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Joseph Kaminsky

Mr. Joseph Kaminsky has been called "one of the finest violin teachers in this country" by one of the world's most respected violin teachers. Mr. Kaminsky has a stellar reputation among St. Louis violin teachers over the last 25 years of starting out young beginners and nurturing them all the way to become some of St Louis's most prominent high school violinists. His over 40 years teaching experience, his previous University teaching experience, his own personal training in Japan with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1984, and his collaborative teaching with both one of the World's most successful violin teachers Almita Vamos and with St. Louis Symphony Assistant Concertmaster Erin Schreiber, gives Mr. Kaminsky the breadth of knowledge to work with students of all ages and levels.

Mr. Kaminsky's studio ranges in age from fledgling 3-yr-old beginners to routinely having large numbers of students at the top of the local youth orchestras. Over the past two years, half of the highest seated violinists in the 2016-18 Webster CMS YPCO study with Mr. Kaminsky, as does the co-concertmaster in the 2017-18 Webster CMS YPSO. In the 2017-18 St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra over 1/4 of the First Violin section comes from his program, including the co-concertmaster for the past two consecutive years, and co-principal 2nd violinist for the past 3 consecutive years. His students have won scores of local competitions, and won regional and National competitions. His students have even won in International competitions. ASTA has recognized Mr. Kaminsky as the 2014 "Missouri Artist Teacher of the Year."

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, and Northwestern University. 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 often motivates young children to put forth their best efforts, resulting in substantial early progress. The fruits of this early progress show as the youngest violinist to make it into virtually all of this year's 2017-18 Webster CMS Orchestras: String Ensemble, String Orchestra, YPCO, and YPSO (his student who is co-concertmaster is not the youngest, but one of the youngest) are all students of Mr. Kaminsky. Additionally, the youngest violinist to make it into in the 2017-18 St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra is also Mr. Kaminsky’s student.

Area professional musicians and string teachers can be presumed to know who the best teachers in St. Louis are. St. Louis Symphony Principal players, as well as both of the other Suzuki Violin Teacher-Trainers in the St. Louis area (who had children that played the violin) have chosen Mr. Kaminsky to teach their own children.

Joseph Kaminsky is equally comfortable teaching at ALL levels and abilities. So far from only being a training ground for students with professional aspirations, his creative adaptive approach lets each student progress at their own desired rate rather than forcing practice, benefiting the vast majority of students who have no desire to put in the amount of practice time needed to become a professional, but still desire at times to sound like one:-)

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, Paducah Symphony, New World Symphony, New York Philharmonic (substitute), Phoenix Ensemble, Syracuse Symphony, and other professional ensembles. Many became teachers themselves, but the majority just continue to play and enjoy music throughout adulthood while working professionally in other disciplines. (See video samples of his individual students age 4 and up playing by clicking on the purple "Solos" button on the upper right of the home page.)

Mr. Kaminsky is columnist for the American Suzuki Journal authoring more string pedagogical articles than anyone else in the history of the magazine other than Dr. Suzuki himself! He has developed a DVD "Vibrato from the Ground Up" for teaching vibrato, has authored a set of violin technique books "Technique Mastery" to supplement the Suzuki volumes that is sold by the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and has been in demand internationally as a guest clinician and teacher-trainer, teaching in over 350 Suzuki workshops in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Singapore. He is also an accomplished performer, for 3 years Principal 2nd Violinist in the Metropolitan Orchestra of St. Louis, the orchestra many St. Louis Symphony string players choose to play in after retirement.  

"I can't imagine teaching vibrato to a beginner any better than Mr. Kaminsky has demonstrated... I will play this tape for my granddaughter. Maybe she will be inspired to begin to play the violin."

Almita Vamos, "among the leading violin instructors in the world." (According to Wikipedia), and violin teacher of both the current St. Louis Symphony Assistant Concertmaster, and the previous St Louis Symphony Associate Concertmaster.

"Joe Kaminsky's DVD "Vibrato From the Ground Up" is a wonderful resource for teachers. At the Cleveland Institute of Music I am privileged to be training the future generation of teachers. After receiving rave reviews from my pedagogy students in regards to this DVD, I plan to make it a requirement of my course. Thank you Mr. Kaminsky for sharing your ideas."

Kimberly Meier-Sims, Director, Sato Center for Suzuki Studies Cleveland Institute of Music




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