History & Timeline

1958

Young Shinichi Suzuki
  • Film of 1955 Talent Education Concert shown to Clifford Cook by Japanese student, Kenji Mochizuki.
  • Cook shows 1955 Talent Education film at OSTA. Film seen by Robert Klotmann and John Kendall.
  • Cook article on Suzuki appears in the Music Education Journal.

1959

John Kendall with Shinichi Suzuki

John Kendall with Shinichi Suzuki

  • John Kendall visits Matsumoto, returns to write Listen and Play books.
  • Time interview with Kendall in Japan.
  • 1959 NSOA presentation by Kendall.

1963

Clifford Cook

Clifford Cook

  • Clifford Cook begins Suzuki program at Oberlin with 30 children and 2 young Japanese teachers.

1964

William Starr conducting a student orchestra

William Starr conducting a student orchestra

  • Japanese Tour Group comes to the US with 10 students; historic MENC/ASTA conference performance.
  • Suzuki is first recipient of ASTA International Award.
  • Thomas Rolston begins first Canadian Suzuki program in Edmonton.
  • Bill Starr begins Suzuki program at the University of Tennessee.

1966

  • Project Super begins with Anastasia Jemplis at the Eastman School of Music. Dr. Suzuki comes to do training.

1967

  • Suzuki program in Cordoba, Argentina.
  • 55 American teachers go to Japan for a month long study tour.
  • Talent Education USA formed.

1968

  • William Starr’s sabbatical year in Japan.
  • Mrs. Suzuki’s English translation of Nurtured By Love is published by Exposition Press.

1971

  • American Suzuki Institute begins at Stevens Point, WI.
  • Constance Starr introduces American teachers to Suzuki piano at a California workshop and American Suzuki Institute.

1972

William Starr

William Starr

  • SAA formed.
  • William Starr, President.
  • Harriet Mogge, Executive Secretary 1972-1974.
  • Dues—donations only!

1973

1973 SAA Board of Directors

SAA Board of Directors, 1973

1974

John Kendall teaching a young violin student

John Kendall teaching

Image by Arthur Montzka

  • John Kendall, President.
  • Glenn Pannell, Executive Secretary 1974-1981.
  • First membership count: 912.
  • Seven long-term Teacher Training locations published in ASJ.
  • Suzuki Pre-School opened by Susan Grilli at the School for Strings in New York.

1975

Mary Kay Waddington with harp student

Mary Kay Waddington with harp student

1976

Sanford Reuning

Sanford Reuning

  • Sanford Reuning, President.
  • First SAA Directory.
  • Board expands to 30.
  • Teacher scholarships started.
  • William Starr publishes The Suzuki Violinist.
  • SAA Membership: 2087.

1977

Flue masterclass at Third SAA Conference

Suzuki flute began in 1978

  • Focus on Teacher Training.
  • Registration of courses provided by SAA.
  • Suzuki recorder instruction begins.
  • Membership is 2469.

1978

Mark Bjork

Mark Bjork

  • Mark Bjork, President.
  • Active dues set at $15/year.
  • Suzuki flute begins.

1979

Suzuki Association of the Americas

The SAA logo, developed in 1979

  • Teacher Support: Group medical and instrument insurance available.
  • SAA logo developed and registered.
  • Teacher Trainer syllabi developing.
  • Suzuki teaching comes to Puerto Rico.
  • SAA membership—$20 US.
  • American Suzuki Journal register with Library of Congress.

1980

Yvonne Tait

Yvonne Tait

  • Yvonne Tait, first woman president, first cellist president.
  • Toshio Takahashi comes to US for flute Teacher Training.
  • Parent issues receive increased attention.
  • Institute guidelines and approval process under development.
  • Marge Aber receives first Distinguished Service Award.
  • European Suzuki Association formed.

1981

Toshio Takahashi with Suzuki flute students

Toshio Takahashi with Suzuki flute students

  • Robert Reinsager, Executive Secretary 1981-1991
  • Suzuki teaching comes to Peru.
  • SAA dues set at $32 US.
  • First SAA Flute Committee established.

