Maria F. Baker has been a Suzuki parent for 3 years. Her daughter studies violin and attended the Suzuki Strings Festival and the Institute. “It was at the Institute this year that I became much more aware of what SAGWA seeks to achieve for students and teachers, and, as a result, I became convinced that I would like to be of help. I learned that SAGWA may have need for additional assistance particularly in the area of developing the content of its website and visual presence.”
Ms. Baker is a freelance translator and interpreter for the International Center for Language Studies and the United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, DC. Her professional experience includes co-founder and managing director of the German Language Center in Bloomfield Hills, MI; lecturer at the University of Michigan, and the Founder and Director of CultureSpan, Worldwide Business Services. She has travelled extensively throughout Europe, United States, South-East Asia and East Africa. Ms. Baker’s education includes studies in law at the University of Cologne, Germany. Her languages include German, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian.
Naomi Kusano started studying the piano with her mother when she was three and was introduced to the Suzuki Method in the early 70’s when she began studying the violin in Japan. She has fond memories of the Matsumoto Summer School and Grand Concerts she attended as a young student, teacher and alumni.
After graduating with a degree in piano from the Conservatorio Statale di Musica “L.Cherubini” di Firenze in Italy, Naomi completed the fifth and last level of European Suzuki teacher training at the British Suzuki Institute (BSI), England, obtaining a diploma from the European Suzuki Association (Dip.ESA). Additional Suzuki training includes study with Dr. Suzuki, Dr. Kataoka and Mr. Takahashi at the Talent Education Research Institute (TERI), Japan.
A former faculty member at the Levine School of Music, Naomi has maintained a Suzuki piano studio in Chevy Chase MD since 2007. She has served on the SAGWA Board of Directors since 2012 and the SAGWA Piano Committee, which she currently chairs, since 2007. Since 2013 she has also served as the Director of the SAGWA All-Instrument Graduation Recitals. Naomi has taught at workshops and institutes in Europe, Mexico, Canada and US and enjoys playing chamber music and accompanying young Suzuki musicians. She is also a qualified Music Mind Games teacher.