Suzuki Workshop

Guest clinicians: Terry Durbin (violin) & Laura Usiskin (cello)

Sunday, May 28, 2017

  • Suzuki group classes with guest clinicians Terry Durbin (violin), Laura Usiskin (cello), and Phest faculty
  • Dalcroze classes
  • Groups perform at the student concert alongside Phest ensembles
  • Open to Suzuki violin, viola & cello players of any age or level

Workshop schedule

10:00 a.m. Check in at Alexander Building main lobby
10:30–12:30 Group classes & activities
12:30–1:30 Lunch break
1:30–2:30 Group classes & activities continue
3:30 p.m. Final concert begins in Alexander Recital Hall. Suzuki groups play first. Concert is open to the public and all are invited to stay and hear the chamber groups.

Note: children must be accompanied by an adult throughout the day.

Guest Clinicians

Terry Durbin

Dr. Timothy (Terry) Durbin’s unique brand of teaching excellence makes him one of the most sought-after clinicians/conductors in the country. With infectious enthusiasm and inspired musicianship, he brings smiles and laughter to students throughout the United States and around the world. His dynamic teaching career includes over 700 workshops and institutes! His performance and teaching career stretches across the United States and Canada into Bermuda, Germany, Italy, China, Malaysia, Indonesia and Singapore, and he has recorded two CDs, including the complete chamber music of Marcel Dupre for the Naxos label. Terry Durbin is also an accomplished composer and notable arranger.

Dr. Durbin holds a DMA in orchestral conducting from Claremont Graduate University in Los Angeles, California, a Masters in violin performance from the University of Illinois, an undergraduate degree in violin performance from the University of Alabama, and is currently the director of the Suzuki String Program at the University of Louisville. He is a registered teacher trainer with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.

Terry lives with his wife, Sandy, on 75 acres north of Lexington, Kentucky. They have three children and two grandchildren. He believes in the magic of music’s power to enrich our lives.

Laura Usiskin

Heralded for her “thoughtful, attentive” playing (Alabama Entertainment), cellist Laura Usiskin enjoys a versatile career as a soloist and chamber musician. Her playing has taken her to concert halls throughout the United States and Europe, including the Kennedy Center, Palazzo Chigi Saracini (Siena, Italy), Symphony Hall (Boston), and New York venues including Alice Tully Hall, Weill Hall, Zankel Hall, Merkin Hall, Miller Theatre, Barge Music, Steinway Hall, Klavierhaus, and more.

She has received such awards as the Prix d’Instrument from the Écoles d’art Americaines (France) and the Aldo Parisot Prize at Yale University, given to a gifted cellist showing promise in a solo career. She completed the nationally acclaimed two-year Artist In Residency with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra as well as a one-year fellowship with the Yale Baroque Ensemble. Ms. Usiskin has won orchestral appointments with the New Haven Symphony Orchestra and Jacksonville Symphony Orchestra.

Recent performances include concerts of the complete J.S. Bach solo suites in Los Angeles and Connecticut, concertos of Dvoràk and Takemitsu with the Montgomery Symphony Orchestra, and a chamber concert with Richard Stoltzman (clarinet) at the Norfolk Chamber Music Festival. Ms. Usiskin has a penchant for new music and has performed with the Bang On A Can All-Stars, Ensemble Pamplemousse, Axiom Ensemble, and as a member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance. She has premiered dozens of new works as well as commissioned works in her name.

In 2011, Ms. Usiskin founded the Montgomery Music Project, an El Sistema strings program for school students in Montgomery, Alabama. In three years, the program has given intensive string instruction to over 150 underserved children across three counties. She served the Executive Director of the program from its inception through 2013.

Ms. Usiskin’s cello studies began at age five with Gilda Barston of the Music Institute of Chicago and continued with Richard Hirschl of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra. She graduated from Columbia University cum laude with a Bachelor of Arts in Neuroscience and Behavior, The Juilliard School with a Master of Music, and Yale University with a Doctor of Musical Arts. She currently resides in Birmingham, Alabama, where she is Adjunct Professor at the University of Alabama-Birmingham, member of the Birmingham Art Music Alliance, cello teacher at STEP Birmingham, and founding member of the New York-based piano trio Arté Trio.

Jeremy DittusJeremy Dittus

Jeremy Dittus enjoys a career as a pianist, theorist, and Dalcroze eurhythmics instructor. An avid recitalist, he has performed solo and chamber programs in the United States, Switzerland, and Italy. He currently teaches on the summer faculty at Colorado State University where he founded and now directs the Dalcroze School of the Rockies Dalcroze Academy teacher-training center. A former Lecturer in piano, theory, and solfège at the Baldwin-Wallace Conservatory in Cleveland, he also has instructed undergraduate solfège, piano, and composition courses at the University of Colorado at Boulder as well as eurhythmics and solfège at L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in Geneva, Switzerland.

Dr. Dittus has presented Dalcroze workshops at home and abroad including the World Piano Conference, International Early Childhood Music and Movement Convention, National Dalcroze Conference, National Flute Convention, Colorado Music Educators Association State Convention, Piano Celebration at Metro-State University in Denver, University of Louisville Piano Institute, in addition to several summer music institutes and universities and conservatories across the country.

He completed a doctorate of musical arts in piano performance from the University of Colorado at Boulder; for the master of music, he studied piano performance and music theory at the Cincinnati College-Conservatory of Music. During his undergraduate work, he obtained bachelor degrees in piano performance and chemistry. His Dalcroze License and Certificate comes from the Longy School of Music in Cambridge, while the Diplôme Supérieur (a doctoral equivalent in Switzerland) comes from the L’Institut Jaques-Dalcroze in conjunction with La Haute École de Musique de Genève and Le Conservatoire de Musique de Genève.  While in Geneva, he received top honors including the 2009 Prix pour les qualities musicales exceptionnelles and the 2010 Prix pour les qualités artistiques et pédagogiques exceptionnelles.

He is the founder and director of the Dalcroze School of the Rockies in Denver, Colorado, the only authorized Dalcroze training center west of Pittsburgh in the United States. The DSR offers Eurhythmics classes for children ages 4–14, adult enrichment classes, and full time study toward the Dalcroze Certificate/License (eurhythmics, solfège, improvisation, and pedagogy). Dr. Dittus serves on the state board for the Colorado Federation of Music Clubs and is the Vice President of the Dalcroze Society of America. Former teachers include Lisa Parker, Anne Farber, Ruth Gianadda, Marie-Laure Bachmann, Sylvia del Bianco, Sylvie Morgenegg, Laurent Sourisse, Andrew Cooperstock, Michael Chertock, Frank Weinstock, and George Cherry.

Getting here

The Alexander Building is located on the campus of Eastern Michigan University at the corner of Lowell and E. Circle Streets.


Free parking is available in the guest lot directly in front of the building.


A one-hour lunch break is scheduled into the day. There is a Jimmy John’s within walking distance (map), or you may bring a bag lunch. The EMU cafeterias and Eagle Cafe will be closed for the holiday.