Also known as the Mother Tongue Method, the Suzuki method is based on how children learn their native language. Because of the structure of this method, children are able to begin study at a very early age. By listening to their recording every day, children become fluent in music before they ever approach their chosen instrument. Just like in language learning, reading is delayed until the child feels confident in the basics of playing.

The Suzuki Method also focuses on creating empathy and character in children. As a teacher, my proudest moments have not been when my students played their best (though I am always proud then too), but when they have shown absolute kindness toward another person. 

As Dr Suzuki said: "Beautiful tone, beautiful heart."

The Teacher

"When love is deep, much can be accomplished"

Sunset Suzuki Academy

The Suzuki Method

Originally from Dallas, TX, Karen Huffman began her music training on the piano with Cathy Hargrave (student of Dr Shinichi Suzuki and Dr Haruko Kataoka). She continued studying piano through high school and college where she minored in Piano Performance. She went on to obtain her Masters in Music Education - Piano Pedagogy from Southern Methodist University while apprenticing in Suzuki Teacher Training with her childhood teacher, Cathy Hargrave. Her training now also includes study with noted Suzuki Teacher Trainers Rae Kate Shen and Gail Lange. She has raveled three times to Matsumoto, Japan to train at Dr Suzuki's Talent Education School.

Karen Huffman ran a full piano studio in Dallas, TX for 6 years. She has also been on the faculty of the Las Vegas Suzuki Institute, the Suzuki Piano Resource Group's 5 Piano and Chamber Workshop, Music Together Dallas and Oregon Suzuki Institute. After 6 years of teaching in Dallas, TX, Mrs. Huffman moved to Portland, OR in 2014 and opened up a new piano studio. She brings extensive Suzuki training and experience to her teaching.

In an effort to extend her teaching in the Suzuki method to students of ALL ages, Ms. Huffman has now completed extensive training in Suzuki Early Childhood Education (SECE) with founders Dorothy and Sharon Jones and friend and mentor Danette Schuh. She has now been teaching SECE classes for 8 years.

Mrs. Huffman is an active member of the Oregon Suzuki Association, Suzuki Associations of the Americas and the Oregon Music Teacher's Association.