fiddle_campThroughout the year, students’ schedules may be different with vacations, absences, camps, and other summer events. If it is necessary to miss a private lesson class, students have the opportunity of participating in a Performance Clinic to make-up their missed lesson(s). Performance Clinics provide a wonderful compliment to private instruction, by encouraging students to “learn the ropes” of the art of performance (or help more experienced performers hone their skills). Students receive the benefit of helpful feedback from both the clinician/teacher and the other class participants in a nurturing, encouraging, and educational environment.

No additional preparation is necessary; students may plan to perform an already completed work, or play an excerpt of a piece they are currently studying in their private instruction. All skill levels may participate; class materials are designed to accommodate beginner to more advanced students. In addition, all instruments/voice students are welcome.

Performance Clinics are held once a month on selected Saturdays throughout the year, and offer the chance for students to learn or refresh performance skills (such as how to deal with anxiety, relaxation, and mentally preparing before a performance) from national clinician and FRAMA teacher Sarah Smith. Clinics are generally 45-60 minutes depending on how many participants are signed up for the session, and take place at our Main Campus.

Sign-up sheets may be found in our waiting room at Fox River Academy’s Main Campus; dates are also listed on our online calendar for upcoming clinics.


sarah_smith1Sarah Smith

Strings Instructor (Suzuki/Traditional)

Sarah began her studies at age five with her father, Stan Smith, and continued her studies with Rebecca Sandrok, Debra Wood, and the internationally renowned Almita Vamos at Western Illinois University. In 1986, she studied with Dr. Suzuki at his school, the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, Japan. Sarah began teaching in 1984 with Aurora Suzuki Violins combining efforts with Stan Smith until May 2009 when Stan Smith and Aurora Suzuki retired. Sarah’s goal is to carry out the Suzuki philosophy with her students and enjoys being an important part of her student’s lives.

Sarah is a sought-after clinician at workshops and Institutes throughout the United States teaching in Missouri, Indiana, Wisconsin, Iowa, Colorado, Utah, Georgia, Florida, Kentucky, and throughout Illinois.

Sarah teaches violin, viola and cello with Fox River Academy of Music and Art. Her students have taken advanced positions in local orchestras as well as winning spots in local Concerto Competitions. Many of her students continue with their music education as both performance majors and music education majors studying at the most prestigious music schools in the country with some of them going on to perform internationally. Those who have not majored in music have continued playing their instruments in some capacity by joining their local community orchestras or just playing for their own pleasure. It has been very gratifying for Sarah to see her students continue to enjoy fine music.