Violinists
Revised Book 1

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 15, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I see the revised version of Violin book 1 is now being advertised. It’s not in my local music store yet. Has anyone got a copy of the new recording and the new book? Care to post any reviews? Benefits? Drawbacks? Differences from the other recordings/books?

Gabriel Villasurda said: Sep 15, 2007
Gabriel VillasurdaViolin, Viola
81 posts

The official description of the new version can be found at the following website:

http://www.alfred.com/alfredweb/front/ProductDetail.aspx?itemnum=0144S&pubnum=0

Gabe Villasurda

Gabriel Villasurda
Ann Arbor MI
www.stringskills.com

Jennifer Gray said: Sep 15, 2007
Jennifer Gray
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
28 posts

I just want to know whether they start Musette and Gavotte in D on upbows(book 2.3)!

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 15, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I see from the official description that they’ve listed where each of the Bach minuets come from, which I like already. And there will be more explanatory material… But has anyone here heard the new CD? Seen the extra material in the revised book? That’s what I was hoping to find out.

As for the up bow starts in book 2 & 3—I’ve heard that Japanese editions have them, so I hope the revisions of our editions match those. It seems books 2 and 3 aren’t quite out yet, but will be soon.

Jennifer Gray said: Sep 15, 2007
Jennifer Gray
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
28 posts

yes the Japanese editions have these bowings, but I wonder if they used exactly the Japanese editions for the bowing of the second Gavotte (I am not sure I like those!). Also, what did they do about the incorrect notes in the Bach Bourree Bk 3? Did they change it like the viola editions, and will Preucil record with the correction? Much to be revealed!

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 19, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I hope they changed it! I am a violist who also teaches violin, and that always bothers me a little bit whenever I teach the violin suzuki version.

Lynn said: Sep 20, 2007
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
173 posts

Those wrong notes bug me to—so I just teach them the correct notes. No sense perpetuating a known error! I do warn them that should they encounter the Bouree at an Institute or play-in, they will need to be prepared to play the “printed version”. It’s interesting, as we’re learning the piece, to compare the “Bach version” and the “Suzuki version”, discuss how it sounds different, why they think Bach decided a C instead of a D, etc.

said: Sep 20, 2007
 89 posts

What are the incorrect notes in the Bourree? Somehow, our teacher never mentioned anything about that.

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 29, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

last 8th note of m. 22: incorrectly printed as a D, should be a C.

the ‘and’ of beat 2 (4th note) in m. 2 of the minor section, along with the last 8th note of m. 4 of the same section, as well as the ‘and’ of beat 2 in m. 20 of the minor section—all should be E-natural instead of E-flat.

m. 8 of the minor section should be a dotted half note, B-flat. Although there may be some validity to putting that quarter-note C in as a decoration.

m. 12 of the minor section, beat 1—this should be a quarter note, C-sharp. Again there may be some validity in ‘decorating’ this note with the D that’s written…

This Bouree is taken from Bach’s third Suite for Unaccompanied Cello. Violists playoften Bach’s solo Cello Suites and (less often) Bach’s solo violin Sonatas & Partitas. Since the cello suites are major works in viola repertoire, it was important that the notation be correct in the Suzuki viola books.

I haven’t been teaching “the right” notes to violinists, because I want them to be able to play at Institutes and with other Suzuki students of other teachers without needing to learn “two” versions of the music.

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 29, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

A new student of mine brought the Revised book 1 to her lesson today. I only glanced at it, saw the new pictures at the beginning, and am intending to pick up a copy on Monday.

said: Oct 2, 2007
 89 posts

Thanks for the detailed response, RaineJen! It does sound a bit different from what my ears are accustomed to … especially those E naturals after all our hard work getting the E flats in there!

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 4, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

no problem.

// I’ve got the new book in my posession now. First impression: colorful!
Immediately noticeable: There’s a lot of tiny writing in four languages on every page. (I’m not sure that I like this: although the content of the new directions seems OK, I’m wondering who it’s directed at? Trained teachers will be telling their students all these things anyways.) New pictures: nice (a definite improvement). CD paackaged with the book: nice (a few dollars cheaper than buying separately). To my ears the “B”s seem more in tune than in either Cerone’s or Nadien’s recordings (their “B”s always sound a little sharp to me, compared to their pianists—does anyone else think this?). Accompaniment tracks are nice too, unlike Nadien’s they are recorded separately without a violin track in the background. Glossary of terms in the back of the book is nice.

Disappointment: I thought from the website description that there would be a little more info about some of the pieces, such as where they came from originally, but it’s not there.

Debbie said: Oct 4, 2007
Debbie MiViolin
138 posts

I agree about the B’s!

Jennifer Gray said: Oct 4, 2007
Jennifer Gray
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
28 posts

Thanks, RaineJen, for your detailed comments. I’m still waiting for mine to arrive. What has happened about the fourth finger use in the early pieces?

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 26, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

the revised edition seems to have all 4th fingers printed below the music instead of in parentheses as in the previous version. Slightly easier to read. This also sort of follows one of the conventions I was taught in orchestra: the fingering goes above the note, but if you’re the inside partner and need to put an alternate fingering down, it goes below.

The first time a 4th finger is printed above the note without an alternate fingering is on the 2nd beat of the 2nd measure of Perpetual Motion. There is a 4th finger exercise printed right before this. Also the little tiny print says, in four languages, “Use 4th finger in Perpetual Motion where it is marked”. In spite of this…. I figure I’ll continue introducing 4th finger when I think the student is ready, not when the book dictates. And of course when the student goes back to review, they can play all the ‘alternate’ 4th fingers at that time.

Laurel said: Oct 27, 2007
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

That link doesn’t seem to work properly—all I get is a red X and “Add to Wish List” and the price and other numbers—no description—??

Laurel

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 27, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

yah, the link did work for a while. Apparently they changed something on their website. It used to be a nice picture of the cover and a description containing a list of all the songs and composers, including BWV numbers for the Bach pieces and other pertinent info about where each piece was arranged from!

[[[Edit as of Nov 29, 2007: the picture and description have returned, the links should work just fine now]]]

said: Nov 27, 2007
 8 posts

**Revised Book 1—A Real Disappointment
**
I am extremely disappointed by the revised edition. Indeed every detail is worse than it was in the old edition:

The layout and presentation:
The staves and the text are much too small. The whole book does not look at all appealing.

The text:
The Spanish, French and German texts are full of mistakes. I stopped counting the spelling mistakes after the first pages.
I have found more than 200 mistakes!

The content:
The texts are completely inappropriate for children and parents.

The CD:
The quality of the CD is very poor… A real disappointment.

I could name so many other upsetting details. How is it possible to present Dr. Suzuki’s heritage in such a disastrous way?

The only thing which gives me hope for the future development of the Suzuki Method are the STEP by STEP series, written by Dr. Suzuki’s German student Kerstin Wartberg.

I would like to enthusiastically recommend these books and CDs.
Please look at the beautiful photographs, the impressive layout, the meaningful explanations and the imaginative and exciting CD with these fantastic new piano arrangements and the outstanding violin sound. The whole concept is so good thought through and expresses the love and respect for Dr. Suzuki’s life’s work. I can not speak highly enough about these series.
Here you really understand the meaning of Dr. Suzuki’s words:

[size=150]*Let us try every day
to continue
our quest for the
higher and the finer.*[/size]

How unfortunate, that ISA doesn’t have been inspired through the outstanding model of STEP by STEP.

**The only thing, which we can do, is not to accept this revised edition. Dr. Suzuki’s Method is too valuable!
We should not treat his treasure trove like it is done in this dreadful revised edition.**

Catherina from Buenos Aires, Argentina


Jan said: Nov 28, 2007
 3 posts

Let’s just forget about the unprofessional revised edition!

I want to underline what Catherina from Buenos Aires and freesia wrote. I feel the same. There are just too many inexcusable inaccuracies in the books and on the CDs.

Here are some other details which are disturbing me very much:

  • On the CD there is no tuning note. This is a real disaster for parents!

  • In the book it is not mentioned at all that there are piano accompaniments on the CD.
    Perhaps it is better this way because they are really not very helpful for young beginners.

  • Several parts of the book are not translated into German at all.

How can this happen?

My suggestion is: Let’s just forget about the unprofessional revised editions of the Suzuki Violin School.

Dr. Suzuki would not have liked that we give these messy books and CDs to our children. Especially if we have with Step by Step pure gold in our hands….

Jan Weisser, North Germany

Jan Weisser

said: Nov 28, 2007
 103 posts

Interesting. I have not seen the new books myself. Rather than just getting “angry” though, why not consider writing a respectful letter to the SAA with your concerns? Or whom ever it is that’s in charge of the changes?

I was talking to someone who knows one of the people who have been working on the revisions and from what they said the group of people working on it have been trying really hard to do a good job with finding a balance between the version we have in West vs. the other version in Japan? I could have this wrong.

Anyway, who knows, maybe this is just a “first batch” that they are getting the bugs out of.

Charles Krigbaum said: Nov 29, 2007
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

I think it is absolutely fine to be angry about these poor editions. This forum is just the place to vent about such important issues. Thank you Twinkle Rhythms for the suggestion, I plan to write a letter as soon as possible.

I also know of several of the teachers who have worked on the revisions, however as far as I have heard they seemed to be primarily concerned with content. This is the Suzuki method afterall: Tonalization, Hunter’s Chorus, Waltz…it’s all there. Yes, the big change in Musette’s bowings…not really a big deal in the grand scheme of things.

But for me the shocking disappointment isn’t the content, it is the format and layout. The book just looks terrible! Too bad you can’t judge a book by its cover (the new colorized spinning wheels on the cover look sharp, one of the FEW improvement). I could have designed a more attractive book using only Microsoft Word!!

The fonts and font sizes are all wrong and there are so many typos…portions of the book are nearly unreadable and so extremely cluttered. A first year graphic design student at community college could have done a far superior job. It is such a heart-breaking shame—I had such high hopes for the new edition.

Finally, there has been so much talk about Step-by-Step on this forum, I just have to add that I recently received the Volume 3A, which is newly in print, and I have to say it is incredible. The new Suzuki books and SBS are both Alfred publications—yet there is NO comparison—SBS is superior in every element of design. Kerstin Wartberg did such a fantastic job in gathering this material. My favorite detail is the recording of the Position Etudes on all for strings, what good sense to include that—and move it to Volume 3!

As Suzuki teachers we care so much about every detail of what we do. It is only natural for me to be sad about how poorly these books turned out.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education
www.ntste.com
www.facebook.com/NorthTexasSchoolofTalentEducation

Jan said: Nov 30, 2007
 3 posts

Twinkle Rhythms

Interesting. I have not seen the new books myself. Rather than just getting “angry” though, why not consider writing a respectful letter to the SAA with your concerns? Or whom ever it is that’s in charge of the changes?

I was talking to someone who knows one of the people who have been working on the revisions and from what they said the group of people working on it have been trying really hard to do a good job with finding a balance between the version we have in West vs. the other version in Japan? I could have this wrong.

Anyway, who knows, maybe this is just a “first batch” that they are getting the bugs out of.

The revised edition—a demonstration of carelessness, and a lack of attention to details, accuracy, and precision.

Thank you Twinkle Rhythms for your advice. I will write a letter to Alfred and the ISA violin committee members, the responsible persons for the revised edition.

But please understand my point of view. This is NOT—like you wrote— just a “first batch” that they are getting the bugs out of.

To children, their parents and interested traditional teachers, these hundredths of spelling mistakes in the translations, the terrible format and layout and the poor quality of the CD show not only that the editor and the ISA violin committee members might be poorly educated, but also demonstrate carelessness, laziness, and a lack of attention to details, accuracy, and precision.

Lack of attention to detail is far more important especially in our educational work and will give a more obvious hint as to our general attitude. Shouldn’t we as teachers be the best models for our students and their parents? Shouldn’t our materials (music book and CD) reflect this?

I am extremely shocked that a serious company like Alfred can let these glaring mistakes occur! It just screams warning signs to me…

Jan Weisser

said: Nov 30, 2007
 Violin, Guitar, Flute, Cello, Viola
120 posts

Rather than these things being a result of the editor and the ISA violin committee members being poorly educated, maybe it’s more of a result of the committee needing to compromise with each other on things format and layout? Of course, there are no excuses for misspellings and inaccuracies.

I am not crazy about the layout—it’s awfully small. It’s like they had so much information to include and had to cram it into smaller fonts, etc. to do so. Personally, I think it makes it less accessible to have to peer at all the instructions and tiny fonts. But, I do feel there are some positives to the Book 1 revision. I have not yet seen Book 2.

Coutier said: Dec 2, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

The gentle and pacifying suggestions by “Twinkle Rhythms”(nov. 28) about “first batches” and writing respectful letters to the S.A.A. are rather out of line I fear. We are professionals and should be able to rely on a professional attitude of the organisations that represent us.

What a mess! Over 200 spelling mistakes in the German and French texts of Suzuki Violin School revised edition, amateuristic lay-out, bacteria sized print and—bearing in mind that these books are for children and their inspiration—so very boring once you have passed the cover. In short, they look stupid and I feel really upset by that, because it makes the Suzuki way of teaching look stupid and it makes us look stupid.

Eight years it has taken to complete this revised edition, eight years! What tragedy of non- and miscommunication must have preceded its birth? I imagine endless successions of fruitless meetings on many continents, opinions clashing, exhaustion setting in, searching for compromise after compromise. No time and no real desire to check with the future clientele as precarious balances might get disturbed by them.

And in the end this “thing” comes out and nobody really cares about it and hopes or trusts the next person will take care of the proofreading…

Of course the finger should be pointed mainly at Alfred Publishers because they should have protected their product and didn’t do their job. The publishers’ imperative of checking spelling and checking it again should be part of their breath and being. They are in the business of knowing and seeing whether a page or a book looks appealing.

In this age of the Internet it must be easy to find competent proofreaders. I am certain that many a French or German Suzuki violin teacher would have felt honored to be asked for the task, I know I would have been.

This same publisher, Alfred, has put the wonderful series “Step by Step” on the market. Kerstin Wartberg is “churning out” an average of one book a year, just this fall Step by Step 3A came out, soon to be followed by 3B: and look at the quality, the beauty and technical brilliance, I and my students love to work with these books and cd’s. They truly represent Suzuki’s spirit as I understand it.

I feel these new Suzuki Violin School editions should be taken off the market immediately so as to limit the damage they are doing.

I would very much like to know the position of the S.A.A. in this. Twinkle Rhythms’ idea of writing respectful letters to the S.A.A. I have tried once. By the end of last June I have sent them an urgent e-mail concerning the appalling quality of the S.A.A.-recommended book and cd “Technique Mastery for Violin” by Joseph Kaminsky (see teachers’ forum). They may have read my e-mail or they may have done something else with it: they saw no reason to reply. Hopefully they do now.

Coutier Rademaker
Amsterdam

**

coutier

Constanze said: Dec 3, 2007
 13 posts

freesia

Freedom and Individuality are not “unprofessional.”

Yes, I agree with you, Freezia. Without freedom and individuality no healthy and natural development is possible at all. Please read excerpts from **the Foreword of Step by Step, volume 1A.
**

Kerstin Wartberg writes on page 6:

“Because young beginners often can concentrate for only a short period of time, this short time should be used as effectively as possible. This contribution of practice-oriented material will provide students and parents with a clear path, but should not be seen as a rigid concept.

For children who learn quickly, some exercises may be skipped over by the teacher. For other children, additional exercises may be necessary to help them master a piece. Just as children begin walking and talking at different ages, each child also has his own tempo for learning, and this tempo can change over the years….

The teacher who uses this book to supplement his/her teaching will benefit from time savings, since long explanations of individual learning steps and the writing of exercises will seldom be necessary.

A systematic teaching concept must not stifle the creativity or openness of the teacher. A clear, systematic structure with good supporting materials gives the teacher far more possibilities to concentrate on important things, like the student’s individual technical and/or musical difficulties, as well as the specific character traits of the student.

Consequently, interpersonal interaction and improvement of the playing quality can receive more emphasis.”

Page 7:

The Bow Distribution
“At the end of this book you will find a summary of suggested bow distributions for most of the pieces.

These are recommendations only and do not need to be followed dogmatically.

The tone quality is always more important than a strict observance of bow distributions….”

You certainly know, that Dr. Suzuki shared his knowledge only orally and exclusively with students at his Institute in Matsumoto, as well as at workshops in Japan and throughout the world.
**
Step by Step shows us a lot of teaching points handed down directly from Dr. Suzuki. It is a source – not more but also not less.**

I agree with you also in this point: “Choice is important.”
Of course every teacher is free to choose whether she/he uses these books and CDs.

I don’t see any indication or intention of Step by Step to replace the SUZUKI VIOLIN SCHOOL or an intensive study of the Suzuki Method in its pedagogical, didactic and artistic terms; just as reading a medical book cannot replace a medical education…

Constanze Wurzel

Suzuki Violin Teacher from Remscheid, Germany
Graduated in Matsumoto/Japan (Talent Education Institute) and
in Germany (German Suzuki Institute / European Suzuki Association)

Charles Krigbaum said: Dec 4, 2007
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

WHOAH. This thread is getting too hot to handle…and a little off topic.

Let’s go back to talking about how terrible the layout of the new books are, because that never gets old :)

I’ll go grab my magnifying glass and microscope and we can begin again.

Just kidding, but in all seriousness…Freesia, do you really think that the training should be streamlined? I honestly believe that they should require it to be longer. I’m extremely proud of my training, and have invested serious time and money to have the training I do have. I’ve even repeated units so that the information can settle and develop in my brain. If anything, it makes me unsettled to think that teachers could effectively teach this method with LESS training. Imagine the horrors that would come of a 6 hour Book 1 course (thank goodness that will never come about!)

Anyway, back to Book 1 & 2. I HATE how the titles of the pieces are so small, I will sorely miss the charm of the old white books with their Japanese writing. At least the titles are bold, large, and proud looking.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education
www.ntste.com
www.facebook.com/NorthTexasSchoolofTalentEducation

Constanze said: Dec 4, 2007
 13 posts

Let’s go back to talking about the new books…

A few days ago I received the revised edition of the Suzuki Violin School, volume 1. I had been very much looking forward to its appearance because the books were exuberantly announced.
Everything should be better—from the contents of the book and the CD to an up-to-date layout appropriate for the use with young children and their parents.

Having read the Book and heard the CD I was deeply disappointed.
I just don’t know where to start – the whole work provides evidence of the incompetence of its producers.

