Dana Zapata

Viola, Violin Teacher

SAA Member


Lindenhurst, IL
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As long as she can remember, the Suzuki method has been an important part of Dana Zapata’s life. She began studying Suzuki violin as a 4 year old, with Jane Kohnke in Oakbrook, Illinois. Dana was very motivated to play violin as a child, and has fond memories of group classes, where she looked up to the older students who were playing more advanced songs.

Dana studied violin with Vadim Mazo at Illinois Wesleyan University, where she earned her Bachelor of Music degree. Since graduation, Dana has been an active orchestral performer, and played in an Irish rock cover band for a few years. She began teaching in 2010, modeling her method after what she had learned as a student of the Suzuki method, however she always knew that what she really wanted to do was to take the SAA training courses to learn more about pedagogy. She started her official Suzuki teacher training in 2019 and plans to continue learning.

Dana did much of her training with David Strom, who was a huge influence on her teaching and playing technique. She believes that proper technique is important to give students the tools to express themselves through their instrument. Dana aims to develop a connection with each of her students, and an understanding of which ways they learn best.

Dana has now been involved with each of the corners of the Suzuki Triangle, as her daughters are currently studying Suzuki violin and piano. She believes that being the parent of a Suzuki student gives her a new perspective on how to work with parents to prepare children for lessons. She also now recognizes the struggles of getting your child to practice!!!