Our Teaching Team

Venetia Gauthier

Co-Director and Suzuki Violin Teacher

A Suzuki student herself, Venetia Gauthier began her music studies in Kingston. She studied with various local violin teachers including Denny Williams, Gisele Dalbec and Kenneth Perkins, attending Suzuki Summer Institutes as well as the prestigious Indiana String Academy. Venetia also studied with Helen Brunner in England and toured North America with the London Suzuki Group. She went on to win a scholarship to Chetham’s School of Music in the U.K.

She has been a member of the Kingston Symphony Orchestra first violin section for over 25 years and has played with many local ensembles, including Melos, Orchestra Kingston and the Kingston Baroque Consort.
Currently a Co-Director, Venetia has taught for over 18 years in Canta Arya School for Strings, as well at Southwestern Ontario Suzuki Institute and various workshops. Venetia is an Editor of the bilingual Suzuki Music/Musique Canada Association E-Newsletter and has completed extensive teacher training through the Suzuki Association of the Americas. She also holds a Bachelor of Education degree from Queen’s University, Kingston.

Her other great passion is the History of Art, in which she holds a Master’s Degree and has been published. In her former life in London she was a Specialist in British Pictures at the auction house Christie’s. Venetia is the mother of two boys, both of whom are violinists in Canta Arya.

Julia McFarlane

Co-Director and Suzuki Violin Teacher

Known for her sensitive and engaging playing, violinist/violist Julia McFarlane is equally at home as a performer and educator. Born in Kingston, Julia began her violin studies at the age of five. She holds a Bachelor’s degree in Performance from McGill University and a Master’s degree from the Peabody Institute of Music, having studied with Mauricio Fuks, Yehonatan Berick, and Herbert Greenberg.

Currently, Julia is principal second violin of the Kingston Symphony and a member of the Isabel String Quartet. From 2000-2003, Julia was principal second violin of the Saskatoon Symphony Orchestra. She held the position of concertmaster of the NYCO Symphony Orchestra from 2006-2017 and is in demand as a free-lance violinist throughout Ontario.

As a registered teacher with the Suzuki Associations of the Americas and Ontario, Julia has been teaching violin for 35 years having taught with the Kingston Suzuki program, Beaurepaire Suzuki Strings (Montreal), the Saskatoon Suzuki Strings Program, The Royal Conservatory Community School and Etobicoke Suzuki Music. She has also been asked to be guest clinician at numerous workshops. Julia is currently co-director of Canta Arya School for Strings and she is mom to two Suzuki violinists!

Extended Teaching Team

Deborah McFarlane

Beginner Teacher

Clare Marion

Performance Accompanist

Dr. Adrienne Shannon

Performance Accompanist

Michael Capon. Canta Arya group class accompanist.

Michael Capon

Group Class Accompanist

Student Mentoring

Interested high school students have the opportunity to mentor younger students and to help with the weekly group classes.  Students gain teaching experience and leadership skills while collaborating with teachers in organizing group classes. In turn, they become inspiring role models for our younger students. Every year Canta Arya supports several student volunteers, many of whom go on to make music studies a major component of their university programs.

Learn more about Suzuki and the teaching methods of our school

  • Learn with trained Suzuki instructors
  • Opportunities for peer mentoring and leadership
Annual holiday performance.