Area Overviews and Featured Clinicians

Suzuki Bass Provides Opportunities and Community

The Suzuki bass community gets an opportunity to reunite every two years at the conference. Old friendships are renewed, while new friendships are born. The inspiration that comes from a community sharing ideas reinvigorates your spirit, and you take home ideas that improve your teaching. We are extremely lucky to at able to welcome colleagues from all stages of their careers, whose diverse experiences enrich all of our teaching perspectives.

This May, over Memorial Day weekend, you can observe bass students participating in the Youth Orchestras, in the bass choir, or even in masterclasses with our guest clinician, double bass pedagogue Paul Ellison. Parents in your studio may wish to attend the conference and take advantage of sessions and events geared towards their growth as home teachers in the Suzuki triangle and gain new practice tips and other ideas. Suzuki teachers and students not only network during sessions but also find extra time to spend time together at meals and concerts.

Teachers will benefit from our conference theme which places emphasis on “Learning Suzuki-Style.” For all instruments, but especially bass, the contributions of the current generation of Suzuki teachers (experienced and new teachers alike) will make our pedagogy stronger.

—Doug Murphy, Bass Coordinator

Paul Ellison, Bass Clinician

Paul Ellison

Paul Ellison

Performing solo and ensemble concerts as well as giving master classes on the double bass and period instruments on four continents, Paul Ellison is the Lynette S. Autrey Professor of Double Bass and chair of strings at Rice University’s Shepherd School of Music, Visiting Artist-Faculty University of Southern California, and guest tutor at the Yehudi Menuhin School, the Royal College of Music, and Bass Club, England. Current summer positions include principal bass at the Grand Teton Music Festival, faculty/performer at the Sarasota Music Festival, and faculty/performer at Festival Domaine Forget, Quebec.

Ellison’s former students hold titled positions in major ensembles and institutions of higher learning on five continents.His previous positions include principal bass of Houston Symphony, Houston Grand Opera, Santa Fe Opera, Aspen Festival Orchestras (also faculty), professor of double bass and chair of strings at the University of Southern California, and president of the International Society of Bassists. Ellison was the first to receive both the diploma and teaching certificate from Institut International Rabbath, Paris. “…The treat of the afternoon turned out to be hearing the double bass as a solo instrument…Paul Ellison…demonstrated virtuosity. [The] bass shines as [the] music festival gets underway.”

Cello Continues to Expand Conference Offerings

We are extremely excited to have Astrid Schween as our Master class clinician at the 2020 conference. Astrid has been the cellist in the Julliard String Quartet since 2016 and teaches at the Julliard. She has a thriving performing and teaching career. Her session with the teachers is entitled: Interpretation and the Art of the Bow. I’m sure that we will all look forward to her gems of wisdom on this important topic.

As the cello choir was a resounding success in 2018, we have decided that it needs to be a fixture at our Conferences. This year Rick Mooney will be conducting this auditioned choir. I’m sure that they will demonstrate the depth of our Suzuki teaching when they perform.

Rick will also be conducting a masterclass of Intermediate Level Suzuki repertoire. The participating students will be chosen from students participating in one of the orchestras at the Conference.

Rick will indeed be busy as he has agreed to conduct the teachers reading newer interesting cello choir material in an after-hours session. Be sure to bring or rent a cello in order to participate in this fun event. Also, if you have material/arrangements that you think we would all enjoy, please submit them in advance to [javascript protected email address].

The theme of our 2020 SAA Conference is Learning Suzuki Style, so many of the sessions will shine spotlights on best practice of teaching at all levels. Of course, the conference is also a great time to reconnect with old friends and meet new ones. Attending the biennial SAA Conference will inspire your teaching for years to come. We hope to see you there.   —Susan Gagnon, Cello Coordinator and Alex Revol, Assistant Cello Coordinator.

Cello Guest Clinician, Astrid Schween

Astrid Schween

Astrid Schween

Cellist Astrid Schween has gained a rich following and enjoys a varied career as a soloist, chamber artist and teacher. Since joining the Juilliard String Quartet in 2016, she has appeared at Amsterdam’s Concertgebouw, the Musikverein in Vienna, the Berlin Konzerthaus, London’s Wigmore Hall, Yamaha Hall in Tokyo, and in Hong Kong, Singapore, Greece, China, Spain, Scandinavia and throughout the US, with concerts at the Lincoln Center Chamber Music Society, New York’s 92nd Sreet Y, Ravinia, Tanglewood and the Kennedy Center. With degrees from the Juilliard School, Astrid Schween received her training under the guidance of Leonard Rose, Harvey Shapiro, Bernard Greenhouse, Ardyth Alton, and Dr. H.T. Ma, and was mentored as a young cellist by Jacqueline Du Pré and Zubin Mehta. She participated in the Marlboro Music Festival, the William Pleeth Cello Master Classes in Aldeburgh, and made her debut at the age of 16 with the NY Philharmonic.

