Thread from string_teachers_support


Connie Sunday said: Nov 21, 2010
Connie SundayViolin, Piano, Viola
667 posts

I wanted to post this here, in appreciation of this forum (the official SAA board). I hope it is okay to do so. This is from the Yahoo Group string_teachers_support and can be accessed here:

Margrit wrote:
>> Teaching and learning tone, intonation, fluency, and musical expressiveness, whether with Suzuki repertoire or any other, requires a great deal of diligence and perseverance from everyone involved—teacher, student, and depending on the student’s age, also from the parent. Perhaps no one will take offense to the unfortunate term, “obsess,” if it is viewed as the stick-to-it-ness required for mastery and excellence in teaching and learning.

Please note that this is the second submission of Margret’s remarks. The first was a bit confrontational and I asked her to revise them, which she very kindly did.

I’m not entirely sure I should have let this one through, though. This is the exact reason I started this list seven years ago. I wandered innocently into suzukichat (another Yahoo Group), asking questions and questioning the Suzuki method/philosophy, and was greeted with a wall of ad hominem attacks. And banned from the list. Some of those women are still angry with me, and harass me in other forums. But to the credit of the moderators of the official SSA board, not on there. I have been in that forum for many, many years and always treated gently, with respect.

A few observations, if I may:
1. I’ve been a Bertrand Russell-style freethinker for many, many years. Russell defines free thinking, not so much as what you believe, but how you hold your beliefs. If, like a good scientist and responsible intellectual (and teacher) you hold your beliefs tentatively, based on the evidence you currently have, then you are a freethinker, regardless of how odd your conclusions may be. If you are willing to follow the evidence in order to determine the truth—no matter if it challenges your most cherished beliefs—and do not believe something because it is comforting, or your parents or society told you to believe them, or do it for some hidden motive—then your thought is free.

  1. If someone says something which makes you instantly angry and defensive, it’s a pretty sure bet that they are challenging some of your subconscious assumptions. Reacting in an angry and defensive manner is not the most effective way to respond; better to look within yourself and find what it is that is upsetting you. Count to 10 and don’t post something which might be hurtful to someone else, or cause a long chain of angry responses.

  2. It always strikes me as extremely peculiar that among some Suzuki teachers, this angry and resentful response occurs in the context of the philosophy of someone who, if I read his character correctly from the Suzuki literature, would NEVER respond in that manner, no matter what the provocation. My sense is that Dr. Suzuki was kindly, mature and sure of himself; only when you are fearful of your own position, does the angry/resentful/confrontational response occur.

This list was designed for information and support, not to denigrate someone because they don’t agree with your position. It ain’t happenin’ here, folks!!!

Big hugs,
Connie Sunday

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