Martha Shackford

  • Suzuki Violin, Viola Teacher
  • Suzuki Association of the Americas Violin Teacher Trainer
  • Master teacher with 40+ years experience
  • BA from Oberlin Conservatory, 1969
Suzuki Violin
Suzuki Viola
Rhythmic Training
Suzuki Teacher Training

To contact Martha:

  • (941) 705-9058
  • (503) 430-7228

Martha Shackford

Philadelphia, PA (1969-1977): 

Martha began her teaching career in the Philadelphia Public Schools where she taught all age levels in one of the public schools’ lowest economic areas.  She began and developed several special programs in her tenure as a Philadelphia public school teacher:  kindergarten Suzuki violin programs, string orchestras in elementary, middle, and high school, and an all school choir in one of her assigned elementary schools.

Fayetteville, Arkansas (1977-1995): 

Upon arrival to Fayetteville, Arkansas, Martha was invited to introduce and develop a Suzuki Program for the University of Arkansas Music Department.   The Suzuki Music School of Arkansas was founded by her which she directed and taught in for 18 years. She began informal teacher training at this time.  Concurrently, Martha was also first violinist in the North Arkansas Symphony, served on the board of the North Arkansas Symphony Youth Orchestra, and conducted the same youth orchestra for several years. In 1987, sponsored by Partners of the Americas, Martha was invited to go to Santa Cruz, Bolivia, where she did teacher training and founded the first Suzuki program in that country.  She was responsible for many exchanges of music teachers and students between Fayetteville and Santa Cruz.  She later took her Virginia studio on a concert tour of Bolivia to help raise funds for the children of Bolivia.

Washington DC (1995-2003):

Martha relocated to the Washington, D.C. area. Here she taught at the Levine School of Music, Capital Hill Arts Workshop, and developed a private studio in McLean, VA. While in Washington, she began writing for the American Suzuki Association Journal, discovering a great enjoyment for writing.  Summers and week ends found her often traveling to other areas both in and out of the United States as a clinician for Suzuki workshops and institutes.  At home she served on the Suzuki Association of the Greater Washington Area Board and chaired its string committee for several years.

Mt. Vernon and Cedar Rapids, Iowa (2003-05): 

Upon her mother’s death, Martha moved back briefly to her home state of Iowa where she had a small private studio, was Master Teacher/Coordinator of the Cedar Rapids Symphony School Suzuki Program, as well as Vice-President of the Mt. Vernon Area Arts Council.  Yearning for bigger city life, Martha moved to join her sister in Portland, Oregon.

Portland, Oregon (2005 -2011 ):

Having moved to Portland, Oregon, in 2005, Martha immediately formed an extensive apprenticeship teacher training course for area teachers interested in becoming registered Suzuki Association teachers.  Three classes of teachers have completed the 10 Suzuki violin books as well as a year long teaching internship.  She also trains Suzuki violin/viola teacher individually on a unit by unit basis.  (See Suzuki Violin Teacher Training).

Portland Suzuki Project: 

In the spring of 2008, the Portland Suzuki Project was founded by Martha and other area teachers.  As president, and primary teacher, Martha felt she returned to her roots of her early Philadelphia days.  Besides her home studio in Milwaukie, OR, she worked every day at Beach Elementary School, providing violin instruction for young students who would otherwise not be able to have instrumental lessons.

Bradenton, Florida, July, 2011 – Present:

In her quest for a warm, sunny climate, Martha moved to Florida.
Martha has studios in Sarasota, Bradenton and Saint Petersburg, FL.

She is also  developing The Suzuki Music and Teacher Training Academy of Tampa Bay.

Martha enjoys traveling, writing, reading, knitting, swimming, movies, and playing board games.

Martha has a parent-centric style of teaching the violin called the Suzuki Method, which I find fabulous. She is about my parent's age, but has all the energy of somebody in her early 20's. She emphasizes quality of interaction, and parent-child practice time together.

She has only been in Sarasota for 2 years, but I am so happy to have found this little gem of a music teacher.

Honey S.

My daughter has been taking violin lessons for more than a year. She loves her teachers and I can tell that they really care about my kid too. Your music school is wonderful and I highly recommend.

Honey S. / parent

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