GMF2020: Young Musicians Institute | What You’ve Always Wanted to Know: A Parent’s Guide to Navigating the Music Pathway

Lucinda Ali, violinist and founder of Chicago’s renown Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, provides tips and techniques for parents whose children are learning to play a musical instrument.

Topics will include supporting your child in his/her musical studies, motivating your child to practice, managing at-home practice time, what to do if your child is interested in pursuing a career in music, and more.


Since another event is taking place at the same time, A Parent’s Guide with Lucinda Ali will take place over Zoom. Use the link below to join the talk:

The Zoom link is:

The meeting ID is: 859 2865 8987

For questions or additional information, contact


Lucinda E. Ali-Landing, violinist and founder of the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute, began her studies at age six, with her father, James Holland, a violinist/violist. She began with Suzuki studies, which was relatively still new in North America in the early 1970’s. After studying for one year with her father, she then studied with Sarah Deneen and later Donna Ross. 

While studying with Ross, Lucinda began her career with solo recitals, master classes, competitions and orchestral playing.  As a child, Lucinda was the concertmaster of the orchestra at the Music Center of the North Shore for three consecutive years, along with her sister, cellist Carmen as the principal cello for the same years. Lucinda went on to study orchestral music with the Civic Orchestra of Chicago, being the youngest member of “the training orchestra of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra.” At age 11, under the direction of Sir George Solti, Music Director, Gordon Peters, Principal Conductor, Margaret Hillis, Resident Conductor and Meng-Kong Tham, Assistant  Conductor, she played major orchestral works in Orchestral Hall, Chicago, Pick-Staiger Concert Hall, Evanston, and DePaul University until 1985.

During those same years, Lucinda also stayed close to home, being a member of the South Side Family Chamber Orchestra, Leo C. Harris, Music Director, Gary Civic Symphony, Naomi Millender, Music Director and her own family chamber ensemble.  As a student at Kenwood Academy in Hyde Park, Lucinda played with All City Orchestra, and won the All City Division I of the Instrumental Solo Festival in 1984. Also in the 80’s, Lucinda received a Special Mention in the Young Performers Competition of the Chicago Symphony Orchestra, and the Society of American Musicians competition.

During the summers, Lucinda spent weeks at the University of the South at Sewanee Summer Music Festival in Tennessee, which began her studies with Joseph Glymph, conductor of the Classical Symphony Orchestra in Chicago. She auditioned, and won a full-tuition scholarship at Northern Illinois University where she studied with Pierre Menard and the Vermeer Quartet. While there, she also played with NIU Symphony, Rockford Symphony Orchestra, Kishwaukee Symphony Orchestra and various venues around northern Illinois.  Lucinda continued to play solo recitals performing major concertos by Mendelssohn, Tchaikovsky, Mozart, Bach, Saint-Saens and Sibelius, while earning her Bachelor of Music degree from Northern Illinois University.

Lucinda chose to pursue her professional career at DePaul School of Music in Chicago. There she blossomed with Mark Zinger, being a Fellowship student of the Civic Orchestra of Chicago and the DePaul Symphony Orchestra where she was the concertmaster, assistant concertmaster, and the concertmaster of the Opera Orchestra at DePaul.  This afforded her the opportunity to get her Master of Music degree in violin performance on a full tuition scholarship.

It was while at DePaul that Miss Lucinda discovered her love, gift, and talent for teaching children. She obtained her teacher training at the Chicago Suzuki Institute in Deerfield with Craig Timmerman, and later the same summer studied at Indiana University with MiMi Zwieg. Embracing the methods of these pioneers of teaching very young children, Lucinda started teaching at Sherwood Conservatory of Music in Chicago with Stacia Spencer.  There she taught dozens of children and later grew the program that still exists today. As the Director of the Chicago Young Violinist Program at Sherwood, Lucinda inspired many parents to be excited about having musical children. Incorporating parent classes, concerts, field trips and other community activities, she laid the groundwork for what would be her life’s passion.

Founded in 1998, the Hyde Park Suzuki Institute began as violin only, using the experience and expertise of the vivacious Lucinda E. Ali-Landing. As the community inquired and the demand increased, piano was added, then viola, guitar, cello, and harp. She received her Kindermusik training and began an early childhood music program and many other musical offerings at the Institute.

Currently, Mrs. Ali-Landing is in the first violin section of the Illinois Philharmonic Orchestra, and the Chicago Sinfonietta, the world’s most diverse orchestra. As part of the Chicago Sinfonietta, she is in the Joffrey Ballet orchestra and has performed Cinderella, Romeo and Juliet, Midsummer Night’s Dream and more. She is a freelance artist who has performed with other artists such as Ray Charles, Barry White, The Winans, Brian McKnight, Oprah Winfrey, Three Mo Tenors, Ben Vereen and more.

Mrs. Ali-Landing is a member of Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority Inc., the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Chicago Music Association, and other professional organizations.  Lucinda currently resides in South Shore with her husband and lovely children.


Gateways Music Festival is grateful to the following foundations, corporations and governmental agencies for their support and contributions made between November 1, 2018 and October 31, 2020.