STEP: Nurturing the Family through Music, Creating Music through Mastery

The Suzuki Talent Education Partnership (STEP) has been serving families in Greater Springfield and Northern CT since 2002.  We teach violin, viola, chamber music and string orchestra using the Suzuki® approach, and our teachers have advanced music degrees and registered training with the Suzuki Association of the Americas (

The cornerstone to Dr. Suzuki’s approach is having a caring adult in the home who makes time every day to help the child learn.  This makes for a wonderful family-centered program; children under 13 are accompanied to all lessons and classes by an adult who will encourage the student’s practice and listening commitment at home.

We welcome visitors to observe our lessons and classes; however, due to the COVID-19 virus,  STEP lessons and classes are socially-distanced with masks in a large classroom with the windows open, or online, depending on current federal and state guidelines, which we will follow to keep our students and families safe.  You may request permission observe an in-person or online class by contacting Director Lani Bortfeld.

Our performance group, the STEP Suzuki Strings, is a multi-generational ensemble comprised of STEP teachers, parents, alumni, friends and students aged 4 to adult.  We perform the core Suzuki repertoire along with a wide range of supplemental pieces, including the jazz-influenced arrangement of George Gershwin’s Summertime or classical masterworks such as director Lani Bortfeld’s arrangement of the 1812 Overture by Tchaikovsky, below, international folk and holiday music, Celtic and fiddle tunes, hymns and spirituals, movie themes, Latin, swing, ragtime, blues and jazz.

We seek to provide access to our family-centered music program for all interested families in Greater Springfield and Northern CT.  We do this through our annual free Holiday Sing-Along at the Springfield Public Library and Spring Solo and Chamber Concert at South Congregational Church, along with financial aid and instrument loans provided through the STEP Scholarship and Instrument Fund.