(1961-2013) Constance E. Barrett had performed with an eclectic variety of musicians in all kinds of genres from her performances on national network TV with Prairie Home Companion’s resident violinist Andy Stein to her work with World Music of Nana.
Called “a musician of rare sensitivity” by the Republique of Seine et Marne, France, she performed at Jacob’s Pillow, Brooklyn Academy of Music, and at the Berkshire Jazz Festival as well as appearing on pop duo Shimmerplanet’s debut album, where her playing was cited in the press as “haunting” and “beautiful.”
Connie taught at chamber music clinics, Suzuki Institutes, and teacher in-service days around the country. Combining her love of Western Classical music with her strong interest in improvisation and new music, Connie’s teaching style has been called “joyously energetic” and “loads of fun.” She was also a presenter at the Suzuki National Conference and a frequent contributor to the American String Teacher journal.
Connie believed strongly in the teachings of Shinichi Suzuki (1898-1998), who introduced the “Mother Tongue” method of learning music. All children, regardless of their individual levels of intelligence, can speak their native language. In the same way, by daily listening to recordings and by frequent attendance at concerts in addition to daily practice, students learn to perform music. All people are musical, they just need the right environment of loving support to develop their musicianship.
Connie had been a member of the faculty of Kenyon and Lafayette Colleges, Capital University, and Hackley School. Most recently she had been a string specialist with the Greenwich, CT, Public Schools, a Suzuki cello teacher and chamber music coach at the Hudson River School of Music and an assistant director of the Summer Programs for the Chamber Music Connection in Worthington, Ohio.