Recent solo engagements have taken her around the US, with a performance of the Elgar Concerto in Boulder, CO. Other concerto appearances have included performances with the Memphis Symphony and at the Peninsula, Interlochen and Sewanee festivals. Astrid Schween was recently featured in Strings and Strad magazines, on various NPR programs, and was a guest speaker on Women in Music at the Library of Congress. She also appears on Classical music internet platforms such as “Living the Classical Life,” The Violin Channel and CelloBello. Her current collaborations include frequent appearances at the Seattle Chamber Music Festival, recitals with pianists Victor Asuncion, Randall Hodgkinson and a soon-to-be-released CD of Romantic cello sonatas with pianist Michael Gurt. Recent collaborative releases appear on the Sony, Centaur and JRI labels. Next season, Astrid Schween will appear as special guest artist at the Cleveland Cello Society and in Minneapolis at the 20th Biennial Suzuki Associations of the Americas Conference.

Astrid Schween is a member of the cello faculty at Juilliard and the Perlman Music Program on Shelter Island. She was for many years, senior cello faculty at Interlochen, the University of Massachusetts Amherst, and Mount Holyoke College. She was also cellist of the Boston Trio, a frequent guest with the Boston Chamber Music Society, and a longtime member of the Lark Quartet, with whom she earned the Naumburg Chamber Music Award, appeared at Carnegie Hall, Lockenhaus, the Schleswig-Holstein Festival, and other prestigious venues. Additional recordings appear on the Arabesque, Decca/Argo, New World, CRI, and Point labels. She is represented by Thomas Gallant of General Arts Touring.

A Full Schedule of Events for Violinists

Lots of exciting news regarding the 2020 Conference to report. First of all, we are thrilled that Almita Vamos will be the clinician for the Violin Masterclasses. Mrs. Vamos is a graduate of the Julliard School of Music where she studied with Mischa Mischakoff and Louis Persinger. Presently, she teaches at the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and the Music Institute of Chicago where she is the co-recipient of the Rachel Barton Pine Violin Chair. In 2018 she and her husband Roland Vamos received the ASTA Award for Distinguished Teaching. This summer she will teach at the Chautauqua Institution and the Aspen Music Festival and School. Her students have won top prizes in nearly all of the major national and international competitions including Tchaikovsky, Carl Flesch, Menuhin, Bach (Leipzig), Szigeti, Kreisler, Neilsen, Paganini, Montreal, among others. She won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching six times, ASTA Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, the Ars Viva Award for Excellence, and she has been featured on “Sunday Morning” CBS.

The 2020 Violin Performing Ensemble will be led by Thomas Wermuth. Mr. Wermuth has been teaching at the Western Springs School of Talent Education for 31 years. He is the Artistic Director of the Chicago Consort, an advanced violin performance group that has made twelve international tours. Mr. Wermuth’s arrangements of classical and popular pieces are performed around the world. He studied at the Juilliard School and was a student of Dorothy Delay; he is also a graduate of the Barbara Brennan School of Healing.

There will be several sessions devoted to violin group classes ideas, including a reading session of contemporary pieces written specifically for the 2020 Conference. Teachers will have many opportunities to play, so plan to bring your instrument.

Overall, there will be a wide variety of topics covered during the 2020 Conference, so get the dates in your calendar.     —Nancy Jackson, Violin Coordinator and Mark Mutter, Assistant Violin Coordinator

Almita Vamos, Featured Violin Clinician

Almita Vamos

Almita Vamos

Almita Vamosis graduate of the Juilliard School of Music where she studied with Mischa Mischakoff and Louis Persinger. She was the winner of the Young Concert Artist Guild auditions and the Juilliard Orchestra and Chautauqua Symphony Orchestra Concerto Competitions, and was chosen appear on the prestigious NYC Kaufman Auditorium Series. Her students have won top prizes in nearly all of the major national and international competitions including Tchaikovsky, Carl Flesch, Menuhin, Bach (Leipzig), Szigeti, Kreisler, Neilsen, Paganini, Montreal, among many others. Many of her former students are members of major orchestras including Israel, New York, Philadelphia, Boston, and Berlin, amongst many others. She won the Presidential Award for Excellence in Teaching six times, ASTA Distinguished Teacher of the Year Award, Ars Viva Award for Excellence, and has been featured on “Sunday Morning” CBS. Previously, she taught at the Oberlin Conservatory and at Northwestern University. Presently, she teaches at the College of Performing Arts at Roosevelt University and the Music Institute of Chicago where she is the co-recipient of the Rachel Barton Pine Violin Chair. In 2018 she and her husband received the ASTA Award for Distinguished Teaching and this summer she will teach at the Chautauqua Institution and the Aspen Music Festival and School.

