Nobuaki "Aki" Tanaka

Suzuki Violin Faculty
Program Area: 
Suzuki Education
Group Lessons
Private Instruction
With Music Institute of Chicago since: 

Mr. Tanaka received a Bachelor of Music in Music Performance and Music Education from Northern Arizona University with emphasis on Suzuki pedagogy. He also received his Master's of Music in Music Performance and Suzuki Pedagogy from East Carolina University.

Significant teachers and mentors: 

Some of his most influential mentors were: Hal Grossman, Ara Gregorian, Louise Scott & Karin Hallberg

Teaching philosophy and areas of expertise: 

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."

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.

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 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.

Favorite composer or piece to play: 

A few of Mr. Tanaka's favorite composers include: Mozart, Mendelssohn, Ravel & Debussy.