Ms. Bertrina Thomas

Violin Teacher

Bertrina Thomas


Detroit, MI
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“One skillset can change the trajectory of a child’s life.” -Bertrina Thomas

Bertrina is the founder and director of Circle of Arts Performing Arts Academy, a non-profit organization providing music education that is accessible, equitable, and relevant to the city of Detroit since 2015. We utilize the Suzuki Method to nurture students’ abilities to persevere, be creative, embrace hope, collaborate, and empathize with others. Our purpose is to provide the knowledge of the benefits of the arts to give students the necessary building blocks to be brilliant musicians and succeed in life.

Tuition covers group classes, private lessons, high-quality instruments, special workshops with local musicians from Detroit-centric genres, concerts, community performances, and more! Inquire about scholarships and financial assistance, if needed.


Bertrina’s teaching goal is to cultivate and nurture hope and optimism. She began teaching Suzuki violin in 2008. She has worked with youth of all ages since her teenage years in various capacities.

Bertrina is a product of Mark Mutter, Director of the Suzuki Music Academy of Michigan, formerly known as Suzuki Royal Oak Institute of Music. Her teacher training has been done by Mark Mutter and Ronda Cole. Bertrina is on the teaching staff at Suzuki Music Academy of Michigan.

Bertrina has a degree in Early Childhood Education. She is in the process of completing a degree in Music Therapy at Eastern Michigan University. She has been a Suzuki kid since age 7 when she started lessons with Mark Mutter. She has attended Blue Lake Fine Arts as both a Suzuki student and as a traditional student in the general camp and Interlochen’s Summer Camp.

Bertrina is a proud Detroit native. Her passion for music has led her to perform at many prestigious events within the U.S. and around the world. She has received special recognition from President Bill Clinton, Governor John Engler (Michigan), State Senators Jackie Vaughn III and Joe Young, Jr., Mayor Dennis Archer (Detroit), Detroit City Council, and Wayne County Commissioners to name a few.  Locally, she has performed at the Coleman A. Young memorial services, Detroit Rescue Mission, TV 62 Festival of Trees, and the Optimist Club of Northwest Detroit, and countless Churches and Religious Events.  Bertrina has also had the opportunity to travel extensively both in the U.S. and abroad.  She has played in Washington D.C., Disney World (Florida), Indiana, Maryland, Georgia, with the Washington Ballet, and at music camps throughout Michigan.  Her music has taken her abroad to London, England, Vienna, Austria, Prague, Czechoslovakia, Greece, Turkey, and Italy. She has studied the violin with members of the Detroit Symphony Orchestra and the Kennedy Center Opera Orchestra.

Circle of Arts Performing Arts Academy strives to function as an anti-racist, pro-BIPOC organization.