Clara Hardie

Violin Teacher, Parent, Administrator

Clara Hardie

SAA Member


Detroit, MI
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Hello! I founded & direct a very special Suzuki program called DETROIT YOUTH VOLUME ( for ages 3-18. DYV’s amazing Suzuki-trained teachers are Ashley Nelson, Graham Emberton & Romona Merritt. We serve both tuition-paying and scholarship students; we were originally founded to make Suzuki lessons accessible and free to kids from the Capuchin Soup Kitchen on the eastside of Detroit.

Within sunny classrooms of Cathedral Church of St Paul at 4800 Woodward Ave 48201, our young musicians enjoy weekly private lesson & group classes (both are required) in the Cass Corridor neighborhood where Detroit artists have been creating for many years! Collaborations with local artists as guest instructors develop positive cultural identities in our students as Detroiters and as youth of color (applicable to 70% of our kids). DYV students have released three Suzuki-themed albums (hip hop, jazz, & electronic music) following workshop series with local artists in genres special to Detroit.


Here are some videos that illustrate what happens during our annual “Special Project”: Beatz & Stringz music video: /// Jazz Violin “The Detroit Way” video:

One of my students was featured on the cover of the American Suzuki Journal in Winter 2017! The article was called “Detroit Youth Volume—Interview with Founder Clara Hardie” by Dan Browning. Read it here:

DYV teacher Ashley Nelson, DYV co-founder Mark Muteer and I were interviewed for the SAA’s Building Noble Hearts Podcast in 2018 for Season 2, Episode 4:


My teaching goal is to nurture beautiful humanity and beautiful talent. I began teaching Suzuki violin in 2010. I have worked with youth of all ages for more then ten years teaching, mentoring, tutoring and doing art therapy.

My teacher trainer for Suzuki Books 1-6 was Mark Mutter, Director Suzuki Royal Oak Institute of Music. He helped me start Detroit Youth Volume and serves on the DYV Board.

I went to college for Social Science Theory at the University of Michigan in Ann Arbor, moving to Detroit in 2006. I’ve been a Suzuki kid since age 5 when I started lessons in Marquette, where I was born. I went to Blue Lake Fine Arts and Stevens Point many summers of my childhood and traveled to Europe with the Blue Lake International Youth Symphony Orchestra when I was 16. I’ve also played electric violin in indy bands and on a few of my friends albums.

I’ve been a facilitator of parent-child Music Together classes for ages 0-5. With the Music Together curriculum & pedagogy, I also taught kindergarten & 1st grade classes at local elementary schools. I substituted at Detroit Waldorf School in Music with grades 3-8 and in the Early Childhood and Parent/Tot classes for a handful of years.

I utilize two years of training with Allied Media Projects for community educators during which I learned to use transformative practices that develop higher order thinking skills and nurture essential human skills. You can read more about that on the DYV website.

In Summer 2017, DYV teachers & I attended an adult intensive week at Creative Strings workshop in Ohio with famed jazz violinists Christian Howes and his amazing faculty. This experience also factors in to the DYV curriculum and pedagogy.

Detroit Youth Volume also strives to function as an anti-racist, pro-Black organization. Board members, parents and teachers attended an Undoing Racism training with People’s Institute for Survival and Beyond in July 2017.

[updated January 2019]