Helen comes from a family with 3 generations of Japanese and Western music teachers, and was born and raised in Honolulu. Her Suzuki Teacher training includes study with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki for two and a half years at the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan, where she received her Teacher Certification from him in 1973. She continued her Suzuki teacher training at the University of Tennessee with William Starr, and Louise Behrend at the School for Strings. In NYC, she also worked with Gerald Beal on violin performance skills. Helen is also most grateful to Felicity Lipman who traveled many years to give master classes for students in Hawaii.

In 1983, Helen became a Certified Teacher of the Alexander Technique at the American Center for the Alexander Technique in New York City. She taught AT in the Center’s Teacher Training Program for 4 years, and violin for 5 years before returning to Hawaii in 1987. From 1990 -1998, she taught with the late Hiroko Primrose who founded the Suzuki Violin Program at Punahou Music School.

Helen is currently the Director of Punahou Music School’s Suzuki Violin Program, and privately teaches nearly 30 violin students. Other teaching positions have included the University of Tennessee’s Suzuki Program, New York’s School for Strings, and the Diller-Quaille School of Music.

Helen enjoys exploring how Alexander Technique principles can complement Dr. Suzuki’s violin pedagogy and educational philosophy. In 2004, Helen was invited to give a presentation on this topic at the Suzuki Association of the Americas National Conference in Minneapolis. At the 2006, Conference, she and Hiroko Driver-Lippman, gave a Heritage Night Keynote Presentation, called Okagesamade (in your honorable shadow) Suzuki Sensei. During the SAA Conference in 2018, Helen was one of the panelists to give a presentation, “To Study is to Change”.

Helen has been invited to teach at summer Institutes, including the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, the Idaho Suzuki Summer Institute, the Northern California Suzuki Institute, the Peaks to Plains Suzuki Institute, and the Japan-Seattle Suzuki Institute.

Helen serves as the President of Suzuki Talent Education of Hawaii, (www.stehawaii.org), is a member of the Hawaii Symphony, and served as the part-time musicians’ representative on the Hawaii Symphony Musicians’ Orchestra Committee for over 20 years.