1982

Doris Preucil

Doris Preucil

1983

  • SAA Board reduced to 9 members.
  • International Teachers’ Conference in Japan.
  • 25th Anniversary of the 1958 showing of the Talent Education film at Oberlin.
  • First Parents’ Column added to ASJ.
  • International Suzuki Association established.

1984

Norma Jean Seaton

Norma Jean Seaton

  • Norma Jean Seaton, President.
  • First SAA National Teachers’ Conference in Schaumburg, IL.
  • SAA membership: 4463.
  • Suzuki gives preliminary approval to harp approach developed by Mary Kay Waddington.
  • Dr. Suzuki receives honorary doctorate from Oberlin College.

1985

First SAA National Teachers Conference

First SAA National Teachers Conference

Image by Arthur Montzka

  • New application requirements adopted for Teacher Trainer Registry.
  • Teacher Trainer Review Committee appointed.
  • First conference for Teacher Trainers and Institute Directors, Denver, CO.
  • $70,000 raised for Save the Children Fund.

1986

Paul Landefeld with Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Paul Landefeld with Shinichi Suzuki

  • Paul Landefeld, President.
  • Second SAA Teachers Conference in Chicago.
  • Tour Group to South America co-sponsored by ISA and SAA.

1987

Dorothy Jones

Dorothy Jones

  • Ties with Japan fostered.
  • Suzuki Harp, Vol. 1 published.
  • Over 60 Institutes taking place.

1988

Josef Gingold masterclass at the 3rd SAA Conference

Josef Gingold masterclass at the 3rd SAA Conference

  • Dorothy Jones, first Canadian SAA President and first pianist as president.
  • Focus on public outreach.
  • Third SAA International Conference in Chicago—Gingold gives master classes.
  • First viola column to appear in the ASJ.

1989

  • Second Conference for Teacher Trainers and Institute Directors, Boston,
  • Suzuki Piano School re-editing/re-recording begins.
  • 50 Brazilian students, teachers, and parents participate in the 9th International Conference in Matsumoto.

1990

Tanya Carey

Tanya Carey

  • Tanya Carey, President.
  • Fourth SAA International Conference in San Francisco.
  • Restructuring due to financial crisis.
  • Jim Maurer brings SAA books up to date and new fiscal policies set.
  • First Teacher Trainer Handbook published.
  • Suzuki Bass School, Vol. 1 published.
  • Suzuki Viola School, Vol. 6 published.
  • Network with MENC & ASTA officially established.

1991

Jeff Cox in action on the SAA board

Jeff Cox in action

  • Pam Brasch Executive Administrator, 1991-1996.
  • May 1991 fiscal year closes just barely in the black!
  • SAA offices move to Boulder, CO.
  • SAA Active membership dues set at $35 US.
  • Premier Business Memberships established.

1992

1992 Executive Committee. William Preucil, Jim Maurer, Jeff Cox, Cleo Brimhall, and others.

The 1992 Executive Committee with the geodesic dome symbolizing the “Learning Community”

  • Jeff Cox, President/Board Chair.
  • Fifth SAA International Conference in Chicago claims record attendance.
  • Conference includes the first joint meeting of the SAA and ISA.
  • First Suzuki program developed in Ecuador (Quito).
  • Marilyn O’Boyle establishes liaison with South America.

1993

  • Analysis of mission, goals, and objectives for SAA
  • Ten-year strategic plan and fund raising strategies established.
  • Third Teacher Trainer/Institute Directors Conference, Estes Park, CO.
  • Dr. Suzuki is nominated for Nobel Peace Prize.
  • First Suzuki guitar group performance at an international conference (Pan Pacific Conference in Australia).

1994

Dorothy Delay masterclass at the Sixth Conference

Dorothy DeLay masterclass at the Sixth Conference

Image by Arthur Montzka

  • Sixth SAA International Conference, Chicago.
  • A lawyer, a parent, and financial advisor added to the board.
  • First summer for Board-led Institute Focus Groups.
  • First Annual Fund Campaign.

