About Our School

Canta Arya School for Strings is Kingston’s leading school for Suzuki violin and viola training.

Founded in 2002 by Denise Williams and Karen-Michele Kimmett and based on the Suzuki method teaching principles, students aged three to eighteen years of age now learn with our esteemed teachers Venetia Gauthier and Julia McFarlane. We offer Suzuki violin and viola lessons from beginner to advanced levels.

By embracing Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy that “every child can,” the goal of the school is to train new generations of string players to the highest level, and to share their music with the community. This is done through public concerts, collaborations with other musical partners, and special performances at venues such as Providence Manor, where music builds bridges across the generations.experience.

Julia McFarlane (co-director), Karen-Michele Kimmett (co-founder), Venetia Gauthier (co-director), Deborah McFarlane (beginner teacher).

Senior Ensemble

Canta Arya Senior Ensemble.

The school’s acclaimed senior ensemble, has performed extensively throughout Ontario.

Past performances have taken place at Roy Thomson Hall in Toronto, the Westben Festival, and yearly at the Kingston Kiwanis Festival. In 2016, Canta Arya senior students made Kingston history as part of the Performance Ensemble of Canada’s five city tour of China.

The ensemble has also played in the Queen’s Agnes Etherington Art Gallery December concerts, the Kingston Symphony House Tour concerts, the Kingston General Hospital Holiday Concert Series, the Marine Museum Christmas Party, the Kiwanis Music Festival, and the popular annual Canta Arya Twilight Concert of Carols and Classics.

The Senior Ensemble is available for hire for various musical occasions:

  • Holiday celebrations
  • School assemblies
  • Weddings
  • Parties & receptions
  • Banquets
  • Concerts

Canta Arya alumni playing with current students.


Canta Arya students have participated in the National Youth Orchestra of Canada and have been members of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra and frequent prize winners in both the Kiwanis Music Festivals and the Provincial Music Competitions. Alumni have taught at the Glenn Gould School at the Royal Conservatory, have been members of the London Symphonia and Ottawa Symphony Orchestra, have become Olympic medallists, and have gone on to pursue careers in music, academia, medicine, the sciences, and beyond. Former students have gone on to study at the University of Ottawa, the University of Toronto, the University of Western Ontario, the University of British Columbia, the University of Victoria, Dalhousie University, McMaster University, Wilfrid Laurier University, Princeton, and Queen’s University.

Today, Canta Arya Alumni can be found across the globe transforming the lessons learned through music into their life and work.