The inside of the book just looks terrible and the CD does not nearly reach the standard of the Suzuki recordings available on the market to date—one could have better done without it!

To name just a FEW of its many shortcomings:

On the CD there are no tuning notes. You can’t use this CD for playing along with it without tuning notes. How can parents ever tune the violin of their child without these notes of the open strings?

In the contents it is not mentioned at all that there are piano accompaniments on the CD.
Perhaps it is better this way because they are really not very helpful for young beginners.

Obviously, nobody has taken the absolute essential trouble of proof-reading; the German text contains printing errors in such large numbers as I have never before in my life encountered in printed matter. The French text is not much better. Maybe the Spanish text will be allright; this is not for me to judge.

The only rather doubtful advantage may be that as a result of the very small type there will be very few people making the effort of taking note of the contents at all.

**
CharlesKrigbaum wrote:**

The fonts and font sizes are all wrong and there are so many typos…portions of the book are nearly unreadable and so extremely cluttered. A first year graphic design student at community college could have done a far superior job. It is such a heart-breaking shame—I had such high hopes for the new edition.

The German, French and Spanish translation is completely forgotten for example in the Introduction, in some parts of the Contents, on pages 16, 20 etc.

Page 46 (Musical Notation Guide) is a real mess.

Here some examples:

In the German text they write next
to the eighth note = sixteenth note (with wrong spelling)
to the sixteenth note = sixteenth note (with wrong spelling)
to half note = the French word for half note
to the quarter rest = half note (with wrong spelling)
to the eighth rest = quarter rest (with wrong spelling)
to the sixteenth rest = eighth rest (with wrong spelling)

And so on….

The authors were not even capable of correctly presenting the parts of the violin (page 15):

  • They described the right fastener of the chin-rest as “button” and forgot to show the button in the drawing.
  • The rib on the lower left side of the violin is wrongly described as the back of the violin.

The text belonging to the photo No. 3 (page 17) is wrong: “Initially place the thumb on the outside of the frog”. On the photo the thumb is placed on the hair of the bow, close to the frog. This makes a huge difference for the development of the bow hold. You can clearly recognize on the photo where the thumb is placed.

Since three-year-olds are not normally able to read, the written instructions can only be meant for teachers and parents. One may ask then why the text does not contain any up-to-date, helpful didactic-methodical advices. Instead, there are lots of commonplace statements (“Triplets should be played as a group of three even notes per beat”) which do not give the reader any idea of the rich potential the Suzuki method offers.

I agree with Coutier:

PostPosted: Mon Dec 03, 2007 10:07 am Post subject: Violinists: revised book 1

Coutier wrote:
Of course the finger should be pointed mainly at Alfred Publishers because they should have protected their product and didn’t do their job. The publishers’ imperative of checking spelling and checking it again should be part of their breath and being. They are in the business of knowing and seeing whether a page or a book looks appealing.

Being a German teacher who studied in Japan and was taught by Suzuki himself, I would like to advice Alfred to withdraw this new edition from the market as soon as possible.

Otherwise it would be fatally damaging for the reputation of the Suzuki method if this book came to the notice of wider circles.

Constanze Wurzel

Graduated in Matsumoto (Talent Education Institute)
and in Germany (German Suzuki Institute / European Suzuki Association)

Coutier said: Dec 5, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Freesia, I can’t imagine Alfred Publishers being deliberately spaced-out in order to favour the Step by Step series, if that is what you mean. It is their lot to serve both these masters. And their bread and butter.

I am sure they love Kerstin Wartberg to bits, and have every reason to, but “suicide passionnel”? I don’t think so.

Also it would not be in her interest as the Suzuki Violin School books are the tree from which the Step by Step flowers stem.

Personally I am Suzuki teacher first and for all and secondly I work with and I am inspired by the Step by Step books as they help me and my students eloquently to understand what is said in those Suzuki Violin books. I too use the Step by Steps creatively as I do with the cd’s.

So Freesia, I fully agree, as I am sure Kerstin Wartberg does, that there needs to be a “mother”-book, it would be a crime to abolish the Violin School books. We just need good ones.

The issue here is the quality of those books, and compared to that the Step by Steps are just another world.

By the way, we all have lived the experience of non-Suzuki students playing Suzuki pieces. Isn’t it awful most of the time? The Step by Step series will no doubt change that. Not to perfection, I grant you that, as we, as Suzuki teachers teach our students so much more than the “mere” content of the Step by Steps. But it will help: it will help those students play more beautifully, it will relax their parents, it will probably open the eyes and ears of their teachers. And ultimately it will help the Suzuki idea as “our” music will be heard and appreciated in wider circles. So, we make the world a better place. Ain’t that wonderful?

Finally, still no acknowledgement from either I.S.A. or S.A.A. that we have a huge problem.

coutier

Charles Krigbaum said: Dec 6, 2007
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

Freesia said,

It’s really insulting of them to have let this come out this way. It would also be typical for them to let the badly-printed supply sell off before producing a new batch (gotta make money, it’s a business).

Freesia, I fear that you are right. Or worse, they never address this as a problem at all!!

I’ve been thinking about the issue of the mis-spellings in the German and French a lot over the past few days. Can you imagine the image that these mistakes portray to non-Suzuki teachers in Germany and France?!?!?!

This is beyond tragic…it absolutely must be corrected immediately or we will all look like illiterate idiots.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education
www.ntste.com
www.facebook.com/NorthTexasSchoolofTalentEducation

Coutier said: Dec 6, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Look what I received today as a response to an angry e-mail to Alfred Publishers in Germany. I will keep you posted

Coutier (by the way, I am Mr, not mrs)

Dear Mrs Rademaker,

thank you so much for sending us your detailed fair comments.

We are delighted about the grade of engagement and identification with the Suzuki-product of our US-American Headquarter. So much more we feel very sorry that your comments are not only valid, but for parts of it it would have been possible to avoid these mistakes in prior. But however, our German office neither was involved in the production, nor in the work of translation.

This is why we only have been able to forward your email to our headquarter in Van Nuys, California in order to advise them that there is huge disappointment and resentment about the new revised edition of Volume 1 and 2.

Our headquarter reacted immediately, and likes to say sorry to all of you about the bad translation quality. They are already working on a new correct translation version that will be finished soon. In the meantime we like to ask you to return your revised books to our address mentioned below. You will get your money back or—if you like—we’ll send you the old version in exchange. Of course, we will compensate your shipping cost as well.

Let me say sorry again, especially on behalf of our headquarter. We hope that you will accept our offer.

Sincerely

ALFRED PUBLISHING VERLAGS GMBH
Thomas Petzold
(Verlagsleiter)
Hansestrasse 99
51149 Koeln
Germany
Fon +49 (0)2203-104190
Fax +49 (0)2203-1041916
[javascript protected email address]

coutier

Kathrin said: Dec 6, 2007
 Violin
4 posts

[size=150]**The worst deficits of the book are the layout and presentation.
The worst deficit of the CD is the absence of a musical and methodical concept.**[/size]

A few days ago I got by accident the new edition of the Suzuki Volume 1 in my hands—I felt awful and wished not to be there. This new edition expected by so many Suzuki teachers is simply shameful, unprofessional and in no way helpful to develop the Suzuki method.

On the contrary, in view of so evident deficits it seems like an act of sabotage against Suzuki method and teachers.
How can it happen that we find so many translation mistakes? Who was responsible for proof-reading?

The worst deficits of the book are the layout and presentation.

How can it happen that a book for children is so out of fantasy and love?

In no way it invites or motivates children or parents to practice or to explore the music – by the way, even 3 year-old children like nice pictures and drawings or tall notes. I watch my young students when they look into their Step-by-Step-books. They look with pride at these books as “their” books, already quite tattered of the much leafing through and exploring it back and forwards.

Nowadays the importance of a child-appropriate layout should be known especially in the Suzuki world.

The layout of the old Suzuki edition was not appealing. It existed in this form since decades on the market. I believed this was one of the reasons why Alfred together with ISA wanted to do a revised edition. Christophe Bossuat reported always positively about the work for the new edition, about new photographs, new texts for parents, new piano accompaniments… Everything should be much better.

Comparing the old with the new edition it can be stated that the old one is without doubt still the better one. The layout of the new one is completely unacceptable. It is the same with the new CD.

The CD does not reach at all the musical and methodical level of the old recordings.

How is it possible that Alfred publishes on one hand the excellent series of Kerstin Wartberg and on the other hand publishes this sloppy book/CD? Where are Alfred’s and ISA’s standard of quality?

It makes me really angry thinking about all the waste of funds and resources in the past and in the future.

The publication of this edition makes no sense—even if all spelling and translation mistakes would have been corrected—and is damaging the reputation of the Suzuki work worldwide.

Kathrin Averdung, Germany

Violin Teacher and Teacher Trainer of the European Suzuki Association

Kathrin Averdung

Coutier said: Dec 8, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Martin, in all the official publications on the new editions it is “roses, roses, roses!”. As if this whole project is wonderful and brilliant and a great success. As if nothing has happened.

No statement has been given by either ISA, SAA or ESA or any other official Suzuki organisation I know of, nor by the group of people responsible for this publication. What is stopping them? Don’t they realise how much irritation this silence evokes?

It would be such a relief to read a statement. Just the acknowledgement that things are not okay, that they are really sorry about that and that there are plans to avoid such problems in the future. Maybe even a little description of the backgrounds. And, please, the request to everybody who has ideas for improvement, kindly send an e-mail.

Just read the reply of the German editor to an angry letter I sent him (see Coutier, December 6th). That is the type of response I mean.

With such an attitude, Martin, we would be able to walk together. I am certain that reactions, including my own, would have been a lot milder, maybe not initially, but definitely later on.

I have knocked on the door of SAA before and received no response, I knock on it now and no answer comes.

I resent your calling (my) criticism “easy” as I am so very much involved in and inspired by the Suzuki way. I am trying to protect something that is precious to me, as I am certain the other people in this chat are trying to do.

Would we lose potential trainees if people found out that not all is well amongst us, that sometimes we clash? Should we be afraid of the neighbours and present ourselves to the world with a big unified smile? Please, let’s not fall into that trap!

coutier

Coutier said: Dec 8, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Freesia,

Why do you say that the publisher is not communicating? I quoted the publisher’s letter as an example of good communication, something our organisations could learn a thing or two from.

Or are you referring to the American headquarters of Alfred Publishers?

coutier

Kathrin said: Dec 10, 2007
 Violin
4 posts

[size=150]**Great News from the German Proof Reader:
Volume 2 is much better than volume 1!**[/size]

We heard a lot about the problems with the revised edition of book 1. Today I want to tell you something positive about the revised edition of volume 2. I try, encouraged through the words of Martin, to express myself in a constructive way.

Martin Rüttimann wrote: When in the teacher training one of the basic things we impart to the trainees to always be positive – why aren’t we able to give a positive feedback to our colleagues in order to improve their work?

Within the German Suzuki Institute, I have taken over the task to proofread volume 2 and to list all mistakes concerning the German text. Now comes my positive feedback:
**The number of needed corrections in the German text is much lesser than in volume 1.
But I found after all still about 100 mistakes. Compared to book 1 it is really a big progress. BRAVO!!!**

But nevertheless I can’t agree to Martin:

Martin Rüttimann wrote: It is easy to see misprints and to count them.

Why didn’t Alfred and the ISA committee members do their homework, especially if it is so easy, like Martin beliefs, to find all the misprints and inaccuracies?

Why did nobody find out nothing about the wrong texts (also in English), wrong photos, wrong fingerings, wrong placements of the texts, missing explanations, missing references, and missing translations? This does not depend on the understanding of another language. This work should have be done BEFORE the publication was thrown out on the market.

It is comparable as if a violinist would announce worldwide that he is going to play Beethoven’s Concerto in the Carnegie Hall. The whole concert turned out as a disaster because the violinist played like an amateur. After the concert the violinist tells to the disappointed public: “Please be positive and give me some advises in order to improve my playing…”

Let’s come back to the corrections of volume 2. I have spent about 20 hours of hard concentrated work and felt with each mistake or inaccuracy more and more upset and frustrated.
It is absolutely not my duty to do the homework of Alfred and the ISA committee members. But I thought I could help “to improve their work”, which they forgot to finish.

Below you find my list which I sent already to Alfred. By the way in the Spanish and French texts I discovered a lot of mistakes, too, but I did not list them. This should be done by native speakers.

Kathrin Averdung
Violin Teacher and Teacher Trainer of the European Suzuki Association

Corrections concerning the German text of the revised edition, Vol. 2

Title: No German, French and Spanish translation
Here is the German text:
Suzuki Violinschule
Band 2
Überarbeitete Ausgabe

Introduction:
No German, French and Spanish translation

Contents:
No German, French, and Spanish translation
“Contents”: Inhaltsverzeichnis

9 titles without German, French and Spanish translation

1 translation mistake „Studium Hinweise“ should be: Unterrichtspunkte

1 spelling mistake („Meue“ should be: Neue)

Page 9
All translations in German are incorrect.
Instead of „Studium Hinweise für Band 2“ write: Unterrichtspunkte für Heft 2

Instead of “1. Das Kind…” write: Das Kind sollte jeden Tag die CD anhören, um seine musikalische Entwicklung anzuregen. Dies fördert den schnellen Fortschritt.

Instead of “2. Tonführung oder…” write: Tonalization oder die Entwicklung eines schönen Tones sollte im Unterricht und zu Hause immer Vorrang haben.

Instead of “3. Ständige Aufmerksamkeit…” write: Gute Intonation, richtige Körper- und Bogenhaltung benötigen ständige Aufmerksamkeit.

Page 10
Pattern 4: Which symbol is meant? You should write the relevant symbol next to the text.

Pattern 5: The augmented 2nd and all translations should be written underneath notes with the symbol of the augmented 2nd.

The German translation of augmented 2nd is wrong. It should be: übermäßige Sekunde.

Pattern 6: The augmented 2nd and all translations should be written underneath or above the symbol of the augmented 2nd.

Pattern 7: The text underneath the photo (“augmented 2nd”) is wrong in English and all the translations.

The first photo shows the second position (see thumb position), the musical text shows the first position. The photo is wrong.

Page 11
Seven times there is no translation for the words “Exercise” and “Ex”.
German translation of the word “exercise” or “Ex”: Übung

In the text of “The Point of Resonance” an advice is missing that children need to use Dr. Suzuki’s book “Quint Etudes”. Otherwise people find on page 29 the music of Beethoven’s Minuet.

The German translation instead of “Siehe den Ergänzungstext zu den Quinten-Übungen auf S. 29” should be: Siehe Ergänzungstext im Buch “Quint Etudes” von Suzuki auf S. 29.

The exercise after 3c has no number.

Page 12
You should use the English spelling: Handel, not Händel. (See your own spelling in the Contents).

Page 13
At the end of Musette there is no German, French and Spanish translation for “2nd time”.
German translation: beim 2. Mal.

In the text of “First Position” an advice is missing that children need to use Dr. Suzuki’s book “Position Etudes”. Otherwise people find on page 5 the Preface.

The German translation instead of “Siehe den Ergänzungstext zu den Lagen-Übungen auf S. 5” should be: Siehe Ergänzungstext im Buch “Position Etudes” von Suzuki, S. 5.

Two times there is no translation for the word “Ex”. German translation of the word “Ex”: Übung

It should be more space after exercise 5. Otherwise parents can’t understand whether the text after exercise 5 is belonging to exercise 5 or 6.

Page 16
At the end of Waltz there is no German, French and Spanish translation for “2nd time only”.
German translation: nur beim 2. Mal.

Six spelling mistakes in the German text of “Tonalization” and wrong translation. Please change the German text to: Die Übungen sollten zeitgleich mit der Bourrée von Händel erarbeitet werden.

Page 17
You should use the English spelling: Handel, not Händel. (See your own spelling in the Contents).

At the end of Bourrée there is no German, French and Spanish translation for “2nd time only”.
German translation: nur beim 2. Mal.

Page 18
One spelling mistake: Second line “D-Moll” should be changed in d-Moll

Seven times there is no translation for the word “Ex”. German translation of the word “Ex”: Übung

Translation mistakes: Ex 10a, the German translation of “m. 27”: Takt 27

Ex 10c, the German translation of “m. 23”: Takt 23

Page 21
Three times there is no translation for the word “Ex”. German translation of the word “Ex”: Übung

The translation of “Practice the B-flat Major scale…” should be in German: Übe die B-Dur Tonleiter, um die “Gavotte aus Mignon” vorzubereiten.

Page 23
The German translation for the text “To be played lightly and separately” is missing in the first exercise. It should be: Leicht und abgesetzt spielen.

Pizzicato practice, exercise A: the upbow above the first note is forgotten.

Pizzicato practice, exercise B: the upbow above the first note is forgotten.

Page 24
Above Ex 16: “A-Moll” should be changed in a-Moll.

Six times there is no translation for the word “Ex”. German translation of the word “Ex”: Übung

Page 25
No German, French and Spanish translation.
German translation is: Um nicht im nächsten Stück umblättern zu müssen, bleibt diese Seite leer.

Page 26
The explanation belonging to the symbol of comment (*) in measures 23 and 27 is forgotten in all languages.

Page 27
First musical excerpt: The German translation on the right side is forgotten.
It should be written in this way:
- In diesem Abschnitt [musical excerpt] spiele folgendermaßen:

Translation mistake in the text after the second musical excerpt: „… Beim Übergang von C zu B …“ should be changed into: … Beim Übergang von C zu H …

The explanation belonging to the symbol of comment (*) in the last musical excerpt of page 27 is forgotten in all languages.

Page 28
[Half Position Exercise], second musical excerpt, written on the right side, below the stave, finger number 1 with line: The line is too long. It should go only until the end of measure 1 (not until measure 2).

Last German translation on page 28, second sentence: Instead of “Beim Überspringen von 2 Saiten …” write: Setze die Finger auf den beiden Saiten so eng wie möglich zusammen, so als ob Du einen Halbton spielen wolltest.

Page 29
Wrong note in measure 31 instead of E sharp: F natural

Page 30
No German translation belonging to the first musical excerpt („Place the 1st finger on both the A and D strings.”). Please add: Setze den 1. Finger gleichzeitig auf A- und D-Saite.

The symbol * above [Scale and Broken Chords (A Major)] does not refer to a note or a place in the musical text.
Where does this sign refer to?

Translation mistake in the middle of the page. Instead of “In diesem Teil A übe mit besonderer Aufmerksamkeit den Lagenwechsel mit dem 3. Finger.” write: In Teil A übe sorgfältig das Umsetzen des 3. Fingers.

