will do my best to reschedule your lesson. If an unexpected circumstance should arise on your end, I am able to reschedule or make-up one missed lesson per semester.
In keeping with the West Side String School Policy, each student will be billed for a set number of lessons for the term. Tuition may be paid in full at the beginning of the semester, or in monthly installments (which includes a one-time administrative fee of $25). Starting in Fall 2018, tuition will be as follows:
30 minute private lesson = $30.00; 45 minute private lesson = $45.00.
Recital Fee: $10 (Due at Fall and Spring Recital Rehearsals, payable to Gabriela Potter)
Recitals / performances
I will host a Fall Studio Recital, and Mr. Chris Nunnally and I will both host a Spring Recital. Book recitals may be scheduled on an individual basis, and may take place wherever the student is most comfortable. Ms. Jon Shaw and Mr. John Holter have both offered their piano accompaniment services for such occasions.
We in Eastern North Carolina are very fortunate to have access to local, professional-level concerts! Concert attendance is very inspiring for young musicians, and I will make everyone aware of as many concerts as possible. The Four Seasons Chamber Music Festival and the ECU Symphony Orchestra offer both ticketed and unticketed *FREE* concerts year-round! Please mark your calendars and take advantage of these opportunities!
*The Music House event calendar may be found on Facebook
Suzuki Community Resources
The Violin Exchange
Rob Kelly (910-892-8900)
1008 W. Broad Street
Dunn, NC 28334
Jerry Pasewicz (919-233-4991)
4911 Waters Edge Dr #200a
Raleigh, NC 27606
Dalton Potter (301-652-7070)
7711 Eastern Ave
Takoma Park, MD 20912
Shar Music Online Catalog
The Practice Shoppe
Suzuki Music on YouTube