Suzuki organists


David said: Mar 30, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
5 posts

I am the first Suzuki organ teacher in Australia. I have been a Piano Teacher Trainer for over fifteen years. With the support of the Suzuki Association here, I have pioneered the course (with the gracious help of founder Gunilla Ronnberg in Sweden) over the past two years in Sydney and Newcastle, NSW and have over 20 students from ages 3—20+. We are preparing for a performance on the Sydney Opera House Grand organ in June.

I have also prepared the Organ Teacher Training course for use by the Pan Pacific Association. I have an Organ Teacher Trainee in Melbourne who is going extremely well and just started teaching organ with six students.

I would like to connect with any Suzuki Organ teachers so that we can share ideas in these early stages. I find the course fantastic to teach and would love to find out how others are going.

Gyula said: Apr 7, 2010
 5 posts

I am a Suzuki Viola/Violin teacher, but am considering taking organ lessons in order to (hopefully) play the organ at my church someday.

There are no Suzuki organ teachers where I live, but I did notice two SAA summer institutes that have organ student programs this year. I do wonder how or when suzuki organ teacher training takes place in the US. Primarily by apprenticeship, I should think… except that the SAA only lists Gunilla Ronnberg as an organ teacher trainer.

In any case I am far from being able to teach organ—maybe in another decade -…- but I would love to see the Suzuki Organ method in action if possible.

David said: Apr 7, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
5 posts

I think Gunilla Ronnberg has been to the States at least once, running a Teacher Training session in Utah. But information is very hard to find. I would be interested to know what organ sessions are being held by the SAA this summer.

Good luck with your dreams to become an organist. We appear to be an endangered species!

Jennifer Visick said: Apr 7, 2010
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

if you go here:

you can sort the US summer suzuki institutes by instruments offered.

David said: Apr 8, 2010
Suzuki Association Member
5 posts

Thanks, RaineJen, that’s very helpful.

Jeremy Chesman said: Jul 28, 2010
Jeremy Chesman
Suzuki Association Member
Organ, Recorder, Voice, Harp
Springfield, MO
24 posts

Gunilla is the only teacher trainer recognized in the SAA. I’m planning on getting further training with the eventual goal of being an SAA trainer. However, SAA doesn’t seem to be particularly supportive. When I called and asked them how one goes about becoming a teacher trainer, they were ready to send me information until they found out that I played organ. I was then told it’s not possible to become a teacher trainer on organ. Also, my requests for having something for organists at the SAA conference were denied on the grounds that not many people were interested. I write this not to express disdain for the SAA, but to encourage anyone who reads this to contact SAA and let them know that there IS interest in organ in the SAA.

Every few years, Gunilla comes to the US to do a teacher training workshop. I don’t know if/when she plans on coming next. I know that there needs to be enough people taking a workshop and enough students to make it financially viable for her to come. Once again, let the SAA or Gunilla know!

Ingrid Hersman said: Jun 17, 2012
 1 posts

All of the conversations here are two years old.
In the meantime what have your experiences been? We have had Suzuki Organ in Salt Lake City ever since I came back from observing and studying with Gunilla in Stockholm during the 2002-2003 school year at the University. She had given a demonstration in Minneapolis in 2002, came to teach institute in Chicago in 2004 & do a presentation in LA for the National AGO convention. We had the privilege to have her do teacher training in SLC in 2007. Goodness Jeremy has it been that long?

David said: Jun 29, 2012
Suzuki Association Member
5 posts

The Suzuki Organ program continues to thrive here in Australia. There are five teachers in training with me (Organ Teacher Trainer for the PPSA). There are nearly forty students between us. We have regular bi-monthly teacher training sessions as well as an annual Organ Summer School and an annual three-day Professional Development course.

We were delighted to have Jeremy and Gunilla with us last January at the Suzuki Organ Summer School in Sydney. Jeremy and Gunilla are wonderful teachers and we were all totally inspired by their enthusiasm and dedication.

In September this year over twenty-five organ students and parents will accompany me on an overseas organ study tour, having master classes with world-class teachers in Switzerland, Germany, Austria, France and England. Our tour will finish with a presentation to the Royal Academy of Music and the Royal College of Organists followed by a masterclass with Robert Quinney at Westminster Abbey. Hopefully Gunilla will be with us for these exciting events in London!

I believe that a domestic teacher trainer is the best strategy for ongoing training and success. I wish you all the very best!

Gyula said: Aug 16, 2012
 5 posts

I am still (trying) to give a go at the organ lessons. Brought the Suzuki Organ book 1 to my lesson, and the teacher seemed delighted to see a beginning method she’d never seen before. Also, she seems to like the music and the way it’s laid out; loves the rhythmic variations on twinkle (Yay Suzuki!) and likes that there are simple pedal pieces to work on ‘pedal alone’…

Perhaps I’ll make a Suzuki Organ teacher out of her…

… Meanwhile I have got several other books to work in plus something called “Organ technique: Modern & Early” to slog through.

… I think I’ll breeze through Suzuki Organ book 1 well before I get even halfway through OTMAE!

On other fronts, the organ teacher is helping me “arrange” the piano accompaniment parts for Suzuki Violin/Viola books to something suitable on organ. Something for me & my students to look forward to doing together.

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