Bethany Hankins

Violin Teacher

Bethany Hankins

SAA Member


Somerset, NJ
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Bethany regularly performs and records with many groups in all genres. For more than twenty years, she has maintained a private violin studio involving both private and group lessons for beginners to collegiate skill levels. Bethany has many years of experience working with students and families of diverse socio-economic backgrounds, as well as students with special requirements including Autism, Asperger syndrome, language barriers, and physical limitations. In addition to her private studio, Bethany has served in a variety of teaching capacities including: Strings Director of non-profit music programs based in Boys and Girls Clubs, city school Artist in Residence where she developed a modified Suzuki violin program for the classroom setting, and as masterclass guest teacher at a Suzuki Summer Institute where she produced and taught courses in beginning and intermediate jazz improvisation for strings.

Bethany grew up playing by ear with her mom who is a phenomenal pianist. With the Suzuki approach beginning by ear, it was a natural process for her and she progressed very quickly. In fact, she began teaching at the young age of twelve in the small Indiana town where she grew up, and was later entrusted as the interim director of the Suzuki violin program where she had been a student. Bethany has a unique ability to connect with people of any age and really loves to get to know her students and their families. She teaches with kindness and humor, while still holding technique and musicianship to high standards. In addition to inspiring her students to build their skills as fine musicians, she also enjoys helping her students to grow as individuals of fine character. This was, after all, Suzuki’s primary goal: “… we should be concerned with the importance of educating a really beautiful human spirit…”—S. Suzuki.

Bethany earned her Bachelors degree in Music from the University of Tennessee where she studied classical performance with Matus Zelmonovich and jazz performance with Rusty Holloway, Mark Boling, and Jerry Coker. While at UT, she was routinely assigned to leadership roles in both classical and jazz ensembles. Since graduating, Bethany has had the pleasure of performing with outstanding musicians from all over the country in concerts, public and private events, and recording projects at venues located in Indiana, Tennessee, New York, North Carolina, Virginia, and New Orleans. In Knoxville, TN, Bethany has been the featured soloist for productions such as: the “Tennessee Shines” live radio broadcast hosted by Jim Lauderdale of Nashville, the “Behind the Barn” artist series, the WDVX “Blue Plate Special” live radio show, and the Knoxville Jazz Orchestra’s “Jazz Lunch” concert series performing shows to tribute jazz violinist, Stephane Grappelli. In addition to her degree, Bethany has also pursued numerous training and observation opportunities at Suzuki Institutes over the years. She has registered teacher training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas from fantastic teacher trainers including: Marylin O’Boyle, Craig Timmerman, Mary Cay Neal, Terry Durbin, and Ed Kreitman.