Four times there is no translation for the words “Ex”. German translation of the word “Ex”: Übung

Page 32
First musical excerpt: above the third note (small note) write 1

The symbol of the third position (3rd) should begin above the small note.

Measure two, second note (small note): write 1

No translation for 3rd. Please add the German text: 3. Lage

Five times there is no translation for the words “Ex”. German translation of the word “Ex”: Übung

On this page an advice is missing that children need to use Dr. Suzuki’s book “Position Etudes”. Otherwise people find on page 14 Hunters’ Chorus.
The German translation instead of “Siehe Ergänzungstext bei den Übungen auf S. 14” should be: Siehe Ergänzungstext im Buch “Position Etudes” von Suzuki, S. 14.

Page 33
The symbol * above „Long, Long Ago“ does not refer to a note or a place in the musical text.
Where does this sign refer to?

Page 34
German text at the beginning of the page: “Spiele die folgenden Auszüge in 3. Lage mit dem vorgeschlagenen Fingersatz:” write: Spiele die folgenden Auszüge in der 3. Lage mit dem vorgeschlagenen Fingersatz:

Seven times no translation for 3rd. Please add the German text: 3. Lage

Six times no translation for 1st. Please add the German text: 1. Lage

In the second measure above beat three the symbol for 1st position (in German: 1. Lage) is forgotten.

Page 35
Instead of “Die Entfernung zwischen zwei Tönen wird „Intervall” genannt und in folgenden Zahlen ausgedrückt” write: Der Abstand zwischen zwei Tönen heißt „Intervall” und wird folgendermaßen bezeichnet:

Delete the brackets of Oktave.

Page 38
Instead of “G.P. (Generalpause oder lange Pause) – ein Takt Stille” write:
G.P. – Generalpause oder lange Pause

Inconsistent and Confusing Numbering of Exercises

Page 11:
You find here exercises 1a, 1b, 2a, 2b, 3a, 3b, 3c; the last exercise is without any number

Page 13:
You find here exercises 5 and 6

Page 16:
You find here exercise 7

Page 17:
You find here Finger Exercise No. 5A

Page 18:
You find here exercises 8, 9a, 9b, 9c
Finger Exercise No. 6 = 10a, 10b, 10c
Two other exercises without number

Page 21:
You find here exercises 11, 12, 13

Page 24:
You find here Finger Exercise No. 5B = exercises 14 and 15

Below you find 16, 17a, 17b and 17c

Kathrin Averdung

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 11, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Hello everyone, as one of your moderators I’d like to point out that endless repetition of the same criticisms, (however justified!) may lead me to lock this thread, and it appeared to be heading that direction for a short time. Happily the last few posts have begun to contribute new ideas to the discussion and I don’t think locking is necessary at this time.

Although this forum does not currently have official discussion/posting guidelines listed,
please consider how the Ethical Conduct Guidelines here: https://suzukiassociation.org/teachers/guides/ethics/ (on the teachers’ section of the SAA website) might apply to this discussion.

Thanks!

-Jenny-

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 11, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

And this is me posting as a teacher, taking my own advice above. One of the SAA’s guidelines is:

Seek opportunities to endorse the philosophy of Dr. Suzuki and promote public understanding of it.

The one thing I really applaud with the new editions is that we FINALLY have an official sheet music book that is physically attached to a CD. I think that the very idea of selling sheet music books bundled together with a recording promotes the idea that Suzuki repertoire is meant to be heard by the students at home as well as from the teacher in lessons.

On the other hand, the criticisms so thoroughly mentioned in other posts promote a totally different kind of public misunderstanding, which needs to be addressed. A step forward in one area, a step backwards in another. Hmmm….

Constanze said: Dec 11, 2007
 13 posts

**[size=200]“Good morning!
What is the most important teaching point for today?”[/size]**

Martin Rüttimann wrote: Suzuki never talked about “teaching points” – we should not get the impression to trainees that the main thing about Suzuki teaching is knowing these points.

When I studied in Matsumoto, almost every morning Dr. Suzuki came in and started his teaching day, smiling at us, with the words: “Good morning! What is the most important teaching point for today?”

He went to almost every one and asked, looking to us with his happy, lively eyes: ”What do you think?” Several teacher trainees had to make a suggestion and the person who found the right answer usually got a cookie. Mostly Dr. Suzuki stated happily: “I should better call the Talent Education Institute ‘Cookie Conservatory’ “.

After this amusing start of the day he worked with us in detail on the different aspects of his teaching points. The atmosphere was friendly and often enjoyable, but you could always feel the seriousness behind every exercise.

He told us often: ”In order to teach not only notes but to educate the character of a child, you need to guide your student carefully from step to step towards a higher aim. If you teach, for example, Tonalization you should touch the soul of the child. Beautiful tone comes from a beautiful heart.”
These words show us how we can educate our children through music. If we concentrate on tone production, the child needs to open its heart in order to improve its tone. And how can we improve the child’s tone? Dr. Suzuki’s answer was: At the beginning you need to help your students technically. Teaching points like the understanding of controlled bow speed, bow weight, good contact point and the production of different tone colors and dynamics are important premises for beautiful tone.

Working on teaching points shows the child much more than the development of a special violin technique. It is the best way to encourage, to cultivate and continuously improve many positive characteristics like:

  • commitment
  • courage
  • diligence
  • discipline
  • energy
  • free will
  • forbearance
  • honesty
  • intuition
  • patience
  • self-awareness
  • endurance
  • self-discipline
  • sensitivity
  • unselfishness
  • excellence

In the book of Evelyn Hermann “Shinichi Suzuki: The Man and His Philosophy“ you can find out a lot about Dr. Suzuki’s teaching style and how seriously he worked on his vital teaching points with students and teachers. Below you find many hints to the keyword “teaching point”:

  1. on Page 60:
    “… He never relaxes with a feeling that the best way of teaching a point has been developed. Shinichi Suzuki spends all of his …”
  2. on Page 142:
    “… Not only has he chosen works that contain the correct examples for the teaching points needed for the student to progress in an orderly manner, but he has also used music of composers whose works …”

  3. on Page 143:
    “… Suzuki has lived and worked by this code. He tries to continually improve his own teaching and to share any new ideas with his teachers. He asks them to do the same. …”

  4. on Page 176:
    “Vital Points for Violin Performance
    written by Shinichi Suzuki
    Teaching Points for 1976 (New Ideas for Teachers to Use in Their Teaching)”

  5. on Page 178:
    “Vital Points for Lesson and Homework of This Year 1971
    178 Teaching Points

  6. on Page 186:
    “SUZUKI: HIS PHILOSOPHY
    Teaching Points for 1976
    Teaching Points

  7. Ability is developed at home.
    The Suzuki Method seeks a) to minimize trouble for parents, …”

  8. on Page 193:
    “… SUZUKI’S “NEW IDEA” FOR PLAYING THE VIOLIN
    Casals Tonalization
    We call the following exercises by the name “Casals Tonalization.” Study …”

  9. on Page 199:
    “SUZUKI’S “NEW IDEA” FOR PLAYING THE VIOLIN (1994)
    New Teaching Points of the Suzuki Method
    Please try the following 4 ideas as new teaching points. …”

  10. on Page 200:
    “A Suzuki Method Report on Violin Playing
    New Teaching Points
    I would like to report some new teaching points, from this past year, through which Japanese violin students have greatly …”

  11. on Page 201:
    New Teaching Points
    “… keeping it parallel to the bridge and practice this same motion of the right elbow.

  12. A new teaching point to increase the right “thumb-nail” power for developing big tone. …”

  13. on Page 202:
    “… Always strive to make a wonderful, ringing tone. This is one of the most important playing points. It should also be the most basic teaching point for playing music. …”

Martin Rüttimann wrote: Suzuki never talked about “teaching points”.

Martin, how can you make such an unqualified statement? Of course, not everyone has had the possibility to study with Dr. Suzuki in Matsumoto but everybody can get information about the main teaching ideas of Dr. Suzuki.

Martin Rüttimann wrote: “I remember you that we all walk together” Dr. Suzuki

How can we go together, if you have no idea about Dr. Suzuki’s teaching concept? We never can go in the same direction, if you don’t understand the importance of teaching points, which is the application of Dr. Suzuki’s philosophy to daily life.
I don’t understand how you can teach children or lead an organisation like the Swiss Suzuki Association, if you don’t know and don’t understand one of Dr. Suzuki’s most vital keywords:

“The importance of the teaching points.”

Constanze Wurzel
Graduated in Matsumoto (Talent Education Institute)
and in Germany (German Suzuki Institute / European Suzuki Association)

Charles Krigbaum said: Dec 11, 2007
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

Dear Jenny and readers of this important forum,

I must admit that at first I was highly taken aback by your post as moderator of the forum. I was resentful, and thought that you were implying that criticizing the revised editions was a taboo activity for “well-behaved Suzuki teachers”. Initially I was insulted by your reference to the ethical standards page. But then I re-read our vital code of ethics and felt empowered and challenged by them.

This chat is a forum for members to express their views. Although “endless and repetitive”, our concerns regarding the recent editions are in the spirit of bringing credit to the Suzuki method and integrity and professionalism to our core materials that are read by so many throughout the world. I would feel ashamed if I thought my comments disrespected the many individuals who worked tirelessly on these editions—but I do not.

Closing this important thread would be a mistake. Yes, we absolutely must be careful to respect one another while discussing this paramount issue—but we should not shut down discussion simply because it is too negative. We can’t pretend everything is all “rosey and well” simply because we are afraid that a spirited discussion would reflect poorly on the Suzuki movement. There is nothing inherently unethical about protest and justified complaint.

I need to applaud Kathrin and Constanze for their thorough analysis and extremely thought-out responses. I have been inspired and enriched by their participation and wish that more American teachers (myself included) would spend time contributing to this thread.

My involvement with this topic began when I considered the huge difference in quality between the presentation of the new Suzuki editions and the slick productions currently available in the traditional world (Artistry in Strings, Essential Elements, etc.) I am incredibly embarrassed and troubled by the message it sends to the larger music education community that our “newly revised” core materials contain mistakes (in any language) and have poorly conceived layout and font proportions. Rather than close down this discussion, I would in fact urge all readers to voice their opinions.

Too often this Suzuki chat is victim to low participation. Now clearly we have an issue that has awaken the attention of manyindeed anyone who cares about the quality of our publications should add their voice to this discussion. I can’t think of a more appropriate place to do this than on this very forum.

So often as Suzuki teachers we are challenged to focus on the positive—with our students, our colleagues, and even ourselves. I understand Jenny that this is what you are challenging us all to do, and I will indeed try my best to see the positive side of things—but the message I hear loud and clear from the many contributors to this thread from around the world is that we can’t just sweep all the problems under the rug. I myself wouldn’t even be aware of the the mistakes in the German and French if it wasn’t called to my attention by others…we simply can’t silence their voices because they are too loud—THAT would be unethical.

Finally, I am truly inspired by the passion and intensity I can sense from the writers in this forum. I am moved by how deeply they care about their work and the Suzuki method worldwide—and I am proud to be a member of a global community that does such important work in the world.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education
www.ntste.com
www.facebook.com/NorthTexasSchoolofTalentEducation

Haukur Hannesson said: Dec 11, 2007
 ISA Board
Teacher Trainer
Teacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Cello
2 posts

A message from the Chair of the International Suzuki Association:

Several people have commented the new publication of Suzuki Violin Book 1 in this discussion group. The strength of feeling in the contributors’ messages shows the level of strong engagement and care that Suzuki teachers have for the Suzuki Method™ and all materials published under the Suzuki name.

Not everyone is positive about the new publication. There are mistakes, too many, particularly in the German translation. There should not be mistakes of this nature, if these can be avoided, in any material published under the Suzuki name. Something has gone wrong in the production process. It is the ISA’s intention to work with the publishers on analysing what went wrong, so that these mistakes can be corrected as soon as possible and also to find ways of avoiding this happening again.

A group of dedicated people on the ISA Violin Committee worked diligently on getting this book ready for publication. They deserve much credit for all their hard work. Those of the contributors in this discussion group who have expressed their points of view and offered constructive suggestions for solutions are also to be thanked. All of these will be valuable in the work necessary to improve this and future publications.

Haukur F. Hannesson
Chair
International Suzuki Association

Coutier said: Dec 12, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

I am happy and hugely relieved that at last the ISA has reacted to our outcry with a written statement. I welcome Haukur to this chat and hope to hear more from him in the future.

I urge the ISA, FAA, ESA as well as all the national Suzuki associations, to place this letter prominently on their websites immediately and keep their readers informed in the future.

This, not only for us, “Suzuki people” but also for others, collegues and critics, so they can see we deal with our mistakes in a mature way and will come up soon with a solution to this embarrassing problem.

Now we can start building again! I’ll drink a good glass of wine to that (after teaching!)

coutier

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 12, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

CharlesKrigbaum

Dear Jenny and readers of this important forum,

I must admit that at first I was highly taken aback by your post as moderator of the forum. I was resentful, and thought that you were implying that criticizing the revised editions was a taboo activity for “well-behaved Suzuki teachers”. Initially I was insulted by your reference to the ethical standards page. But then I re-read our vital code of ethics and felt empowered and challenged by them.

Charles, I was afraid that’s the way it would be taken, and I tried to choose my words carefully. I was in no way trying to suggest that criticism is a taboo activity. I did want to say that there comes a point in any discussion after which, if no new ideas are being generated, if no new light is shed upon a topic, then repeating a criticism that has already been well-aired becomes unproductive.

Thanks for looking at those guidelines. They bear reading and re-reading every so often.

…we can’t just sweep all the problems under the rug. I myself wouldn’t even be aware of the the mistakes in the German and French if it wasn’t called to my attention by others…we simply can’t silence their voices because they are too loud—THAT would be unethical.

I quite agree.

-Jenny-

said: Dec 13, 2007
 8 posts

My students have problems to play along with the piano accompaniments of the new CD (Revised Book 1).

We were talking very much and detailed about the revised books. But we should not forget that the sheet music book is bundled together with a recording. I think the CD is the most important part of these two components.

This week all of my book 1 students played together with this new CD during the private lessons. I wanted to test them without prejudice. Now I have to tell you that I have problems especially with the piano accompaniments of the revised edition.
All reactions were not good. Perhaps it is because we are used to play along with the Step by Step CDs.

Some children have had problems to stay in tempo because they could not hear very well the beat and were frustrated when they got lost with the CD. One little girl started to cry and the parents told me that she has had no problems at home to play along with the Step by Step CD.
Of course the child was not used to the new CD but even for me it is hard to hear the beat, when I play along with the revised CD.
One reaction of a five year old student was: “Next lesson I don’t want to play with this CD anymore. I want to play with my nice CD!” (The Step by Step CD)
Another 6 year old student asked me why the piano part to Andantino is so boring on the new Suzuki CD?
I must say that the students are the first to say the truth without any reservation. For me it is obviously: They much prefer the piano arrangements on the Step-by-Step CDs.

I am wondering if anyone has tested already both CDs with their students. What experience did you have? Please tell me!

Catherina from Buenos Aires, Argentina

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 13, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Regarding piano arrangements, the ‘official’ suzuki arrangements (used on the new (revised) Preucil CD, the Nadien CD, the Cerone CD, and, I assume, on the old Suzuki CD, as well as on the MIDI accompaniment disks) contain without doubt some of the most boring and/or unmusical accompaniments devised.

Because of copyright issues (not to mention musical issues!), I think that no ‘unofficial’ recording (such as the Step by Step) can use these exact arrangements, nor the pieces written by Suzuki (at least, in the US, this is true; I’m not sure about other country’s copyright laws).

Maybe that’s a VERY good thing! I know that the piano accompanists who work in my Suzuki program usually make up their own arrangements/accompaniments for all of the early book 1 pieces. Let’s face it… the music just sounds better with a more interesting, imaginative, musical accompaniment.

To be fair to the new ‘official’ recording, I think you’d have to compare it not to Step by Step’s recordings, but to the previous “official” recordings.

On the other hand, to be most beneficial to our students, we should use the best recording we can find.

How does the tempo of the Step by Step recording compare to the tempos on the ‘official’ CD? I have not done as thorough of a comparison as you did, but those of my students who have played with the new CD don’t seem to find it particularly more difficult than playing with the Cerone or the Nadien CD.

-Jenny-

Coutier said: Dec 13, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Catherina, I have not tested the cd with my students. Generally the piano sound is not very clear and articulate, even muffled at moments, also rhythmically the piano is not very balanced at quite a few places. The left hand should be a lot stronger in my opinion, if it wants to give support in a group lesson.

It sounds like an electric keyboard to my ears. I am wondering what kind of studio was used and how experienced the sound engineer. Listen to the Twinkle Variations and the cuts that were made in between them, some of them are pretty awful, listen how “Oh come, Little Children” is cut at the end.

I know it sounds boring and will be infuriating to some, but I do say that we are spoiled by the Step by Step cd’s (mind you, I am not saying that the Step by Steps should replace the Violin School books): the studio quality, the quality of pianist David Andruss and the instrument (Steinway) he plays. His accompaniment is there, available, guiding, inspiring, leading, supporting: vibrant and creative.

I am sure Catherina, that your students, as they learn to listen more carefully to the cd, would be able to play quite well with it. The mediocre sound engineering will not be noticed by the untrained ear of most parents, neither will they really notice the difference in tempo between piano introduction of Gossec and the rest of the piece. The cd can be used as a “work horse”. But I do find it sad that our cd has no better quality, especially since I know how it can be done.

Could it be – I keep guessing as no answers are forthcoming – that both books and cd’s were produced on a shoe string budget? Cheap studio, limited time, cheap sound engineer, cheap piano. Cheap labour: I understand there was no financial compensation for the people that worked so hard on these things.

This opus magnus of creating new editions, that probably happens once every 20 years or so, needs and deserves financial investment. Let the committee do the Suzuki things they are good at, hire a professional top lay-out artist and create beautiful books, find a top quality music studio with a top quality engineer and spend as much time in it as is needed. Find a great pianist (who knows David Andruss might be available). And pay the committee for their work.

Who would pay for that? We would! Of course we would, naturally we would. We can do fundraising amongst our student’s parents, at workshops, concerts. Raise the price of book and cd by 5 dollars/euro’s, nobody would really mind. Playing the fiddle costs a lot of money anyway. Our way of teaching is a beautiful way of teaching, so let’s make sure our material will be truly beautiful as well.

coutier

Constanze said: Dec 14, 2007
 13 posts

Jenny wrote:
How does the tempo of the Step by Step recording compare to the tempos on the ‘official’ CD? I have not done as thorough of a comparison …

Dear Jenny and readers!

