General Information

About Us

Dr. Nikki Routman Ebisu, Violin -- Owner & Director
Kacie Oyadomari, Violin
Kayla Uchida, Violin

Dr. Nikki Routman Ebisu, Violin

Violinist Dr. Nikki (Routman) Ebisu enjoys a distinguished career as a teacher, performer and clinician.  Her collaborative chamber music and orchestral performances have taken her all across the globe, from Europe, the USA and Asia.

As an active music educator, she is in large demand in Hawaii -- both as a Japanese bilingual violin instructor and also as one of the few remaining to have studied directly with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, the founder of the Suzuki Method. Dr. Ebisu specializes in violin education for students ages 3 and up.

Her students have won high recognition in many concerts and competitions, and have been prizewinners of the Hawaii State String Competition every year consecutively for the last 13 years. Her students have also been prizewinners in the Osaka International Competition, the Oahu Center Mozart Competition, the National MTNA String Competitions, the Iolani School Senior Concerto Competition, and as soloists with the Maui Chamber Orchestra Concerto Competition. A majority of her students are members of the highly competitive Hawaii Youth Symphony program, several in Concertmaster positions over the years. Her students have performed in masterclasses for notable artists including Sarah Chang, Ray Chen, Robert McDuffie, Midori, Martin Beaver, Chee-Yun, Augustin Hadelich, Wei He, Paul Katz, Eric Silberger, Joseph Swensen, Victor Yampolsky, the Cavani Quartet and more.

In 2016, a student was selected to perform the 'Bach Concerto for 2 Violins in D minor' alongside famous violinist Midori in a sold-out concert at the Blaisdell NBC. Her students have been accepted to prestigious music festivals and schools, including the National Youth Orchestra at Carnegie Hall three separate times, the National Honors Orchestra Series at Carnegie Hall, the McDuffie School for Strings, the Aspen Music Festival, Bowdoin, Interlochen and Meadowmount in New York. Many of these dedicated students, with a lifetime of violin education, have been accepted to prestigious colleges in diverse fields. One such student was the recipient of the 2016 Presidential Scholarship.

Prior to moving to Hawaii and specializing in the Suzuki Method, Dr. Ebisu worked primarily with college-aged students, serving as a lead Graduate Assistant and Instructor at the University of Colorado at Boulder, and on faculty at Conservatory Music in the Mountains Summer Festival in Durango, Colorado.

On the performance stage, Dr. Ebisu is currently a violinist with the Hawaii Symphony Orchestra. She has held positions in the Honolulu Symphony, Hawaii Pops Orchestra with Matt Catingub, World Symphony Orchestra (South Korea), Austin (TX) Symphony, Cheyenne (WY) Symphony, Colorado Springs Philharmonic, Fort Collins (CO) Symphony, Greeley (CO) Philharmonic and Temple (TX) Symphony. She has also performed with the Colorado MahlerFest, Charleston (SC) Symphony, Boulder (CO) Philharmonic, Corpus Christi (TX) Symphony and Maui Pops Orchestra. She participated in various summer festivals including Interlochen, the International Music Festival in Portugal and Colorado Music Festival, and was invited to perform at the 2005 Yehudi Menuhin Chamber Music Seminar in San Fransisco as the "Emerging String Quartet" Winner.

Dr. Ebisu began her musical studies at age two, observing other Suzuki student's lessons and practicing on a mini-fake violin made by a carpenter. Upon moving to Japan at age four, she officially began lessons with the renowned Dr. Shinichi Suzuki and his apprentices at the Suzuki Talent Education in Tokyo. Accepted into the Preparatory Division of the Toho Academy of Music in Tokyo at age eight, she was invited to study with violist Sumiko Edo. She later returned to the United States for high school and college.

Dr. Ebisu holds a Bachelor of Arts degree in Music and Pre-Medicine from the University of Texas at Austin. She received her Masters in Music and Doctorate in Music Arts (Violin Performance) degrees from the University of Colorado at Boulder. Her primary violin teachers include Dr. Shinichi Suzuki, Sumiko Edo, John Arnold, Dr. Eugene Gratovich and Oswald Lehnert. Some of her greatest infuences in Suzuki pedagogy were with Helen Brunner, Pat D'Ercole, Ed Kreitman, Ellie LeRoux, Allen Lieb, Nancy Lokken and Ed Sprunger.

Dr. Ebisu continues to perform recitals and attend conferences regularly. As a registered instructor with the Suzuki Association of America (SAA), she is in the final stages of pursuing her dreams of becoming a nationally recognized Suzuki Method registered Teacher Trainer. She is currently the President-Elect of the Hawaii Music Teacher's Association.

She is an active member of the Music Teachers National Association (MTNA), the Hawaii Music Teachers Association (HMTA), the American String Teachers Association (ASTA), the Suzuki Association of Hawaii (SAH), the Suzuki Association of America (SAA), and Sigma Alpha Iota.

Photo by: Duane Padilla

Nikki's Teaching Philosophy

One of my primary objectives in teaching is to promote music as a vehicle for non-verbal and artistic expression. Through music (the voice, movement and especially the violin), I hope that students recognize their strengths, build confidence and feel the joy of music. Learning music should never be a chore so I strive to make it fun and rewarding.

My teaching curriculum is centered around many of my personal childhood learning experiences and hurdles that I had to overcome (and there were many indeed!). I hope to constructively impart this knowledge to my students so that they have the necessary tools to succeed, both artistically and intellectually. It is my duty to act not only as their instructor, but also as their mentor, role model and inspiration. 

In my experience as a teacher, the biggest lesson that I have learned has been that every child is unique, in that the same lesson plan is not suitable for everyone. I adapt my teaching method and lesson plan to fit the personality, learning style and mood (that day) of each and every individual student.

I firmly believe in establishing fundamental violin skills during the early stages of learning, in particular, posture and note-reading, as it is the foundation for technique and mastery of the instrument. Each student has different desires and experiences, so I ensure that lessons are tailored around their immediate and long-term goals. Whether my students are taking lessons to pursue a professional career or doing it as a hobby, I promote body/muscle awareness and proper posture for injury prevention, mental alertness and control.

I encourage students to be active in sports and other genres of music and art forms, and to perform regularly since it develops self-expression and further strengthens skills such as memorization, anxiety, concentration, confidence and motivation. I strongly advocate student involvement in chamber music and orchestra at an early age of training because it is a useful tool in developing listening skills, intonation and sight-reading.