Masters in Suzuki Pedagogy

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Vasuhi Klinker said: Feb 24, 2015
Vasuhi Klinker
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
12 posts

Just wondering does anyone know if getting a Master’s in Suzuki Pedagogy is more beneficial than getting our Units in the Suzuki books certified. Or would one need to still complete the Units?

Danielle Gomez Kravitz said: Feb 24, 2015
Danielle Gomez Kravitz
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
59 posts

I’ve known people who have done the Master’s in Suzuki route. The pedagogy programs do take you through all the registered training (I’m almost positive). And I think it really just depends on what your goals are.

The way I see it is that getting a Master’s (in any subject) is very time and expense consuming. But the end result is that you end up looking a little more credible in your field to your colleagues.

The people I know who got the Master’s in Suzuki ended up working in more established Suzuki schools that can offer teachers salaried positions and whatnot. So if this is something that you really want to do, going the extra mile in your studies might be worth it.

If your goal is to set up a private studio then I think either route would allow you accomplish the same thing. The thing is that you wouldn’t necessarily be making any more money with a Master’s. If you are a new teacher with no teaching experience, families are not going to understand your demand for a higher rate of pay.

When out in “the field” experience is more valued. A teacher that has been teaching for 15 years with no Master’s but produces solid musicians and has a waiting list could certainly charge more than a new teacher with a host of diplomas. A Master’s does not necessarily make you more credible to your clients.

Long story short, both have pros and cons. I think the real difference between the two routes is just what types of work environments are available to you. But in the end it all evens out. If one of the more established schools I mentioned before was in the market for a new teacher, I doubt they would immediately turn down an applicant with 30 years of teaching experience through all 10 books just because he/she does not have a Master’s.

Emily Morgan said: Feb 28, 2015
Emily Morgan
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
Wilmington, NC
14 posts

I got my Masters and did long term training simultaneously, and my professor at the university was also my Suzuki teacher trainer. I think I got equal benefit from getting a masters and Suzuki training. Being in graduate school was a ton of work, but it definitely was worth it because I was able to both get a well rounded perspective on music and focus more exclusively on my instrument. Does that make sense? Most of my courses were focused specifically on piano pedagogy, but everyone getting a masters of music had to take a few general courses, so you get the benefit of studying music issues on a macrocosmic and microcosmic level.

I knew that Suzuki training was what I wanted to focus on going into the program, so that was where I focused my efforts, but I could have done focused more on collaborative work or theory or music history if I had been so inclined.

I think getting a masters is very beneficial, but it does take a huge amount of time and effort. I hope this helped!

Heather Figi said: Apr 17, 2015
Heather FigiViolin
Eugene, OR
97 posts

Great question and in my opinion I agree with Danielle that all higher education these days needs to be thought of in context with the rising cost of tuition and the capacity to earn a salary afterwards which will make this worth the investment. Unless I am mistaken, there is no difference from doing the training unit by unit or a masters program.

I personally have a masters in Suzuki pedagogy and my 2 years experience when receiving this education is one of the highlites of my life. I feel most alive when I am learning so even if I did incur high tuition costs I would find great value in the investment.

However, that was 15 years ago and I think it is fair to say that we live in a very changing world since that time. I suggest you get very clear about your life goals before investing in a masters degree due to what can be a significant cost involved.

  • Do you want to teach in a University or other established program?
  • Do you want to continue performing?
  • Where do you want to live?

    Also, I suggest after these goals are defined to interview someone who has taken the masters degree route and really evaluate if this commitment will build a bridge to making your dreams come true.

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