If you don’t know the STEP by STEP CDs you have missed the most beneficial CDs to our students. You have the possibility to listen to several sound tracks from the CDs of volumes 1A, 1B, 2A, 2B, and 3A, even from the volume 3B which will be published in spring 2008.

You should know:
STEP BY STEP 1A and 1B are based on the literature of the Suzuki Violin School, Volume 1.
STEP BY STEP 2A and 2B are based on the literature of the Suzuki Violin School, Volume 2.
STEP BY STEP 3A and 3B are based on the literature of the Suzuki Violin School, Volume 3.

Please look into the homepage of the German Suzuki Institute: http://www.germansuzuki.de/

I think everybody will like them.

Constanze

Kathrin said: Dec 15, 2007
 Violin
4 posts

The Idea is Really Good: Book and CD in One Package

Jenny wrote:
The one thing I really applaud with the new editions is that we FINALLY have an official sheet music book that is physically attached to a CD. I think that the very idea of selling sheet music books bundled together with a recording promotes the idea that Suzuki repertoire is meant to be heard by the students at home as well as from the teacher in lessons.

A few days ago I had a meeting with several Suzuki teachers and teacher trainers. Subject was the CD of the Revised Suzuki Violin School, volume 1. Our first impression was:

Good idea—book and CD in one package, professional violinist, less qualified pianist, not convincing sound engineering.

It is actually very helpful for teaching if sheet music book and CD are mutually coordinated and form a unit. But it makes no sense if they don’t fit together. We found many – in our own professional opinion, too many—differences between the musical text and the CD.
Below you will find the list which we sent already to Alfred and to ISA. We hope very much that they understand our fear about the decline of the reputation of the Suzuki Method and the entry of unprofessional worldwide published teaching material.

In Germany and I think in whole Europe we hear already quite spiteful sentences from traditional teachers about the new Suzuki edition:
“Now we finally understand why Suzuki children can’t read music! Their best Suzuki teachers, who edited this new Vol. 1, showed us clearly that they themselves are not able to write correctly. Furthermore they can’t read music. They even have problems to recognize a quarter or a half note.”

This is not a bad joke; it is our reality.

The CD of the revised book 1 has too many unprofessional editing and recording mistakes in it. We are afraid that children will get the wrong fundamentals. During our meeting many questions came up:

  • How could this happen?
  • Who is responsible?
  • Does professionalism not exist in the Suzuki world?
  • Do we offer our children really something valuable with this CD?
  • Do our children learn unconsciously through this CD, that it is not important to strive for accuracy, order and beauty in life?

Unfortunately this CD has not come out as a shining example for children, parents, and teachers.

After a long discussion we decided not to use this book/CD package and not to recommend it to our teacher trainees.

Kathrin Averdung
Suzuki Violin Teacher and Teacher Trainer of the European Suzuki Association

Notes concerning the CD of the Revised Edition, Vol. 1

The Articulation

Ear training is one of the most important requirements during the first years. We know how detailed children are able to listen. In some places on the CD it is differently played than in the printed music.

We found several inaccuracies. To name just a three examples:

Listen to Allegretto, the notes before the fermata. In the book it is written that each note should be short (with a dot). But on the CD they don’t play like this.

Perpetual Motion and Etude:
These two pieces should have the same bow articulation. You can hear it precisely on the CD. According the articulation on the CD these two pieces should be printed in the same way as they were in the old Suzuki Edition of Volume 1.

Looking at Perpetual Motion on page 33 (revised edition): In the music you find eighth notes without any articulation. Below the notes “sempre staccato” is written in brackets.
Etude on page 37 (revised edition): In the music you find eighth notes with a dot. Above the notes “sempre staccato” is written this time without brackets:
Why are these two pieces differently printed but played in the same style of articulation?

Printed Dynamics

Another problem are the printed dynamics. Very often they don’t fit together with the musical interpretation on the CD. The musicians just play the pieces differently. Nicely, but not like they are printed.
You will find these dynamic mistakes even more in the piano accompaniments. Unfortunately, the piano plays almost without any dynamics.

Here you find only a few examples:

Go Tell Aunt Rhody (violin and piano, track 9):
There is no
- piano, beginning in measure 7
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 9

Go Tell Aunt Rhody (only piano, track 31):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 7
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 9

May Song (only piano, track 33):
There is no
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 5
- forte, beginning in m. 9

Minuet I (violin and piano):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 9
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 13
- piano, beginning in m. 17
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 21

Minuet I (only piano, track 40):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 9
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 13
- piano, beginning in m. 17
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 21

Minuet II (violin and piano, track 19):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 17
- piano, beginning in m. 29
- forte, beginning in m. 33

Minuet II (only piano, track 41):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 17
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 21
- piano, beginning in m. 29
- forte, beginning in m. 33

Gossec Gavotte (violin and piano, track 22):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 9
- mezzopiano, beginning in m. 11
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 17
- piano, beginning in m. 21
- piano, beginning in m. 29

Gossec Gavotte (only piano, track 44):
There is no
- piano, beginning in m. 9
- mezzopiano, beginning in m. 11
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 13
- piano, beginning in m. 15
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 17
- piano, beginning in m. 21
- mezzoforte, beginning in m. 25
- piano, beginning in m. 29

We could continue with this list for several pages.

**[size=150]Solving this problem there are at least two options.

Option No. 1: The dynamics would be changed in the musical text.[/size]**

We heard already that Alfred intends to do a reprint. This means that soon there will be a REVISED “Revised Edition” in our hands. This could be a good chance to solve some problems. We could adjust the printed dynamics to the played dynamics on the CD.
But this will probably lead to another large-scale confusion: All teachers and teacher trainers would have to change their bow-division-concept.
We all know about the importance of the bow distribution in book 1. Here we teach the basic understanding of the relationship between the amount of bow, the speed of bow, and the dynamics. Even if there are some slightly different views on this subject we have to state that every teacher has to change his teaching concept regarding this subject.

The question came up whether we really want to do this, only because the musicians did not play what is printed in the book. We decided not to change our concept which is detailed, well thought through and tried out with thousands of students.

Option No. 2: Alfred would make a new revised recording of the CD.

There would be many things on our wish list.

General points

  • Tuning notes
  • List of all recorded pieces with track numbers
  • Name of the pianist (We find only the name of the violinist.)

Elimination of rhythmical and tempo problems

  • The pianist has often problems to play rhythmically with constant clear articulation (e.g. Twinkle variation C and E, track 25 and 27).
  • There are several pieces where the musicians don’t keep the tempo. Perhaps the sound engineer put some recording sections with different tempos together like we hear in the Gavotte by Gossec (track 22). The piano introduction started with quarter note = 120 and as soon as the violinist begins the tempo is suddenly quarter note = 132.

[size=150]**The most important point:
We need much better piano accompaniments **[/size](tracks 22-44) with

  • dynamics like they are printed in the book
  • clearer articulations and rhythmical control
  • unmistakable understanding and demonstration of the teaching points
  • different musical characters
  • a much better instrument (the piano sounds like an electric keyboard)
  • more left hand (more bass in order to hear the beat, if children play along with)
  • some extra notes in the bass or with chords as impulse in order to help children feeling a ritardando, show the beat during rests, or to start after a fermata

The best would be to learn from the “Step by Step” piano accompaniments. Here we find everything we need and even more!

The CD of the revised book 1 has too many unprofessional editing and recording mistakes in it. We are afraid that children will get the wrong fundamentals.

After a long discussion we decided not to use this book/CD package and not to recommend it to our teacher trainees.

Kathrin Averdung
Suzuki Violin Teacher and Teacher Trainer of the European Suzuki Association

Kathrin Averdung

said: Dec 17, 2007
 8 posts

Differences between book and CD

Yesterday I red your notes about the CD, Kathrin. First I was surprised about your comments because by then I did not notice the differences between the book and the CD. I listened to the CD and found out: You are right! There are so many, many details not related to the book.

I called immediately some Suzuki colleagues and told them what I discovered through your report. One friend told me that the ISA committee was present during the recordings of the CD and was very satisfied with the result. Nobody of this group obviously cared about the methodical concept of the recording.

My colleagues and I, we all have the same worry. Is this team who was responsible for the amateurish material really able to do it better? Do they have enough professionalism in their ears, eyes and in their overview as Suzuki teachers and musicians? We have our doubts. They showed us with this CD and book clearly their range of abilities—notable for everyone. If this is the result after many years of hard work and efforts how can we trust that the result after several months of revising work will be better, at least sufficient?
Are they really able to create a methodical concept which goes together with a CD and an attractive print which is up to the level of 2007? Let’s see and hope!

I certainly agree with you, Kathrin, that we can’t use this edition as it is conceive by now. There must be a clear connection and relationship between book and CD. This is the most important point besides all other weaknesses.

Freesia wrote:
This reminds me how some prospective students try to get the absolutely cheapest violin—one of my colleagues says, “and do they want a cheap experience, too?”

If the parents of my students would ask for a cheaper lesson fee, I could offer them to reduce my price, working in accordance with this new material.
But I don’t like to recommend this, I better continue to work with the old edition from 1978 in combination with the Step by Step books/CDs.

Catherina

said: Dec 18, 2007
 Violin
7 posts

Dear ISA Violin Committee, Dear Publisher,

Please take your time!

There is no hurry. Don’t produce a next TEST VERSION. The quality counts. We are not afraid of waiting; we are afraid of a mediocre product which is not really much better than this TEST Version. Such test versions will not survive. Please, don’t bear a further moribund child.

Produce the worldwide best Suzuki publication!

We need a “Motherbook with CD” of the Suzuki Violin School. This should become a product, at which each Suzuki teacher can look with pride.

Alfred could manage to produce and to finance many excellent high standard publications in every point of view. Why can’t you put the same investment into the “Motherbook” of the Suzuki Method?

We don’t need a cheap version!

We better pay $ 25,00 per book/CD package rather than living with a material, which is not only cheap in price but in quality.
Usually a child works much longer than one year in Volume 1. Parents will certainly pay about $ 2,00 per month for an excellent material.

We as Suzuki teachers, we paid this TEST VERSION with the worldwide damage of our reputation and the publisher paid it with a lot of money.


To the readers of this forum:

I would like to write this text to ISA and Alfred. In the homepage of Alfred I can’t find an email address where to send it. There are only addresses for other purposes. Can someone tell me the right address?

Thank you!
Bruno from Roma, Italia

Bruno from Italy

Andrea said: Dec 19, 2007
 Violin
1 posts

Dear Bruno!

Please write a letter to Alfred and ISA:

[javascript protected email address]
[javascript protected email address]

Send a copy to:

[javascript protected email address], [javascript protected email address], [javascript protected email address], [javascript protected email address], [javascript protected email address]

[edit: please do not post private email addresses —Admin]


I can’t speak well English. Bruno, I wrote YOUR letter to Alfred and ISA.

Everyone can do same!!!

It’s easy for me and you and 100% clear! Thank you, Bruno!


19/12/2007

Dear ISA Violin Committee, Dear Publisher,

My name is Andrea Quiroz. I am Suzuki teacher and teaching in Barcelona. I agree 100% with Bruno message from Italy! There is no hope for such edition and CD in Barcelona.

My English is not very good but I want to say the same:

Please take your time!

There is no hurry. Don’t produce a next TEST VERSION. The quality counts. We are not afraid of waiting; we are afraid of a mediocre product which is not really much better than this TEST Version. Such test versions will not survive. Please, don’t bear a further moribund child.

Produce the worldwide best Suzuki publication!

We need a “Motherbook with CD” of the Suzuki Violin School. This should become a product, at which each Suzuki teacher can look with pride.

Alfred could manage to produce and to finance many excellent high standard publications in every point of view. Why can’t you put the same investment into the “Motherbook” of the Suzuki Method?

We don’t need a cheap version!

We better pay $ 25,00 per book/CD package rather than living with a material, which is not only cheap in price but in quality.
Usually a child works much longer than one year in Volume 1. Parents will certainly pay about $ 2,00 per month for an excellent material.

We as Suzuki teachers, we paid this TEST VERSION with the worldwide damage of our reputation and the publisher paid it with a lot of money!

I hope you hear our voices, dear ISA Violin Committee and dear Publisher!

Andrea Quiroz
Barcelona

Michaela said: Dec 19, 2007
 Violin, Viola
2 posts

Hey Bruno in Italy,

Yours is a great idea. I hope everyone can relate to having a high quality “Mother” suzuki book!!

I am sure this is what ISA wants anyway, only sometimes the getting there is pretty difficult. Time, VISION, and good workers would be a great asset to Alfred, who can help make this possible???

Mickey in the state of the very concerned….

said: Dec 20, 2007
 Violin
7 posts

Thank you very much, Andrea! I will write today a letter to Alfred and to ISA.

I am amazed that not more teachers, who agree with the books/CDs, have spoken up already. Perhaps there exists only this one teacher, Mr. Rüttimann from Switzerland, who wants to work with the TEST VERSION from 2007 and the layout from 1978, the mediocre CD and the thoughtless methodical concept.

Alfred could send him ALL TEST books/CDs and we work with our good old white books and …

wait for the new ones beautifully illustrated, wonderful corresponding concept (CD/book) and very musical piano arrangements.

I remember Christophe Bossuat in Torino. His long speech about all the wonderful things in the new edition…

Bruno

Bruno from Italy

Andrea said: Dec 20, 2007
 1 posts

Dear ISA Violin Committee, Dear Publisher,

I can only agree with the statements of Bruno from Italy, Kathrin from Germany and all the others who speak about the quality of teaching material.

From my own teaching experience in Vienna I simply could not justify this low quality in the teaching material such as books with mistakes and especially a practice CD without a real high quality of violin and piano and rhythmical playing!

Half of my pupils’ parents are either professional violinists or other instrumentalists from the Vienna Philharmonic or Symphonic Orchestras, from the Radio Symphonic Orchestra the Tonkuenstler Orchestra and so on. It is a big responsibility for me being the first musical teacher of a child, to develop a good potential and allow the kid to do the best with it in life or even to have the chance later to choose music as a profession!

Till now the parents here are very supportive and very fond of the Suzuki Method—where their children learn to understand and feel music from the first moment through listening to sounds of high quality, either from their teacher or the material. I use the “Suzuki Violin School” and the “Step by Step” books for homework. Therefore, the pupils have an opportunity to listen to a good sound and are able to reproduce quality, right from the beginning.

Also I should point out that this quality is more important for pupils whose parents are not professional musicians. The CD is the only assistance to understand where the aim of trying hard will be!

Finally I am of the opinion that only quality combined with serious material is the main element for the success of the Suzuki Method!

Yours sincerely,

Andrea Mugrauer—Beis

said: Dec 21, 2007
 1 posts

Hello ANDREA No.1 and ANDREA No. 2!

I am the third ANDREA in a row, who writes in this forum.

The first ANDREA was from Barcelona, Spain. She wrote on Dec 19, 2007.

The second ANDREA was from Vienna, Austria. She wrote on Dec 20, 2007.

And I am the third ANDREA from Paks (about 100 km far from Budapest), Hungary. I write on Dec 21, 2007.

I am happy that so many ANDREAS have the same opinion.

We are really concerned like about the Revised Edition same as many of my Suzuki colleagues here in Hungary.

I will write the following letter to ISA and Alfred:

Dear ISA Violin Committee, Dear ALFRED Publisher,

With consternation I have looked at the new revised edition of the first volume of the Suzuki Violin School. Not only the low level of the CD and the music book frightened me but also the fact that we destroy our reputation exactly with such publications.

The traditional string teachers and professional musicians are in my country Hungary very strong. It would be a big scandal for the young Suzuki movement in my country but also in the remaining east European countries if this edition would not taken away from the market.

In Hungary and in the other east European countries the string pedagogy has long tradition and has developed a very high level.

In Hungary the Suzuki movement is like a small bud which starts slowly to bloom. We develop in little steps but only through the enormous effort and work of the European Suzuki Association. With this new revised edition, the Suzuki movement would be suffocated in germs; all previous work would be destroyed.

Please let this edition disappear from the market for ever and ever!!!

Take time and effort for a really beautifully new edition with high musical and pedagogic standards, beautiful layout and much background information for parents.

Sincerely,

Andrea Àgotha-Vajer
Suzuki teacher with A-Teacher Diploma by the European Suzuki Association (level 5)

Coutier said: Dec 23, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

It is my opinion that firstly the Suzuki associations should spend a hefty sum of money on consulting a communication expert (or spend nothing and consult me or any other “ordinary” Suzuki teacher) and clean up their act.

Reactions to the debacle of the new editions are getting angrier and rightly so as still no replies are being published on Suzuki websites. On both ISA en SAA websites the books are still being happily announced.

Personally I read this silence as a mixture of denial, fear, arrogance and impertinence. When will they come down from their heavenly thrones? When the proverbial bowelcontent has hit the fan and we will be the laughingstock of our critics, not only because of the editions but even more so because of completely inadequate communication? We, the Suzuki people who pride ourselves on our ability to communicate with our students and their parents………….

I am flabbergasted!

coutier

Coutier said: Dec 24, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Freesia, I don’t understand why, two weeks after date, you refer to mr Hannesson’s letter. Is this by any chance a reaction to the contribution I sent in yesterday?
If it is, let me tell you that I find the content of his letter quite satisfactory. What frustrates me is that the exposure is limited to this chat only. It should be published on all Suzuki websites.

coutier

Coutier said: Dec 25, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Now again you have me confused, Freesia. First you declare your love for Bruno who strongly states that PUBLICATION MUST BE POSTPONED till real good quality has been reached (entailing much more than mere correction of spelling mistakes)

And almost in the same breath you are hopeful that SHORTLY A QUALITY EDITION will be provided.
So what is it you love about Bruno’s post, except that it is written from his beautiful Italian heart?

I am afraid Bruno will not love you back.

You say Mr Hannesson is indirect and the SAA doesn’t speak, neither does the American publisher ……..
And then you take a giant leap into trusting that all will be well henceforth, that it is just their outlandish way of non- and uncommunication…. Girl, you sound just like my mum!

If it is “Mr H’s” cultural background that makes him indirect and diminished communicative, maybe he is not fit for this international job. Santa Claus is, as the American culture believes, from the same region and he is communicating allright!

Makes me think: I know Christophe Bossuat (chairman of the new edition committee) as an outstanding teacher and superbly communicative man, he is my greatest example as far as Suzuki teachers go. Why is he still clammed up?

