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BSSA Faculty

Colleen Fitzgerald, Director
Ms. Colleen Fitzgerald, executive director of the Barcel Suzuki String Academy, currently teaches private and group violin lessons and Suzuki Early Childhood Education classes at BSSA. Ms. Fitzgerald earned a Bachelor of Music degree in Violin Performance with Suzuki Pedagogy Emphasis under mentor, Professor Carol Dallinger at the University of Evansville and a Masters of Arts in Teaching degree fromCardinal Stritch University. She has also received supplemental Suzuki teacher training with Kay Collier-McLaughlin, Ed Kreitman, Tom Wermuth, and Alice Joy Lewis and acquired her Early Childhood Education training under Suzuki ECE founders, Dorothy & Sharon Jones. Ms. Fitzgerald started Suzuki violin lessons at age 6 and two years later began studies with Suzuki teacher trainer, Joan Rooney.

Colleen earned the Certificate of Achievement from the Suzuki Association of the Americas and was awarded the Certificate of Excellence in Studio Teaching from the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee. She is a clinician at Suzuki weekend workshops in the Midwest as well as summer Suzuki institutes throughout the United States. Students of Ms. Fitzgerald's have won MSO's Bach Double Violin Competition, numerous MYSO Concerto Competitions, the UWM Concerto Competition, as well as many college scholarships and received Honorable Mentions is the Young Artist Auditions with the MSO. Besides teaching, Ms. Fitzgerald frequently performs as a violin soloist, a member of the Kettle Moraine Symphony and is a member of her church's handbell choir.

Celestine Fitzgerald, Founder
Mrs. Celestine Fitzgerald has been teaching Suzuki violin/viola since 1980. She holds a Bachelor of Music degree from Alverno College studying under St. Agnes Meysenburg. In 1984, Mrs. Fitzgerald attended the Suzuki Association of the Americas Teachers' Conference in Chicago, where she had an opportunity to be in the presense of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and learn directly from him. She received her Suzuki training from nationally known Teacher Trainers Joan Rooney, Alan Lieb and Carol Dallinger. Mrs. Fitzgerald is a SAA registered Suzuki violin/viola instructor.

She began her Suzuki teaching with Sister Noraleen Retinger, at Mount Mary College. After leaving Mount Mary she continued her teaching as a faculty member of the Rooney School of Violin before founding the Barcel Suzuki String Academy with Barbara Schaefer in 1994. In addition to her teaching, Mrs. Fitzgerald was a Suzuki mom to three wonderful children. In 1995 the Civic Music Association of Milwaukee awarded Mrs. Fitzgerald the Certificate of Excellence in Studio Teaching.

Barbara Schaefer, Founder
Barbara Schaefer has been teaching in Ozaukee County since 1982. Prior to founding the Barcel Suzuki String Academy with Celestine Fitzgerald in 1994, Mrs. Schaefer was on the faculty of the Rooney School of Violin. She received her Suzuki training from nationally known teacher trainer Joan Rooney, and from teacher trainers Craig Timmerman, Nancy Jackson and Geri Arnold at Suzuki Institutes in Wisconsin & Michigan. She is a SAA registered violin instructor; her professional memberships include SAA and NFMC. Mrs. Schaefer credits her abilities to the grace and gifts of God.

Gina Wood
Mrs. Wood has been teaching Suzuki violin since 1998. She earned her Bachelor of Music degree in violin performance from Illinois Wesleyan University where she studied with Vadim Mazo. She is a registered Suzuki violin instructor and has received Suzuki training from Teacher Trainers Ronda Cole, Ed Kreitman, Linda Stieg, Pat D'Ercole and Edmund Sprunger. At age 3, Mrs. Wood began her Suzuki studies with Mary Ellen Meyer and continued with Suzuki Teacher Trainer, Joan Rooney. She has also studied with Lewis Rosove and Tim Klabunde of the Milwaukee Symphony Orchestra. Her professional memberships include SAA, MMTA and NFMC.

Mrs. Wood has performed at Carnegie Hall, in the Czech Republic, Italy, Austria and Canada. She has performed regionally in the North American Tours of Josh Groban (2007), Rod Stewart (2004) and the Trans-Siberian Orchestra (2004, 2005 and 2007). As a member of various orchestras, she has shared the stage with numerous artists including Peter Cetera, Art Garfunkel, Garrison Keillor, Melissa Manchester, Anne Murray, Bernadette Peters, Gene Pitney, Diane Reeves, Daniel Rodriguez and Maxim Vengerov.

Mrs. Wood is the founder of the award-winning Memorable Music Ensembles, which provides concert-quality music for weddings and private events.

Julia Murphy
Julia Murphy currently teaches the "Barcel Babies" class for BSSA - a music experience for children ages 0 to 4 years of age with an adult. In preparation to teach this class she has completed Suzuki Early Childhood Education Levels I & II totaling up to over 60 hours of training. She began teaching this class in the fall of 2015.

Ms. Murphy earned undergraduate degrees from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee in General Music Education and in Music Therapy as well as a graduate degree in Administrative Leadership. She has been employed as a music teacher and music therapist in the Elmbrook School District and by the Wisconsin Conservatory of Music.

Ms. Murphy experienced the Suzuki method firsthand as the parent of two children who graduated from the BSSA program. She serves as a collaborative pianist for students currently in the program and also helps out with various duties related to the BSSA organization.

Suzuki Teachers Creed

We realize the unlimited possibilities of early education.

We also realize that every child can be educated. Our purpose is to develop this ability, and present this fact to the world.

We are delighted to be teachers of the Suzuki Method and fully comprehend the responsibilities we have as teachers.

We will continue to study teaching in the future with much reflection, and through this continuing study, we will be better able to concentrate energies toward better teaching.

We solemnly affirm that we will keep this promise as a Suzuki Method teacher.

Featured Video



Mountain Spring
performed with Barrage, 2009
used with permission
Plum Moving Media
"There is no born genius. Education is the way to develop ability."
- Dr. Suzuki
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