Certified as a suzuki teacher

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said: Jan 25, 2010
 4 posts

Hello. I hope I’m asking this in the right place. I just did a search for the teacher that my child is presently being taught by. She teaches suzuki in a school system that promotes it’s suzuki program. I did not find either the school system or the teacher. If your a certified teacher, would you automatically be listed here or do you have to join the association to be listed? If so, is joining something that some teachers may not do if working through a school system? Just wondering if my child is not being taught by a true suzuki instructor.

Jennifer Visick said: Jan 26, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

If you are searching the members on this forum, the answer is no—trained Suzuki teachers do not automatically join this forum.

If you are searching on http://www.suzukiassociation.org under the “Teachers and Parents” and then “Find a Teacher” link, the answer is no—At the bottom of that page you will see this disclaimer:

Please note: The Suzuki Teacher Location Service database contains only teachers that are interested in adding students to their studio—not all SAA members. Many teachers have not opted in to this listing service.

If you want to find out what kind of Suzuki training your teacher has received, you should ask them. If a teacher has taken SAA courses and has registered them, they should have received little certificates from the SAA for each teacher training course they’ve taken. You can also call the SAA to find out what courses a teacher has registered with the SAA.

If a teacher has received Suzuki training outside of the Americas, the SAA might not have a record of this training.

Laura said: Jan 26, 2010
 
Suzuki Association Member
Piano
358 posts

In addition to what RaineJen mentioned:

There are two other types of Suzuki teachers in existence.

One type has been exposed to Suzuki philosophy. Perhaps they grew up as Suzuki students and/or have taken a very intentional approach to researching, learning, and even training in Suzuki pedagogy. However, they have done so independently of the SAA registered training system, even though they are otherwise highly qualified teachers who appreciate and use the Suzuki approach as it suits their studio.

The second type simply uses the Suzuki books to follow the repertoire, and thus call themselves a “Suzuki program”. They may or may not actually be familiar with, follow, or even agree with key aspects of Suzuki philosophy. This can often be the case for older beginners in the school system who are old enough to learn to read music—so they may be learning the “regular way”, but using the Suzuki pieces.

I beleive that one of the mandates of the SAA to try to minimize the the existence of the second type—not because they aren’t necessarily good, but only because of the misrepresentation of the name “Suzuki method”. The first type can’t necessarily be bad, because anyone who appreciates and follows Suzuki philosophy in their development as an educator would be what Dr. Suzuki wanted. Many of us need the formal training, and many parents need the assurance of this—hence the registered training courses leading to certification under the SAA. But there can be some high quality teachers out there who teach according to Suzuki method with little or no formal certification. (Before anyone shudders at this, just consider many of the “older school” Suzuki teachers from the 1970s who taught before the certifcation requirement existed.)

Just make sure that you ask the right questions and are satisfied the the quality of instruction is good in the school program.

said: Jan 26, 2010
 4 posts

Thanks for the thoughts. My mother (grandma…who is the one renting the cello for his lessons) has suggested paying for private lessons outside of the school system if I didn’t feel the present teacher was truely a suzuki teacher. But my son seems to be progressing well and she’s a very adaptable teacher who seems to be following the philosophy. I often hear…hey if your getting him to practice, it works for me…as long as he continues to learn, progress and enjoy himself. SO we’ll stay put for now.

Thanks again.

Lisa Hansen said: Apr 11, 2010
Lisa Hansen
Suzuki Association Member
Violin
21 posts

I might be incorrect, but it is my understanding that official Suzuki teacher trainers are the only people who are “certified.” Teachers can “register” their Suzuki training with the national Suzuki Association, but there is no process that “certifies” Suzuki teachers.

Jennifer Visick said: Apr 14, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

Yes, that’s a matter of semantics or diction that the SAA seems to think is very important. I think what they’re trying to shy away from is the idea that SAA trained teachers have been tested and examined in some way. They will often point out that “registering” a course with them merely means you were present in the class, not that you actually understood anything or got anything out of it.

This obsession with “registered, NOT certified” is only understandable if they’re planning to have certification sometime in the future which has different requirements from merely “registering” a course.

Actually now that I think about it, there is a (new) certificate program whose inductees will, presumably, be able to be called “certified”… since the SAA is, uh, giving them certificates.

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