Exciting Viola Plans!

The SAA Conference 2020 will bring exciting activities for viola teachers and students alike! Back by popular demand, the Viola Ensemble will be led by Alyssa Hardie Beckmann. This is an exciting opportunity for students to meet new friends and perform in an all-viola group. Teachers are also encouraged to participate in rehearsals and the performance, so bring your violas!

We are thrilled to have Rebecca Albers, Principal Viola of the Minnesota Symphony Orchestra, as our clinician for advanced master classes. Ms. Albers grew up as a Suzuki student before continuing her studies at the Juilliard School. She is now a studio instructor at Macalester College in Saint Paul, a Distinguished Artist Faculty member at Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in Macon, George, and recently served on faculty at the Bowdoin International Music Festival. You can read more about her in the clinician bios. We look forward to her insights and expertise!

This year we will also offer master classes for students in the middle-level books. Daniel Gee Cordova will be the clinician for these classes – Mr. Gee Cordova directs the Austin Suzuki Music School and the Greater Austin Suzuki Institute. He is a frequent guest clinician at workshops, conferences and institutes across the country.

What can you do to help?

  1. Volunteer to help—There are always lots of uses for helping hands at the Conference, whether introducing sessions, helping coordinate the Viola Ensemble, etc.

  2. Make suggestions—We welcome viola related ideas, such as fun repertoire ideas for the Viola Ensemble.

  3. Encourage your students to submit audition videos for the Student Events: masterclasses, Viola Ensemble, and orchestras. A bigger number of viola participants will make the experience more enjoyable for all students!

Contact us: April Losey [javascript protected email address] or Rafael Videira [javascript protected email address] with your thoughts. —April Losey, Viola Coordinator and Rafael Videira, Viola Assistant Coordinator

Rebecca Albers, Viola Clinician

Rebecca Albers

Rebecca Albers

Rebecca Albers joined the Minnesota Orchestra as assistant principal viola in 2010 and won the position of principal viola in 2017. She has performed throughout the United States, Asia and Europe, making her New York debut at Lincoln Center, performing the New York premiere of Samuel Adler’s Viola Concerto with the Juilliard Orchestra. An avid chamber musician, she performs often at such festivals as the Marlboro Music Festival, Seattle Chamber Music Society Summer and Winter Festivals, and Rome Chamber Music Festival.

Albers is a member of Accordo, a Twin Cities-based chamber ensemble whose members are present and former principal players from the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra and the Minnesota Orchestra. She has toured extensively with Musicians from Marlboro and with the Albers Trio, an ensemble formed with her sisters Laura and Julie Albers, and has been featured on many of the Orchestra’s chamber concerts, performing music by Schumann, Beethoven, Dvořák and Schubert.

She is currently a studio instructor at Macalester College in Saint Paul and a Distinguished Artist faculty member at Mercer University’s Robert McDuffie Center for Strings in Macon, Georgia. She has also recently served on the faculty of the Bowdoin International Music Festival.

Originally from Longmont, Colorado, Albers grew up playing violin and harp, picking up the viola at age nine for an ensemble her mother, a Suzuki teacher, was putting together. Her sister Julie Albers and wife Maiya Papach are, respectively, the principal cellist and principal violist of the Saint Paul Chamber Orchestra. Albers received her bachelor’s and master’s degrees from the Juilliard School, where she studied with Heidi Castleman and Hsin-Yun Huang. Her childhood teachers were James Maurer and Ellie Albers LeRoux.

Pianos at the 2020 Conference

We are excited to announce the opportunities for Suzuki Piano teachers and students at the 2020 conference! Our featured piano clinician is Dr. Paul Wirth from Minnesota. Dr. Wirth is a legend in the Twin Cities teaching community. He will be coaching our upper level masterclasses and giving two pedagogical lectures. In addition, he will be coaching the students involved with our student piano ensemble, the Bach 3-Piano Concerto in D Minor, BWV 1063.

There will also be sessions in Pre-Twinkles and Twinkles as well as master class opportunities for all levels. We plan to give you demonstrations and discussions of the finest teaching at every level, which we find inspires us to return to our home studios refreshed and excited to polish our teaching skills.

Participants will be inspired by multiple sessions on piano pedagogy, presented by our experienced mentors as well and introducing some new faces, as well.

Pianists, please plan to join us at the 2020 conference!

