Lisa D. Toner

Violin Teacher

Lisa Toner

SAA Member


Bellingham, WA
[javascript protected email address]

Now accepting students!

Lisa Toner finds great joy in teaching and learning and is committed to a career based on Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy. She earned a Bachelor’s in violin performance from Western Washington University in 2008, where she performed in the scholarship string quartet. Her interest in teaching and learning led her to graduate school at the University of Washington, where she completed a Master of Educational Psychology in 2011. She conducted an in-depth, three-year research study about teacher-student interaction during violin lessons. Along the way, Lisa studied Suzuki pedagogy with Cathy Lee at the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute over a ten year period, and also took teacher training with Teri Einfeldt, Mark Bjork, Ed Sprunger, Margaret Pressley, and Mimi Zweig.

Lisa became a certified Alexander Technique teacher in 2019. The Alexander Technique is a way to call yourself into coordination so you can do anything with more efficiency, clarity, and joy. It is a part of the curriculum at many conservatories and university music schools, and has been transformative for her own playing and teaching. She enjoys applying the principles to her lessons with younger students, and also teaches adult musicians of any instrument.

From 2011 to 2021, Lisa had a thriving private studio in Seattle’s Wedgwood neighborhood, including individual lessons, group lessons, a teen chamber music program, guest clinicians, and five performance opportunities per year. She has adjudicated for various local competitions, regularly teaches at the annual Suzuki Association of Washington State Festival, and was on the faculty for the 2015 Walla Walla Summer Suzuki Institute. She performed with the Puget Sound Symphony Orchestra for 10 years. An active member of her professional community, she served for several years as scheduler for both the Seattle Young Artists Festival and the Suzuki Association of Washington State’s fall festival. She has served on the board of SAWS for many years and enjoys staying connected to her wonderful community of colleagues. She and her family moved home to Bellingham in early 2022, where she is beginning a new studio.