Rhonda Hotop was born into a musical family and started playing the piano at 5 years old. She can play many instruments but concentrates on violin, viola and piano. Although she has played in many orchestras (see below) she now prefers playing for Scandinavian and traditional English and American dancing. In addition to her extensive Suzuki teacher training she has a master's degree in Elementary Education and bachelor's degrees in Music and Chemistry. She has taught in AZ, CO, IL, VA and in the UK.
Suzuki Teaching Experience
Director/Owner, North Phoenix Suzuki Strings, Phoenix, AZ
Nov 2014 to present. Growing violin and viola studio offering classical Suzuki method instruction. English, Swedish, and American traditional tune styles are also taught for interested students.
Director/Owner, Suzuki Strings of Annandale, Annandale, VA
Feb 2008 to Jan 2013. Violin and viola studio. 29 students across Suzuki Books 1-5, ages 5 –17. In addition to weekly lessons, students participated in bi-annual studio recitals, charity performances, local festivals, and orchestral ensembles. Liaised with and assisted school orchestra teachers. Prepared many students for orchestral auditions with great success.
Director/Owner, Swindon Suzuki Strings, Swindon, Wiltshire, United Kingdom
Oct 2001 to Feb 2008. Only Suzuki violin teacher in a large county. Started a new Suzuki program/studio in an area where Suzuki was unknown. Taught private lessons for ages three to 82, including physically impaired children. Blended the Suzuki method with meeting Associated Board of the Royal Society of Music exam requirements that are common in the UK educational system. From 2004 to the end of 2007, 16 students took 27 Associated Board music exams with results of 9 Distinctions (highest mark possible), 9 Merits (second highest mark), 9 Passes, and 0 failures. Also taught a semi-monthly Suzuki group class for 3 years. Mission was to bring a quality music education into the area through teaching as well as introduce the violin into the community through performances. Students participated in semi-annual solo recitals, charity Christmas performances, local competitions and orchestras. In 2007, one student was accepted into the National Children's Orchestra of Great Britain. She won a place on her first audition at age 8 out of over 900 students auditioning and just 38 accepted. In 2008 another student also successfully auditioned for the orchestra. Both are still playing in the orchestra.
Director Suzuki Programs at Westin Arts Academy, Ft. Collins, CO
Sept 2000 to Aug 2001. Westin had never previously offered Suzuki. Co-ordinated new program and taught 18 students Suzuki violin and fiddle tunes. Ages ranged from 4 to 45. Conducted parent education classes prior to students' beginning study. Taught group classes and accompanied students on piano. Funded and maintained music library.
Suzuki Violin Teacher at the Suzuki School of Elgin, Elgin, IL
Jun 1998-Aug 2000. 21 Students. Taught private lessons, weekly Twinkle group classes and conducted a small reading orchestra. Taught Parent Education courses prior to starting students. Also taught 16 students traditional/Suzuki violin in Barrington, IL. Sept 1999 to Aug 2000. Taught ages 3 to adult.
Suzuki Violin Teacher, Western Illinois University
Oct 1997-May 1998. 2 students,
Violin Teacher, Warrenville Folk Music Center, IL
Feb 1996-Feb 1997. 4 students.
Suzuki Institute Teacher Training
Coursework registered with the Suzuki Association of the Americas.
- Book 1A: Alice Joy Lewis (Kingston, Ontario, 1999)
- Book 1A: Carrie Reuning Hummel (Ithaca, NY, 2000)
- Book 1B: Craig Timmerman (Stevens Point, WI, 1999)
- Book 2: Ellie Albers (Montana, 1997)
- Book 2: Yuko Honda (Seattle, 1998)
- Book 3: Linda Fiore (Chicago, 1998)
- Book 3: Ronda Cole (McLean, VA, 2010)
- Book 4: Nancy Lokken (Stevens Point, WI, 2000)
Arizona Suzuki Association workshops with Gail Acosta (Oct 2017)
Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Liz Arbus (Oct 2016)
Dalcroze Eurhythmics with Jeremy Dittus (Minneapolis, 2016)
Every Child Can course taught by Carrie Reuning-Hummel. (Minneapolis, 2006)
Violin/Viola Revised Editions Books 1-4 Overview , NM Suzuki Institute, July 2010, with Julia Hardie.