—Naomi Kusano and Sara Stephens Kotrba, 2020 Conference Piano Coordinators

Guest Piano Clinician, Paul Wirth

Paul Wirth

Paul Wirth

Dr. Paul Wirth is a prominent figure in our national piano teaching community. With his Bachelor of Music in Piano Performance from Temple University, and his Master and Doctorate degrees in Piano Performance from Indiana University, he co-founded and is now the Artistic Director Emeritus of the Wirth Center for the Performing Arts in St. Cloud, MN, a bustling performing arts center with 400 students taught by a faculty of twenty. Since 2015, he has also been on the faculty of the University of Northwestern, MN as Artist in Residence. Chosen as the 2004-05 Teacher of the Year by Thursday Musical, Wirth has taught numerous first prize-winning students of regional, national and international competitions, with thirty-seven of his pre-college students having performed over eighty solo performances with orchestra, including appearances with the Minnesota and Saint Paul Chamber Orchestras.

In addition to his presentations at conventions and conferences, Dr. Wirth’s GRAVI-DVD, a cutting edge DVD on teaching piano technique to children, is available on Youtube, with the Gravi-DVD II now in production. His masterclasses, most recently for the Northern Ohio Music Teachers Association and the Minnesota Music Teachers Association 2019 Convention are always well received, and his presentations, drawing upon 38 years as a pre-college specialist teaching advanced concepts to 4 -18 year olds, often elicit further engagements.

Wirth is also an avid supporter of young performers, having co-founded the Salon se Lève concert series in Minneapolis and the internationally recognized Young Artist World Piano Festival, summers in Minnesota. Dr. Wirth maintains studios in four locations: the Wirth Center for the Performing Arts in St. Cloud, MN, Schmitt Music Center in Brooklyn Center, MN, the University of Northwestern MN, and at his home in St. Joseph, MN, where he lives with his wife and greatest support, Kathy Wirth.

Flutists Announce Exciting Conference Plans

We are proud to announce our flute master clinician and performer for the 2020 SAA Conference will be Lorna McGhee, principal flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony and recording artist for the revised Suzuki Flute Book One CD. She is a consummate performer and inspiring teacher. In her own words, Ms. McGhee “tries to awaken the student’s own curiosity, enthusiasm, discernment, and artistry. I encourage a love, and reverence for the music.”

Elizabeth Shuhan, flute co-coordinator for the conference, experienced this first-hand. In the summer of 2013, Liz spent a week under Lorna McGhee’s incomparable tutelage at the Pender Island Flute Retreat. In Liz’s words, “sShe approached me with the most authentic kindness I had ever experienced from a professional, helping me to find a natural connection to my music … she believes in educating the whole person, the human, the musician. Isn’t that what we do as Suzuki teachers?” At the conference, Lorna McGhee will teach a masterclass for advanced students, give a lecture-recital, and hold a special session for teachers. She will inspire you and your students beyond measure. It will be treat to experience her teaching, playing and her beautiful kindness.

In addition to the McGhee advanced masterclass, student flutists Book Three and above have an opportunity to participate in the Flute Performing Ensembles, and also play in a masterclass with Bart Feller, principal flute of the New Jersey Symphony, Santa Fe Opera, and New York City Opera.

Additional sessions on flute playing, pedagogy (flute-specific as well as general), group classes, and more will be provided by YOU—our flutist friends and colleagues. We look forward to hearing your ideas and sharing unique perspectives over the course of the conference weekend.

Don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions or ideas you may have and we hope to see you all there!             —Wendy Stern and Elizabeth Shuhan, Flute Co-coordinators

Flute Guest Clinician, Lorna McGhee

Lorna McGhee

Lorna McGhee

Scottish-born Lorna McGhee was appointed principal flute of the Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in 2012 and joined the flute faculty of Carnegie Mellon University in the Fall of 2015.She has performed as guest principal with Chicago Symphony, Minnesota Orchestra, London Symphony, London Philharmonic, Academy of St-Martin-in-the-Fields, and the Chamber Orchestra of Europe. As a soloist, she has given concerto performances with the London Symphony Orchestra, Scottish Chamber Orchestra, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra in the UK; Manitoba Chamber Orchestra, Toronto Philharmonia, and Victoria Symphony in Canada; and the Nashville Chamber Orchestra, Oregon Bach Festival Orchestra, San Luis Obispo Symphony, and Pittsburgh Symphony Orchestra in the USA.

