The Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute supports Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s dream of achieving peace through music. Each summer, JSSI  invites string teachers, students, and families from across the globe to meet in Seattle. Together, we celebrate our love of music while developing new skills, elevating our artistry, and building community. We enact Dr. Suzuki’s vision of a better world through Talent Education. 

The Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute was founded by the late Mr. Yoshihiko Hirata, with the support and assistance of his wife, Mihoko Hirata.  Mrs. Hirata taught at the institute for many years and continues to be actively involved through her board service and teaching.

Faculty from JSSI’s inaugural year, 1988, pictured above.

Front row, left to right: Bill Starr, Hachiro Hirose, Jackie Corina, Hiroko Primrose, Yasuko Eastman, Mihoko Hirata.
2nd row, left to right: Barbara Solowan (now Reilly), Sarah Hersh, Cathy Lee, Gaye Detzer, Yoshihiko Hirata, Sandra Payton.
3rd  row, left to right (cello teachers): Carla Lumsden, Barbara Balatero, Richard Aaron, Akira Nakajima.

 In 2021, JSSI worked to promote diversity in classical music education. We highlighted the music of two Black women composers — one living — who spoke at our Teen Symposium and introduced her work (watch below) before it was performed at our faculty recital. As teachers and students from Washington state and beyond gathered virtually at JSSI to learn, then shared with their home communities, JSSI helped to strengthen and diversify the Suzuki Music community. 


Support our mission

Your tax-deductible contribution allows us to provide need-based student scholarships. In 2022, JSSI gave $2400 in scholarships, allowing 9 students to attend. In 2023, JSSI received scholarship requests for $6000 and was able to meet 50% of the application needs, awarding $3010, allowing 10 students to attend.

Your donation goes to the Suzuki Education and Research Association, a 501 (c)(3) non-profit organization, which operates the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute. Our EIN is 91-1324510, and we have earned the Gold Seal of Transparency from Candid (formerly Guidestar).