Miss. Monica Johnston

Violin, Viola Teacher

Monica Johnston

SAA Member


Causeway Bay, Hong Kong
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Monica Johnston comes from South Carolina, where she started playing the violin in her school orchestra, and later found her true love, the viola!  She went on to major in Music Education at the University of South Carolina (USC), where she also received a Viola Performance Certificate.  While at USC, she was named a Magellan Scholar and received an Undergraduate Research Grant to conduct research in Baroque performance.

Although always interested in teaching music and working with young children, Miss Monica was not introduced to the Suzuki Method until 2008.  She has since received SAA training from Patricia D’Ercole, Carrie Reuning-Hummel, Carol Smith, Mary Cay Neal, Lan Ku Chen, Sarah Montzka, Elizabeth Stuen-Walker, Nancy Jackson, and Danny Gee Cordova.  Monica has attended Suzuki events in Mexico, the US, Europe, and Asia.

An active member of the SAA, Monica has published two articles, Coronavirus Doesn’t Have to Mean Cancelled and A Summer in Puerto Rico: Music after Maria. She loves her special connection with Puerto Rico, where she occasionally is a guest teacher, and always looks forward to viola-specific events, such as the European Suzuki Viola Gathering!

Miss Monica has taught students of all ages, from infants to grandparents!  She currently teaches music in the primary section of American School Hong Kong and runs her own private studio. Prior to that, she was teaching at Suzuki Music Academy of Hong Kong (previously KinderU Suzuki Music Academy) for ten years, where she taught viola, violin, early childhood music classes, and coached chamber ensembles. Before moving to Hong Kong, Monica taught Suzuki Method, private lessons, and conducted orchestras through the USC String Project and the USC Community Music School. 

Monica is an active performer in Hong Kong. She is currently Principal Viola of the SAR Philharmonic Orchestra, and plays with many groups, including SingFest, the Hong Kong New Music Ensemble, Western District, and the City Chamber Orchestra of Hong Kong. She has performed all around the world; in Italy, Austria, Canada, the United States, Hungary, and Hong Kong, as well as with pop stars such as Michael Buble,  Hacken Lee and Angela Zhang.

Ms. Monica strives to be a lifelong learner!  One way to always learn something new is to keep your mind open to new experiences.  Traveling helps her experience the world in different ways, through different cultures, different foods, different landscapes, and it keeps her inspired to see the things through a student’s eyes, and to hear the world through a musician’s ears.