Here is what some of my students have to say . . .
"She teaches me as an individual"
Susan has been the best kind of teacher. While she is clearly skilled and knowledgeable, those two things alone are not what make a teacher great. She bothers to care about my goals as a student, which alters how, and what she teaches me. She also takes the time to stop bad habits in their tracks without sounding negative or condescending. She knows what problems to look for as well as how to address them and she has great solutions to what I presume are common troubles. She teaches me as an individual; she has noticed how I learn and uses that to both our advantage. Not every person learns the same, and finding an adaptive teacher is absolutely invaluable. I am grateful to have found her and to have her as my teacher.
"Lots of Heart!"
As a very young child, I had some unfortunate and traumatic experiences learning to play music at the hands of negative teachers. For too long, I have missed out on the enjoyment playing can offer. When I finally decided to overcome my fears and try to learn to play the harp, I was so nervous about finding a kind and patient teacher.
Susan is wonderful! She is able to teach the absolute beginner with a wonderful sense of encouragement and posititivity that allows one to continue to feel inspired to learn and progress. I always look forward to my music lessons with Susan!
As an adult learning harp, and music for that matter, for the very first time I am enjoying the most amazing experience learning from Susan. Right from the start Susan made this "fish out of water" feel very comfortable and was very encouraging and patient while I fumbled my way through my first hand placements. She took the time to get to know me and understand how I actually learn, which has guided her in the best way to teach me. Susan is very gifted in her way of instillling the confidence that one requires to find true enjoyment and dedication to pursue this beautiful instrument - MY harp! Thank you, Susan.
"Perfect for adult learners"
Susan is a really good instructor for adults. She has a way of "going along with me" but still providing direction. She quickly assessed what I knew (I could read music and play a bit) without being tedious about it, and has worked with me to identify what I wanted to work on. She gives me a lot of lattitude (and responsibility) to make decisions about music, arrangements, skills to be learned, but still demands good technique and mastery of particular skills-- the stuff you don't easily learn on your own. She also incorporates improvisation, and learning to play by note and by ear (very exciting in comparison to lessons I've previously experienced). She is positive and encouraging and seems to understand how easy it is to get frustrated when learning something new. She incorporates a lot of information about kinesthetics (how the body/ hands "learn" to be positioned) which I find enormously helpful. She always has just the right comment or suggestion to push me a little further and to make me feel good about what I am learning. Her willingness to embrace new technology and teach on Skype makes her accessible to almost anyone, and her personality comes through the internet very well.
"Relevant and inspiring harp lessons with SuZe"
SuZe is a wonderful teacher for harpists of all levels. She expertly listens to and addresses your needs - those you mention and those she sees but you don't quite yet see. Both kinds of needs are up for a fun, challenging ride with SuZe.
She provides an understanding of music and of harp operations in particular, which is as diverse as it is richly relevant. Using Skype, I record our sessions and then take notes after our lesson. This allows me to focus fully on the "present moment" of the lesson. I then work through our agreed upon harp homework assignments with focus. I make progress with issues such as rhythm, musicality and my theraputic practice flourishes thanks to Susan's wise and considerate guidance.
"A Teacher for Life"
I am so delighted with my harp lessons with Susan! It was my childhood dream to play the harp and I finally got my chance to begin studying at age 46. I feel so fortunate to have found Susan because she is the perfect teacher for me (and hopefully you!) for both the short and long term. She made me feel comfortable from the very first session. She is patient and kind with all my beginner's foibles, plus she has the knowledge and talent to train me to higher and higher levels as I learn to read music better and become more coordinated. She is a truly masterful musician herself (both theory and practical), which gives her the tools and the talent to instruct students of all levels. I love that she also teaches on Skype, so I can "attend" my lessons even when I'm out of town! I know that I will be training with her for the rest of my life, and I would HIGHLY encourage you to check her out!
"Susan boldly goes where the student wanders"
How many words are there for "wonderful"? All of them apply to Susan and her terrific teaching. As there are no folk harp teachers on the Big Island, where I live, I needed someone who would be willing to try teaching over Skype, and Susan was game. I needed to try lots of different learning modalities until I found one that worked for me, and Susan was game. She is meticulous about technique, but warm-hearted about healing "musical wounds" from the past. Most of all she is willing to guide me toward my dream at my own pace. I wish I had something to suggest to improve her teaching, but she is just great as she is. I am glad and grateful to have found a teacher who is the right match for me.
"Susan INSPIRED me to learn!"
Though I had never touched a harp before my first lesson with Susan, she had me doing simple improvisations in a matter of weeks! It was so empowering to feel like I could play right away. In her usual, joyful manner, she instilled the "basics", and was completely supportive of whatever types of music I wanted to play. Her lessons are creative and fun, and got me to playing pieces that seemed hugely challenging much faster than I would have guessed. She also encouraged me to branch out and write my own songs- which really helped me play the harp in a whole new way. As I have progressed, she always stays one step ahead...building my confidence and encouraging new challenges. My only complaint is that she moved away to CA!
"Susan is a Gifted and Talented Harp Teacher"
Lucky you! Susan is the teacher we long to find. She is infinitely patient. She intuitively adapts her teaching approach to your learning style and performance goals. For example, as a birthday present for a dapper, 88 year old gentleman, Din, I offered to play his three favorite songs on the first day of Spring. Unknowingly to him, the pieces he chose were beyond my current level of expertise. Instantly, Susan knew how to coach me to success. She found and rearranged the music to my ability, practiced with me, taught techniques to improve muscle memory, provided unending encouragement, and had me bring a picture of Din for practice performances to lessons.
The first day of Spring came. Under a tree, in a meadow bordered by mountains at sunset, I played for Din. This man had everything or could buy anything he wanted. I made mistakes, we laughed and experienced a priceless moment, a gift that in the end, was for us both.
Teacher's like Susan have the wherewithal to guide students in musical/self awareness, development and expression of their unique voices through harp.
"More than 5 stars"
I began my harp lessons with Susan in August 2008 with NO previous experience. Within 8 months, and after only taking 30 minute sessions once a week, I am already playing "Somewhere Over The Rainbow" with both hands using Arpeggio and Glissando.
Susan challenges me in ways that increases my motivation to learn and play the harp even more. My favorite part of the lesson is where we improvise together. Even though the music stays within a certain mode frame, it is still very creative, inspiring, fun and beautiful (her playing of course ;-)).
We have been working on preparing for the International Harp Therapy Program and I have already joined the class in March 2009. I recognized immediately that this endeavor would be very difficult without her unyielding support.