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Newton, Needham, Watertown, Wellesley


Executive Director, Suzuki School of Newton

A leader in the arts who has had a substantial impact on music education, Isihara has served for over 20 years as the director of the Suzuki School, a community arts nonprofit with a music program and a full-day integrated arts preschool where students gain both a love of learning and a love of music. She led the capital campaign to purchase and rehabilitate the historic Staples-Craft-Wiswall farmstead as the school’s permanent home in the Waban village of Newton. Having trained in Japan and France, Isihara is a Suzuki-certified piano teacher and teacher trainer. Concerned about the future of music education, she recruits and nurtures new faculty to become teacher trainers.


She was honored by the Massachusetts Commission on the Status of Women and received the Steinway Top Teacher award and the Milestone Award from the National Guild for Community Arts Education. She is a founding member of the Newton Cultural Alliance, was appointed by Mayor Ruthanne Fuller to the Community Design for Arts and Culture Committee that developed the Create Newton Cultural Plan, and is on the board of the Waban Improvement Society.