Bethany Summersgill

Flute Teacher

Bethany Summersgill

SAA Member


Saint Paul, MN

Bethany Summersgill (previously Gonella) is a flutist, piccoloist, and flute teacher based in the Twin Cities in Minnesota. She performs regularly as an acting flutist and piccoloist of the Minnesota Opera Orchestra, as associate principal flutist of the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, and as a substitute musician with the Minnesota Orchestra, the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Minnesota Sinfonia. She has also held positions with the La Crosse Symphony, the Winona Symphony, the Chione Quintet, and the Sonora Winds. Bethany enjoys playing baroque traverso flute as well as modern flute. 

Bethany teaches privately and at the University of St. Thomas. She enjoys working with students of all ages and levels. Her approach addresses all facets of flute performance, including sight-reading, rhythmic reading, effective use of vibrato, technical proficiency, musicality and exposure to the flute repertoire in a positive, encouraging atmosphere.

She loves helping her students to develop not only their skills of musical mastery, but also a positive growth mindset that emphasizes creative problem solving, strategic thinking, persistence, and attention to detail during the learning process. Her teaching style is strongly influenced by the Suzuki philosophy idea that, given the right nurturing support and thoughtful, hard work, any student can grow wonderfully as a musician and as an accomplished learner. Students develop both ear-training skills (learning music by ear) and music reading/rhythm skills using separate sets of repertoire and technical exercises. She has experience working with students who have a variety of special needs (e.g. autism, selective mutism, ADHD, anxiety, etc.).  

Bethany has completed Suzuki Flute teacher training in Books 1-10 and Practicum, and she has pursued other pedagogy training to build a broad repertoire of teaching techniques. She holds bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral degrees in flute performance from University of Southern California, Northwestern University, and the University of Minnesota, respectively.  Growing up in the Dallas-Fort Worth area of Texas, some of Bethany’s earliest musical influences were Suzuki violin lessons as well as flute lessons with Christine Cleary and Helen Blackburn. 

Bethany stays actively involved in the Twin Cities flute community.  To help support local flute students and improve music education access, she co-created a scholarship program for flute students through Upper Midwest Flute Association.

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