FALSE ADVERTISING ON SUZUKI SITE

Stephanie Noble said: Dec 26, 2015
Stephanie Noble
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Suzuki Early Childhood Education
Spanaway, WA
5 posts

I am getting frustrated at those individuals who actively advertise as Teachers on the Suzuki site, but are not registered as Suzuki teachers. They most likely are not even Suzuki Association members. I would hope someone in charge of membership could catch this.
The Suzuki organization should take a look at the endorsements When they post, and when they have none, perhaps that is a clue they should not be on the site advertising as a presumed Suzuki Teacher.
I worked long and hard to pass my tests and jump through the correct channels to say I am a Suzuki Teacher! I am proud to have accomplished that status and to be able to use the site to advertise!
Call me old fashioned, but I think our work and membership allows us to advertise as a specific honor.
Stephanie Noble, MA, EdAd

Stephanie Noble, MFA, EdAd

Marian Goss said: Dec 27, 2015
Marian Goss
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
26 posts

Unfortunately, this has been going on since the Suzuki name was first published in this country. And there really is no way to “police” the music teachers who advertise themselves as Suzuki when in fact they only use the materials. It’s true that the collection of Suzuki pieces can be taught by anyone, for anyone. They are very enjoyable songs and are included as “acceptable” pieces for many solo and ensemble contests. However, what the general public doesn’t know is that these pieces were selected specifically to be taught in a specific order with specific teaching points that will be used in later repertoire. We Suzuki teachers understand this well…i find myself daily giving students the exciting news that the martelle bowing in Allegro will help them play the 8th notes cleanly in Vivaldi a minor or Bach Double. Or that learning the staccato up bows in the Beethoven Minuet trio will help them play spiccato in Country Dance. We have the upper edge when it comes to technique. ..and we really don’t need to use boring etudes or sheet music to achieve this.

Here is what i would say….let those untrained teachers call themselves what they will. When i take my Suzuki kids to perform in the community people can see the difference between what we do verses what is accomplished at the local schools. I say this as a trained Suzuki teacher of 20+ years (long term and short term trained though all the books) and as a mom of two whose children took both Suzuki lessons and now enjoy their public school ensembles. While i truly believe that the Suzuki philosophy is about the journey, not the product, i think we should let our teaching do the talking. And when you get a phone call from a new student who’s interested in lessons, don’t be shy about listing your credentials. We have worked very hard to do what we do. And occasionally I get a call from a new student who I know has looked elsewhere. They often don’t call back when i mention my hourly rate (at least compared to the typical music store teacher). But I always tell them, while looking around, to ask about the teacher’s training….you often get what you pay for. It’s amazing what parents don’t ask when inquiring about music teachers. Keep doing what you are doing!

Darja Koehler said: Dec 27, 2015
Darja Koehler
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
1 posts

I believe that teachers who did not take any official Suzuki courses should not be allowed to advertise on SAA web site as they are not officially Suzuki teachers. That could be controlled .

Diane said: Dec 27, 2015
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
14 posts

Very well written, Marion. Thank You

Heather Wentzel said: Dec 27, 2015
 1 posts

I would have to agree, and I’m not even a Suzuki teacher! I support my Suzuki friends though and we have good teaching relationships.

I don’t understand why someone would feel right about advertising as a Suzuki teacher without taking the training, unless they have received the training through a music program at a university and were under the impression that that counts. It reminds me of those “stolen valor” situations you hear about (civilians dressing up in military outfits).

But, the SAA seems to support it when they open up advertising on the website to anyone who pays membership fees. Maybe that’s in hopes that they will take the training.

Something has puzzled me though, why are many of the Teacher Trainers not listed as registered teachers? Is it just assumed they did the training?

Friederike said: Dec 28, 2015
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
71 posts

The Suzuki website has each teachers trainings written with their name( as long they have registered them, but I think most have registered at least some of their books). so I think that is one factor, that helps with the discernment about a real Suzuki teacher.

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Alan Duncan said: Dec 29, 2015
Alan Duncan
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
63 posts

As a Suzuki parent, board member for a regional Suzuki association, and in every sense of the word, a supporter of all things Suzuki, I would urge caution in coming to the general conclusion that the lack of Suzuki-specific training means pedagogical incompetence. I know wonderfully qualified teachers who have acquired a wealth of experience both technical and pedagogical through years of practice but have not—for whatever reason—taken the Suzuki training. My daughter just played in a master class for just such a teacher. His pedagogical skills and chamber music coaching skills are widely recognized; but he’s not Suzuki-trained. Apropos of the original comment, none of these individuals would put themselves out there as a “Suzuki teachers.” I’m sure there are those who aren’t as scrupulous.

