2017 Clinicians and Directors

Chuck Speicher (Musical History Tours) currently teaches general music at Cole Manor Elementary School in the Norristown Area School District of Pennsylvania where he is in his third year of teaching. Between 2012 and 2014 he was curriculum director to a national non-profit called Little Kids Rock where he had the opportunity to work alongside popular music icons such as Bruce Springsteen, Lady Ga Ga, Bryan Wilson, Elvis Costello, and Carlos Santana among others in fundraising efforts for public school music programs across the country. His teaching and performing engagements have included the Newburyport Chamber Music Festival,  the New England Conservatory Suzuki Workshop in Boston, the Wellington Suzuki Workshop in New Zealand, the Suzuki Institute of Alaska, the International Music Festival in Ohio, the South Carolina Suzuki Institute at Furman University, the More Than Music Festival in Kingston, Ontario, the Peaks to Plains Institute in Colorado, the Indianapolis Academy of Music Summer Festival, the Summer Jazz Workshop at Montclair State University, and the Stokes State Forest Music Festival in New Jersey. In 2006 he was a judge in the Alaska State MTNA Piano Competition and adjudicator for piano students in the cities of Anchorage and Homer. Chuck freelances regularly on piano, keyboard, and guitar, and in 2002 traveled with the "Crazy Energy Orchestra" to Morocco to perform at the wedding of King Mohammed VI. Between 1996 and 2005 he was the Suzuki Coordinator to Montclair State University where he also taught an undergraduate keyboard harmony class. In 1989 he received the New Jersey State Governors Award in Arts Education.

Carlough Faulkner-Carroll (violin) discovered her love of teaching when she began tutoring younger violin students as a high school student.  After 15 years teaching full-time, she still gets just as excited every time a student gets the shining look that says "I've got it!"

A sought after clinician who is known for her ability to connect with children, Carlough strives to help students reach their full potential and to enjoy the process with them.  She is on on the faculty of the New England Suzuki Institute and the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop, and has taught at numerous other workshops.

In addition to performance degrees from New England Conservatory and the University of Wisconsin-Madison, where she was a winner of the School of Music Concerto Competition, Carlough has pursued long-term Suzuki teacher training with Teri Einfeldt as well as short courses with Ronda Cole, Edmund Sprunger, and Ed Kreitman among others.  She also has received training from Dorothy Jones in Suzuki Early Childhood Education, a curriculum for newborns through three year olds.

Carlough has been very active in the Boston area Suzuki community since 2001, when she first joined the board of the Massachusetts chapter of the Suzuki Association of the Americas.  She has served as the director of the Massachusetts Suzuki Festival, then as volunteer coordinator, and recently as the president of this regional organization.

As a soloist, Carlough has performed the concertos of Barber and Sibelius among others, and has performed many recitals and chamber concerts. She also enjoys studying and performing Hungarian and Transylvanian village music. She resides and teaches in Bedford, MA, with her husband and their two children where she gets inspiration daily from her 35 students.

Kathy McHugh (Violin) Kathy McHugh attended Ithaca College. It was during that time that she was first introduced to the Suzuki method and began her training with Sandy Reuning. After receiving her Bachelor of Music degree, Kathy continued her studies with Sandy Reuning and began teaching for Ithaca Talent Education. She had additional teacher training with Teri Einfeldt, Linda Fiore, Mark Bjork and participated in teachers’ workshops with Dr. Suzuki.

A family move created an opportunity for Kathy to establish her own studio and bring Suzuki method violin and viola instruction to Morristown, NJ. During her 10 years in Morristown, Kathy taught many students, began a string program in a private school, founded a training orchestra for area students, taught strings in the local public schools, and was an active freelance performer.

In 1988, Kathy returned to ITE as a full-time faculty member. She accepted a position as strings instructor in the Lansing Central School district in 1993. Currently Kathy is the Lansing Middle School library media specialist and teaches violin, viola, and the Paganini repertory class part-time for ITE. She is on the faculty of the Ithaca College Suzuki Institute and has been a guest clinician at many workshops.

