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Joseph Kaminsky


Joseph Kaminsky's teaching elicits praise from the St. Louis Symphony's Concertmasters. Concertmaster David Halen heaped praise at a 2018 CMS Masterclass after hearing a student of Mr. Kaminsky play, saying "I've taught a lot of your students. They play wonderfully." Associate Concertmaster Erin Schreiber uses Mr. Kaminsky to teach her private students when she is out of town, and she coaches Mr. Kaminsky's students to help them prepare their St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra auditions. 2nd Associate Concertmaster Celeste Golden Andrews has had Mr. Kaminsky teach her own children, stating on a radio broadcast interview, "Mr. Kaminsky is such a wonderful teacher! I tell everyone I'd bring my daughter to his lessons even if he taught the kazoo!"

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 also studied in Japan with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1984. 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 a registered Teacher Trainer.

Mr. Kaminsky's studio ranges from 3-yr-old beginners to St. Louis' most advanced high school students. Joseph Kaminsky's students have won a Grammy Award and placed in 146 local, regional, and National competitions since 2000. Among those winning First Place multiple times each of these competitions: MTNA National Concerto Competition West Central String Division (comprised of 8 States); MTNA Missouri State Concerto Strings Competition; NFMC St. Louis District Concerto Competition Strings Division (16 years in a row). NFMC Missouri State Competition Strings Division (13 out of the last 16 years); and the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra Concerto Competition. His students have been Honorable Mention in the Walgreens National Concerto Competition. They also have been Co-Concertmasters of the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra for the past three years.

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 then show up in the St. Louis student orchestra scene as his students are often the youngest to be accepted into a CMS orchestra or the St. Louis Symphony Youth Orchestra.

There are a number of students raised in his studio that play or have played professionally in the Arkansas Symphony, Experimental Orchestra, 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, and others. They teach as University violin instructors at St. Louis University and Blackburn College, 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 String columnist for the American Suzuki Journal, with more string articles having been published in this publication other than by Shinichi Suzuki himself. 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 450 Suzuki workshops in the U.S., Canada, Puerto Rico, Japan, and Singapore. For the past for 8 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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