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Helen Jacob-Stein


Helen Jacob-Stein

Faculty, Oscar Peterson School of Music
RCM Certified
The most senior and more experienced of the violin teachers, I teach Suzuki violin and standard RCM methods. I was so-called "Traditionally-trained", as I grew up and learned to play violin in the UK, during the 1950s-60s, well before Suzuki became well-enough known to the majority. My parents supplied my violin, lessons at school with great, kind, encouraging teachers, for whom I'll be eternally grateful. They reminded me to practice, but that was enough: I loved it! I remember being bothered about certain out-of-tune notes, so found the correct pitch. When I moved to Toronto in 1971, I continued my musical explorations, and under the influence of popular and rock musicians I knew, and local teachers, learned to improve, and improvise, freeing myself from limitations of notation. (Here I clarify: we need notation, but not to be bound to it to the exclusion of musical expression.) University studies followed in Baroque violin, medieval music, more classical training (the String Quartet Institute, Lorna Glover, Steven Staryk, Nancy DiNovo) followed. Freelance playing in many varied ensembles (National Ballet of Canada, Hamilton Philharmonic, other symphony concerts, chamber music, the whole gamut). One of my chamber music collaborators (bless you, Don Di Novo!) told me about the Suzuki approach to teaching/learning. I auditioned for and won Thunder Bay Symphony orchestra position (front chair), solo and chamber music gigs, including some Suzuki pieces in my list. Started teaching, took Suzuki teacher training to Bk. 8. Teaching many students, at The Oscar Peterson School, within The Royal Conservatory of Music., since 1989. The phrase "life-long learning" is something I espouse and practise. Every day brings something new, as I study, read, listen, discuss, and teach. I love making music with colleagues when time permits. I enjoy my musical life, as long as I can raise the instrument to position and draw the bow (and even after that, my students will do it for me)!

Instrument / Discipline

  • Violin
  • Viola

Spoken languages

  • English

Specialized in

  • Youth (7-17)
  • Adults (18+)
  • Young Children (under 7)
  • Beginner/Elementary
  • Intermediate
  • Advanced

Teaches At

  • Music school
  • Oscar Peterson School (Toronto)

Specialist designation

  • Violin - Advanced
  • Violin - Elementary
  • Violin - Intermediate


  • 1968 - Grade 8 - ABRSM

Professional development

  • Every Child Can! - Suzuki Registered Training - 2005
  • Overview, units 5-8 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1988
  • Suzuki Principles in Action - Further registered training, graduate level course - 2010
  • unit 1A - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1985
  • Unit 1B, and Unit 2 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1989
  • Unit 3 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1991
  • Unit 4 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1992
  • Unit 5 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1993
  • Unit 6 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 1996
  • Unit 7 - Suzuki TeacherDevelopment - 2010
  • Unit 8 - Suzuki Teacher Development - 2015
  • Unit 8 Violin - Suzuki Teacher Development - 2015
RCM Credentials
RCM Certified