Teaching music for Kathy is a treat. It is lots of fun and doesn’t feel like work. “I love teaching and am fortunate to work with so many wonderful students, families, and colleagues. I have been teaching using the Suzuki method for 30 years and hope that I can continue for another 30!”

Beth Guerriero (violin/viola) Ph.D. (Penn State University) completed her B.M. in violin performance at the Hartt School of Music (Suzuki Books 1-4) and M.M. in violin performance and Suzuki pedagogy (Suzuki Books 1-9 and Practicum) from the Lamont School of Music at the University of Denver. Currently, Dr. Guerriero serves as Director of Education for the Harmony Program in New York City, an el-sistema inspired program that serves several of the cities boroughs for music education. Dr. Guerriero held previous appointments on the faculties of Rider University (strings) and Montgomery County Community College (strings and orchestra). She has also taught applied violin and music education courses at the Westminster Choir College, University of Denver, and Penn State University.

Abigail McHugh-Grifa (Cello)
Abigail McHugh-Grifa began her Suzuki training at age two, as her mother's violin student.  She later switched to cello because (1) a friend of hers started playing cello and it seemed cool, (2) she wanted to sit down while playing, and (3) studying with one's own mother can be tough.  Eventually, she earned her Bachelor's and Master's degrees in cello performance from The Cleveland Institute of Music, where she studied with Richard Aaron and began teaching students of her own.  She has a second Master's degree in Human Development from the University of Rochester's Warner School of Education and a Ph.D. in Music Education from the Eastman School of Music.  Her dissertation research focused on how social relationships influence musical development, which confirmed her belief that every performance should be followed by an opportunity to eat cookies with fellow musicians.       

Nancy Modell (Piano and Every Child Can! Course), an Ithaca College Music graduate in applied piano and instrumental education, is a certified Suzuki piano Teacher Trainer who, in the 1980s, pioneered the Suzuki approach in Israel. Since 1992, Nancy inspires students to reach their potential in her Springfield studio through innovative learning opportunities, including original composition, music events and field trips. Her students have earned highest honors in performance and composition at local and international festivals. Nancy has presented her innovative approach to introduce composition to students of all levels at various teachers’ forums, including the SAA, NAfME and NJMEA. Under a MTNA Teacher Enrichment Grant, she studied how to employ the Taubman Approach to enhance Suzuki Piano Pedagogy. Nancy has trained Suzuki piano teachers in college courses, Suzuki Summer Institutes, and privately. She is an assistant director of the NJ Suzuki Workshop and is President of the MEA-NJ. Nancy relishes opportunities to share her love of music with students.

Rebekah Waggoner (piano) Music lessons were a priority in my family. I began playing the piano as soon as I could reach the keys! My musical training began at the age of three with Suzuki violin and then with traditional piano at age five, training under Joyce Odens Goodwin. In high school, I had many other interests but knew that teaching piano was what I really wanted to pursue.

I have a Bachelor of Music degree from Bob Jones University in Piano Performance, graduating Magna Cum Laud. While in college, I studied under Alice Gingery (Taubman Institute) and David Lehman. I worked as a paid accompanist for private lessons, and rehearsals, recitals and competitions.

After graduation, I continued my training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (Katherine Monsour Barley & Sue Bakshi). I currently serve as the co-president of the Greater Philadelphia Suzuki Association (GPSA). I have experience teaching with many different methods and with all ages of students.

While not teaching, I enjoy performing pieces by living composers and accompanying. My husband is also a musician trained in voice, and we have performed several recitals together.


Aimee Morrill Briant, Director

Louise McClure, Assistant Director & Volunteer Coordinator

Nancy Modell, Piano Coordinator & ECC Coordinator

Accompanist Ikumi Hiraiwa

Violas provided by JC Strings