Faculty Photo

Liz Arbus

Liz Arbus is an SAA Sanctioned Teacher Trainer. Liz received her Bachelors Degree in Music Education at Illinois State University and her Masters Degree in Violin Performance at Southern Illinois University at Edwardsville where she studied with the renowned Suzuki Teacher Trainer, John Kendall. Ms. Arbus taught Suzuki violin in Berkeley, Calif. for five years before moving to Pasadena. Liz taught with the Pasadena Suzuki Music Program 1985 - 2004. She is currently the director of Suzuki Talent Education in Pasadena (STEP). She teaches at several Suzuki Institutes all over the United States. Liz continues violin lessons with Zoya Leybin, coach and violinist in the San Francisco Symphony, as well as pursuing continuing studies in Baroque performance practice. In teaching children I see the hope and joy that learning brings. In learning the violin, children do a step-by-step process of discovery which carries over into every aspect of life. The Suzuki Method aids in this growth process with continual nurturing from both parent and teacher. Suzuki Institutes provide an enjoyable environment to motivate students, parents and teachers. Being able to produce music can create self-assurance and an inner joy. Listening to music can soothe our hearts and minds. I hope through my teaching I can create a lifelong connection to a marvelous musical tradition.

Liana Gaughan

Liana Gaughan is originally from Yerevan, Armenia where she studied at the prominent Yerevan Komitas State Conservatory of Music, where she received her Master’s in Violin Performance and violin instruction. While attending the Conservatory, she was chosen to become a member of Tagharan Early Music Ensemble, an International chamber group that traveled and performed throughout Eastern Europe as well as Western Europe. Presently, Liana is a freelancing violinist, who has played in several movies, including the Ray Charles biopic “Ray.” She also has a successful studio of students from of various ages. Some of her students are currently holding the concertmaster position (chair) at New York’s Vassar College, Arcadia High School, San Marino Middle School and Pasadena Youth Symphony Orchestra. Liana is currently part of the faculty of Suzuki Talent Education of Pasadena (STEP), and the Verdugo Young Musicians Association where she coaches 1st violin section in the Strings Orchestra. She is a member of California Music Teachers Association and Suzuki Association of Americas. She also volunteers to coach the string program at Sierra Madre Elementary. When she doesn’t teach or play violin, she likes to spend her times with her children Devin and Brianna and her supporting husband. There is one thing she likes more than violin, Peet’s Coffee Lattes.

Amy Herrick

Amy Evans Herrick was born in Salt Lake City, UT and began playing the violin at the age of eight under the direction of Deborah Moench. As a member of the Granite Youth Symphony Orchestra for six years, Amy received the Leo Beckstead Award. After completing the Suzuki Violin program, Amy continued her studies under the direction of Utah Symphony member Jack Ashton. She received a scholarship in music while furthering her studies at the University of Utah. Amy performed with the Utah Philharmonia Orchestra for several years and completed a degree in music education. She taught music in the Salt Lake City School District for three years at six elementary schools and has been teaching private violin instruction for over 17 years. Amy performed with the Orchestra at Temple Square for two years before moving to California. While there for four years, she enjoyed being a member of the STEP faculty. She and her husband recently returned from living in Paris, France for two years. They currently reside in La Canada, California with their three children.

Laurie Niles

Laurie Niles is an educator who is certified through Suzuki Violin Book 10 by the Suzuki Association of the Americas, having trained in Suzuki pedagogy with James Maurer of the University of Denver, Enid Cleary of Chicago, Ill. Ellie LeRoux of Longmont, Colo., Helen Brunner of London and Mark Bjork of the University of Minnesota. Laurie holds a Bachelor's degree in music from Northwestern University and a Master's degree in journalism from Indiana University. She maintains a private studio of youth and adult violin students. She also started a large first-grade Suzuki program at McKinley School, a public school in Pasadena. She has has played the violin professionally for 15 years, most recently with the Pasadena and New West Symphonies. In addition to her music career, she has worked as a full-time news reporter for a major metropolitan newspaper and is currently the editor of the online publication Violinist.com. Laurie is married to Robert Niles, and they have two children.

Nonie Reesor

Leonora Marshall Reesor ("Nonie") has found great fulfillment in both playing and teaching the violin. A young Suzuki student herself, Nonie began her violin studies in Salt Lake City with Ramona Stirling, continuing later with Jack Ashton, Marjorie Bagley, and Jessica Guideri. In May 2004, Nonie earned her BM in violin performance from the Caine School of the Arts at Utah State University, where she served as concertmaster of the Symphony Orchestra for the duration of her studies. Nonie has also been featured twice as a soloist on USU's Concerto Evening, and has been part of USU's Musica Viva contemporary music series, the 2002 Winter Olympics Orchestra, "Stadium of Fire" at Lavell Edwards Stadium, and played three seasons with the Utah Festival Opera. In April 2008, Nonie was honored to perform Sergio Bernal's Violin Concerto in Libby Gardner Hall (SLC) under the direction of the composer. Nonie has found an equal love for teaching the violin using the Suzuki approach, and has loved her Suzuki Teacher Trainers, who include Ed Sprunger, Teri Einfeldt, Cathy Lee, Joseph Kaminsky, and Doris Preucil. Nonie has used many of their ideas in maintaining her studio of roughly 35 students while in Logan. From 2006-2008, she acted as Artistic Director for the USU String Academy, a Suzuki training program for both students and teachers. During this time, Nonie also taught classes in the USU Music Department, including Music Theory, Aural Skills, and non-music major violin lessons. Nonie loves being married to her pianist, Keenan Reesor, and they enjoy chasing their curious toddler, Samuel.

Cheryl Scheidemantle

Violinist Cheryl Scheidemantle received her Ph.D. in violin performance at New York University. She earned a Master of Music degree at the Juilliard School in New York City, and her Bachelor of Music degree as a scholarship student at Willamette University in Salem, Oregon. Her teachers have included Dorothy Delay, Margaret Pardee, Paul Kantor, Amy Barlowe, and William Lincer. Ms. Scheidemantle currently is on the faculty of the Polytechnic School in Pasadena, teaches with Suzuki Talent Education of Pasadena, and has held the position of Artist-in-Residence at Whittier College. Ms. Scheidemantle is past-president of the Board of Directors of the Suzuki Music Association of California. Besides with music, Ms. Scheidemantle’s days are filled being a mother to her three children.

Suzuki Talent Education of Pasadena, California