Our Story

The Corryville Suzuki Project (CSP) is a unique string program for children of all ages, providing a high level of musical training in a nurturing, non-competitive environment. Our program is rooted in Dr. Shinichi Suzuki’s philosophy that every child can learn to play music and develop an appreciation for its beauty. We believe that making music is an opportunity for children of every socioeconomic and racial background to communicate, develop skills, and form friendships.

CSP was founded in 1995 by Dr. Vincent Phelan and Elizabeth Council-Phelan, both professional musicians trained at the College-Conservatory of Music at the University of Cincinnati. CSP began as an inner-city program, serving the students of Corryville Catholic School. Soon after, we expanded to the St. Monica – St. George Parish center to include students from more diverse areas and backgrounds. CSP gained non-profit status in 2001, enabling the organization to focus more on outreach and offer more scholarships to students who could not afford music education otherwise.

In 2002, CSP began offering a summer camp. At that time it was the only Suzuki string education camp in Greater Cincinnati. Now in its 20th year, area teachers continue to send their students to the Cincinnati City-Wide Suzuki Camp each year. In 2008, CSP added the TEEN STRINGS program for students aged 12-18 who play violin, viola, cello, bass, or piano. The program is more than a music education program for teens; it offers wholesome social activities centered around music, as well as opportunities to experiment with different styles of music. TEEN STRINGS students also develop leadership skills and serve as role models within the program.

CSP began hosting the Cincinnati City-Wide Suzuki Violin Play-In in 2011. This annual event gathers over 140 Suzuki string students and 15 teachers from the Greater Cincinnati area to perform together. The CSP TEEN STRINGS Ensemble is featured at the concert each year in the Advanced Ensembles Showcase with other local ensembles from other Suzuki programs. This opening part of the Play-In inspires young students in attendance by exposing them to the high level of playing from the teenaged musicians.

Today, CSP provides musical instruction to students from all over the Greater Cincinnati area. Our students come from many areas including Clifton, Mt. Washington, Anderson, Mariemont, Madeira, Loveland, Hyde Park, Roselawn, Avondale, Middletown, Northern Kentucky and Southeastern Indiana. CSP Artistic Directors Dr. Vincent Phelan and Mrs. Elizabeth Council-Phelan received the “Studio Teacher of the Year” award from the Ohio String Teachers Association in 2015 and 2020 respectively.

 CSP Group Photograph, 1996
Dr. Vincent Phelan & Elizabeth Council-Phelan, back row, left