Primavera Place provides, as its foundational activity, one-on-one personal music instruction, with direct parental involvement from the outset. Co-equal with this foundation are its group activities: weekly instruction in repertoire, technique, note-reading, and ensemble playing, with resultant involvement in group performance, both in-house and public. (See attached mission statement.)
Before we expand on that description, a bit of history. After finishing her baccalaureate education in Washington State and Vienna, Austria, Kathleen Spring opened a private studio in Walla Walla, Washington in 1974. Almost immediately she became involved in studying the Suzuki approach to music education, and in school-based music instruction and activities. From scratch she developed a string music program in a K-8 school, Rogers Elementary in College Place, Washington, that is still highly successful and widely respected. In 1991 she became a registered Suzuki Teacher Trainer, and began teaching young teachers in summer workshops around the US. In 1999-2000, Kathleen earned a M.Mus. degree in violin performance, with further work in Suzuki pedagogy, at the University of Denver's Lamont School of Music.
In 2001, Kathleen's husband, Glenn Spring, DMA, decided to retire 'early' from his 36-year position at Walla Walla University, where he taught violin/viola and theory/composition, as well as directing chamber music and orchestral activities. Upon relocating to Denver, Kathleen opened a new studio, while Glenn responded to a request from St. Anne's Episcopal School to start a string group. Kathleen's studio grew rapidly, leading soon to the need for parallel group activities. Meantime, Glenn's successes with the string group at St. Anne's led him to realize a love for teaching children, and he began his own studio. (The St. Anne's string program continues, now directed by Primavera Place teacher, Brittany Hensley.)
As the studios grew, it became necessary to rent space-usually in a church-for group activities: note reading classes, group instruction in technique, repertoire, and ensemble playing. Groups began to perform for retirement centers, museums, etc. Early groups were called Primavera Players, and in 2007 an advanced performance group was formed under the name Spring Strings. This group performs locally, regionally, and sometimes internationally. In 2010 and 2012 Spring Strings joined student groups from Belgium and Switzerland for study and performance together in Switzerland and Colorado.
In 2009, DU's Lamont School of Music invited Kathleen to become Adjunct Professor of Suzuki Violin Pedagogy. (James Maurer, violinist and DU Prof. of Music who retired from that position, had been Kathleen Spring's mentor as a Suzuki Teacher Trainer, and major professor for her Masters Degree.) Now in her 10th year in that position, Kathleen has attracted students from three continents, many of whom are now teaching successfully around the world, from Hong Kong to Iceland. Through this program, she has become a mentor to many young teachers.
Kathleen sought retirement in the summer of 2021 and Autumn Pepper has stepped in to replace Kathleen as director. Autumn started her musical journey as a Suzuki student in rural Arizona, and has since pursued music with a passion. She received her Bachelor of Music Violin Performance at the Lamont School of Music and her Master of Music with emphasis in Performance and Pedagogy from the University of Colorado, Boulder. She received her Suzuki training from Kathleen and hopes to continue to bring Suzuki education to the greater Denver area.
Primavera Place has six excellent teachers who've all been trained by Kathleen Spring. Keeping the community close and teaching in a like-minded way where the student comes first is a very important value for the teachers at Primavera Place.
Growth in the activities and programs of Primavera Place has created a need for more teachers, more space for teaching private lessons and for group activities, more performance venues and opportunities, and ways to offer our services to a wider public.
Our services include:
• Private instruction in violin and viola
• Early Childhood Education (Suzuki-based ECE)
• Weekly group instruction in technique and repertoire
• Weekly ensemble practice: 'playing together.'
• Public performances
We hope to expand our services and activities to include:
• Instruction in viola, cello and string bass
• Tuition assistance for families of limited means
• Parent education
• Teacher development