Susan Kempter

Alfred Author-Susan Kempter

Susan Kempter is the creator of a new String Pedagogy degree (Bachelor of Music with Emphasis in String Pedagogy) at the University of New Mexico. In addition to the new degree, she also founded a teaching lab that provides private and group lessons to area children in addition to a teaching lab for UNM pedagogy students, both graduate and undergraduate.

Mrs. Kempter is a registered Teacher Trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas and served on their Nominating Committee and on their Teacher Trainer Evaluation Committee. Currently, Susan is a Research Committee member for the International Research Symposium on Talent Education. Also active in the American String Teachers' Association with National School Orchestra Association, she served as both President and Editor of the New Mexico Chapter. Susan was Private Teachers' Forum Editor for the American String Teacher, and served as a national Consulting Editor for the same publication from 1997-2005. She also served as Chair of the Certificate Committee for American String Teachers' Association (ASTA). In 1998, she received the Citation for Leadership and Merit from ASTA, and in 2006, she was named Studio Teacher of the Year by the New Mexico Chapter of ASTA. She is also a member of Phi Kappa Phi scholastic honorary.

Her past violin teachers include Harold Wolf, Victor Aitay, and Leonard Felberg. She studied violin and viola with Sally Peck and string pedagogy with John Kendall. She has been in teacher training classes with Shinichi Suzuki, Doris Preucil, Alice Joy Lewis, William Starr and Mimi Zweig.

Mrs. Kempter attended DePaul University, the University of Utah, and the University of New Mexico. Because string pedagogy as a separate discipline did not exist, she pursued subjects as diverse as violin performance, zoology, nursing, child development, education and neurology in order to ferret out underlying issues surrounding music learning and teaching, all of which contribute to the coursework she currently teachers. She holds Bachelor's and Master's degrees from the University of New Mexico.

An active clinician and lecturer, Mrs. Kempter has several publications, including Between Parent and Teacher: A Teacher's Guide to Parent Education (1991. SHAR Publications, Inc., Ann Arbor, MI), and a pamphlet: Musical Activities for Preschoolers. Her latest publication, How Muscles Learn: Teaching Violin with the Body in Mind (2003) is available from Alfred Publishing. She is completing two additional books: Violin Lesson Plans for Young Children and Music and the Miracle of Human Learning: Making Connections, which will become a text for an interdisciplinary course she currently teachers in the Music Department.

In addition to the listing above, she has had several articles printed in both The American String Teacher and the American Suzuki Journal. She has presented All-State workshops in New Mexico, Oregon, Texas, Alabama and Nevada, as well as conferences for American String Teachers' Association, Suzuki Association of the Americas, and Music Teacher's National Association, American Physical Therapists Association, and Music in Education: Toward a New Millennium, a research symposium at Northern Arizona University in Flagstaff, Arizona. She has adjudicated locally, in The Greater Southwest music Festival and the national finals (high school division) of the Yamaha High School String Competition.

Locally, she founded the Suzuki Violin Program at the College of Santa Fe and also founded and directed the Albuquerque Suzuki School. She was a sectional coach in the Albuquerque Youth Symphony Program for many years. She also founded and currently directs the student touring group, Mad About Music, a group that is composed of children from private teachers throughout the Albuquerque area who specialize in playing folk music. Mad About Music has performed in New Mexico, Mexico, Hawaii, Arizona, Alaska, California, Washington, D.C., and Florida. Her students have been featured soloists with the Albuquerque Youth Symphony, Albuquerque Philharmonic, Chamber Orchestra of Albuquerque, and the New Mexico Symphony Orchestra.

Susan has been a section violinist in the Colorado Springs Symphony, Santa Fe Symphony, Opera Southwest, South Chicago Symphony and in several community orchestras and chamber groups. She is married to nationally-known music educator Dale Kempter, and has three children, three step-children, and seven grandchildren. She loves cats and fishing.