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Joseph Kaminsky


Joseph Kaminsky studied violin with the esteemed Northwestern University violin Professors Almita and Roland Vamos, and he graduated with a Master's Degree in Violin Performance with a Suzuki Emphasis from Southern Illinois University-Edwardsville, studying with Suzuki Method Pioneer John Kendall. Mr. Kaminsky was also awarded a scholarship in 1984 to continue studies in Japan with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki. Joseph Kaminsky has been recognized as MoASTA 2014 "Artist String Teacher of the Year", and has been called "one of the finest teachers in this country" for violin students through high school. In 1984 he was selected by the Suzuki Association of the Americas to become one of their youngest Teacher Trainers.

Mr. Kaminsky's studio ranges from 3-yr-old beginners to advanced students whom have won prizes in International Competitions. Joseph Kaminsky's students have placed in 135 local, regional, and International competitions since 2000, and have won First Place in the St. Louis NFMC District Concerto Competition every single year since 2000, going on to win First Place in the State Concerto Competition in 15 of those 20 years. Joseph Kaminsky has had 22 different students accepted into the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra over the past 10 years (2010-present), representing close to 1/3 of the annual 6-8 openings in the violin sections in that orchestra.

Joseph Kaminsky has the rare combination of teaching skills that creatively motivate the youngest 3-yr-old beginners to put forth their best efforts while he is also able to challenge the most advanced students with professional aspirations to gain admittance into top music schools such as Julliard, Cleveland Institute, Oberlin, Vanderbilt, Northwestern University, Princeton, and SMU. Mr. Kaminsky's uncanny rapport with young children stems from what University of Northern Iowa violin teacher Theresa Fetter calls his "remarkable ability to see the world through a child's eyes." This special rapport motivates young children to put forth their best efforts, often resulting in substantial early progress. The fruits of this early progress show up in the St. Louis student orchestra scene.

While no one teacher can be expected to be the best at teaching students at every age and level, Mr. Kaminsky consistently prepares students who excel throughout the violin student spectrum. In 2020-21 he had as many advanced HIGH SCHOOL students in the top 6 Principal chairs of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra as all of the other St. Louis violin teachers combined. In 2019-20 his MIDDLE SCHOOL students were selected Concertmaster of each of the three St. Louis All-District Middle School Orchestras: Concertmaster All- Suburban (St. Louis County), Assistant-Concertmaster Metro 8 All-District (St. Charles County), and Concertmaster IMEA All-District Middle School Orchestra (IL East side). His ELEMEMTARY SCHOOL students are routinely among the youngest violin members in the Webster University CMS Orchestras with a 6-yr-old student that applied to the CMS orchestral program accepted into 2020-21 String Ensemble, a 9-yr-old accepted into 2020-21 YPCO, a 13-yr-old student selected Principal 2nd Violin in YPSO, and a 12-year-old student selected to play in the professional Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis. Concurrently Mr. Kaminsky currently teaching students on the Autism Spectrum, and recently even taught a student with severe Alzheimer's. Of course the choice of a private teacher is a personal matter and the best teacher for one student may not be the best for another, but Mr. Kaminsky's students have comfort of knowing his teaching is solid all the way through the most advanced high school violin students.

There are a number of students raised in his studio that now do play professionally in the Arkansas Symphony, Indianapolis Symphony, Iris Chamber Orchestra, Kansas City Symphony, Madison Symphony, Milwaukee Symphony, New World Symphony, New York Philharmonic (long-term substitute), Phoenix Ensemble, Circus Flora, They teach as University violin instructors at St. Louis University and Blackburn College, and students that Mr. Kaminsky started on their violins are now orchestra directors at Parkway Central High School and Kirkwood High School, and another student of his is now director of the Lindbergh High School Symphonic Orchestra. Others became studio teachers themselves, but the vast majority just continue to play and enjoy music throughout adulthood while working professionally in other disciplines. Video samples of his individual students at every age 4 and up can be seen by clicking on the purple "Solos" button on the upper right of the home page.

Mr. Kaminsky is also string columnist for the American Suzuki Journal, authoring close to 50 pedagogical articles. He developed a DVD for teaching vibrato, and authored a set of violin technique books called Technique Mastery. Joseph Kaminsky is in demand internationally as a guest clinician and teacher-trainer, teaching in over 400 Suzuki workshops in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Singapore. For the past for 7 years, he has held the position of Principal 2nd Violinist in the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, the orchestra a number of St. Louis Symphony string players choose to play in after retirement.  

 


 

 

 





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