Wendy Tangen-Foster is past-president of the Suzuki Association of Minnesota and currently directs Ms. Wendy’s Suzuki Violin Studio in St. Paul where children and adults learn sensitivity, confidence, and expressivity as part of a joyfully vibrant community of families. She is also the former director of the Suzuki Strings Program at the Saint Paul Conservatory of Music and a former instructor at HeartStrings Studio in River Falls, Wisconsin, where she worked with Joan Molloy.
With over 20 years of Suzuki teaching experience, Wendy’s students are recognized for their dedication to music, their strong technical foundation, and their passion for performing. Her teaching style is characterized by an animated, enthusiastic, and relentlessly positive, yet rigorous approach with students and parents. Her ability to integrate high artistic standards with creativity, humor, excitement, and fun has made her a sought-after guest clinician at Suzuki institutes and workshops across the U.S. One of Wendy’s strengths is teaching Group Classes where she inspires and creates breakthroughs for students of all ages, levels, and experiences.
Wendy began her Suzuki teacher-training in high school with LeRoy Bauer, Deborah Goolsby, and Craig Timmerman, and furthered her studies with Jacqueline Maurer, Carol Smith, Pat D’Ercole, Kathleen Spring, Joanne Bath, Edmund Sprunger, Joseph Kaminsky, Nancy Lokken, Alice Joy Lewis, and Ronda Cole.
Wendy developed her deep passion for chamber music after studying with the Philadelphia String Quartet, the Lafayette Quartet, and the Apple Hill Quartet. While studying at the Lionel Hampton School of Music, she fell in love with jazz and improvisation and went on to study with jazz-violinist Randy Sabien. She joined his swing band Rhythm and Bows achieving acclaim in the Midwest and performing as invited guest artists at the International Jazz Educators Conference in 2012. Wendy has also studied improvisation with Christian Howes (jazz violin) at the Creative Strings Workshop in Ohio.
Wendy has toured nationally with rock/blues bands, performs and records as a freelance musician in the Twin Cities, and incorporates “alternative” violin styles into her Suzuki curriculum. Currently, you can find Wendy onstage performing with Charanga Tropical, a nine-piece salsa ensemble, and Rogue Tango, a 4-piece band that plays a blend of tango, jazz, rumba, and flamenco music. Wendy makes her home in Northeast Minneapolis where she enjoys running, cooking spicy meals, listening and dancing to music, watching stand-up comedians on Netflix, and playing Backgammon.