IS CHRISTOPHE BOSSUAT HOSTAGE OF THE SECRET STIFF UPPERLIP SOCIETY??????????????

A merry Christmas to you too!

Greetings from Holland, country of wooden shoes, tulips, windmills, hasjies, free love, bicycles and terrible Gouda cheese. Country too with a great tradition of free and open speach.

coutier

Coutier said: Dec 26, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Freesia, I get up at 7.30 every morning. The impressive 5.17 AM is your time, in Europe we have a different time-zone.
I must confess I did not go to midnight mass, it is rather a scarce commodity in my heathenly country. I was raised a Roman Catholic, but left this church many years ago as I felt they were not representing the Christ I “see”. They are involved in dogma and politics, rather than in truth, so that’s not my scene really.

I was inspired while writing, but neither alcohol nor any other substance were involved. And Gouda? Try the French or Italian cheeses, they are so much better.

I was in a giggly mood because I found your contribution confusing. I find the whole thing confusing! I wonder what those ESA, ISA and SAA bobo’s are doing right now. Are they really not communicating because they consider communicating to the “common” people beneath their dignity? Or do they feel offended and are cooking up ETHICAL RULES OF CONDUCT or some other smoke screen so that the likes of me will only speak politely and with two words in the future?

Are they worried about the financial side of things? I would be, all those books and cd’s, they cost a lot of money. Going through the whole process again will cost more money. Heaps of money, mountains of it. What will the national associations say about that, as it is their money too that has been spent? As well as MY money, come to think of it!

THAT IS PAINFUL.

But there are solutions, as I and other people have pointed out. To speak in Catholic terms: there is absolution and solution, they just have to open up for it.

I know Christophe Bossuat personally, I did my first level with him in Lyon. He is one of the wisest people I know. We, violinist trainees as well as the cello trainees who were working in an ajacent part of the Lyon building, had sunday morning meetings with him and cello Teacher trainer Ruben Rivera. They were brilliant, inspiring, heart-opening meetings, happening after a breakfast with real croissants and the best coffee the French can make. Can you imagine?

So, Freesia, I jokingly suggest in “tabloid”-fashion that he might be taken hostage by the stiff upper lips. But deep down I am not joking as the attitude he is taking as chairman of the committee is so unlike him. So here I go:

I WANT MY CHRISTOPHE BACK!!!

What is happening to us? Are we since Dr Suzuki’s death suffering tendencies so rampant in the Christian sect-ridden world? Is Haukur Hannesson the pope? Unfallible?

Let us re-think!

coutier

Coutier said: Dec 28, 2007
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Never a dull moment with you is there, Freesia? In one sentence you say that my point is well taken and bestow upon me one of your lovely bravo’s Bruno was blessed with earlier (he got 3!). Then you are GOING TO explain why and suddenly whoosh!, gone you are careening off over yonder hill yapping on about modern day greed, which – I am positive – is not the topic here.

Is this a pattern?

No, I don’t think greed is the issue, nor that our organisations would be in the hands of evil people. Ik keep stressing it: communication is the thing. So far I’ve only spoken up about the destructive effect of non-communication directly related to the publication of the new Vol. 1 edition. But there is more to it as I experience personally.

The other day I saw the “new” version of Vivaldi violin concerto in a-minor, book 4. Now, for my training I am studying that concerto. Suzuki has created a kind of bowing of groups of four 16ths that was never used, or so they say, in the Baroque period. It is a difficult type of bowing, but it makes sense because it trains fingers and hand in a certain way. I have really enjoyed learning it.

Now, in the new version, it is gone and I feel sad.

You see, normally I can let go of things quite easily, but in this case it is more difficult as I not only feel sad but also distrustful. And defiant. And that is new and I don’t like it.

In a couple of weeks time the Suzuki Violin Chief of Holland is “going to explain” the new versions that have been decided upon. And I will not go to that meeting.

I know that at the moment in Europe Vivaldi a-minor is played in at least five different ways, meaning that when kids from all those regions would come together, we’d have a bow-salad. That is really sad. I am also quite certain that bringing out new editions will not change that for reasons of EXTREMELY IMPORTANT AND TOP-QUALITY SUPERIOR PRINCIPLES.

Personally I don’t give a rat’s-arse whether Musette starts down-bow or up-bow and neither do my students nor their parents. Also I am 100% certain that Suzuki’s unconventional ways of treating certain pieces will not diminish our students’ violonistic abilities.

WHAT I AM SAYING IS THAT WE ARE IN DANGER OF LOOSING OUR SHARED LANGUAGE.

That is, in my opinion, the reason why it took eight difficult years to get Vols. 1 and 2 “ready”. And that’s why we need to get into that elementary discussion again before anything gets printed. Are we going for the original Suzuki material, even though we know Suzuki himself was very open to change? or are we going for compromise? Either way we might lose people. It is my feeling that compromise is not working as everybody will be more or less disgruntled.

Hey Freezz, since december 23rd it is only you and I pingponging away here. But, have you noticed, we have over 3050 hits. Do you think mr H. takes a surreptitious peek sometimes, just to see if we say something about him? It would be nice, we would’t be so alone that way. Hello Mr H! Do you think people are too shy to join in? I would really like some more action. There is so much we can share!

coutier

Jennifer Visick said: Dec 29, 2007
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

coutier

Hey Freezz, since december 23rd it is only you and I pingponging away here. But, have you noticed, we have over 3050 hits. Do you think mr H. takes a surreptitious peek sometimes, just to see if we say something about him? It would be nice, we would’t be so alone that way. Hello Mr H! Do you think people are too shy to join in? I would really like some more action. There is so much we can share!

For my part, it’s preparation for and celebration of the holidays that keeps me from composing long posts, starting new topics, etc…. However I had noticed the relatively large number of hits to this thread. :)

I do think the bowing matters in Musette, etc.: If bowing matters at all, it matters in the small as well as in the large pieces, in the beginning as well as in the advanced student’s practice. Is there more than one good way to bow any given piece? Of course. Then why is it important to have an ‘official’ bowing for the Suzuki world? Because we often play these pieces together in groups as if we were a section in a symphony all playing the same part. It is common practice for each section in a symphony to have uniform bowings, to blend better, become better “group” musicians, learn to follow, play excellently for whomever is watching/listening, etc. And there are some bowings which are better and which make more sense than others, for sound musical and technical (physical) reasons.

If we sit down and make a list of all the pros and cons of the new editions, I, for one, think that the bowing changes in the new editions are a point on the “pro” side of the list. But of course we should have an edition which promotes more professional bowings without neglecting a more professional layout.

-Jenny-

said: Jan 6, 2008
 8 posts

**
Dear Colleagues,
**
The following text seems to be a common wish from many Suzuki teachers around the world.

I have received these good words from two different colleagues living at the opposite ends of the world. Here are their wishes:

[size=150]**HAPPY NEW YEAR TO YOU!

May the dawning of this New Year fill your heart with new hopes,
open up new horizons and
bring us a real good and deeply revised Revised Edition
of the Suzuki Violin School, volume 1 and
perhaps also already volume 2
with an excellent high standard in every point of view.**[/size]

I simply want to wish you the same. All serious teachers should find out if they still can identify themselves with their Suzuki organisation. If ISA will not take these publications away from the market, I can’t follow my path as official Suzuki teacher. Probably I will meet many other former Suzuki teachers and we try to teach in the real spirit of Dr. Suzuki and use the finest teaching material which exists in the moment:

The Step by Step books/CDs.

It is perhaps time for our own inner development to search for other channels if Dr. Suzuki’s aims are not internalised anymore by the official Suzuki editors. They showed us with their 30.000 times printed material how they are loosing more and more the understanding of Dr. Suzuki’s words:

[size=150]**Let us try every day
to continue
our quest for the
higher and the finer.**[/size]

I still hope to see and to hear that these words are alive in some hearts of the ISA officials and are deeply reflected in the beauty of the new revised revised CDs and books. Changing some bow strokes and some finger numbers is surely not what Dr. Suzuki intended with his words.

Correcting only the mistakes in this poor basic edition and CD and not aiming for a “higher and finer” publication is absolutely unethical towards our students, their parents and teachers and shows me that I have to find another direction because I don’t want to give up my responsibility towards the Suzuki philosophy.

If the ISA committee desires to continue its path it can continue to go downwards—but without me.

Catherina

Charles Krigbaum said: Jan 8, 2008
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Plano, TX
68 posts

DEAR READERS of this FORUM!
Jenny proposed in her last contribution to make a list of all the pros and cons of the new editions. This is a very good idea. Please contribute by adding YOUR points to this list. It is so important that everyone feel comfortable to voice their opinions concerning this crucial issue. We may not all agree, but everyone’s view should be considered welcome and important.

List of all Pros of the new editions
1. colorful cover
2. new photos of posture and position
3. diagram with the parts of the violin and bow
4. bowing changes (Some teachers will like them and include them in their teaching.)
5. fingering changes (Some teachers will like them and include them in their teaching.)
6. dynamic changes (Some teachers will like them and include them in their teaching.)
7. more space to write comments between and above the music.
8. CD is available for purchase with book in one package

List of all Cons of the new editions
1. photos with incorrect descriptions (i.e. text belonging to photo no. 3 on p. 17) or wrong demonstrations (i.e. the photos on p. 20 show the second position – see thumb position, the musical text shows the first position.)
2. diagram with the parts of the violin and bow: You can’t see some key details ( for example the back of the violin) because of the odd perspective of the photo. It is unclear where many of the arrows point.
3. bowing changes (Some teachers will not like them and will not include them into their teaching.)
4. fingering changes (Some teachers will not like them and will not include them into their teaching.)
5. dynamic changes (Some teachers will not like them and will not include them into their teaching.)
6. unprofessional layout – definitely not to the level of 21st century publications (compare to other Alfred publications and other popular traditional materials Ex. Artistry in Strings, Essential Elements, etc.)
7. CD with too many differences between the musical text and the CD (dynamics, articulations, etc.)
8. CD with flawed sound engineering (Ex. the complete absence of a tuning tone!)
9. CD with a inconsistent tone quality of the violin (Ex. Allegro: all notes start with an harsh attack)
10. the text is often uninteresting and unclear, important information is missing
11. it is unclear to whom the text is directed at (is this for parents, teachers? non-Suzuki teachers?)
12. text with too many spelling and translation mistakes (as revealed by the European Suzuki teachers)
13. several English texts without translation
14. general mistakes in all languages

Dear Readers of this FORUM,
- My list is, of course, incomplete—and merely an expression of my own personal opinion. Please add your observations to this list so that we can do something about this new edition before it is too late!
- I personally wish nothing more that to have Suzuki Books and CDs of the highest possible quality so that it will be possible to work with them at least for the next twenty or thirty years.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education
www.ntste.com
www.facebook.com/NorthTexasSchoolofTalentEducation

said: Jan 9, 2008
 89 posts

Heck, I’m not Asian and I kind of like the Japanese titles myself.

said: Jan 9, 2008
 1 posts

my opinion.. it doesn’t matter revision or change. If a teacher knows how to teach, am sure a teacher can lead to right direction. It does not matter you are using suzuki books or not, it matters how you teach.

If you don’t like it, then just don’t use it and find another books. If you have to use it, then do own editing in the book. If you know how to teach, you don’t need to purchase books anyway. If you are good suzuki teacher, am sure you know how to teach using another books.

For example, there are many edition in Mozart Concerto. But am sure if you are good teacher, you know appropriate bowing or fingering.

thank you

Jan said: Jan 10, 2008
 3 posts

This Revised Edition is not the only disappointment. It is almost more frustrating how ISA treats our concerns and worries.

I heard from my colleagues in Sweden that the CDs performed by Nadian, Cerone and Suzuki as well as the old Suzuki Violin Books (volumes 1 and 2) will not be available anymore by this summer. There will be only this Revised Edition with its dead CD which I surely will not use.

Freesia, can you tell me: What should I use instead?

This Revised Edition is not the only disappointment. It is almost more frustrating how ISA treats our concerns and worries.

The main problem is the missing communication between ISA and the normal Suzuki teachers.

There should be a HOT LINE or an internet forum where we teachers could ask our questions and get clear answers. There were already so many questions in this forum. And by now we got NO ANSWERS!

Perhaps someone of the ISA officials reads my words and answers my following questions:

  • How are your plans for the future concerning the new edition?
  • We had sadly to understand that the ISA Violin Committee is overtaxed with this project. Do you want to ask the same Committee members to work on the revised Revised Book/CD 1?
  • Do you plan to employ specialists who are working exclusively for the new edition?
  • Which steps is ISA doing to avoid a similar misfortune with the revised Revised Editions of Books 1 and 2?
  • How is the new concept of the books/CDs, volume 1 and 2?
  • Are you planning to do future revisions of Books 3 to 10?
  • Are you preparing some test CDs and books before publishing the next versions?

Dear ISA officials, why do we have no information about all this important questions?

The new edition is not only a small topic like organization statutes. It is one of the most vital points for every Suzuki teacher. It demonstrates and represents parts of the content of the Suzuki Method. They deserve more respect.

Therefore I would like to propose you seriously to print only 100 test books and CDs of the revised Revised Edition instead of 30000 books/CDs which noone wants to use.

I hope very much that you don’t do the mistake to go on with book 3 before changing seriously the layout, methodical and CD concept in book 1 and 2.

In any case I will never use this book/CD pack for my students even if the translation mistakes are corrected.

I agree to the list of all cons of the new edition from Charles Krigbaum.

Jan

Jan Weisser

Nobuaki said: Jan 10, 2008
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

I agree w/ violinland123. If people complain about it, they should directly call the office or e-mail them, rather than submit your complaining here. or contact the people who made a new edition directly. Or just don’t use it. Make own edition. You can buy the software for $100 to compose music.

I also want to see people stop complaining here. Too tired to hear negative things.

There are many mistakes in an old edition anyway. So it doesn’t matter for me whether I use old or new edition. If you are a good teacher, am sure you don’t care what kind of books you use to teach.

the list in CharlesKrigbaum.
- No matter how people do, someone hate bowing, fingering, or dynamics.
- the old edition CD is already bad enough and have mistakes. So it doesn’t matter for me for new CD.
- many information are missing in old edition. so i don’t understand why you are not complaining old edition.
- there are many wrong translation in old edition anyway. so it doesn’t matter for me.

the point is, if you are a good teacher, it does not matter whether you use an old book or a new edition.

thank you

Meg said: Jan 21, 2008
Meg Lanfear
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
36 posts

For the last few months I have been reading the posts regarding the revised books on the forum of the SAA website. I am not sure whether to be encouraged or discouraged. I feel as though choosing my state of mind largely helps to determine the way I will ultimately feel about something, so I will decide to be encouraged. With some effort and time, I am sure this will in fact be the case.

I have many reasons to feel encouraged. First, is the sheer number of participants in this discussion and the diversity of the teachers among this particular topic. I feel comforted in knowing that so many teachers around the world feel passionate enough about what they do that they feel the need to voice their opinions, both positive and negative. This is to be encouraged. Change and improvement arise from discourse. Being from the United States and witnessing a lack of passion towards public discourse over the last several years, I am pleased to see it come alive within my beloved Suzuki community.

My second reason for being encouraged is that, among most of the teachers on this forum, there is concern for quality both in teaching and teaching materials. I am a “young” teacher who is often concerned about the lack of training within the world of Suzuki teaching. I chose to dedicate my life long training in music to teaching more than performing because I wanted to help bring authenticity to and raise the standards and respectability of both teaching and playing in the United States. I received my Masters in Suzuki from CIM (along with a violin performing Masters) which included training with both Teri Einfeldt and Michele George. I graduated and did training again with Ed Kreitman, went to study with Mimi Zweig at Indiana University, and then got my fourth round of book 1 with Nancy Lokken this past summer at Stevens Point. I can’t wait to continue my formal training again this summer.

The reason I mention my training is because I had four rounds of book 1 violin training and I only really put into practice what all of my trainers were telling me when a friend introduced me to Kirsten Wartberg’s Step by Step. THIS is why the quality of the materials we use matters. I was a good teacher before these quality materials came into the picture but now I feel I am much better.

Could I have become better through training and experience alone? Possibly, but these CDs and books sure took a lot of guess work and time putting together practice CDs out of the picture. I am grateful. We teachers tend to spread ourselves too thin as it is already. We need those in charge of putting the Suzuki brand materials out into the community to provide these quality materials for us. Although the Step by Step series is not a replacement for the Suzuki materials, the support that they bring to all members of the teaching triangle help to raise the bar. The new edition of the Suzuki materials has not done anything to contribute to the raising of standards within the Suzuki community.

Another reason I feel discouraged is that the apathy among Suzuki teachers towards the revised editions is too present. Many teachers are not even aware of the new editions. I fear that this apathy towards the new books might also carry into their attitude towards training and furthering their own education. Until our requirements for training continue to rise, I fear the the apathy towards the quality of the Suzuki book and CD will not change. As one teacher mentioned on the forum, the old books and CD were not of much help either, so why does it matter that we do not like this new book? My answer is that the quality and creativity brought to each master teacher’s lessons (which I am repeatedly exposed to through the training I choose to do again and again) should be reflected in the materials Suzuki teachers use. This is particularly true of the recordings that should serve as a model. When I started to use higher quality materials, my teaching improved.

Does the new edition have typos, distracting layout, tiny print, poor graphics, etc.? Yes, but I feel discouraged because the unimaginative revised edition perhaps reflects the lack of insight that the committee has into what is most lacking within the Suzuki community, and that is training and guidance. The new certification process introduced recently by the SAA is a step in the right direction. I really hope that the revised 2nd edition of the books helps to direct the change in standards regarding our shared concern of quality among teachers’ training.

My hope in the long run, is that through our discussion (and with more involvement from both master teachers and the next generation of Suzuki teachers) we can infuse a sense of passion into the Suzuki Community within America and all across the globe so that training is not something forced upon anyone, but something that we can all rely on and look forward to as it re-energizes, inspires, and helps to raise the standards in both our teaching and our teaching materials. I know the Suzuki community will support this discourse and raise the bar regarding our materials. I can wait and will continue to push myself to grow with my fellow teachers while waiting.

said: Jan 23, 2008
 24 posts

Dear Meg Lanfear,

Thank you for your wonderful text. I am reading all posts regarding the revised books on this forum since months. But I got more and more disappointed after reading such comments like this one of the teacher who mentioned, that the old books and CDs were not of much help either, so why does it matter that we do not like this new book?

