Ms. Margaret Carpenter

Violin Teacher

Margaret Carpenter


Santa Fe, NM
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Teaching for the last 29 years, Margaret has prided herself on being goofy enough to help 4-year-old Twinklers learn to do independent fingers, and sarcastic enough to inspire exhausted teenagers to play the Bruch Concerto doublestops in tune. Those same 29 years have been devoted to helping all kinds of parents embrace Suzuki education in their lives.

Back in the Nixon administration, her own mother, Betty, was her Suzuki practice parent, whom Margaret  regularly begged to quit violin lessons. Betty wisely said, ‘You can quit when you are 18.’ Betty was fed that brilliant line by Margaret’s original violin teacher, the one and only Marilyn O’Boyle. Fortunately, a love of playing and performing hooked Margaret on violin from the age of 8, with a life-changing experience of performing on stage with Big Bird and the Lincoln Symphony in 1976.

This eventually led towards study at all kinds of fancy music schools with other inspiring teachers (Oberlin Conservatory, with Stephen Clapp and Marilyn McDonald; DePaul University with Joseph Genualdi), where she learned to play concertos, transpose chord progressions into gratuitous keys, and fake her way through a Strauss tone poem on only 5 hours of sleep. This was followed by playing violin in several symphony orchestras for a decade, while a deep desire to be more oriented towards teaching gradually took hold. Omaha Talent Education was the first Suzuki program Margaret started. Then when she moved to New Mexico in 2003, she founded SFTE. She is a violinist in Santa Fe ProMusica.

When not keeping her G string in tune, Miz Margaret enjoys long walks with her dog, Ruthie, reading, trying new foods, hanging out with friends around a campfire, listening to Italian operas and camping all over the western US. Favorite Book 1 song: Go Tell Aunt Rhody. Favorite composer: Schubert. Favorite red wine: Syrah.