In a review of her recent performance of the Nielsen Concerto with the Pittsburgh Symphony, The Pittsburgh Tribune wrote, “Her range of colors was astonishing, not only golden and silvery, but ranging from cool to edgy to filled with human warmth.” **

In addition to actively performing, she teaches at several summer flute classes including the Pender Island Flute Retreat and the William Bennett International Summer School. A dedicated teacher, Lorna’s goals are to awaken the student’s own curiosity, enthusiasm, discernment, and artistry, and she encourages a love and reverence for the music. Lorna is an Artist with Altus Flutes.

Conference Plans for Guitar

The two-year cycle is coming around again, and 2020 is the year for the 19th SAA conference in Minneapolis. For guitarists, we have lined up a return appearance of the inimitable Benjamin Verdery, the guitarist/composer/educator extraordinaire! Ben found out about the Suzuki method when his own children were growing up and studying music the Suzuki way. He has kept in contact with the Suzuki community ever since and serves as a member of the SAA Honorary Board. Ben will give master classes for Suzuki Guitar students, and he will share his music and valuable insights for teachers and students in a lecture recital.

Members of the SAA Guitar Development Committee will be in attendance and will host a panel discussion on the soon to be completed Suzuki Guitar School Volume 1 revision. The rationale behind the changes and ideas for how they can improve our teaching of Book One will be the focus of this session.

We are in the process of finding and organizing ensemble music for students to perform. Students will be selected for masterclasses and ensemble from auditions submitted to the SAA.
The SAA has issued a call for session proposals. All of us who attend these conferences count on our friends and colleagues to share their discoveries and their accumulated wisdom in the presentations that make up the core of this biennial celebration. We know our community will provide informative, insightful, and relevant sessions that will send each of us home from the conference full of ideas and inspiration! —Seth Himmelhoch, Guitar Coordinator and Andrea Cannon, Assistant Coordinator

Guitar Guest Clinician, Benjamin Verdery

Benjamin Verdery

Benjamin Verdery

Described as “iconoclastic” and “inventive” by the New York Times, guitarist Benjamin Verdery enjoys an innovative and eclectic musical career. Verdery has given concerts at the International Guitar Festival (Singapore), the Festival International de Agosto (Caracas), the Schubert Festival (Germany), the Chamber Music Society of Lincoln Center, the Metropolitan Opera, and elsewhere.

Among the composers who have written works for him are Ingram Marshall, Jack Vees, Martin Bresnick, Ezra Laderman, Christopher Theofanidis, and Roberto Sierra. Verdery’s own works have been performed by such artists as John Williams, Sergio and Odair Assad, David Russell, and the Los Angeles Guitar Quartet.

As a recording artist, Verdery has released more than fifteen albums, all available on Amazon. His recording Start Now (Mushkatweek) won the 2005 Classical Recording Foundation Award.

Highlights of 2018 include the world premieres of Searching for a Chorale by Benjamin’s mentor Seymour Bernstein (published by Doberman-Yppan) and Quintet for High Strings by Bryce Dessner for guitar and string quartet performed with the St. Lawrence String Quartet at Kaufmann Hall (92Y) in New York. In June 2018 the book Benjamin Verdery: A Montage of a Classical Guitarist was published by Hamilton Books (edited by Thomas Donahue).

Ben is in his 34th year as guitar professor at the Yale School of Music, his 12th year as Artistic Director of 92Y’s Art of the Guitar series and 2019 will be the 20th year of his Maui Summer Master Class. Ben is also now the Artistic Director of the Connecticut Guitar Festival.

Benjamin Verdery uses D’Addario strings and guitars by Garrett Lee and Otto Vowinkel and Greg Smallman. He is is represented by GAMI/Simonds.

Harp at the 2020 Conference

We are enthusiastic about the Harp Concert by Artist Elizabeth White Clark and the courses she is teaching. Having graduated from Curtis Institute of Music, she performed several years with the Philadelphia Orchestra with Elizabeth Hainen. Elizabeth Clark grew up in the Suzuki training and is well-versed with the Suzuki literature and supplementary literature. While at Curtis, she was an advocate for contemporary music for the harp and organized a composer competition, helped judge, and played the winning harp pieces. She is also well versed in the problems encountered with composers writing for the harp, and this will be one of her topics.

Gerald Elias

Gerald Elias

Gerald Elias, violin, will join Elizabeth in a reading of his children’s book: Maestro: The Pot-bellied Pig as Elizabeth plays excerpts from some of the harp’s most famous literature.

There are classes for teachers of all instruments on “The Good, The Bad, The Ugly” around using the cell phone in lessons and practice by Maren Laurence, “Take Off the Training Wheels” as a panel on the parent’s role with students in four different age groups: 2-5, 5-8, 8-12, 12-18.

