Susan Beth Barak
Viola, Violin Teacher
Susan Beth Barak, BA (Hons), MEd
A proud Canadian since 2002, Susan Beth Barak grew up in proximity to New York City and was privileged to study violin and viola with many illustrious American teachers including Mary Canberg, Stanley Bednar (Chair of the String Dept. at Manhattan School of Music, Pre-College), Harold Coletta, Peter Marsh, Bruce Berg, Erick Friedman, Janet Brady, and Roberta Crawford. She has performed internationally with a wide variety of orchestras and chamber groups and is a frequent soloist in York Region, Ontario. A founding member of the York Chamber Ensemble, she led the organization of YCE’s inaugural Annual Youth Concert in 2004, and the Baroque for Belinda fundraiser for Belinda’s Place [York Region’s first dedicated women’s shelter] in 2012. In addition to active membership in the Toronto Musicians Association (TMA), Local 149 of the American Federation of Musicians (AFM), Susan is also a registered affiliate music teacher of the Royal Conservatory of Music.
Susan joyfully embarked on Suzuki teacher training to formally enhance her studio teaching practice, Heart-Strings. Susan has been teaching and tutoring since she was the scholarship-winning President of the Tutoring Service of her high school, and has long been acquainted with the teachings and philosophy of Shinichi Suzuki. The values inherent in character education mesh with Susan’s beliefs in the wonders and power of music as a vehicle to promote love and peace. Music is her lodestar—throughout the many adventures of her life, her violin and viola are always close to hand and heart, and she has always found deep satisfaction in being able to share her knowledge and skills with students of all ages and abilities. Susan has taught in educational settings from pre-schools through university, and adult programs in the Toronto and York Region District School Boards, as well as privately.
As well as an enthusiastic music teacher and lifelong student, Susan is a mother of four, published writer, certified Life Skills Coach, registered yoga teacher (CYA-RYT 300), and advocate for human rights and social justice with a focus on disability.