Badges for songs in Book 1?

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Laurel said: Oct 1, 2006
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

I remember visiting a website done by people who produced badges (like those in Boy Scouts or Girl Guides) for each song in Book 1. Not sure if I want to do this for my students, but thought I’d take a look again anyway. Does anyone know the URL for this?

Thanks so much!’

Charles Krigbaum said: Oct 13, 2006
Charles KrigbaumTeacher Trainer
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
69 posts

Hi Laurel,

Here you go:

I would highly recommend NOT doing this however, as it will no doubt focus the parent’s and kid’s attention on progressing through the pieces and not working on SKILL. Who cares if you are on Minuet 1 if you don’t have a violin hold, bow hold, focus, and tone…right?

My first few years of teaching I did this, and it really bit me in the rear.
Now we talk about what skill you are working on rather than the piece and this paradigm shift has been crucial.

What I’ve done is bought the charming poster featured on the site and framed it and hung it in my studio. When a kid finished Book 1, I have the parents buy one and I sign it and then they take it home…

What do you think about this? Maybe I’m just too good at sucking the fun out of things (LOL) but I really think rewards for “passing” a song (a piece is NEVER finished in my mind) is a slippery slope.

Maybe I’m too cynical…anyway check-out the site, I hope it is what you wanted.

This message has been brought to you by:

Charles Krigbaum, Director
North Texas School of Talent Education

Joyce said: Oct 16, 2006
Joyce MizerViolin, Piano
Sarasota, FL
6 posts

We developed authentic “Japanese” certifcates awarded at the end of each book. Certificates for the early books are 4.25 X 5.5 inches and in color. On the left side of the certificate, words are in English. On the right side of the certificate, everything is in Japanese Kanji.

This adds to the tradition of the Japanese award system and gives the teacher an opportunity to talk more about Dr. Suzuki. Children listen more when they have a visual.

Laurel said: Oct 18, 2006
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

Thanks for your input!

No, those pins look great, but the ones I saw were actual cloth badges, that you could sew onto clothes or a bag or something.

I don’t like the idea of implying that a student has “passed” a piece, either. But perhaps it could be countered by my requirement of playing review pieces at every lesson—making the pieces into tools for learning techniques, that kind of thing. Just thinking out loud here.

End of a book, that’s an idea. Or perhaps something for achieving Dr. Suzuki’s graduation pieces. I don’t give/do anything resembling “recognising achievement” right now, and that seems to work just fine!


Debbie said: Oct 20, 2006
Debbie MiViolin
138 posts

I was thinking about this whole controversy just today!

On the one hand, having levels to pass is motivating. Sort of like getting your belt in Karate.

On the other hand, focusing on which piece you are on can completely ruin the whole idea of enjoying the process.

As a teacher, I find it very difficult to figure out this balance. Maybe I should figure out a level system based on skills, not pieces.

Laura said: Oct 21, 2006
Suzuki Association Member
358 posts

Badges and pins for each song? Ugh, no! If any sense of achievement is formally acknowledged, it should be per book at most. That is a natural place to do it, since the student is already getting a new book and CD.

Awarding each song creates a false sense of “OK, I’m all done with that. Next!!” and doesn’t encourage a healthy attitude towards reviewing and improving older repertoire. I also think it can create an unhealthy sense of competition (”I have 14 badges and she only has 6!).

In my studio, the kids are always pulling out their older pieces for something or other, whether it is for learning new techniques or playing group games. Adding to the sense of “Look at all of the wonderful things I can play and how well I can play them” is more important, both attitude-wise and self-esteem wise, than “How many notches on my music stand?” (Sorry for the off-color analogy there… but I’m really trying to illustrate the point!)

Laurel said: Oct 22, 2006
Laurel MacCullochViolin
Langley, BC
120 posts

A list of skills—yes, I like that idea better. But then it still brings out the idea of “levels”. Hmmm.

I do have a student who gets easily discouraged; the end of the book as a motivator is waaaaay too far away for him at this point. I may do the 100-days-of-practise thing soon. Perhaps if I scribbled down a list of his songs (Twinkles and Lightly Row) and a list of his skills (playing position feet, head turned but not belly button, violin hold, left hand position, left-hand finger movements, fingers on tapes, bowing motion…) it could be quite motivating.

I try to include something like this in my group classes (”who keeps their scroll up at the right level for a whole song?” or something) but it’s tricky when there’s a couple people who need to be corrected.


said: Oct 22, 2006
 26 posts

…But there must be a good way to use these great little pins!!

Perhaps ‘prizes’ such as these pins could be awarded for a beautifully polished solo performance?

I frequently have to talk my students out of playing their ‘latest piece’ at a recital. Maybe if there was an incentive to play an earlier piece (haven’t got that pin yet!)…

Just an idea.

Does anyone have any other ideas?

Jennifer Visick said: Oct 24, 2006
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

those ARE such cute little pins. But $5.00 per pin???? Not sure it’s worth it.

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