Suzuki Principles in Action, January 2011, Wash. DC, Gail Lange, facilitator.
Overview: Books 1-6, Ronda Cole (in Miami, 2000).
Enrichment course, week long, Columbia Institute, June 2008, with Linda Case.
Enrichment course, Smart Practice, week long, NM Suzuki Institute, July 2010, with Barbara Barber.
Enrichment course, weekend, taught by William Starr (Boulder, CO, 2000).
Jeanne Luedke Suzuki Parent Training Seminar, 1998.
Suzuki Long-term Training
Books 1 & 2, Nancy Jackson, Western IL University, curriculum covered through Book 6 in university pedagogy classes (1997-98).
Suzuki Apprenticeship Training
Books 1A & 1B, with Edward Kreitman (1999, 2000).
Assisted and observed at:
- Arizona Suzuki Association's weekend workshop, Oct. 2014.
- Lauderdale Suzuki Group Festival Weekend, Nov. 2002.
- London Suzuki Group's Summer School at Bryanston, 2002.
More than 225 hours of Suzuki lesson observations, with >180 hrs for Books 1-3.
Non-Suzuki Music Training
B.A. Music, Elmhurst College, May 1999. GPA 3.81/4.0. Hardanger (Norwegian) fiddling with Loretta Kelley and Karin Code
One year university level piano completed at Southwest Texas State Univ., 1993-1994.
New England fiddling with Rodney Miller and Lissa Schneckenberger
Scottish and Cape Breton fiddling with Elke Baker
Various fiddle styles with Mary Lea
Swedish with David Kaynor and Bruce Sagan
French Canadian with Eric Favreau
Irish and English fiddle styles with Pete Cooper (London)
Swedish with David Kaynor, Bruce Sagan, and Char Bostrom
Norwegian fiddle (hardingfele) with Loretta Kelley
Morris musicianship with Jim Besser.
Licensed as highly qualified to teach K-6 in Arizona and Virginia through 2015 school year.
B.S. Chemistry, Northeastern Illinois University, 1988. GPA 3.37/4.0.
A.A.S. Medical Lab Technology, Oakton College, 1982. GPA 3.23/4.0.
Trained in how to use Brain Gym. Brain Gym uses movement to wake up the mind.
Reiki Master, Usui. Kelly Larsen, AZ
Performance Experience - Classical Orchestras
Chandler Symphony Orchestra, Chandler, AZ, 2017
North Wiltshire Orchestra, Devizes, United Kingdom, October 2001 to 2006. Asst. Concertmaster June 2004 to Feb. 2006. Committee member, June 2004-Feb. 2006.
Loveland Chamber Orchestra, Colorado, October 2000 to May 2001.
Elmhurst Symphony Orchestra, Illinois, Sept. 1998-Sept. 2000.
Western Illinois University Symphony, Aug. 1996-May 1998.
Northwest Symphony, 1980-1984. Community Orchestra in Chicago, IL.
Performance Experience - Dance Musician
Southwest USA: Performin on fiddle with Under the Bridge (2 fiddles and guitar) for contradances around Arizona. Fiddler, contradance band Oasis. Leader and fiddler, contradance band The Elastic Band. Leader and violinist/violist, Regency Faire, an English Country Dance trio. Playing regularly for contra dances. Playing for Scandinavian dances.
Washington, D.C. metro area: Played regularly for English dances, NW Clog Morris dancing, Swedish couples dancing, and contra dances.
Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA)
Arizona Suzuki Association
Country Dance and Song Society (CDSS)
Regular SAA conference attendee