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No Snow Days for Violinist

Teo Tetel might be one of the few people in Fairfield not driving a plow who still finds himself with a little extra work on a snow day. But don't feel too sorry for him: That extra work mostly involves listening to burgeoning musical talents perform for him.

The Romanian-born Tetel braved the storms to meet for a cup of coffee and talk about his passion: music. He hails from a family of musicians: His father was a bassist and older brother a cellist. Tetel gravitated toward the violin. “I picked the smallest one. I didn't want to lug those big things around,” he joked after taking a sip of coffee. Outside, an unexpectedly early snowstorm was blanketing the streets.

Tetel teaches a number of students and coaches chamber ensembles at Talent Education Suzuki School in Norwalk. They perform, and he offers tips and suggestions. For that, he still has to hit the roadways.

But those aren't his only students. Tetel also teaches several students via Skype . Through technology he is able to continue teaching many of his students in Baltimore, where he received his graduate degree in Music Performance from Peabody Conservatory. Tetel performed in the Baltimore Symphony for two years before joining the teaching faculty at Peabody. His wife, then fiancee, began a residency at Bridgeport Hospital and he followed her to the region.

When the snow falls, his students are home, which means they have more time for a Skype session. “Days like today are great,” he said, looking out the storefront windows at the fluffy clusters of flakes. “I get so much more work on a snow day.”

Of course, this snow day wouldn't let him off the hook too easily. Gathering his coat and coffee, he made his way toward the parking lot. He wouldn't be taking that cup home — he had just less than an hour to fight traffic up to Norwalk for a lesson at Talent Education Suzuki School.

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