Mrs. Susanna Johnson-Chelaru

Viola, Violin Teacher

Susanna Johnson-Chelaru

SAA Member


Boston, MA
[javascript protected email address]


Boston Conservatory
Graduate Performer’s Diploma, 2015-2016
University of Maryland, College Park
M.M. Viola Performance
Indiana University, Bloomington
B.M. Viola Performance
B.A. Spanish – with high distinction

Teaching Experience:

Bridge Boston Charter School—Roxbury, MA, Violin Teaching Artist
South Shore Conservatory—Hingham, MA, Suzuki Violin Teacher
University of Maryland—College Park, MD, graduate assistant
ArtSi Riverdale, —William Wirt Middle School, Violin tutor
International School of Music—North Bethesda, MD, private instructor- violin and viola
MusAid, El Salvador Project—El Salvador Sistema, viola teacher and viola pedagogy clinician
Indiana University—Bloomington, IN, Fairview Elementary string project, group violin instructor
Melody Music Shop—Bloomington, IN, violin and viola private instructor
Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association—Elementary String Program, violin and viola clinician

Pedagogical Training:

IAM Suzuki Festival—Teaching Certificate- Every Child Can and Suzuki Violin Level 1, Linda Stieg
Japan-Seattle Suzuki Festival—Teaching Certificate – Suzuki Violin Level 2, Allen Lieb
Indiana University- Jacobs School of Music—Mimi Zweig violin and viola pedagogy I & II
University of Maryland—String Pedagogy with Rebecca Henry of Peabody Preperatory

Private Studies:

Lila Brown
Katherine Murdock
Atar Arad
Kathryn Plummer

Susanna Johnson has a Master’s degree in viola performance from the University of Maryland where she studied with Katherine Murdock. She is also a graduate of the Indiana University Jacobs School of Music, where she studied viola performance with Atar Arad. As a graduate assistant at Maryland, Susanna taught viola technique class as well as coached viola sectionals, and performed as Principal viola for the University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra. In addition to her performances with University of Maryland Symphony Orchestra, Susanna has a long history of orchestral experience. During her studies at University of Maryland, Susanna performed as part of the University of Maryland Conductor’s Lab Orchestra, and as part of the Peacherine Ragtime Orchestra and the Wesley Choral Festival Orchestra. During her undergraduate studies at Indiana University, Susanna performed with the Indiana University Philharmonic Orchestra, the Camerata Orchestra of Bloomington, Indiana, and the Owensboro Symphony Orchestra, among many other ensembles, and worked with conductors such as Franz Welser-Möst, and Leonard Slatkin.

As a chamber musician, Susanna has been selected to performed in many honors chamber performances such as the University of Maryland chamber honor’s recitals, the Montecito International Music Festival Gala concert, and the Tennessee Tuesday luncheon for the Tennessee United States Senators in Washington, D.C., among other performances. Her chamber music coaches have included Peter Takacs, Peter Stumpf, Shigeo Neriki and Ik-Hwan Bae. Susanna has also proven her worth as a competitive soloist: she has been selected as honorable mention at the string division semifinals for the University of Maryland concerto competition, as finalist for the concerto competition at the National Symphony Orchestra Summer Music Institute, and as First Place Junior Division at the Bach Fest Competition in Rutherford County, Tennessee. Susanna has also performed for Masterclasses with Larry Dutton, Roberto Diaz, Doris Lederer and Yizhak Schotten.

Susanna is an avid enthusiast of teaching music to children and adults and has extensive pedagogical training. Susanna trained in Suzuki violin teaching certification levels 1 & 2 with Linda Stieg at the IAM Suzuki Festival in 2012 and Allen Lieb at the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Festival in 2014. At University of Maryland, Susanna studied string pedagogy with Rebecca Henry of the Peabody Preparatory Program, and at Indiana University, she took violin and viola pedagogy with Mimi Zweig and Brenda Brenner, of the Jacobs School of Music String Academy.

In addition to her pedagogical training, Susanna has many years experience as a teacher of young children and adults. During her study at University of Maryland, in addition to teaching privately in the D.C. area, Susanna volunteered for ArtSi Riverdale, tutoring violin at William Wirt Middle School. The past two years, Susanna volunteered as part of a partnership between the non-profit organization MusAid and the Secretary of Culture of El Salvador’s El Sistema, teaching children from many regions of El Salvador and collaborating with the viola teachers there. During her studies at Indiana University, Susanna taught violin and viola at Melody Music Shop and worked as a violin instructor for the Jacobs School of Music’s Fairview Elementary violin project, a program focusing on bringing music education to children of low socio-economic households. In the spring of 2011 Susanna served as a clinician for the Santa Fe Youth Symphony Association Elementary String Program, offering both private instruction and masterclasses.

In the future, Susanna hopes to broaden her connections with Central and South America and continue to help the spread of music education there. In addition, Susanna hopes to expand her pedagogical training and studies, to the aim of innovating the way the instrument is taught. Susanna’s other interests include salsa dancing, practicing her Spanish, traveling, hiking and watching movies.

Susanna is currently teaching full time as a Suzuki and El Sistema teacher in the Boston area.