LORI FRANKE is a devoted teacher of young musicians who has brought the joy of music to students of all ages in a career spanning over four decades in the United States. Having studied with the legendary Shinichi Suzuki in Japan, her lifelong work as an educator is defined by an empathetic and nurturing approach that creates wonderful human beings as well as proficient musicians.
She is the Founder and Director of the South Valley Suzuki String Academy, through which she offers private lessons and group classes in the world-renowned Suzuki Method, and President of its partner non-profit, the South Valley Suzuki Music Foundation which provides scholarships for long-term music education opportunities that empower disadvantaged youth. She has led ensembles throughout the northern hemisphere in Friendship Tours to Canada, Hungary, England, Austria, Germany, and the Azores. In the past few seasons she has also served on the string faculty of the St. Margaret's Summer Music Festival in Southern California, teaching private lessons and coaching chamber ensembles.
Lori's mentoring has helped her current and former students develop leadership and community engagement skills that extend far beyond the practice room and into lives of commitment and service that demonstrate the sheer power of human potential. In 2016, her high school-age private students together with their school classmates united to create the first youth orchestra in the Gilroy, California area since the last organization of that kind shut down over fifteen years before. In June 2018 the student-led South Valley Youth Orchestra presented it's first of many concerts to come.
She previously led an award-winning K-5 program for young violinists at Antonio del Buono Elementary School, and also taught a beginning string course at Gilroy High School. In 2008, she was recognized by the Gilroy Chamber of Commerce in their Spice of Life Awards as Educator of the Year, in recognition of demonstrating an extraordinary level of excellence in the educational community.
She earned her Bachelor of Arts degree in Elementary Education along with a double minor in German and Music from Bringham Young University, and more recently completed her California Teaching Credential.
She is grateful for the support of her family including her master piano builder husband, her five children, and five grandchildren!