Our Program and Instructors

Instruction & Instructors


Students Receive:

  • Weekly private lessons
  • Weekly group lessons

And participate in:

  • Solo recitals
  • Group concerts
  • Community concerts

COVID UPDATE

All instruction is taught ONLINE during COVID
In-class instruction will resume when NM DOH announces the all clear.


Parents are Essential!

When new Suzuki families begin instruction, the parent has about 4 weeks of instruction before the child begins. Absolutely NO previous musical training is necessary. You’ll learn everything you need to know during the introductory parent sessions that will get you and your child off to a strong start. 

  • Children as young as 3 may be ready to start
  • The only prerequisite is the desire to learn with your child
  • Absolutely NO previous musical experience necessary 

Never played an instrument? Not an issue.

Tone deaf? No prob.

All you need is the time to spend one-on-one with your child, and the commitment to beginning a new path to learning that will open up untold treasures for your family.


Our Instructors

Margaret Carpenter
Director, Violin Teacher

Teaching for the last 28 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 28 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.

Naomi Israel
Violin Teacher

Naomi grew up in Atlanta, Georgia. She has been on all the sides of the “Suzuki Triangle” (Parent, Teacher, and Student), and doesn’t remember a time when violin wasn’t part of her life — at the age of 3, she began her violin studies with Suzuki teacher Pat vas Dias. Ms. Naomi’s mother ran the Atlanta Suzuki Institute for a number of years. She and her siblings have wonderful memories of their amazing experiences at numerous Suzuki Institutes (basically, they are intensive music summer camps for Suzuki students all over the world).

In high school, Ms. Naomi found great motivation and inspiration through playing in a string quartet along with her cellist sister (now a Suzuki Cello teacher in Montreal!). She still thinks the string quartet is the perfect ensemble (anyone who says otherwise is itching for a fight)!

Ms. Naomi’s primary undergraduate and graduate studies were in Cell Biology, Microbiology, and Anatomy (at the Universities of Georgia, Michigan, and Arizona), but she has always made time to play, practice, teach, and perform in orchestras and chamber groups wherever she lives.

A passionate and energetic teacher of many different stripes (Biology, Violin, Piano, Chemistry, Hebrew, and more), Naomi has taught all ages, from toddlers to 90-year-olds. She even homeschools her kids — so far, everyone has survived the experience. Ms. Naomi’s earliest Suzuki teacher training and teaching experiences were through the University of Georgia’s Pre-College Program in Athens, GA; her formal Suzuki Teacher Training has been with Marilyn O’Boyle (Albuquerque, NM) and Allen Lieb (New York, NY).

Naomi has lived in Santa Fe since 2005, where she and her family enjoy hiking, gardening, music-making (playing, practicing and listening), homeschooling, sailing, cooking, do-it-yourself home remodeling, and traveling (not all at once). Favorite Book 1 song: Allegro. Favorite Composers of String Quartets: Dvorak, Smetana, Schubert, Borodin, Schumann. Favorite Red Wine: Pinot Noir.


“SFTE is a great program, filled with caring instructors who go above and beyond, and who care about the whole person of your child and the whole family. Suzuki is a method that not only teaches eventually the nuts and bolts of music reading and theory, but first how to listen and always how to express. The child learns, from the beginning, to perform as a soloist, but also to play with others. This social aspect, both playing with others and knowing well others that must practice every day, really helped my child persist despite the sometimes grind of everyday practice (and the discipline and perseverance she has learned will serve her throughout her life).”

Susan, mother to a 10 year old daughter, who has been playing since she was four.