You described the situation so clearly and exactly. I want to underline one of your main thoughts:

Meg Lanfear wrote:
The new edition of the Suzuki materials have not done anything to contribute to the raising of standards within the Suzuki community.

*I ask the ISA violin committee and the publisher:***

Please raise the standards of the new edition in order to raise the standards within the Suzuki community.

To delete the mistakes like all typos, the distracting layout, the tiny print, the poor graphics is not enough. Your main point should be:

The revised revised edition must be a model for quality, diligence, thoroughness and creativity. The first revised edition was absolutely the contrary. This is particularly true for the recordings.

You need to find a new concept and a professional way of procedure before going on with the next books. Please stop immediately to work on volume 3 and improve book 1 and 2 first.

I ask all Suzuki teachers belonging to a Suzuki Association like ESA and SAA:

Each Suzuki teacher gave their personal support through their membership fee to these poor revised editions. We should ask ourselves whether we want to support this project in the future.

I don’t feel any effort from ISA to give us information how they want to improve the situation. I understand very much that teachers are getting more and more angry with this silent International Association. There was not even an excuse about their flop. Are we only good for paying their unprofessional work?

If the result of their next revision of volume 1 (Book and CD) is not extremely better I don’t see any reason why there should be a new edition at all.

ISA has managed to make two editions much worser than the original edition from 1978 was. All earlier CDs are essentially better than the new one. Why shall we finance the future 3rd – 10th Books with our membership fees?

We should wait how the revised revised edition of volume 1 turns out and decide AFTERWARDS whether it makes sense to continue. If the third volume comes out in spring (This is what I heard!) we should stop to pay our membership fee to ISA because they are not working for the development of the Suzuki Method and therefore they don’t deserve our support.

Antonella from Napoli (Italy)

Nobuaki said: Jan 23, 2008
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

In my opinion, it does not matter which edition or books you will use to raise a standard. It does matter how well each teacher had training, or teach each student to raise a standard.

I would love ISA and SAA to continue revising book 2 and 3. In my point of view, i’m very encouraged to see the revision. I understand that there are many mistakes. But if each teacher has a good teaching skill, it really does not matter the mistake or typo.

My point of view is, to bring a standard higher, it depends on each teacher, not the book.

thank you

Dana said: Jan 23, 2008
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
1 posts

Antonella, I will continue to support the SAA with my fee because they support many positive improvements, not just new books. For example, newer Suzuki teachers are required to submit audtition tapes, and the SAA provides scholarships for teacher training.

Nobody is saying whether the current volume is due to SAA/ISA or publisher error or both. Nobody has chosen to boycott the publisher.

I actually don’t have the children read the music in the early books until they’ve played it by ear first anyway. I wouldn’t feel right putting a book of paper steps in front of them when I am trying to get them to use their ears.

The SAA trains ears and hearts, and I will continue to send in my dues.

said: Jan 24, 2008
 24 posts

[size=150]**SUZUKI METHOD needs:
Good teachers, good work with children and parents AND good material (in this order)!**[/size]

Freesia, of course, we must be good teachers. This is surely the most important point. But nevertheless we need good basic material.

The child’s ear development is depending on the quality of the CD. The recordings should serve as a model seven days of the week. The CD is the most important material at home and the basic element of Dr. Suzuki’s MOTHER TONGUE EDUCATION.
Its quality is vital and crucial for the child’s development. Ear training goes together with the quality of the CD.

The parent’s understanding and support is the other key stone in Suzuki’s music education. The quality of the book is vital and crucial for the parent’s understanding. Parents need a book in order to help their children at home. The quality of the book should represent the quality of Suzuki’s teaching method.

I can’t understand how there could be a question about the importance of these two teaching materials.

If a person tells such things (only the teaching counts and not the teaching material) like we had to read three times in this forum, I have my doubts about her/his qualification as a Suzuki Teacher.

Each serious teacher who understands Dr. Suzuki’s Mother Tongue Concept must agree that we need the best teaching material.
It can support our teaching and help to raise the bar of all members of the teaching triangle. But it can do also the opposite if we don’t stop and boycott this revised edition.

Antonella

Nobuaki said: Jan 24, 2008
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

I completely disagree Antonella. We should not boycott at all. But we should encourage about the revised books. If you would like to complain, you should contact them directly, not here.

Teaching materials will not make good teacher. It depends how much you know to teach. And it depends what kind of education you had before. Even though you have good teaching material, you can make poor quality students.

We should stop criticizing. There are so many poor violin method books available, and if you want to complain, why not complain all other teaching materials?

Materials does not matter. It does matter how you teach, and how well you can give parental education. Teachers should not rely on teaching materials. each teacher should rely own teaching style.

said: Jan 24, 2008
 15 posts

freesia

I can’t use step by step for beginners because I believe that reading interferes with other kinds of learning in the beginning. Regardless of what it says it intends, step by step practices a child’s relationship with a book (material) rather than a child’s (soul) relationship with a parent (soul) and teacher (soul).

freesia

I actually don’t have the children read the music in the early books until they’ve played it by ear first anyway. I wouldn’t feel right putting a book of paper steps in front of them when I am trying to get them to use their ears.

Please correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think the Step By Step books are meant to be “read” by the student. I certainly don’t use them in this fashion. On the contrary, these books focus a great deal on listening; each section of a piece is broken down into small manageable sections in a slow tempo to which the student can listen. The parents in my studio find this immensely helpful as they, too, can “hear how it goes.” The preparatory exercises are also clear and systematic. I love using these materials.

I can understand the frustration and disappointment in being presented with a revised edition of the Suzuki books that has many basic errors such as those already mentioned. I agree that teachers should be presented with the best possible representation of the philosophy and methodology to which they subscribe. When people refer to the teaching tools within the Step By Step series as something to which the ISA should strive, it seems as though they wish to see a similar system implemented within the Suzuki volumes. In addition to a cleaner editorial edition, are we also suggesting that the ISA lay down a prescribed formula for teaching the Suzuki repertoire, with helpful teaching points and exercises throughout? (I believe this exists to a small degree in the viola editions.)

said: Jan 24, 2008
 Violin
7 posts

Seven Questions

I have read this Chat with great interest. Amazing, how many teachers are writing letters and above all, how many views we find, more than 4200!

However, certain questions are still not yet answered:

1. Why did ISA want to revise the original Suzuki Violin School (edition of 1978)?

2. Was the old edition bad? This question was never answered by anybody until now.

3. Why does ISA give no answers to the central points in this Forum?

Has ISA no answers? The letter of Mr. Hannesson does not bring any clarification. Alfred also has no arguments as well, otherwise they would have expressed themselves already.
The new books are worse than the old.
More than 90% of the participants of this Forum—my person included – agree in this point of view. The old CDs played by Suzuki, Cerone, Nadian are much better than the new one.

4. Why did ISA record these new CDs?

5. How much did the revised edition cost by now? My answer is: Too much!

6. Who pays all that? My answer is: We and the parents of our students!

7. Who needs this revised edition? My answer is: Nobody! Maybe, ISA needs this as proof of their existence. I can live without this proof and continue to work with the old edition.

If Mr. Stringtea believes, that only the teaching counts and not the teaching material (like we had to read three times before in this forum), I have my doubts about his qualification as a Suzuki teacher. Or is he able to teach his students every day at home in order to have a daily Mother Tongue Education? Mr. Stringtea, where did you do your Suzuki Teacher Training? Who told you this nonsense?

Yours head-shaking Bruno

Bruno from Italy

Nobuaki said: Jan 24, 2008
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

If you would like to talk, or would like to know my background, please let me know your phone number. I’m happy to call you and discuss your concern.

thank you

Nobuaki said: Jan 24, 2008
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

Rather than “stringtea”, I have big doubt to Bruno. I really would like to know how much Bruno had Suzuki training.

Also to criticize an individual is not professional. If you are a Suzuki teacher, then let’s be professional.

Coutier said: Jan 25, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Bruno, I agree with Stringtea: it doesn’t bring anything to try to disqualify her/him as a teacher. Your letter and arguments are powerful but with this twist you tend to disqualify yourself: power changes into aggression, discussion changes into squabble.

However unacceptable you find Stringtea’s opinions (and I am with you there) , this way of puting it takes you and us away from the issue.

Please come back!

coutier

said: Jan 26, 2008
 Violin
7 posts

Thank you, Coutier for your advice. I was perhaps a little too emotional. But have in mind in Italy we have other forms of communication. I try to restrain my temper in the future. I am aware that the statement at the end of my article was provocative and not professional.

Dear Mr. Stringtea and Ms. Violinmusic:

You asked me to be professional. I ask you which of my seven questions are unprofessional?

I heard only reactions concerning my BEHAVIOR and nothing concerning the CONTENT of my article. If you are able to give professional answers I will be happy to give you my telephone number.

Bruno from Italy

said: Jan 29, 2008
 24 posts

Dear Readers,

After a long phone talk with Bruno I want to tell you that he is now at a point where he does not believe anymore that ESA, SAA or ISA will talk to us. He wrote a very friendly letter to ISA about his concerns – more than six weeks ago—but did not get any answer by now.

I think, too, this is not a good way of communication. We have only the SAA chat to tell our concerns. And if we don’t talk strongly enough probably ESA, SAA or ISA will overhear our voices or take us not seriously. At the end people come and point the finger on us telling that we are uncontrolled and behave not professionally. But please understand: Bruno’s words are more a reaction to ISA’s constant silence than the wish to have such a scenario.

Bruno does not believe that the revised revised edition will become much better (perhaps without spelling mistakes and some other little corrections but more or less the same poor printed matter with a poor CD). He gave up his dream about an excellent high standard publication in every point of view.

I still believe in ISA’s duty to produce for us a much, much better material which each Suzuki teacher can look with pride at. Perhaps we don’t hear anything from ESA, SAA or ISA because they are working day and night on new piano arrangements, new recordings which correspond to the printed music in the book, beautiful layout with corrected photographs and graphics, new texts with information about the method, advices for parents, suggestions how to practice, musical background about the composers of the pieces etc.

I don’t see any other reason to do a revised edition if the content stays more or less the same (beside some small changes of fingerings or bowings which every one of us could have written inside our old books.)

Perhaps someone from ESA, SAA or ISA could be so kind to answer Bruno’s questions. This would make our situation easier and perhaps some teachers could find their lost confidence into these organizations back.

Antonella

said: Feb 5, 2008
 Violin
12 posts

Teachers, parents and students are confused, become insecure, nervous and angry. Why don’t we get finally some clear answers from the International Suzuki Violin Committee?

There are so much more questions—not only from Bruno—than answers.

Please read about a question concerning book 2: https://suzukiassociation.org/suzukiforum/viewtopic.php?t=1966

If you hear the CD of book 2 and look into the printed music you will discover more and more other questions. Why does the printed music and the CD not fit together? Why are there so many differences? Why did they forget again a tuning note? Why? Why? Why? Why?

Hundredths of questions!

Is there one competent person in the ESA, SAA or ISA who dares to talk with us and gives us the hundredths of missing answers? This would be really important for the future acceptance of the next revised edition and for the credibility of the ISA representatives.

Bert

Coutier said: Feb 24, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Hi Freezz and others (and a special “heehaw” to mr H.),

Today, on my birthday, “our” topic has reached 5000 hits.

I try to celebrate this number, but I am not sure if I should.
5000 means that many people have shown interest in the problematic situation concerning the new editions.

But, in spite of this enormous number the mega-big Suzuki chiefs still think that tight-lipped silence is a GOOD AND INTELLIGENT ANSWER in this age of communication.

I am certain they are wrong and that they have no idea of the amount of damage their silence has inflicted. We have offered them diamonds, but they have rejected our gift, and us, as some of the diamonds were slightly unpolished. And now—so the rumour goes—the chiefs have many pow wows and are scribbling down rules for “good” behaviour: now, THAT will be a truely delightful topic for this chat.

I CAN’T WAIT!

coutier

said: Feb 25, 2008
 8 posts

**[size=150]Happy Birthday!
Congratulations, Coutier![/size] **

I wish you all the best and hope you can write still many, many contributions in the chat. We enjoyed your comments very much! How old are you now?

The sad thing at your birthday is:
There is NO reason at all to celebrate this number of 5050 hits on “our” topic. It is more than upsetting that there is no reaction by the ISA at all. With each hit we are calling them and showing our passive resitance towards the Revised Edition.

Coutier, you spoke about “good” behaviour. I looked into the Ethical Conduct Guidelines of the SAA and found many passages which ISA should read and think about their Revised Edition and the way how they treat their members. Here are some excerpts:

[size=100]As members, we demonstrate responsibility toward the Suzuki philosophy by:

  • Reflecting and promoting the Suzuki philosophy in teaching and in dealings with others [/size]

**
Here, ISA has failed in both points if I think about their Revised Edition and the way how they treat us, their members.**

[size=100]As members of the Suzuki Association of the Americas by:

**- Carrying out our responsibilities toward the SAA in a manner that brings credit to the SAA and to Dr. Suzuki’s name.
- Demonstrating an open, sharing spirit and cooperation and collegiality toward other teacher members.** [/size]

We found only tight-lipped silence by the ISA officers. Here, ISA has failed definitively.

**As members, we demonstrate responsibility toward our students by:

  • Providing an encouraging environment in which students can develop their musical potential.**

With these CDs and books of the revised Edition we can`t speak about “ an encouraging environment”. Someone in the chat wrote: “Regarding piano arrangements, the ‘official’ suzuki arrangements used on the new (revised) Preucil CD … contain without doubt some of the most boring and/or unmusical accompaniments devised.“ I think most of us agree with this!

**As members of the Suzuki Association of the Americas by:

Demonstrating an open, sharing spirit and cooperation and collegiality toward other teacher members. **

Here, ISA has failed definitively. It is not possible with tight-lipped silence to demonstrate an open, sharing spirit and cooperation and collegiality toward other teacher members.

**As members, we demonstrate responsibility toward our colleagues by:

  • Giving credit to colleagues for ideas they have shared.**

*
ISA has rejected all our ideas how to raise the level of this unbelievable sloppy Revised Edition.*

**As members, we demonstrate responsibility for our own personal and professional development by:

  • Avoiding activities that would create a conflict of interest or the appearance of impropriety.**

*
**One teacher in the chat wrote the following word which many of us can underline:
”This new edition expected by so many Suzuki teachers is simply shameful, unprofessional and in no way helpful to develop the Suzuki method.
On the contrary, in view of so evident deficits it seems like an act of sabotage against Suzuki method and teachers.”***

Now I am asking you, Coutier, if ISA is not able to live up towards their own Ethical Guidelines how and why should we respect them?

I am upset that I have to write these thoughts at your birthday. But perhaps at this day a new part of your life will start and we will hear some explanation from ISA and see some good developments.

This I wish for you and us with all my heart!

Catherina

said: Feb 26, 2008
 3 posts

Just received my membership renewal from SAA. I’m thinking maybe if a lot of membership renewals were returned unpaid with a note saying we were reconsidering continuing financial support of an organization that declined to address serious and significant issues within the teacher community, it would get their attention.

Connie Sunday said: Feb 26, 2008
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

Remember, too, that all those hits are not 5,000+ individuals, but many, many returns to the topic by the selfsame individuals.

Free Handouts for Music Teachers & Students:
http://beststudentviolins.com/library.html#handouts

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 27, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

True, the number of hits is not a reliable indicator of the number of people who have read this topic. For anything close to that we’d have to access the ip address of each hit.

Assuming good faith in all the contributors (meaning: assuming every screen name used to post in this discussion represents one person and that no one posts under more than one screen name), we can say that the number of people reading this topic is at least equal to the number of screen names used in the discussion…. and that the number is definitely less than the number of hits.

I don’t think it’s appropriate to blame the ISA and/or the SAA for not responding to this thread in proportion to the number of hits it has received. While internet forums are a great tool for people in different time zones and countries to discuss topics, they are not a formal means of communicating with organizations or businesses. The number of letters, phone calls, emails, or faxes on this topic are probably (rightly) going to be given more weight than the number of hits on this thread.

In the natural course of one visit to this thread, reading the new posts since I last saw it, thinking about a response, reading a different page, submitting and then editing this post, etc, I alone have upped the number of hits by at least 7.

said: Feb 29, 2008
 30 posts

BeenThere wrote:
Just received my membership renewal from SAA. I’m thinking maybe if a lot of membership renewals were returned unpaid with a note saying we were reconsidering continuing financial support of an organization that declined to address serious and significant issues within the teacher community, it would get their attention.

It would have been much better if ISA would have spoken with us voluntarily. But if they have not answered our urgent questions by now, I regard BeenThere’s suggestion as a truly useful option to receive finally a reaction to our questions, suggestions and appeals.

Jenny, I think it’s appropriate to blame the ISA and/or the SAA for not responding to this thread. What is even worse that they did not answer to our letters which we sent directly to them. No reaction at all to my letter and the letters of my colleagues!

Are the Ethical Guidelines only valid for members and not for officials? This attitude reminds me on political systems such as the communism.

In a democracy, each voice should be important. We expect

No.1: a first class revised Revised edition. We would like to see at least some of our suggestions included. Starting from a tuning note on the CD and finishing with an attractive layout and in between all the other 100th of details written in this thread. It is surely not enough to correct only the spelling mistakes.

No.2: an open, sharing spirit and cooperation and collegiality toward other teacher members. (see: Ethical Conduct Guidelines of the SAA)

Otherwise ISA and/or the SAA can not count on us as paying member. We can’t be silent. It is our responsibility as teachers to take care of the quality in every point of view. The CD and the book of the Suzuki Violin School is a vital part of it. There is nothing inherently unethical about protest and justified complaint. It is our duty to fight for the better!

Martina

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 29, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Martina

[box]Jenny, I think it’s appropriate to blame the ISA and/or the SAA for not responding to this thread. What is even worse that they did not answer to our letters which we sent directly to them. No reaction at all to my letter and the letters of my colleagues!

[/box]

I agree that the SAA, which keeps up this forum as part of their website, should monitor and respond to the posts when appropriate. And I do think that a letter sent directly to the SAA should also deserve a response. I understand that its frustrating not to hear back from them.

However, I still respectfully disagree with you that the ISA is somehow responsible for responding to this thread, or that the thread itself represents a reliable way of communicating with the people who worked on publishing the revised editions. Internet forums are not designed to be a means of communication with the parent organization of the organization that happens to have the forum on it’s website. This forum is designed for parents and teachers to communicate with one another, not with the ISA.