1995

William Preucil with statue of Pablo Casals

William Preucil with statue of Pablo Casals

  • William Preucil, Board Chair.
  • SAA Honorary Board established.
  • SAA receives Kellogg Foundation grant for leadership training.
  • SAA President becomes the Board Chair.
  • SAA membership reaches 6,245.
  • First Biennial Leadership Retreat, Estes Park, CO.

1996

Nurtured By Love DVD

Nurtured By Love, released in 1996

  • Pam Brasch, Executive Director 1996-present
  • Fund raising continues to be a major responsibility for the board.
  • Seventh SAA International Conference celebrates 25 years of the SAA.
  • Film Nurtured by Love released.
  • SAA dues set at $45 US.
  • SAA becomes a Regional Association of the ISA.
  • Suzuki’s former home becomes a City of Matsumoto museum.

1997

Pat D’Ercole

Pat D’Ercole

  • Pat D’Ercole, Board Chair.
  • SAA Mission and Vision stated the spring of 1997.
  • Second Leadership Retreat, Estes Park.
  • Guitar at Hartt Suzuki Institute, largest Suzuki Guitar gathering in the World.
  • 25th Anniversary ASJ issue published.

1998

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

  • Dr. Suzuki dies, Jan 26, 1998.
  • Eighth SAA International Conference celebrates Suzuki’s 100th year.
  • Suzuki Centennial Celebrations.
  • Fall of 1998, SAA Board meets in Canada (London, Ontario) for the first time.

1999

James Maurer

James Maurer

Image by James Maurer

  • James Maurer, Board Chair.
  • Third Leadership Retreat, Estes Park (Teacher Trainers, Institute Directors, State Association Officers).
  • First Latin American Teacher Conference (Encuentro) in Lima, Peru.
  • SAA staff adds first Development Director.
  • Code of Ethics adopted.

2000

Waltraud Suzuki

Waltraud Suzuki

  • Waltraud Suzuki dies, December 24, 2000.
  • Practicum units begin summer of 2000.
  • 9th SAA International Conference, Cincinnati, OH.
  • Koji Toyoda becomes President of Talent Education Research Institute.
  • SAA website expanded.

2001

Gilda Barston

Gilda Barston

  • Gilda Barston, Board Chair.
  • Chapter affiliation program initiated.
  • 4th Leadership Retreat, Broomfield, CO.
  • SAA Active dues set at $52 US/Associate dues—$30 US.
  • First Annual Report (for 2000) published.

2002

  • SAA Membership: 7,776.
  • 10th SAA International Conference, Minneapolis—30th Anniversary of the SAA.
  • Second Latin American Encuentro in Lima, Peru.
  • First groups become SAA Chapter Affiliates.

2003

Joanne Melvin

Joanne Melvin

  • Joanne Melvin, Board Chair.
  • 5th Leadership Retreat held in Broomfield, Colorado.

2004

  • 11th SAA Conference “Excellence from the Start” held in Minneapolis.

2005

Paul Salerni

Paul Salerni

  • Paul Salerni, Board Chair.
  • 6th Leadership Retreat held in Asilomar, California.

2006

  • 12th SAA Conference “Always with Excellence” held in Minneapolis.

2007

Diane Schroeder

Diane Schroeder

2008

Guitarists in the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble perform at the 2008 SAA Conference

Guitarists in the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble. Photo by Michiko Yurko.

Image by Michiko Yurko

  • 13th SAA Conference “Expanding the Vision” held in Minneapolis. Children from all over Latin America come to participate in the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble.
  • Revised Suzuki Piano Books 1 through 3 published.

2009

2009 virtual Leadership Retreat

Video conversion in progress.

2010

Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) Logo

2011

  • Parents as Partners Online, an online event for Suzuki parents and teachers, held January 17—February 28.

Original timeline through 2002 taken from the 30th Anniversary SAA Conference commemorative program.