Mr. Lionel R. Thomas

Violin, Viola Teacher

Lionel Thomas

SAA Member


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Lionel Thomas currently resides in Wilmington, Delaware where he teaches violin and viola as Suzuki Academy Associate Department Head at the Music School of Delaware and is violinist with the Nagoya String Quartet. Mr. Thomas also teaches music courses as Associate Adjunct Professor at Delaware State University. 

Prior teaching appointments include Bermuda School of Music, University of Oregon Community Music Institute, and Temple Music Prep.

Educational background includes two years of doctoral studies at University of Oregon as a graduate teaching fellow, Master of Music degree in performance from University of Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music, and Bachelor of Music degrees cum laude in violin performance and music education from University of Oregon School of Music and Dance.

Principal teachers include Kathryn Lucktenberg, Kurt Sassmannshaus, Marc Rovetti, and Fritz Gearhart.

In past summers Mr. Thomas attended Aspen Music Festivals as a scholarship student. He was also a recipient of an American Suzuki Institute Shinichi Suzuki Teacher Trainer Scholarship. 

As a performer, Mr. Thomas currently plays with Black Pearl Chamber Orchestra and has been a member of the Mann Center Festival Orchestra, Oregon Mozart Players, and other professional ensembles. A recent performance highlight occurred in the spring of 2022 when Mr. Thomas performed at Carnegie Hall with the Gateways Music Festival Orchestra and Jon Batiste.

Mr. Thomas has a strong passion for teaching and is committed to achieving optimal results in his students while nurturing a sense of appreciation and joy for music. Mr. Thomas’s Suzuki students range in age from 4 years old to 16 years old. Mr. Thomas has helped students win top prizes in the International Oskar Rieding and Music School of Delaware Concerto Competitions, acceptance into National Youth Orchestra 2, Princeton University Orchestra, and the Seattle Philharmonic, in addition to many other honors. Students who have worked with Mr. Thomas have been recognized by the Royal Conservatory of Music, and performed at prestigious venues such as Weill Hall in New York City.

Reading, running, and long walks with his pugs, Reine and Joey, are a few of Lionel’s spare time activities. He has completed three half marathons and one day hopes to run a full marathon.