-Jenny-

said: Feb 29, 2008
 30 posts

Hello Jenny,
[size=150]
**Thank you for your answer.

I think you are absolutely right …. *[/size] if the system would function: *

SAA Chat = communication with Suzuki parents and teachers

Personal letters, mails or faxes on this topic to ISA,SAA, ESA and to the violin group who works on publishing the revised editions = direct communication from person to person without going into a public internet chat

But if there is no answer at all: What can we do? We have no other option. Or do you have another idea, Jenny?

It is really frustrating if you and many others are feeling that the whole direction of this revised edition is wrong.
And you have no one – except the chat – who has an open ear to our concerns.

My friends and me we are really thankful to have at least the hope that someone who is deciding about the revised edition is perhaps reading and observing this thread in the chat.

Of course we like the SAA chat very much and got already many good, helpful and inspiring ideas.

The chat is both for us: a solace and an inspiration.

Thank you, Jenny for your work!

Martina

Kerstin Wartberg said: Mar 3, 2008
Kerstin WartbergViolin
16 posts

Hello Iris,

From September 2006 till now we have received altogether four inquiries from persons looking for a Suzuki teacher in the area of Darmstadt. All four persons immediately received an answer together with a list of all German Suzuki teachers with zip codes, towns, names of the teachers, and telephone numbers.

All Suzuki teachers trained and working in Germany and members of the German Suzuki Association are known to us. The German Suzuki Teachers List will always be handed out in the case of an inquiry.

Give us your right name—either here in the Chat or write an email to the German Suzuki Association: [javascript protected email address]—and you will certainly get the information wanted.

In fact we only have a honorary secretary. But even if the assignment of our activities is huge—therefore much of the work is done by us unsalaried – we always work carefully and thoroughly!

By the way, may we ask you politely: Why did you write your contribution under the chat category “Revised Edition”? Maybe you have directed your inquiry via a Suzuki teacher also to the wrong address and therefore have received no answer?

In any case now you know how to contact us.

With kind regards
Office of the German Suzuki Association

Kerstin Wartberg
Violin Teacher Trainer
Director of the German Suzuki Institute for Teacher Training
www.germansuzuki.de

said: Mar 8, 2008
 24 posts

Background information about composers, musical styles, editions
in the New Revised Edition?

Dear Suzuki friends,

Did you look already into the new WEB JOURNAL of the European Suzuki Association? I found two articles written by Kerstin Wartberg about Johann Sebastian Bach in the Suzuki Violin School. One is directed to parents and teachers and the other to children.
The article for the children has the title: A Journey Back in Time to the World of Johann Sebastian Bach

Last group lesson I translated the first part of this article and told my students and their parents about Bach’s personal circumstances during his childhood. The children were deeply impressed and moved. As homework I printed out the 3rd Assignment, one of the challenging tasks around Johann Sebastian Bach’s Family Crest. Here the children have to find beside other riddles his initials in it: J S B
Afterwards we played all pieces by Bach in book 1 and 2.
Next week we will continue to explore the inspiring text and some of the other challenging tasks. The children will bring their results of the Bach’s Family Crest game and we will play all compositions of Bach from book 3.
One very important subject of the next part is Original Compositions and Arrangements in Baroque Music. Kerstin Wartberg explained this quite difficult topic in a beautiful way for the children and substantiates the insight view in the article for parents and teachers through scientific studies, texts, autographs and facsimiles. You can see many interesting documents like the earliest source of the Bourrée from the Suite for Violoncello No. 3, BWV 1009. It is the copy from 1727 in the hand of Anna Magdalena Bach.

Even me I got so many detailed information about the music I am teaching daily and I am thankful for these background information about Johann Sebastian Bach in the Suzuki Violin School. My students, their parents and me we are really inspired through these texts.

Here you find them:
http://www.europeansuzuki.org/web_journal/articles08/Bach_ESA_children08.pdf

http://www.europeansuzuki.org/web_journal/articles08/Bach_ESA_adults08.pdf

Why do I tell you all this? Because I expected something like these articles in the appendix of the revised editions. I think many of you remember the long speech of Christophe Bossuat (head of the ISA Violin Committee) in Turin at the International Conference in 2006 where he spoke about the content of the revised edition. One of his announcements was that the new editions will include background information about composers, musical styles, editions etc.

The other promise was that there will be new piano arrangements for many exercises and pieces. Sometimes I am afraid that ISA is becoming like many politicians: They promise before the selection or here before the publication many wonderful things and afterwards they act contrary.

But let’s hope and wait for the revised Revised Editions: Perhaps some interesting material will come out now after all the international protest …

Antonella

Jennifer Visick said: Mar 18, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

First, antonella, thanks for those links. It’s very good stuff!

Second, I’d like to point out the new posting on the News portion of the SAA website, posted today, March 18th, 2008. It’s an overview of the process that brought about the revised editions and, of particular relevance to the discussion on this thread, is this paragraph:

The remaining editing of Books 1 and 2 took place by pdf files over the summer of 2007. Considering that the ISA committee must communicate across four continents, two hemispheres and many time zones, there was concern about the logistics of meeting the publisher’s deadline. And as a result, there are mistakes in Books 1 and 2, which were published during the fall of 2007. [Please note: There are no errors in the music of Book 1, only in some text. There are two errors in Book 2—Handel Bourree, measure 17, a slur is missing on beat 3; Boccherini Minuet, measure 7, the B should be a C#.] Both the ISA committee and the publisher want the best editions possible, and are working to make the corrections in the reprints of these volumes, projected for fall 2008. The text translations are undergoing a comprehensive review by the regional associations affiliated with each language, in cooperation with the publisher who supplied the original translations.

The letter in full is located at: https://suzukiassociation.org/news/123/.

-Jenny-

Coutier said: Mar 20, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Now Jenny, THAT is an interesting post, a sign of life at last, be it a feeble one. Where do you think they have been all that time? In a space shuttle to Oompah Loompah Planet with the radio down?

“There are no errors in the music of book 1, only in some text” they say. SOME text? Archchch!!!!! 200 “***” spelling mistakes in the German text only, they’re joking!

“ … the ISA committee must communicate across four continents, two hemispheres and many time zones….” they proudly complain. Now, that IS a lot of hemispheres. And goodness gracious me, it is IMPOSSIBLE to send an e-mail when the recipient on the other shore is still asleep!

What a bunch of baloney! How hard is it to admit that the organisation of this whole thing failed: that the path of action was not clear, that the responsibilities were not clear?

TOO DARNED DIFFICULT. Just read the following excerpt:
“We have had issues in our past that led to acrimony and tension. We realized that we did not function well as an association under these conditions, and that any successful process needs time, thought, inclusion and re-evaluation—in essence, the same qualities that inform all good teaching. The Kreisler Highway can have many lanes, and take us in many directions. What better tribute can we pay to Dr. Suzuki’s legacy than to continue his pursuit of excellence in all aspects of our teaching, including the repertoire, and to honor his spirit of constantly seeking the better way for students and parents around the world.”

“….issues in our past…..”? Wow, that IS smooth. What past are they referring to? the battle of Hastings (1066)? Or are we indeed witness to some vague shadow of an admission? Yes, mayhaps! But followed seamlessly by self-cleansing, self-forgiveness and turbo-, awkwardly timed, morality-preaching to us.

“Respectfully submitted” it says at the end of the post. I find that hard to believe.

coutier

Jennifer Visick said: Mar 27, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

This thread is getting very long. The most recent posts have taken a turn in a new direction, which might be of interest to people who aren’t following this thread titled “Revised Book 1″. Therefore, I have split off all the recent posts dealing with Book 4 to a new thread. Please post anything about Vivaldi editions, Nachez, Malpieri, baroque practice, or other comments or speculations about revisions to violin Book 4 in the new topic. You can find it in the general Suzuki Forum, or just follow this link:

https://suzukiassociation.org/suzukiforum/viewtopic.php?t=1995

Thanks!

-Jenny-

said: Apr 15, 2008
 30 posts

Unbelievable!!!

Six months after the publication of the Revised Edition:
[list]
These unprofessional books and CDs are still available in the whole world!

Everyone can see all the hundredths of printing mistakes, the wrong photographs and graphics, the mistakes in the musical text, and the poor layout without fantasy and inspiration.

The explanation by the SAA Committee ruined absolutely our last hope concerning the competence of the SAA and ISA Violin Committee when we had to read:
“We have had issues in our past that led to acrimony and tension. We realized that we did not function well as an association…”

The majority of the Suzuki teachers knows nothing about how ISA will solve this situation!

Many of us lost the confidence in ISA!

There is still no reaction or explanation by ISA!

We are extremely disappointed not only by the unprofessional Edition but also by their unprofessional behavior.[/list:u]

I don’t know what we can still do to show our protest! Our voices were louder than ever but no one seems to hear them.

said: May 27, 2008
 24 posts

**[size=150]How was the lecture at the SAA Conference
about the new Violin Books and Recordings?[/size]**

I wonder how it went…

Many European Suzuki teachers are very interested and want to know whether our protest did arrive in the heart of the violin committee members.

Who can tell us something about the meeting with Allen Lieb, Ronda Cole, Sanford Reuning, Karen Kimmett, Lorraine Fink?

We understand that there are of course good aspects in the new edition and on the CD but if they are presented in such form with full of mistakes (print mistakes in the book, dynamic mistakes on the CD) and no care for details (layout in the book and playing through without musical refinement on the CD) the whole meaning of the good aspects is lost.

Did the American teachers realize how poorly the good aspects of the new edition are presented?

Was there any criticism by some persons in the audience?

Could the committee members give some answers to all these open questions about the new edition?

How was the atmosphere?

Did someone speak about the SAA chat concerning the new edition?

**I ask everyone who was at the conference:
Please give us some impressions of the meeting across the ocean.**

Thank you!

Antonella

Jennifer Visick said: Aug 4, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

You can now view a video of the presentation on the revised violin books from the SAA conference. It’s posted on the main site, but you can also go here:

https://suzukiassociation.org/news/164/.

Speaking to some of the concerns listed in this forum, here are a couple quotes…

Alan Lieb said:
“we will be doing reprints of books 1 and 2, and there will be some major changes in layout, grammar, some other things of this nature….”

Karen Kimmet said (in the context of talking about deadline problems):
“…the rush on the earlier books 1 and 2 were because they were completely out of stock, they had nothing to sell…. we were also…taken aback by some of the mistakes that appeared… because there had not been sufficient proofreading that normally goes into such a process”

Ronda Cole indicated some interesting things about (maybe, possibly) much bigger revisions in the repertoire (as in new repertoire) for the upper books (5, 6, and beyond). Sanford Reuning and Lorraine Fink spoke about the recording process, Doris Preucil spoke about changes to the piano accompaniment books…

In any case it’s worth looking at if you have the time.

In listening to Karen, I do wonder why Alfred couldn’t (or didn’t want to?) issue another printing of the old books while waiting for the revised ones to be fully ready. It does sound a little like they are aware of and have made moves to fix this kind of problem (regarding too-soon deadlines) in the future book revisions.

-Jenny-

Jennifer Visick said: Aug 9, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

The recent post from lindsay regarding bowing and fingering changes has been moved to a new thread. You can find it here:

https://suzukiassociation.org/suzukiforum/viewtopic.php?t=2065

Please post any comments about bowings, fingerings, articulations, the content (NOT grammar or spelling) of text instructions, new exercises, etc. to that thread. Thanks!

-Jenny-

Coutier said: Sep 20, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Now that this discussion seems to have come to a standstill it is time for me to applaud the SAA for allowing it to develop the way it did. It’s been quite a storm now and then, some of us, including my humble self, weren’t exactly pussyfooting around all the time.
For me personally, my trust in the leadership is pretty badly shaken, but the SAA’s respect for freedom of speach gives hope for the future. I am delighted to be able to tell you that none of the negativity has tainted my love and enthousiasm for the Suzuki method. There is no better present I can give my students and their parents.

coutier

Constanze said: Sep 22, 2008
 13 posts

Sometimes pictures say more than a thousand words

Revised Edition: Full of incorrect details—also in graphics and photographs

Many German Suzuki teachers are deeply concerned about the poor quality of the Revised Editions of the Suzuki Violin School. This fact is probably not new for the regularly SAA Chat readers.

The discussion got really emotional to us when we heard last week that our corrections sent to the chairman of ISA in April 2008 (more than 70 pages accurately listed by the German teacher trainers, instructors and assistants) were not passed to the ISA Violin Committee even though it was promised by letter.

In Germany many long-time adversary of the Suzuki Method are confronting us. The deficiencies of the Revised Suzuki Violin School is like a triumph for them.

We were pretty shocked when we found in the second print of the Revised Edition almost all old mistakes back – with one exception: The German spelling is much better. But this does not help very much if we still locate so many incorrect details. Attached you find a few examples.
The Revised Edition should be the heart of Dr. Suzuki’s written material. But a heart with so many illnesses will not be able to survive and will pull all of us down.

The quality of these pictures say more than a thousand words about the missing carefulness of the ISA Committee …

Constanze Wurzel
Graduated in Matsumoto (Talent Education Institute)
and in Germany (German Suzuki Institute / European Suzuki Association)

Constanze said: Sep 22, 2008
 13 posts

PART 2:

Sometimes pictures say more than a thousand words

Revised Edition: Full of incorrect details—also in graphics and photographs

Constanze

Nobuaki said: Sep 23, 2008
Nobuaki Tanaka
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Mount Prospect, IL
115 posts

These comments with pictures are very funny. People try to find mistakes in each page telling not to use the book.

How about you gonna make an own book?

thank you

Coutier said: Sep 23, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

No, dear Suzukitea, people have found a multitude of rather shameful mistakes and plead for better books, addressing people who haven’t done their jobs. No joking involved, I assure you. Please don’t turn things upside down.

The real bombshell is of course Constanze’s statement:

[color=BF00FF]

The discussion got really emotional to us when we heard last week that our corrections sent to the chairman of ISA in April 2008 (more than 70 pages accurately listed by the German teacher trainers, instructors and assistants) were not passed to the ISA Violin Committee even though it was promised by letter.

[/color]

Would it be awfully impolite to demand an inquiry as to mr Hannesson’s involvement? And if he is found to be personally responsible, wouldn’t it be wise to suggest to him he step down as chairman?

coutier

Coutier said: Sep 24, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Iris, that is a lovely suggestion but it is so completely not the issue here!

coutier

Coutier said: Sep 24, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

I do resent your accusation of a “bunch of teachers using the misprints to sell their friend’s edition”. I and others have pointed out more than once that we do need a “mother book”, The Step by Steps are not an alternative for Suzuki Violin School, they are there to support and enrich the Violin School books. They are mentioned only in an equation of quality: no printing mistakes, better quality cd’s, efficiently produced, in a short period of time.

If you would take the time to read all the posts you would no doubt get a more balanced view. What you will see then is a cry for professional quality of books and professional quality of governance, including respectful communication and openness. Some of the posts are pretty aggressive and personally I don’t like fat and large print with exclamation marks and screaming colours, but if you look beyond that you will find dedicated Suzuki teachers trying to defend a vision which is really precious to them. Would you please read Meg Lanfear’s post of January 21st, she has put it so beautifully. We are not “just a bunch”, come on Iris!

Your suggestion that only dictators or awful manager types would be the alternative is tempting to react to, but I let it pass.

This thing is tiring Iris, I agree! But the only reason is that things seem to keep going wrong. This time it is Haukur Hannesson who has forgotten/omitted/refused—I don’t know—to pass on essential information.

Please look at the facts and don’t kill the messengers. And if that is too much effort, if it tires you too much, gracefully step back from the discussion.

coutier

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 24, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

I go back and forth on this.

I will admit that when I first saw the recurring references to the Step by Step books alongside the boldly emphasized shortcomings of the revised books, I did suspect what iris has suggested—namely, that there was a person or small group of people with an ulterior motive for trying to sell the Step by Step books. So I checked out the locations from which the posts were coming and carefully scrutinized the posts recommending the books—especially those posts made by recently created screen names—to make sure, to the best of my ability, that someone was not posting the same type of message several times by creating multiple screen names. So far as I can tell, this is not the case. If I did find evidence that it was, you can be sure that I would have removed the posts immediately, PM’d the offending screen names, and asked the admin to revoke their posting privileges.

On the other hand, I also have checked out the Step by Step books/cds and they are very well done. And I have checked out the revised violin books/cds and found that I agree with many of the criticisms presented in this topic.

Like coutier, I don’t enjoy the large fonts (it feels like I’m being yelled at). Like suzukitea, I do find some of the criticisms listed here seem like nitpicking. For example, while Constanze’s points about the pictures are technically correct, I don’t feel nearly as strongly about them as she does. Perhaps this is because I have not had teachers from an anti-Suzuki stance point out these mistakes as evidence that my philosophy of teaching is misguided. Perhaps this is because the English does not have near as many grammatical or spelling mistakes as the other languages. If I saw a book with as many English mistakes as I’m told the German has, I would automatically begin to look for other mistakes, too.

All this is to say that it’s possible to side with both viewpoints at the same time. Please put yourself in the other person’s shoes: suzukitea’s and Iris’s suggestions are not completely without foundation, and on the other hand, what may seem like over-reaction and nit-picking by others is the expression of a frustration that also has a reasonable foundation.

Martin said: Sep 26, 2008
Martin RuettimannISA Board
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
6 posts

As a ESA board member I can state, that:
- the meeting in Cambridge September 13/14 was held correctly
- the ESA chairman was elected unanimously
- there was no 70 page long paper presented by the German representative

In contrary:
- The German representative was elected to join the ESA violin subcommitee, in order to have her profound proof reading and corrections for the reprint of the books 1-3 and for the upcoming books from the revised edition
- The ESA chairman explained clearly where and how the mistakes happend in the printing sessions and explained also what he has been taking for correcting what happend and to prevent it for the future. He also received a letter sent by Alfred to the German Suzuki Institute, which excused for what happend and promised to do better now.
- As on the video from the SAA, it was mentionned several times, that there was a rush when printing the revised book 1-3 and Alfred did not take the most recent proof readings—also they mixed up pictures from book 1 and 2.
- The solution was, that people can send these books back to the publisher and will get a new one, as soon as it will be republished.

On the ESA website, everybody can see the a list with people in the ESA board or in commitees (instrumental director). Instead of complaining in the chat, it would be much more helpful for the whole process, to adress the concerns directly to the respective people, what in some cases already has been done.
In case people wish to replace representatives in the committees or the ESA chairman, it is possible to go to the AGM or to send proposals and ballots to the office. To replace the representative of a respective country, it can exclusively be done by the AGM of the respective country.

