Barbara Balatero graduated from Oberlin Conservatory with a bachelor’s degree in cello performance and a master’s of music in teaching where she studied cello with Andor Toth. At Oberlin, Art Montzka introduced her to the Suzuki method. Between 1974 and 1976 she served as a US Peace Corps volunteer in El Salvador, playing in the National Symphony, teaching cello and starting the Suzuki program in the National Music School. Barbara maintains a large private studio of Suzuki students in Seattle, and has recently retired from being the director of the Japan–Seattle Suzuki Institute in order to do more teacher training in Latin America. She is a registered teacher trainer of the SAA and is a cello student of Rajan Krishnaswami.