The Harp class topics will be taught by Anamae Anderson on the Importance of Group lessons, Quick and Easy Arranging and preparing a Gig book. There will be a jam session including all registered harp teachers who have arrangements that have worked in their studios. Maren and Elizabeth will discuss how to use Suzuki literature to support the language of theory. In addition we will be able to watch private lessons with students from Books 1-3 and Books 4-6.

There are exciting things in the works that will help all of us refresh what we know and hear things new to us. Come and join in the fun!

—ShruDeLi Ownbey, Harp Coordinator and Maren Laurence, Assistant Harp Coordinator

Harp Guest Clinician, Elizabeth White Clark

Elizabeth White Clark

Elizabeth White Clark

A native of Salt Lake City, Utah, Harpist Elizabeth White Clark is a graduate of Curtis Institute of Music where she studied under the direction of Elizabeth Hainen and Judy Loman.She enjoys performing a large variety of solo, chamber, and orchestral works. Recent venues of performance include: Carnegie Hall, The Kimmel Center, Field Concert Hall, The Concertgebouw, and Musikverein. Since returning to Salt Lake City, Elizabeth has performed with chamber groups such as Sinfonia Salt Lake and on the Intermezzo Concert Series. She also appears with the Utah Symphony as a substitute. Elizabeth performed as a regular substitute harpist for the Philadelphia Orchestra’s 2014-2016 seasons during which time she played second harp on the orchestra’s three week European tour.

In 2011, after winning first place in their nationally acclaimed harp competition, Elizabeth was named the American Harp Society’s resident “Concert Artist,” and spent two years traveling the country giving solo recitals and masterclasses to aspiring young harpists. Over the course of those two years Elizabeth’s love for teaching grew, and along with her performing schedule. She now teaches as an adjunct faculty member at Brigham Young University, maintains her own private studio as a Suzuki certified teacher as well as gives regular lessons to harpists preparing for competitions and college auditions. Elizabeth promotes new music written for the harp as Director of the Lyra Society’s Costello Competition for Composition which is now in its fifth year.

SAA 19th Biennial Conference: Recorder

Recorder Teachers have a new opportunity to meet together and share about the exciting work being done throughout the Americas—for the Recorder! The 19th Biennial Suzuki Association of the Americas (SAA) Conference, Learning Suzuki-Style, will take place in Minneapolis, MN, May 21-25, 2020, and we look forward to seeing you there.

We are offering many opportunities to show high level performances, to collaborate with other instruments, and to share pedagogy ideas. In doing do, we will strengthen the SAA Recorder community, and at the same time attract others to join us in this rich environment for learning.

Paul Leenhouts, our internationally acclaimed Recorder Clinician, will offer masterclasses and also chamber music sessions, both for the Recorder Consort and for a Baroque Ensemble with strings and recorder soloists which is being planned for the Conference.

Recorder students of all ability levels will have the opportunity to rehearse and perform together with a unique selection of Suzuki areas such as Voice, Trumpet, Bass, and Organ.

Following the SAA Conference guidelines for practical sessions, we are planning ensemble-playing opportunities for Recorder teachers, and we invite you to propose other interactive Recorder-related Sessions, sharing your wisdom and approaches in teaching, learning, and relevant insights.

The SAA 19th Biennial Conference promises to be an inspiring and life-changing experience for all who participate. If you have any questions or concerns, please feel free to contact the Recorder Coordinators. We are here for you!    —Gustavo de Francisco, David Dunn

Recorder Guest Clinician, Paul Leenhouts

Paul Leenhouts

Paul Leenhouts

Paul Leenhouts is director of Early Music Studies and the Baroque Orchestra at the University of North Texas. He holds a Soloist Diploma from the Sweelinck Conservatory in Amsterdam, where he was on the faculty as professor for recorder and historical development from 1993 to 2010. A founding member of the Amsterdam Loeki Stardust Quartet from 1978 and from 2002 director of the contemporary music collective Blue Iguana, he is also composer, arranger and editor of numerous works for various chamber music ensembles. Mr. Leenhouts has recorded for Decca L’Oiseau-Lyre, Channel Classics, Vanguard, Lindoro and Berlin Classics. Two L’Oiseau-Lyre recordings received the prestigious Edison Award.

In 1986, he initiated the Open Holland Recorder Festival Utrecht and from 1993 he has been director of the International Baroque Institute at Longy in Cambridge, Massachusetts. His special interest in renaissance consort repertoire led to the founding of The Royal Wind Music in 1997. In 2004 Mr. Leenhouts was elected president of the European Recorder Performers Society. As well as performing numerous concerts and coaching masterclasses within the early music field, he also regularly performs with contemporary and music theatre groups such as Musikfabrik, Nederlands Vocaal Laboratorium, ZT Hollandia and NT Gent. Mr. Leenhouts has given master classes, clinics and lectures at more than 200 conservatories and universities around the world. For his international activities as a musician, conductor and organizer, he received a UN Life-time Achievement Award in Hsin-Chu City, Taiwan in October 2017.

