Ottawa Suzuki Strings

Est. 1966


Alice Joy Lewis



                                                                                                         Photo, Rita Dowling


“When love is deep, much can be accomplished”

          -Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

In 2008, Violinist, Alice Joy Lewis was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award – the highest recognition given by the Kansas Chapter of the American String Teachers’ Association.  Mrs. Lewis was the recipient of the 2007 Kansas Governor’s Arts Award for Arts Educator.  She founded the Ottawa Suzuki Strings in 1966.  In addition to administrating the program, Mrs. Lewis teaches violin and viola lessons, ensembles, group classes, and directs performances.  Students in the year round program come to Ottawa from seventeen different communities.  Under Mrs. Lewis’ direction, the Ottawa Suzuki Strings have recorded four CD’s, and toured in England, Ireland, Puerto Rico, Australia, and the United States, including a performance at the United Nations.  In 1991, Ottawa Suzuki Strings musicians were named Kansas Ambassadors by Kansas Governor Joan Finney.

Alice Joy Lewis has dedicated her life to teaching and is recipient of the Excellence in Teaching Award presented by the Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) in 1996.  In North America, her teaching and lecturing activities have taken her to numerous locations in Canada and across the United States from Alaska to Hawaii and coast to coast.  Mrs. Lewis is a registered Teacher Trainer for the Suzuki Association of the Americas, having taught close to 600 five-day Teacher Development courses.  Well over 1,000 teachers have studied Suzuki pedagogy with her.  Mrs. Lewis has taught at Suzuki World Conventions in Dublin, Ireland; Matsumoto, Japan; and Adelaide, Australia.  Additionally, Alice Joy Lewis has served on the SAA Board of Directors and on the SAA Teacher Development and Institute Committees. Mrs. Lewis is currently a Suzuki Teacher Trainer for Asia.

She was the featured keynote speaker at the Association’s Seventh National Conference, and at the Twelfth National Conference in May, 2006.  The 2006 keynote address launched SAA’s ongoing Suzuki Heritage Project.  Mrs. Lewis studied with Shinichi Suzuki in Matsumoto, Japan in 1974 and 1979 and her personal experiences with Dr. Suzuki, now preserved by SAA on DVD, will be a major contribution to the Heritage Project.