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Music Institute Violin & Viola Faculty member, Aki Tanaka
Violin & Viola Faculty (Suzuki & Traditional)
At MIC for 11 years 10 months

Private Instruction
Suzuki  Education
Traditional violin
Suzuki group

Available For

Mr. Tanaka is the former Suzuki program founder/director at Upper Valley Music Center and Twin State Suzuki Workshop in Lebanon, NH.  A registered Suzuki teacher in Book 1 through Book 10, he has studied long-term Suzuki pedagogy with Louise Scott, Karin Hallberg, and Joanne Bath; additional training with Nancy Lokken, Barbara Barber, Alice Joy Lewis, and Daphne Hughes. He studied violin with Hana Aoto, Hal Grossman, Louise Scott, Victor Liva, and Ara Gregorian and was a former member of the Flagstaff Symphony.
His students have received awards in the Northern Illinois Chandler-Starr Competition, Opus Music Competition, American Protégé Music Competition, Young Maestro Music Competition, and Charleson International Music Competition and participated in Rockford, Chicago, Midwest Young Artist, Elgin, and Houston Youth Symphonies.
Previously, he taught at Upper Valley Music Center, Music Academy in Rockford, and Rockford College. Currently, Mr. Tanaka teaches violin/viola at the Music Institute of Chicago.
In his spare time, he enjoys Kickboxing, Marathons, and traveling worldwide. He is also a frequent preacher in the Greater Chicago area.


MM  Music Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy, East Carolina University
MA Trinity Evangelical Divinity School
Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and Music Education, Northern Arizona University with emphasis on Suzuki pedagogy.

Additional Studies / Recent Awards / Recordings

Awards and achievements: 
The level that a student performs at is a direct result of how good their teacher is, and that says a lot about Mr. Tanaka. His students have received the award in the Northern Illinois Chandler-Starr Competition each year, and have participated in Rockford Symphony Youth Orchestra and Regional Youth Orchestras as well. He is also a registered Suzuki teacher in Books 1 through 10, and has studied long-term Suzuki pedagogy with Louise Scott, Karin Hallberg, and Joanne Bath.

Basic Teaching Philosophy or Special Music Interests/Specialties

One of Mr. Tanaka's strong beliefs about teaching and --more specifically-- learning, is that what matters most is how the instructor approaches the student when trying to teach them something new. He believes that, regardless of how much a child may not understand at first, with time and patience, they will get there.

"Everyone is talented. It depends how we teach. No matter how young or old, everyone can learn."

Special music interest
French composers

Professional Affiliations & Activities

Mr. Tanaka is involved with the Suzuki Association of the Americas, as well as the American String Teacher's Association.

He previously taught at Upper Valley Music Center, Music Academy in Rockford, and Rockford College.

He is currently a Suzuki Program Coordinator at the Sherwood Community Music School at Columbia College in Chicago.

Interests outside of music: 
When he's not teaching lessons or performing, Mr. Tanaka enjoys hobbies such as cooking, hiking, and traveling in his free time.

Favorite composer or piece to play:
A few of Mr. Tanaka's favorite composers include: Mozart, Mendelssohn, Ravel & Debussy.

Favorite quote: 
Music exists for the purpose of growing an admirable heart. It is necessary to be concerned about the importance of educating a really beautiful human spirit.

Favorite practice tip: 
Practice slow repetitions. If one way doesn't work after five minutes, find another way to approach.