Our Story

The Sue Mann Violin teaching program is dedicated to upholding the legacy of Betty Haag, a world-renowned master teacher.

Mrs. Haag, Sue’s childhood violin teacher, became interested in Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s pedagogy in the 1960’s and studied with him in Japan. Upon her return, Mrs. Haag combined the best elements of Dr. Suzuki’s teachings with those of her traditional European training, in particular of her teacher Mischa Mischakoff.

Sue studied violin pedagogy with Mrs. Haag and started her first program in Berlin, Germany – where Dr. Suzuki had studied many years before. This new approach to teaching violin was at first not greeted with overwhelming enthusiasm in musically very conservative-minded Berlin. But after noticing how well the students played, professional musicians there were won over, and even they started enrolling their children in Sue’s program. Some of Sue’s first students from Berlin days are now themselves professional musicians.

After moving back to the Chicago area 25 years later, Sue worked as a teacher for the Betty Haag Academy of Music. It was here that she feels she was able to further hone her skills by observing Mrs. Haag’s teaching and by having students participate in Mrs. Haag’s repertory classes, master classes, concerts and concert tours.

In 2010, a violin program that Mrs. Haag helped found in the SF Bay area needed a new director. Sue took it on. Five years later, the program is bursting at the seams. Sue hopes to recruit more teachers to meet the huge demand for this type of program in Silicon Valley.

We continue to collaborate with Betty Haag, who is still the same teacher Sue knew as a child – highest standards in her professional life, of utmost integrity, and a kind heart. Thank you for everything, Mrs. Haag! (see www.bettyhaag.com, also http://www.bettyhaag.com/articlestrad.html

Sue Mann with Dr. Suzuki

Sue Mann with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, London, 1982.

Sue Mann with Betty Haag

Sue Mann and her teacher, Betty Haag Kuhnke.

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