Carol Sykes Scholarship Fund

Carol Sykes

Carol Sykes was born May 13, 1938 in Pittsfield MA to George and Olive Sykes. She received her B.M. and M.M. degrees from the New England Conservatory of Music in Boston, MA.  
Carol, who spent over 60 years teaching violin, touched the lives of approximately 10,000 students over her esteemed career. More than 80 of her students have become professional violinists, Suzuki teachers, and symphony players. Her passion for music and the violin was ignited when she studied with the famous Schinichi Suzuki in Japan in 1967, and returned home to be the first person to bring the “Suzuki method” of teaching to New England. Carol also had the opportunity to perform and sing in the chorus at Tanglewood and the New England Conservatory under several famous Boston Symphony conductors, including Leonard Bernstein.
Carol will always be remembered for her sense of humor and her famous turtle pendant and snail earrings, which symbolized her core principals which she worked hard to instill in her students: “Practice as slowly as a turtle until you get it right, and “If that’s not slow enough, then practice like a snail.”  
Her brothers, Franklin Sykes and William Stewart, her nephew, Brian Sykes, his wife Maryrose Sykes, grand nephews, Kevin and Christopher Sykes, all the members of the Stewart family, and many, many dear friends, colleagues and students survive Carol.
In lieu of flowers any donations may be sent to the Carol Sykes Scholarship Fund established at the Suzuki Association of the Americas at

Carol Sykes with Dr. Suzuki

“Carol will always be remembered for her Twinkle in her eye as well as her love for all children. With Carol everything was possible from a Beach Party Play In to a formal Candlelight concert. There were family picnics, deep chats with teachers and families while sitting around a picnic table, and turning dreams into realities. I think she touched everyone she met with her belief in possibilities and her love of children and music! And let’s not forget her contagious sense of humor! Carol, we will miss you!”

—Nancy Hair, Suzuki colleague

Sykes Adjusted Crop

“Forty eight years ago, Carol was my daughter’s first violin teacher. One day she came up to me after group class and said, “You would make a great Suzuki teacher, and I would like to train you.” This completely changed my life around, from dentistry to the great world of Suzuki teaching. Carol had recently returned from Japan and carried the excitement and enthusiasm from Dr. Suzuki to her teacher trainees. We were so fortunate! She remained a great influence not only in my teaching, but also in my philosophy of life. Thank you, dear friend and mentor.”

—Gwendoline Thornblade, Suzuki colleague