Encourage Your Voice Teacher Friends to Join Us!

In the spirit of our conference theme Learning Suzuki Style, we are aiming for an inclusive, inter-cultural, and multi-lingual conference experience for all Suzuki Voice attendees: students, families, teachers. We will also be reaching across instruments to fulfill the Suzuki dream of communicating to each other through the international medium of music—and we will be sharing our mutual Suzuki repertoire to do it! There is no audition or age requirement for our Vocal Ensemble activities; Suzuki Voice students from all levels and all ages are encouraged to participate.

Our 2020 Conference highlights are coming together to provide students a growth experience like no other. Highlights will include group workshops, student master classes, an open invitation to all attending Suzuki Voice teachers to join in team-teaching activities, some parent-inclusive activities as part of our group lessons, and a performance including all voice student participants regardless of age and level. As part of our special event, 2020 Vision: Suzuki Emerging Instruments Collaboration, Suzuki Voice will be rehearsing and performing with students from the Recorder, Bass, Organ and Trumpet Schools (and more!) to produce a truly wonderful and exciting program for all.

We will also include presenteers on topics specifically related to Singing, parental involvement related to Suzuki Voice study, the Voice, and Vocal Pedagogy. Conference presentations are normally allowed a 50-minute time frame. Any interested ‘Presenter’ should contact Amelia Seyssel or Mary Hofer for more details or suggestions. We will walk you through the SAA administrative process (if it is new to you) and will make sure the rest of the Suzuki Voice community is made aware of your event.

—Amelia Seyssel and Mary Hofer, Voice Co-Coordinators

Masterclasses with Pre-formed Chamber Groups

Cellist Yumi Kendall will conduct masterclasses for chamber music ensembles selected to play at the conference. Ms. Kendall is the Assistant Principal Cellist of the Philadelphia Orchestra and has performed as a chamber musician at Music from Angel Fire, Marlboro, Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Smithsonian’s 21st Century Consort, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. We are thrilled to have Ms. Kendall work with chamber ensembles in special master class events which will feature a wide variety of chamber ensembles. Ms. Kendall, a proud Suzuki alumnus founded the Suzuki Alumni Project in 2016, as a way for those who grew up with the Suzuki approach to celebrate Suzuki education and express gratitude to the movement’s teachers all over the globe for believing in their students’ potential, and that of all children. We invite all chamber groups that meet the requirements to submit an audition for this exciting opportunity to work with Ms. Kendall.

Yumi Kendall

Yumi Kendall

Yumi Kendall

Image by Yumi Kendall

Yumi Kendall joined The Philadelphia Orchestra in September 2004 as Assistant Principal Cellist, immediately following graduation from the Curtis Institute of Music, where she studied with David Soyer and Peter Wiley. She began studying cello at the age of five following the Suzuki approach; at age 16, while studying with David Hardy, Ms. Kendall made her solo debut at the Kennedy Center with the National Symphony Orchestra.

Ms. Kendall’s festival and chamber music activities include Music from Angel Fire, Marlboro, Kingston Chamber Music Festival, the East Coast Chamber Orchestra, the Smithsonian’s 21st Century Consort, and the Philadelphia Chamber Music Society. She has appeared as guest principal cellist for the Toronto and Baltimore symphony orchestras, the St. Paul Chamber Orchestra, and the Hyogo Performing Arts Center Orchestra in Japan. In addition to maintaining a private teaching studio, Ms. Kendall has regularly served on the faculties of the National Orchestral Institute and New York State School for Orchestral Studies, as well as Brevard Music Center and Miami Summer Music Festival.

Beyond orchestral, chamber, and solo performing and teaching, Ms. Kendall serves on the board of Astral Artists and the Greater Philadelphia Suzuki Association. In 2017, she graduated from the University of Pennsylvania with a Masters of Applied Positive Psychology (MAPP) to further her off-stage growth and organizational studies. Since then, Ms. Kendall has appeared as a guest presenter and facilitator for a Board retreat of the Suzuki Association of the Americas; the Radnor-based management consulting firm CRA, Inc.; as a keynote speaker at the 2019 inaugural Suzuki Convention of the Americas in Mexico attended by representatives from 27 countries; and for Jefferson Hospital medical students in their Music and Medicine seminar. Ms. Kendall’s interest in organizational psychology and development stems from her belief in classical music’s powerful role in human flourishing, and the importance of cultivating healthy organizations as pathways to serve the arts and public community.

