Toward More Inclusion
Newsletters, Scholarships

MaryLou Roberts said: Sep 6, 2020
MaryLou RobertsTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
SAA Board
Suzuki Association Member
Guitar
Ann Arbor, MI
317 posts

Hi Suzuki Community,
I would like to share ideas that our Institute is using to educate parents, and promote a better world by offering scholarships for students who are impacted by institutional racism. We needed to start small so that our teachers could still teach in their studios, and perform, etc. while helping those around us in need. Sharing what we are working on in case it can help other organizations.

April 2019 Newsletter
Scholarship Program Announcement

This will be sent out soon, and our teachers will be coached in best practices for teaching students who may not have the privileges often seen in our current families.

Sarah Bylander Montzka said: Sep 6, 2020
Sarah Bylander MontzkaTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
203 posts

Hi, MaryLou.

I would love to learn more about the coaching for your teachers. Are you hiring a specialist to train your teachers in best practices or will the training be “in-house”?

Is the purpose of the new scholarship to increase the proportion of Black/African American, Native/American Indian, and Latinx/Hispanic American students at the Institute? Or is the goal to make the institute financially accessible to all?

Please consider the possibility that a financial need scholarship (which this seems to be) may not automatically translate into increased presence of traditionally under-represented minorities nor necessarily ensure that the Institute environment is one of equity and inclusion.

I am hopeful that SAA is working to coordinate training in the area of DEI (especially for Institute Directors and Teacher Trainers) so that we can all learn about best practices from expert and experienced thought-leaders.

MaryLou Roberts said: Sep 8, 2020
MaryLou RobertsTeacher Trainer
Institute Director
SAA Board
Suzuki Association Member
Guitar
Ann Arbor, MI
317 posts

Hi Sarah,
Thanks for sharing your care for our efforts. We are a group of teachers who use the Suzuki Method in it’s fullest form; including individual and group lessons and parent education. I share two parts of this particular start.

  1. Removing barriers we see, mainly financial, instruments and transportation. We have contacts with the orchestra teachers in the Ann Arbor Public Schools whom we plan to present this idea, as well as the ECE component, and other ways to get the word out. Sustainability and encouragement is our goal here. One of my favorite quotes is by Theodore Roosevelt: “Do what you can, with what you have, where you are.” We already have BIPOC students and families in our studios.

  2. Working with part B in this using this definition of Anti-Racist:

    • a person who opposes racism and promotes racial tolerance
      Promoting racial tolerance is our collective effort this fall; one which we will study and pool ideas that are informed, practical and are effective. I have been studying so I can help in a small beginner’s mind kind of way. Some teachers have been raised in the AAPS school system and were presented with things like “Why are All the Black Kids Sitting Together in the Cafeteria”, had Black teachers and Principals, and are a good resource, as well as all the experiences we can share. Everyone is excited to begin this project, and we are working together actively and respectfully. I have presented the idea to really look at what is needed, and ask what it is that we can do to help. Some teachers volunteered used instruments, some volunteered the 50% fee, some 100%, some volunteered to help with orchestra auditions…there are lots of ways to be a resource in our community.
      I think the goals presented by Jennifer Brown in her Level 1:DEI Foundations course is a good outline (the 995.00 price tag is way outside of our budget)
  • Better understand what it means to be an inclusive leader
    -Speak about the value of DEI work in a way that engages the people around you
  • Surface your unconscious biases and notice how they impact your interactions with others
  • Explain the value of building a culture of inclusion in your organization 
  • Meaningfully engage other people by sharing personal stories and experiences

“Seeing” in a deep way takes time to be away, time to listen, time to think. I hope to contribute in this small way, a small and very big start.

AASI Scholarship Page

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