I have the utmost admiration for the training process and those who pursue it. Working with Suzuki teachers has transformed our way of life as a family in the deepest and most positive way. But I think it’s risky to divide teachers into two camps—Suzuki vs. unqualified/untrained. Let’s face it, serious parents are going to have the discernment to ask questions, look at credentials, look for how current and former students have fared, meet the teachers, observe lessons, and so forth.

I agree that only SAA registered teachers should make use of SAA resources for the benefit of their teaching studios or other pursuits.

Friederike said: Dec 30, 2015
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
71 posts

Good to know that there are good qualified non Suzuki teachers out there, I know that myself, esp for advanced students. Not sure how that applies to Beginners though. I’m sure there are good teachers for Beginners, that are non Suzuki( and I’m speaking here esp for the Violin), but I think they are few. All my transfer students so far, had lots of technical problems ,esp with the left arm and hand. In my opinion every teacher could benefit from taking book 1, if they are a Suzuki teacher or not. The Suzuki training ,esp for the early books is just excellent. Intermediate and esp advanced teaching is a different issue. I think there are many good Non Suzuki advanced teachers out there.

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Alan Duncan said: Dec 31, 2015
Alan Duncan
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
63 posts

Fair enough, you probably have a keener vantage point for making that judgment. Most of the non-Suzuki teachers I’m thinking about are teachers of more advanced students. There is definitely something about the care with which Suzuki teachers approach the beginning that leads to success, especially when all of the other variables are in place. Thank you.

Miranda Hughes said: Dec 31, 2015
 Institute Director
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
2 posts

I agree that this is an issue that is very difficult to police and draw lines on. I offer myself up as an example of someone who resides in the grey area. I grew up a Suzuki student, have taught on and off for 30 years, have worked closely with my own four Suzuki-student children who studied with a Suzuki teacher trainer, am assistant director of a Suzuki institute, co-taught private and group classes with a registered teacher trainer, have done hundreds of hours of observing, have had pedagogy articles published in a variety of Suzuki journals, have been extremely active in informally pursuing ways to further my training, and have always considered myself a Suzuki teacher.

Yet I have no formally recognized teacher training beyond the Book 1 level. Why did I not pursue further training? Because I live 4+ hours from a reliable airport, 8 hours from the nearest real city, have been raising four homeschooled children with a husband who gets almost no time off work, and my studio is in a remote rural village of 600 where I have so few students who pay so little for their lessons that it would take me years to break even on the cost of formal training. And on the rare occasions when we’ve managed to carve out time for an institute that offers teacher training, my option was to either take training or allow my children to be enrolled; naturally I enrolled them.

I think active membership in the SAA should be a bare minimum requirement for teachers portraying themselves as Suzuki teachers on this website. That seems like a no-brainer. Beyond that, though, I think the waters can be muddy.

Linda Louise Ford said: Dec 31, 2015
Linda Louise Ford
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Rochester, NY
16 posts

Wondering if motivated violin teachers who are in a situation such as Miranda might be able to engage in Skype type classroom experiences in lieu of in-person experiences. For example, the Ithaca College based Suzuki Teacher Training program might have a Skype option for seriously isolated interested teachers. Secondly, perhaps they might be allowed to use their real life nearest community for observation of teaching done with someone with Suzuki Teacher teacher training locally or at the nearest possible location to provide the observational component. I believe things are changing along these lines given the technology that is available. Last summer, I signed on to Coursera’s ‘Teaching Violin and Viola to Children’ for fun and curiosity. This was taught by Ms Spencer who is a former college student of Mimi Zweig of IU. I have attended the 2 week teacher training program of Mimi Zweig in 2007 and 2008 and found the Coursera program very similar and very good in many ways. The program had several YOU TUBE ‘Hang Out’ s as part of the program wherein the students were conferencing with the Coursera teachers in this program. It is very convenient and cuts down the cost of teacher training. I realize that there is nothing better than a real life experience but I think it is a good idea to consider alternatives. The Coursera program has a requirement that the students had write essays on their related training. These essays are reviewed by fellow students and graded per certain criteria. So the grading of fellow students makes one think, evaluate and critique. I did not ‘need’ the training but paid the fee and earned the formal credit. I could have take it for free if I had not wanted to get the credit. I can appreciate the situation of isolated teachers as well as the desire by the SAA to keep the Suzuki Teacher training of high quality. Perhaps another solution might be to provide SAA scholarships to students who are isolated and have lower incomes. It would be really to commit money from donations for such a purpose. Another idea might be to have additional locations Teacher Training in the more remote areas for interested teachers who express their need to the SAA. If there is a will , there is a way. We should try to think out of the box. Thank you for reading this comment.

