Lynn Baughman
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News Obituary Article

NORCROSS: Lynn Baughman, gave inspiration to violinists


Violin teacher Lynn Baughman didn't care if her students were 2 or 19. She didn't care if they were musically precocious or physically disabled.

"It didn't matter to her what age she taught," said Norma Baker of Sandy Springs, a Suzuki violin teacher. "She had great respect for the intelligence and abilities and feelings of all her children. She treated the little kids as being as capable as a 19-year-old. And she got them to play beautifully."

Mrs. Baughman introduced the Suzuki method to Georgia and at the time of her death was still the only violin teacher trainer in the state certified by the Suzuki Association of the Americas, Ms. Baker confirmed.

The Suzuki method, developed by Japanese violinist Dr. Shin'ichi Suzuki in the mid-1900s, is based on the premise that music is a language, and therefore that a child could learn to play a musical instrument as easily and fluently as they learned to talk. Early training emphasizes playing by ear. Students work closely with their parents.

But the Suzuki method transcends music. "The philosophy is that if a child hears and learns to play fine music, the child will develop sensitivity, discipline and endurance and will have a beautiful heart. And that's what Miss Lynn did," said Margaret Enright of Buford, whose daughter Caitlen Enright was a pupil of Mrs. Baughman.

"The philosophy of building the noble heart is far more important to the method than the music," said her husband, singer/conductor J. Wayne Baughman of Norcross.

Lynn Marie Hosty Baughman, 60, of Norcross, died April 25 of cardiac arrest in Venice, Italy. The memorial Mass is 10:30 a.m. Monday at St. Benedict's Catholic Church in Duluth. Bill Head Funeral Home is in charge of arrangements.

Mrs. Baughman moved to the Atlanta area in 1974, and for several years free-lanced extensively as a professional violinist, including with the Atlanta Chamber Orchestra.

She began teaching the Suzuki method in 1975 under the auspices of the Georgia Academy of Music. Within two years, her teaching load had grown so large that she no longer had time to play, her husband said. An early student was Atlanta Mayor Shirley Franklin's 2-year-old daughter Kai.

Mrs. Baughman established the Suzuki School of the Arts in 1984.

She took her students on performance tours abroad and to music conferences in the Southeast and encouraged them to give recitals, often with herself at the piano.

"The great teacher inspires, and that was Lynn," said Jana Emmett of Atlanta, whose daughter Lindsay Durant of Phoenix studied with her for seven years.

Her daughter was so inspired that Mrs. Durant now teaches Suzuki violin. "She was the perfect combination of being a fantastic teacher and being a second mom to her students," Mrs. Durant said. "You could spend half your lesson talking about a personal issue if you needed to."

Mrs. Baughman never auditioned her students and never turned one down. Her only requirement was that they observe a lesson before committing to her. She wanted to be the right teacher for the child," her husband said.

"She welcomed students with learning problems and physical disabilities, which she basically ignored," her husband added. "She told the parents, 'If you want your child to play violin, I will teach him. We will work through the disabilities.' She felt she could teach any student."

"There's no such thing as a child who can't learn and be very good, " Mrs. Baughman said in a 1987 Atlanta Journal-Constitution story.

Survivors include two daughters, Adelaide Federici and Katie Baughman, both of Atlanta; two sons, Tim Baughman of Atlanta and Jamie Baughman of San Jose, Calif.; a sister, Karen Hosty Steshko of Burke, Va.; and two grandchildren.

© 2007 The Atlanta Journal-Constitution

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Published in Atlanta Journal-Constitution on May 5, 2007.