Ms. Cynthia Faisst

Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education Teacher

Cynthia Faisst

SAA Member


Talent Ed Ctr Suzuki Violin
2691 Richter Ste 200
Irvine CA 92606


Location: off Jamboree, easily accessible from I-5, I-55, I-405
brief list
- 3 years study under Dr. Suzuki in Japan
- Graduation from TERI, TE Research Institute in Japan, 1992
- BA in Music Education- U. of Northern Iowa
- Step by Step for Violin under Kersten Wartberg
- Violin Overview Books 1-10 under John Kendal
- How Muscles Learn under Susan Kempter

  • Founder of Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin—in Irvine, since 1992
  • Montessori and Kindermusik training and experience
  • Director and co-Founder of SA Suzuki Strings at the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center under Dr. Jimenez

See samples of student work on the TECstudio YouTube channel

As inspiring as it is to work with her most advanced students, I never lose my enthusiasm for starting my newest students from the very beginning. Age 3-90, every new student is a mystery musician waiting to be discovered. Whatever their age or ability, each one is going to have something unique and valuable to contribute to their family and their community through music.

One of the reasons, I chose the Suzuki Method is because I learned from my own childhood as a young musician, that private instruction on a musical instrument is not enough. It’s only a beginning. It takes a musical village to raise a musical child. Children need friends and mentors who are making music in their environment and sharing the joy of it. Even parents need a musical parenting community that supports and shares the aspirations they have for their children.

I dedicate my full energy and training to this pursuit because it is the most important job of my life. Teaching is not something I do in order to supplement other income. It is not enough just to play well in order to teach young children. To bring Joy and desire for music into a child’s life, one is constantly updating their knowledge with current discoveries about child development and music. It demands one’s curiosity. In giving children access to their world through music, I have the responsibility of raising a generation of tomorrow’s citizens.

By collaborating with other specialists in music, education, music therapy and technology, I keep my own professional development on a steep learning curb. The best way I can repay my obligation to Dr. Suzuki, for the training I received from him, is to keep doing the intentional research and innovation Sensei recommended, in order to discover optimal ways to provide even my most challenged students access to the violin and its expressive tone.

Her Story
Cynthia Faisst has a BA in Music Education from the University of Northern Iowa where she met Martha Holvik, founder of the Suzuki program at UNI. There she read her first copy of “Nurtured by Love” and couldn’t put the book down until she finished it the next morning. Through professor Holvik, she was influenced by her encounters with many of the early leaders of the American Suzuki movement for the first time, including, John Kendall.

While taking teacher training at Stevens Point, she met Dr. Suzuki for the first time during a master class for teachers and was encouraged by her teacher trainers to spend at least 3 months studying with Dr. Suzuki in Japan. Three months of 1st hand study in Matsumoto morphed into 3 years of concentrated study and a deeper understanding of Suzuki Sensei’s research methods and teaching techniques. Ms. Cynthia’s imagination was captured by his determination and exuberance at age 90, to create a teaching method that could reach each and every child. From 1989-1992, she had the great privilege to study with Dr. Suzuki and graduate from TERI in Matsumoto, Japan.

In 1992, she founded the Talent Education Center: Suzuki Violin, in Irvine, CA while also obtaining training and teaching experience in Montessori under Dr. Feland L Meadows & Kindermusik in her studio. She continues to update her violin training taking advantage of as many resources as she can access. Summer 2015 she had the opportunity to study with Kerstin Wartberg, a fellow Matsumoto Pedagogue and the founder of “Step by Step” for Violin.

Recently, she was able to inspire the formation of The limbART Project. By engaging a STEM teacher and his students from an OC high school to meet the needs of one of her physically challenged students at OCCTAC, they are making history in both 3D printer technology and the Suzuki movement for music accessibility. Sensei said “Every Child” (even if he needs an arm.)

Giving back:
In 2006, she founded and continues to direct a sister program, the Santa Ana Suzuki Strings , the Afterschool Arts Program at the Orange County Children’s Therapeutic Arts Center which provides Suzuki Instruction for underserved families in Santa Ana and surrounding Orange County, CA. She has been asked to develop an inclusive violin curriculum adapted for children who face obtaining academic achievement in a challenging environment. Advanced students in Bk. 4 and up are invited to do community service for their graduation portfolios as interns under Ms. Cynthia.

Some of these students are already going on to participate in the SAC Chamber Orchestra or attend the Orange County School of the Arts.

Where can you find her students?

Since Ms. Cynthia has a vested interest in the personal development of her students she encourages them to participate in the musical life of their communities.

You can find Suzuki Students and Alumni from both of her Sister Suzuki Programs in local school string programs, OC youth orchestras, festivals, jazz & fiddle camps, community events, churches, college ensembles, occasionally master classes with Julliard-trained Professors. Some of her adult students have even had the thrill of playing in side by side “Can You Play” concerts with the local Pacific Symphony.

Her violin students of all ages have even been spotted doing local community service projects using their musical leadership skills. They have played for local City Council Meetings, Sister Cities Meetings, Educational Conventions, Charities and Cultural Festivals at parks and malls. They constantly surprise her with their own initiatives.