Linda

Friederike said: Jan 1, 2016
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
71 posts

But Miranda you at least have book 1 training and seemingly lots of “non-formally acknowledged” Suzuki training, which seems to me a lot. I understand the dilemma with raising homeschool children and trying to find the time to keep doing my own training.( But just being with your own children at institute and at home for lesson is a lot) I did most of my formal “book” training before I had children( book 1 -3 and 4 got canceled). To finally be able to take book 4 took me 10 years.( and I only have 2 children) And I also homeschool my children. I’m struggling to find time to do it all. I started teaching in August at a music center taking over someone else’s students,who had no formal Suzuki teacher training, but was a Suzuki student herself,but finding myself correcting esp the left hand and arm. Also it’s not a formal Suzuki studio, so some of the students parents are not in the lesson, what is hard for the younger ones. I have to adjust my teaching.Book 1 and Susan Kempters class ( and book),which I took with a 9 month baby…..( very challenging) “How muscles learn” has been very instrumental for my teaching. Thankful also for continued training in our areas, and yes would be good to be able to let some trachers take training by skype….

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Libby Felts said: Jan 4, 2016
Libby FeltsSAA Staff
Forum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
36 posts

Hi all,

Just wanted to add some perspective on this topic which will hopefully add to our collective understanding of the issue.

Stephanie, I assume you mean the teacher location service, correct? https://suzukiassociation.org/find-a-suzuki-teacher/

The TLS is open only to those with an “active” level membership of the SAA, and then, it is an elective benefit—i.e., even after you become a member, you have to take one more step and sign up for the TLS. (That is why some teachers and teacher trainers don’t always show up—their studios are full and they no longer need to take advantage of this service.) You may also elect whether to show your registered training. Furthermore, training that was done very long ago or overseas won’t always show up as SAA-registered training units. (That’s why it’s important to read a prospective teacher’s bio and ask about their training. For parents new to the Suzuki method, we suggest this in “How to Choose a Suzuki Teacher,” which is linked to at the top of the TLS.)

As mentioned above, though SAA membership is required to take training, training is not required for SAA membership. This is in hopes that those who get involved even just by paying dues and receiving (and hopefully reading!) the American Suzuki Journal, email newsletters, etc., will see what a wonderful learning community they are a part of and become more involved, in part by taking training.

We have also recently implemented membership “badges” on the discussion forums, in hopes that this will allow parents or maybe teachers just looking into the Suzuki method to differentiate from posters who are SAA members and those who are casual commenters/observers.

I hope this helps!

Melanie Drake said: Jan 5, 2016
Melanie Drake25 posts

In case it helps…..of the 14 Suzuki teachers at my kids’ music school, a search on the “Find a Suzuki Teacher” page yields only 2 of them. I have seen several of these “unlisted” teachers attend teacher training at our local Suzuki institute so I don’t have reason to doubt the credentials provided by our school.

Jennifer Visick said: Jan 9, 2016
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I personally have taken SAA teacher training that is not registered (you’ll just have to take my word ;-) that I’m a competent teacher) and I know other competent teachers who have taken training that is not registered either.

The reasons are various—mostly, as mentioned, having to do with the training being:
- informal (a la Miranda above),
- before the SAA had its present system of recognition in place,
- far away / with Suzuki teachers who are part of other regions’ Suzuki associations,
- or with excellent teacher trainers who are not “Suzuki” teachers (Mimi Zweig was already mentioned; many universities have good pedagogy programs that aren’t necessarily “Suzuki”; and other methods do exist!)
- or the teacher lost track of the SAA paperwork or has missed a deadline (that’ll be me, having done both those things once, some years ago)
- the teacher may not feel the need to join the SAA or pay for more than auditing a course (don’t we all know the days of counting every dollar in the budget?)

Any combination of such training could foster an excellent teacher who effectively implements Suzuki philosophy or Suzuki-style teaching even while the SAA has no means of formally recognizing it.

Some of these things are fix-able—for example, if the various suzuki associations worldwide are agreeable, the SAA could liaise with them to list if an SAA member is formally recognized as a teacher, or has formally completed Suzuki teacher training by another suzuki association.

Or, I could dig up the mostly forgotten paperwork, pay the fees, and get that one class recognized by the SAA (which is on my to-do list… though I’ll admit it’s not on the “now”, “next”, or even “later” lists, but on the “sometime or other” list…)

Friederike said: Jan 10, 2016
Friederike Lehrbass
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
Plano, TX
71 posts

Are you saying there are deadlines to send our paperwork in from past courses? I have a few courses I took over 10 years ago, I still have the paperwork, but never send in. is it to late?

Praise the Lord with the stringed instrument

Jennifer Visick said: Jan 10, 2016
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

The deadline I was referring to was the deadline to send in the audition video.

(I had sent in a basic level audition video when I first started taking SAA courses and had intended to get the next level audition done in the same summer I took book 5 & 6 courses, but I put other priorities ahead of the video… The end result was that it got sent in on time to register my book 8-9 courses that I took later, but not the book 5-6 ones.)

So far as I know, if you have old paperwork, and you qualified to register it at the time you took the class, you can send it in (but you have to pay the current, higher fee for registration).

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