Sonja Eiesland

Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education Teacher

Sonja Eiesland

SAA Member

Sonja Eiesland began her violin studies in a Suzuki program at the age of 7 in Boulder, Colorado. She earned her Bachelor of Music from Ithaca College, and Master of Music Education from Indiana University, where she studied with Mimi Zweig and Yuval Yaron.  Her graduate degree consisted of extensive Violin Pedagogy training and practice through the IU String Academy.  She also completed summer studies at the Ticino Music Festival in Lugano, Switzerland.  Since starting her own Suzuki studio, she has continued to attend Teacher Training courses around the country through the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and has currently completed ten different courses spanning the Suzuki Philosophy and Books 1-8. 

Sonja’s first professional position was as Principal Second Violin in Monterrey, Mexico’s OSUANL symphony orchestra; she also performed with various chamber ensembles during the seven years she lived in Mexico. She is now a first violin in the South Dakota Symphony Orchestra, Principal Second Violin of the Sioux City Symphony Orchestra, and Second Violin in the Sioux City Symphony String Quartet.  She has also appeared as a soloist with the Aberdeen Symphony, and has made solo and chamber recordings for the Sioux City Symphony.

Sonja’s love of teaching began when, as a college student studying abroad, she initiated a violin program for children in an under-privileged rural area outside of Santiago, Chile. While in Mexico, she taught violin at the Universidad Autónoma de Nuevo León and privately. Due to this international experience, she enjoys teaching some of her current students in Spanish.  She now maintains a private studio of nearly 30 students from ages 3 through high school (and sometimes beyond!).  Sonja is also the Lead Violin Instructor with the Avera Family Wellness Program, which offers Early Childhood music classes and K-3 Violin lessons to children in under-served schools. 

Sonja lives with her husband and two cats, and enjoys reading, cooking, getting outside, and travelling as much as possible.