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Teacher Spotlight: Bill Kronenberg, violin

Teacher Spotlight:  Bill Kronenberg, violin

What led you to become a Suzuki teacher?
I was influenced by some early adopters of the Suzuki method in the Smith and Montzka families. They convinced me to go up to the Suzuki institute at Stevens Point, Wisconsin and meet Marge Aber and Shinichi Suzuki. This was a world of music and education with which I was unfamiliar. Since then, I've never looked back.

Which of your teachers inspired you the most? What aspects of their teaching have you integrated into your own style?
I did my first intense teacher training with John Kendall. I marveled at his ability to reach students of all ages and levels. He was able to frame complicated pedagogical ideas into simple mottos that I remember to this day and find myself repeating to my students.
Almita Vamos was able to blend technical instruction with musicianship in a way that I can only hope to emulate with my students. She and Roland are filled with a musical life force that spills over into daily life. It’s a very nice way to live.

You have taught at Suzuki workshops and institutes across the country. What is one of the most memorable experiences you’ve had at a workshop or institute?
I conducted the orchestra at the Colorado Suzuki Institute. At one of our final concerts, we had the bass section play a concerto accompanied by the rest of the orchestra. The two bassists had first come to the camp as a violinist and pianist. They took bass as an elective. Over the years, they became outstanding bass players. It was a fine demonstration of how institutes can affect lives.

Also, the night we had about 100 fiddlers playing AC/DC’s “Back in Black” on the Vilar stage was quite memorable.

One of your areas of expertise is teaching improvisation. What are some tips that you would share with someone who is interested in learning to improvise?
Breathe. I always work on making musical phrases with beginning string improvisers. Wind players do this naturally as they must breathe.

What’s on your listening list right now?
Väsen is a Swedish band I listen to.  Whenever I do, I really want to learn to play the nyckelharpa. Unfortunately, it helps to be a seven-foot-tall Swede to do so. 




Bill Kronenberg

Violin Faculty (Suzuki)