Martin Rüttimann
ESA board member
Representative of the Swiss Suzuki Institute

Coutier said: Sep 26, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Wow Martin, if you are right about the 70 page long paper, the German Suzuki people have some explaining to do.

May I remind you that the very fact that the discussion is taking place on this chat page is because in many, if not most, cases people received no or unsatisfactory answers. The subject of this discussion is not only the quality of the books but maybe even more the quality of communication. If the latter had been okay all this ado concerning the former would not have been needed.

coutier

Jennifer Visick said: Sep 27, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Constanze Wurzel

…we heard last week that our corrections sent to the chairman of ISA in April 2008 (more than 70 pages accurately listed by the German teacher trainers, instructors and assistants) were not passed to the ISA Violin Committee even though it was promised by letter.

MR

As a ESA board member I can state, that:
- the meeting in Cambridge September 13/14 was held correctly
- the ESA chairman was elected unanimously
- there was no 70 page long paper presented by the German representative

I think there may be some confusion here. The ESA and the ISA are not the same thing. Therefore, something sent to the ISA would not necessarily be presented to the ESA.

-Jenny-

Martin said: Sep 27, 2008
Martin RuettimannISA Board
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
6 posts

The ESA chairman also chairs the ISA right now.
It is not possible to send anything to the ISA directly. Everything must go through the regional associations or regional instrumental representative in the ISA instrumental commitees.

Constanze said: Sep 27, 2008
 13 posts

Thank you, Jenny for paying attention. You are right: There are several statements in Martin’s report confused, unclear or not true.
Even if I am quite tired to make this discussion longer and longer I have to give the readers of this forum some background information. Otherwise many persons will get a wrong impression about our ongoing complaints.

Please read the main prior steps of this endless story which started in November 2007 when many German teachers saw the Revised edition for the first time. It was during the National Suzuki Teacher Conference. We first thought that this must be a joke because of the extremely high error rate. When we found out that this should be our binding “Suzuki bible” we were shocked:

[list]
1. Many individual persons, mainly Suzuki teachers and teacher trainers wrote to ISA, Alfred, some members of the ISA violin committee and to the SAA Forum complaining about the Revised Edition.

  1. Because these persons did not get any answers or only empty excuses the German Suzuki Association wrote in January 2008 an official letter to the chairman of ISA, Dr. Haukur Hannesson, in which the criticism of the Revised Editions of the Suzuki Violin School (Vol. 1-3) was expressed in-depth.

  2. The chairman of ISA wrote back in January 2008: “I would welcome your suggestions for how the books, recordings and the communication to teachers regarding new publications could be improved and will be most happy to take this to the ISA Violin Committee and the publisher’s for further consideration.”

  3. After this request the German and Austrian Suzuki Teacher Trainers and Assistants started a huge work for two months. We went through books 1-3 and CD1 in order to note most of the deficiencies. To do this work in a foreign language made this process even more complicated for us.

  4. In April 2008 we sent by mail and by letter these documents (more than 70 pages) to the chairman of ISA. We did not send them directly to the ISA Violin Committee because Dr. Hannesson had informed us he would do this himself.

  5. To the present day there is no official answer from Mr. Hannesson to the German Suzuki Association.

  6. Before the ESA meeting in Cambridge in September 2008 was held our German representative Kerstin Wartberg asked for putting the “German matter” on the Agenda. As a result our wish was not accepted but a smaller private meeting outside the main forum of the board was offered. Present at the meeting were Haukur Hannesson, Birte Kelly, Christophe Bossuat, Koen Rens and Kerstin Wartberg.

  7. During this meeting Haukur Hannesson admitted that he forwarded the German corrections neither to the ISA Violin Committee nor to the publisher. Christophe Bossuat, the director of the ISA Violin Committee, declared that he has not seen our documents.

  8. To complete the misery: the second print of the Revised Edition was done and if the ISA committee would have received our corrections the second print could have been certainly in a much better shape…[/list:u]
    **
    These are the facts.**

Martin, it would be better to inform yourself before making the readers insecure. You could have asked Haukur Hannesson or the German or Austrian teacher trainers or teacher trainer assistants about this matter. The German teachers are already more than wrongly understood by persons who don’t go profoundly into details.
**
Concerning the procedures with ESA/ISA:**
- We did not act in a wrong way because we fulfilled exactly the wish of Haukur Hannesson to send him directly our corrections.
- Our matter was not put on the agenda of the ESA meeting – even though we asked for it. We had to accept this decision.

After such a long profound work, after so many aggressions by uninformed persons I like to quote Coutier and would like to give you, Martin and other unobjective critics the same advice:

Please look at the facts and don’t kill the messengers. And if that is too much effort, if it tires you too much, gracefully step back from the discussion.

Constanze

Coutier said: Sep 29, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

The “German matter” being moved into a side-chamber, like an embarassing family member. That is painful.

Even German-speaking Swiss ESA board member and violin teacher Martin Rüttimann is kept in the dark. Or so it seems, I personally cannot immagine Martin to deliberately writing down lies.

So, there are two organisations headed by the same person, mr. Hannesson. He is chairman of both ESA and ISA, cardinal and pope at the same time.

I find that confusing and in the light of this conflict where communication and the lack of it take such a prominent place, highly unfortunate.

I would like to ask Martin to write a new contribution.

coutier

Coutier said: Oct 3, 2008
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

The other day, within a very short period of time this chat received a multitude of messages and reactions and statements, all concerning the Suzuki method and whether it works or not. The sender of all these messages, the mysterious “ddm8053 ‘, (later revealing his actual name to be David), was very direct and quite angry. When I looked into the chat that day and saw “ddm8053” all over and all that anger, I kind of turned away which – as some of you might know – is normally not my style. I was worried, I felt attacked. I didn’t want to start attacking back, that much I was certain of.

And then, not very long after that, I believe RaineJen’s was the first one, reactions started to appear. No, not just reactions; “responses” is a better word. Many questions that were raised by ddm8053 received a respectful answer, a good answer with a lot of content, backed up by a lot of thought and – so I felt – by a lot of wisdom. Purple Tulips, Silverstar and others followed.

By reading these answers my introspection started working as I am certain has happened to many others. All the reasons why I am a Suzuki teacher got a fresh layer of paint as it were. It was quite a lovely experience. Second realization was that David—when you looked beyond his rather aggressive tone—raised important questions that touch the very roots of our philosophy.

The webmaster could have easily decided to throw out ddm8053’s contributions. She didn’t and I applaud her for that.

And now back to this discussion about the new editions. What a contrast! All this clamming up, ushering problems away into side-chambers, ignoring critics, being hurt by “bad language” and clamming up even more. Refusing to put matters into the light.

I don’t think Martin will write. For some reason he seems to prefer the shadows. I think it is a very unwise decision and I hope he will think again.

Oh dear RaineJen would you please run to be our next president? No no, not of the USA. Of the ISA!

coutier

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 4, 2008
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

coutier

Oh dear RaineJen would you please run to be our next president? No no, not of the USA. Of the ISA!

President of the USA, now there’s a job I don’t envy! Not one bit!

I’m sure I would need more experience to do either one of those jobs well.

-Jenny Visick-

Constanze said: Oct 5, 2008
 13 posts

Oh dear Jenny, me too, I would be very happy, if you could become our next ISA president.
Like Coutier and surely many other readers I was very impressed, how kind and diplomatic the writers esp. you, Jenny reacted towards the negative comments regarding the Suzuki method/philosophy. You are able to size up the situations and your answers are always to the point, kind and clear. We need such a person as next ISA president.


Dear readers of this forum,

Thinking of Jenny and the other writers I have to admit that several European teachers were not as good in that concerning the Revised Edition.

But please put yourselves into the position of a Suzuki teacher in Europe, esp. in Germany. Here the majority of the musicians and music teachers is against the Suzuki Method. One part argues at the same low level like David, the other part are highly educated traditional musicians. They believe that Suzuki’s method is not at all a professional music education method. They see no detailed profound technical studies, only a collection of nice pieces, they tell that the behavior of Suzuki teachers, students and parents is like in a dangerous sect, their members use great words but don’t put them into action …

Here we are again and look at our biggest problem in this moment: The Revised Edition of the Violin School.
Even Dr. Suzuki knew about the skeptical and negative attitude against his method in Germany. You should know something about the background:
Already in 1976-78 a Model Test took place organised by the German Universities. In the final report it was stated that Suzuki’s concept is not qualified enough and should not be integrated in German public music schools.
In other official reports from the ESTA (European String Teacher Association), the Association of German Music Schools (VdM) and the government department for culture and education we had to read regularly wrong and negative information about the Suzuki Method.
This was one of the reasons why Dr. Suzuki encouraged Kerstin Wartberg to draft and publish clearly structured and detailed lesson materials. It was obvious to him that besides good teaching results only high quality teaching material could make it possible to establish a Suzuki teacher training program in Germany.
Through the consistent work of the German Suzuki Institute since 1981 and the publication of well accepted teaching materials like the Step by Step series Suzuki’s concept could achieve little by little a better reputation. This helped us to establish the Suzuki Method in public institutions and to receive some practical and financial support for teacher training.
But since the Revised Editions are in the German Music Shops we can hear and read again the old wrong slogans full of lies which we hoped to have overcome.

Dear readers, do you understand now, why it is not always easy for us to be patient and kind?
On the other side, at the beginning, when we were still patient and kind with the responsible of the Revised Edition, nothing happened. No answer, no reaction, even not the realization that at least corrections must be done…

Only through our rigid protest we can’t be pushed apart anymore like it was done in the last nine months. We still don’t know whether ISA will be able to produce a better third revised edition or whether all violin children in the next generations will roll up the A string on the E peg…..
But if we had not fought for a better result, please tell me:

Would YOU have done it for the sake of our common method, dear Suzuki colleague? It should be the goal of all of us to have a wonderful Revised Edition, at least an Edition where we don’t need to fear loosing our reputation and our base of existence.

said: Dec 4, 2008
 30 posts

Unbelievable!!!

[size=150]**One year and two months
after the publication of the Revised Edition:**[/size]

***[size=150]These books and CDs
with all the embarrassing mistakes
are still available
in the whole world![/size]***

said: Dec 23, 2008
 24 posts

Yesterday I found in this Forum the threat Copyright material?
the link http://www.4shared.com/
where we can download for free Suzuki books and Mp3 files of all Suzuki music. You just need to write into SEARCH FILES:

Suzuki Violin

and you find the whole material.

Within some minutes I could download all 10 violin books (as zip file) without any payment. You can download also the piano accompaniments and other interesting books.

I don’t know whether this is legal or not but this side exists already several years and seems to be used very often. Many items are downloaded thousands of times.

I assume this is probably the only possibility for us to continue to work with the old violin edition. It is valuable for us to use these downloads because we can’t buy the old original editions anymore and many of us don’t want to use the new ones with all these mistakes.

Jennifer Visick said: Mar 13, 2009
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

The SAA website has just posted an update about reprints, apparently made available at the same time as the revised version of Book 4. An excerpt follows….

A reprint of the Revised Volumes 1, 2, and 3 was completed and published in December 2008 by Alfred. All inventory in their warehouse is now the reprints of these volumes, not the first edition. There was a tremendous effort on the part of all the ISA regional association violin committees to address issues in the first printing. Alfred was wise enough to limit the numbers of the first printing to allow for what they anticipated as needed corrections. We thank them for their foresight and continued assistance in publishing the best editions possible.

Constanze said: Apr 8, 2009
 13 posts

I am shocked and speechless. All wrong graphics and photos are again in the newest – the third revised edition of the Suzuki Violin School, vol. 1.
You find these unbelievable documents under the following link:
https://suzukiassociation.org/forum/viewtopic.php?f=1&t=1893&st=0&sk=t&sd=a&start=105
Besides these really heavy mistakes some other wrong and missing details are still not corrected like the missing translation of the Glossary on page 20.

Do we really have to accept this???

said: Apr 9, 2009
 24 posts

NO, we should not accept this!

There are not only these problems with the books/CDs 1-3.
In the new revised book 4 are too many weaknesses as well:
The diversity between the printed music and the music played on the CD is remarkable.

The piano accompaniment of the Bohm Perpetual Motion is just unacceptable. I ask every violin teacher to try it out: It is just impossible to play along with the CD. I can bet that no body of you will succeed to do so. This kind of practice “help” is useless and frustrating.

I am SOOOOO disappointed.

Coutier said: Apr 10, 2009
Coutier RademakerViolin
58 posts

Three attempts! Even after all the information and corrections that were given to them…….

May I add that the vol. 1 cd too has mistakes, inconsistencies and omissions which could have easily been corrected at not very high cost.

I see the S.A.A. website and marvel at its beauty and professional quality. People that work for this website simply know what needs to be done, AND they deliver. Its freedom of speech mentality allows us to engage in fundamental discussions without it loosing any dignity. Clearly it is an organisation that works.

What a contrast to the International Suzuki Association (I.S.A.) and its revised editions committee which failed to even produce a flawless edition in a third attempt: we now have to apologize to our parents for mistakes in the re-re-re-vised edition and that is absurd. Obviously this organisation does not work…..

And is not willing to do something about it. Rather they engage in village politics and nurture their hurt feelings.

I am amazed to read in RainJen’s quote how chummy the violin committee and Alfred Publishers still are. Are we reaping the fruits of an old boys network here?

It is my opinion that the member of the I.S.A. violin committee responsible for screwing up this time should never be allowed near a publisher again (if he/she ever was near one). Also the responsible person at Alfred should be woken up at last (if they can find him/her) and sent packing. That is what happens in normal, healthy companies.

Times are changing fast. Suzuki’s ideas are so very great, and naturally many of them are adopted by “non-Suzuki” people and incorporated into their teaching methods. If we want to preserve this legacy, our material must be no less than excellent. The I.S.A. is a world spanning organisaton and it is time it starts living up to that before it is too late.

coutier

said: May 4, 2009
 30 posts

[size=150]**Unbelievable!!!

One year and seven months
after the publication of the first print of the Revised Edition:**
[/size]
These books and CDs were now revised three times.

Why do we still find the wrong graphics and missing translations in the book?
Why are the wrong dynamics and articulations still on the CD?
Why are in the new revised volume 4 so many inconsistencies and omissions as well?
Why can’t the ISA committee produce piano accompaniments which are suitable to play along with? (see review from Antonella)
Why did the SAA and ESA websites announce these books and CDs as follows:

The SAA website has just posted an update about reprints, apparently made available at the same time as the revised version of Book 4. An excerpt follows….

A reprint of the Revised Volumes 1, 2, and 3 was completed and published in December 2008 by Alfred. All inventory in their warehouse is now the reprints of these volumes, not the first edition.
There was a tremendous effort on the part of all the ISA regional association violin committees to address issues in the first printing. Alfred was wise enough to limit the numbers of the first printing to allow for what they anticipated as needed corrections. We thank them for their foresight and continued assistance in publishing the best editions possible.

Perhaps these editions represent the highest possibilities of the ISA committee members but after one year and seven months and three revisions the committee members show us clearly that their abilities are not sufficient to produce the best editions possible.

Who knows how we can stop this fateful development? Any suggestions?

Salina Norman said: Jun 6, 2013
 Violin
2 posts

The 1978 editions books are best
The new Suzuki violin book 1 is hard for beginners to follow because they cut the variations B (which is one of the hardest) C, D, and E short before you learn the full twinkle theme. Memory is strongly suggested, but for those who want to read, the full variations are not listed.
Publishers and Editors must have been more invested in the 1970s, and people had more time, and no one cringed if you mentioned peace and love and music, like they do today.
I purposefully promote the 1978 versions to many of my students. Libraries exist and photocopies can be made, and amazon.com is helpful as a link to this recent past. Now studios currently sell the newer versions as the one and only, sadly.
If I learned from the 1978 versions very well, and happily, why teach from lesser par.
Sometimes I feel the Americanized Suzuki Method has lost touch with the 1958 sensation of America discovering the videos of the 4.000 students on stage for the first time in Japan performing with Shin’ichi, all playing well and together with synchronized movement. Or that Dr. Suzuki was influenced by Tolstoy and Dogan, and Buddhism ways and ancient Sanscripts, nothing like we focus on here in America in 2013.

Kiyoko said: Jun 11, 2013
 84 posts

Thanks for adding your perspective, Salina. I’ll be looking for the copy of Book 1 I learned from, for my son.

Perhaps Alfred could be approached about publishing the 1970s editions as “vintage” editions so that students can purchase new copies. Or at least reintroduce the twinkle variation information that was removed.

Jennifer Visick said: Jun 12, 2013
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
997 posts

Another option would be that If a student needs or wants all the twinkles spelled out in full as an aid to practicing, I find it very easy to teach the parents (and students if they are old enough) to use the basic functions of a free score writing program such as musescore, to write out the variations in full themselves.

Plus, you can do all sorts of creative things that way, showing students how to write new variations, or combine different variations for fun…

Why not turn a weakness into an opportunity for teaching more things? In fact, if I were going to try to teach writing as well as reading music, this would be an excellent opportunity…

(oh, wait, that IS what I’m doing with my newest class of students… ) ;-)

Eleanor Bennett said: Jun 15, 2013
 
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Villa Rica, GA
62 posts

Thanks for the info on the score writing program. I had to get a new computer and it didn’t accept my older version of Finale. Very disappointed about that. I did find Musescore thanks to you

Eleanor Bennett

Eleanor Bennett

Salina Norman said: Jun 18, 2013
 Violin
2 posts

@ Kiyoko, what a genius idea! Vintage is so on-trend.
Perhaps Alfred could be approached about publishing the 1970s editions as “vintage” editions so that students can purchase new copies. Or at least reintroduce the twinkle variation information that was removed.
(Plus I hear the new editions got their Spanish, French and German a bit wrong)
@ RainJen, now were cookin’ what a great idea!
Another option would be that If a student needs or wants all the twinkles spelled out in full as an aid to practicing, I find it very easy to teach the parents (and students if they are old enough) to use the basic functions of a free score writing program such as musescore, to write out the variations in full themselves.
You inspired another idea out of me.
Why not update the most current edition of book one to include empty staff where the variation cuts off, so it can be right there in the book! Now it’s quasi workbook as well as song book. Composition is a GREAT compositional tool I agree. If the publisher added empty staff area to the Suzuki Method book 1 there would be no need to fuss with software, and the student has the convenience of it there in the book to show their teacher and their parents, pick up and go.
I can’t make it to Suzuki conventions ever, can someone send this idea to the top? (:

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