studying Suzuki long distance

Cathryn Gunn said: Nov 1, 2012
Cathryn Gunn
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Nanaimo, BC
3 posts

I have done the ECC course and am now hoping to progress to the Book courses in Suzuki piano. However, no teacher training is available anywhere near me. Although two Suzuki piano teachers are working here in my town, they are not teacher trainers. I need some advice as to the best course of action in order to progress through this training without spending thousands of dollars to fly somewhere else and do a crash course, as I do not learn well that way and I don’t think it will benefit my future students to have a teacher who has trained that way.

Lori Bolt said: Nov 2, 2012
Lori Bolt
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
San Clemente, CA
226 posts

I would ask the two local teachers for advice (you probably have already) and set up some observation in their studios as a follow up to ECC. If there is a Suzuki Music Assoc. of CA chapter in your area, join it for support and information on any Workshops they may offer or know about. I know Sacramento is a long drive from you, but there is a Suzuki Piano Basics group which offers a Workshop there….you can probably google it. I highly recommend it, though it is not for SAA credit. It would give you a great start!

I wonder if any Teacher Trainers offer Book courses by Skype? I also hope for courses that are more affordable and don’t involve a whole week straight away from home.

Lori Bolt

Cathryn Gunn said: Nov 2, 2012
Cathryn Gunn
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Nanaimo, BC
3 posts

Lori: Thanks for your comment. I take it from your comment that my profile says I still live in California. In fact I live on Vancouver Island in Canada. So yes, Sacramento is a loooooonggg drive! I will have to change my profile.

I have wondered about Skype too. My son studies Suzuki Bk IV violin via Skype and it works out very well.

I guess I was just wondering if the training has to be done with a teacher trainer. The lack of Suzuki instruction in this part of the world is difficult to accept and I would love to do something about it.

Merietta Oviatt said: Nov 2, 2012
Merietta Oviatt
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki in the Schools, Cello, Viola
Stevens Point, WI
104 posts

In order to have the training registered with the SAA it has to be done with a teacher trainer. If you are not looking to register your training I believe that Lori is correct—you should observe the other teacher’s in town. Unfortunately there are only a few options for registered training:

1- summer institutes—I’ve done most of my training this way. I save my money all year and try to find training in a location where I have friends or family so that I can stay with them and save a bunch of money! There are also scholarships available through the SAA and the individual institutes that can help with the registration fees. I’ve also arranged to share a room or stay with other Suzuki people via this forum.

2- Long term training—there are universities that offer pedagogy courses and degrees. Many of these have teacher trainers or provide teacher trainers to have your training registered. I know Hart School and New Mexico have great programs—you can look them up online to get more information.

3- Contact a trainer and do it at their location—there are many trainers who, if they have enough people interested or if you are willing to pay, will have training opportunities at their homes. I have been able to stay at a trainer’s home with a group of people and within a week we all had a book registered and it wasn’t as expensive as an institute.

That’s about it. I know many won’t do Skype because training requires watching many students, and close observation of technique, not always easy with skype. It wouldn’t hurt to contact various trainers and see if they would train you in that way.

I hope this helps! Sorry it doesn’t really solve your problem…it’s really expensive, but if you plan and save your money—and try to get some help from others—you can get training.

Dr. Merietta Oviatt
Suzuki Specialist
Viola/Violin Instructor
Aber Suzuki Center, University of Wisconsin, Stevens Point
www.uwsp.edu/suzuki
www.merietta.com
[javascript protected email address]

Cathy Hargrave said: Nov 3, 2012
Cathy HargraveTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Rowlett, TX
50 posts

Unfortunately, there are only 3 universities I know of w/ long-term training in Suzuki Piano. 2 have it in their catalogues or listed as a degree program but they do not exist. One of those 2 offered it but the people who taught it were not SAA trainers; therefore, you ended up with a Master’s in Suzuki Pedagogy that was not acceptable to SAA which is our governing association. Not very smart or responsible on the university’s part.

As you do seek training, keep in mind that this is not another method like those you go to a music store and buy. It is a completely different mindset and approach to learning at a young age and in a natural way. Over the years, that has become almost like a “talking point”, and we easily slip back into our non-Suzuki ways. Knowing how to play the piano well, is only the beginning for teachers. We have to understand how the repertoire is set up, when to teach the fundamentals to the students, how to refine them on more advanced levels as they progress, and how to get the parents to understand, do, and follow through with your assignments.

The third way Marietta mentioned is becoming a very good option. I think it is ideal because you see a teacher trainer working with their own students who study what s/he teaches every week instead of working with students who may or may not. Depending on the way the trainer sets it up, you also have the chance to see a trainer giving full-length, real lessons as opposed to shortened institute master classes.

Also, build the cost of attending training into your students’ tuition so you can always get continuing education at least once a year. We do it for their benefit and it is a business expense.

Cathy Hargrave
http://rowlettsuzukipiano.com

Cathryn Gunn said: Nov 3, 2012
Cathryn Gunn
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Nanaimo, BC
3 posts

Cathy:

Thanks for your comment. Believe me, I know the difference between a Suzuki teacher and one who claims to be a Suzuki teacher because s/he has attended the training, but who does not really teach the Suzuki way. My son is a Suzuki violin student with ADD for whom only the Suzuki method really works. I have spent 9 of his 12 years of life either working with him and a true Suzuki teacher, or struggling to get him a a true Suzuki teacher due to various circumstances and moves on our part. This whole journey is partly why I want to seek training.

Marietta:
I love the comprehensive way you lay it all out for me. Thank you so much.

I am almost 50 years old, not a young thing straight out of school, and I am totally sold on the philosophy, method, and community that goes with the Suzuki method. I am grateful for this thread and the contributions you all are making to my thinking and decision-making.

Cathryn

Barb said: Nov 3, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

Hi Cathryn,

Join the discussion on the Canada forum—this very issue is discussed there!

You raise a very good point in the “crash course” aspect. I know for cello book 1, there was a lot in that course, and also due to distance I have considered doing books 2 and 3 together to save on travel costs—also depending on if I can carpool to a closer institute as I did last summer. If there could be some longer term aspects done as distance learning it would be nice.

You might need to be willing to wait until Langley offers Piano book 1 again—that would be closest to you. You might contact them and see if they have an idea when that might be.

Before I took ECC and book 1 I spent a few years doing a lot of reading, hanging out with the many helpful folks here (and reading their blogs), watching online videos here (Parents as Partners in the winter, and available right now, Mini-Online Conference). All helpful.

There are scholarships which may help with training/travel costs, too. I found that some institutes have more affordable housing than others.

Best wishes!

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

Cathy Hargrave said: Nov 4, 2012
Cathy HargraveTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Rowlett, TX
50 posts

Barb,
I don’t think I know about the Canada Forum. What is that?
Cathy

Barb said: Nov 4, 2012
Barb Ennis
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
678 posts

If you go to the main Discussion pageDiscussion page, “Canada” is one of the forums here.

Barb
Music Teachers Helper—for individual teachers
Studio Helper—for entire music studios or schools

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