Ms. Kendall was the 2013 recipient of The Philadelphia Orchestra’s Kuhn Award, given annually to “the member of the Philadelphia Orchestra who has shown ability and enterprise of such character as to enhance the standards and reputation of The Philadelphia Orchestra”. A proud Suzuki alumnus, Ms. Kendall founded The Suzuki Alumni Project ( in 2016, as a way for those who grew up with the Suzuki approach to celebrate Suzuki education and express gratitude to the movement’s teachers all over the globe for believing in their students’ potential, and that of all children.

Plans for the Suzuki Early Childhood Area

SECE is so excited to see wonderful session proposals in the works that will be geared toward ALL SAA teachers. The focus of the sessions will be geared to teachers with no SECE training who would like to find out more about SECE as well as toward those teachers who have earlier stages of SECE training, AND those with later stages of SECE training. There will be time to catch up with old and new friends at our SECE Meet and Greet session, and we are looking forward to the SECEdemonstration classes at the conference for babies and toddlers ages 0-3 and their parents!

We can’t wait to see everyone inMinneapolis! Don’t forget your SECE superpower t-shirts and we will have new ones available too if you need another one or don’t have one yet.    

—Flori Muller, SECE Coordinator

International Research Symposium on Talent Education

2020 IRSTE Overview

The International Research Symposium on Talent Education (IRSTE) welcomes all Suzuki teachers, parents, researchers, and interested attendees to join us in May 2020. IRSTE will discuss the newest research findings that apply to Suzuki teaching and learning. In 2018 we had a record number of teachers and researchers join us for our themed sessions related to parent education and research.

This coming year will be the 30th year of the Research Symposium and we hope to continue the trend. Parent Education will again be the feature topic of the Symposium. We are very please to welcome back keynote speaker Dr. Beatriz Illari.

Also in the works are opportunities for teachers to “practice” being researchers! Watch for more information about how you can be involved. In the meantime, we ask you to think about questions you have related to your own studio, students, or programming. If you would like data upon which to base your answer, please join us in May 2020!

The Symposium will begin on Thursday, May 21 and continue the following day. Attendees will be able to attend sessions for the main SAA conference in addition to our dedicated Symposium presentations. Any questions can be directed to [javascript protected email address].

Looking forward to seeing you for the 30th anniversary of IRSTE!      —Pat D’Ercole, Conference IRSTE Liaison

IRSTE/SAA Conference Keynote:

Does Participation in Formal Music Education Programs Enhance Children’s Prosocial Skills? By Dr. Beatriz Ilari

Beatriz Ilari

Beatriz Ilari PhD

Beatriz Ilari, Ph.D., is Associate Professor of Music Education at the USC Thornton School of Music. She holds an Arts Licentiate Degree in Music from the University of São Paulo, a master’s degree in violin performance from Montclair State University, and a PhD in music education from McGill University. Before joining USC, she was Associate Professor of Music Education at the Federal University of Paraná in Brazil (2003-2010), where she created and directed a large early childhood university outreach music program. Using both quantitative and qualitative approaches, she has conducted extensive research with infants, preschoolers and school-aged children and their families, to examine the intersections between music, child development, cognition and culture. She is a member of the Advancing Interdisciplinary Research in Singing (AIRS) research team and a research fellow at USC’s Brain & Creativity Institute. Her research has been published in important journals including Research Studies in Music Education, Early Child Development and Care, Journal of Cross-Cultural Psychology, Journal of Research in Music Education, and Frontiers in Psychology. She has also published several books, including Children’s home musical experiences across the world (Indiana University Press, 2016), and is currently the editor for Perspectives: Journal of the Early Childhood Music & Movement Association.

Keynote Presentation

Title TBD—Hendricks

Hendricks Headshot

Karin Hendricks

Karin Hendricks is Associate Professor of Music Education and Chair of Music Education at Boston University. She serves regularly as an instrumental music clinician, adjudicator, and workshop presenter throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Hendricks has served in state, national, and international music education leadership positions, including as national secretary and research committee chair for the American String Teachers Association. Her research interests include music psychology, motivation, and social justice in music learning settings, with a particular focus on positive student-teacher relationships. Dr. Hendricks has published dozens of papers in prestigious research journals and edited books, and makes a particular effort to present research findings to music teachers in meaningful and approachable ways. She was the 2018 recipient of the American String Teachers Association “Emergent String Researcher” Award. Before moving to the collegiate level, Karin enjoyed a successful public school orchestra career for 13 years, where she won local, state, and national awards for her teaching. Dr. Hendricks has published four books, including Compassionate Music Teaching: A Framework for Motivation and Engagement in the 21st Century.