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Making beautiful music in WNY for 50 years

Posted at 6:10 PM, Oct 24, 2018
and last updated 2018-10-24 18:14:17-04

Mary Cay Neal has been playing violin for as long as she can remember--

"I've been playing the violin for 65 years, no more than that ,70 years," Neal said.  She even taught lessons, but it wasn't until she met Dr. Shinichi Suzuki in 1968 that she understood how to teach.

"I count the origin of Buffalo Suzuki Strings at the time when I met Dr. Suzuki."  The man who created the Suzuki Method--an internationally known music teaching curriculum. 

It was with the song, "Twinkles," that she started Buffalo Suzuki Strings out of her Kenmore living room with three students.

"I did both individual lessons at my house and group classes at my house because there were so few children."  Fifty year later, it's now grown to 250 students and 14 teachers.

I knew that my goal in life was to give the gift of music through children."  Classes are taught through adolescences--there are even classes for newborns.  Both individual and group sessions make up the philosophy.  

Buffalo Suzuki Strings has a concert hall, which means students can perform on the stage for 300 of their closest friends, families and neighbors.  She's taken her students on tour across the world.

"Music really is a universal language," Neal said. She added, "We visited all the continents and about 28 countries."

She never dreamed of her business growing so rapidly, but is looking forward to what's ahead.

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