Graduation Certificates Question

Sara said: Feb 21, 2011
 Violin
191 posts

How do all of your associations handle the graduation certificates? Does each teacher make their own, is someone paid to do them, is it volunteer?

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Ruth Brons said: Feb 22, 2011
Ruth Brons
Suzuki Association Member
Violin, Viola
Livingston, NJ
148 posts

Over the years I have worked with a couple of different graduation certificate systems.
In one program of several cooperating teachers, students were awarded a graduation certificate
[first designed and calligraphied by one artistic teacher, then reproduced and filled in with student name, etc. with calligraphy pen for each student] when they played the last piece in the book on at a recital, and two other favorite book pieces at group class. I was never really happy with this system because it inevitably led to a lot of just barely learned last pieces in the book at recitals.

For the last 5 years I have been extremely happy working with the American String Teachers Association’s [ASTA] Certificate Advancement Program: “The ASTA Certificate Advancement Program seeks to establish definite goals and awards for students of all levels through non-competitive examinations. Students are judged on technical and musical preparedness at specific levels (Foundation Level- Level 10) by an examiner of musical and pedagogical stature. A certificate of achievement is awarded for each level successfully completed.” Learn more at: http://www.astaweb.com/Content/NavigationMenu/MemberResources/ASTACAP/default.htm

Sara said: Feb 22, 2011
 Violin
191 posts

Thank Ruth! I’ll check it out. I am in my second year of graduation with an association and I’m not sure the whole process if worht the amount of time and resources it takes to make it happen.

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 22, 2011
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

I’m in SoCal. Our local branch of the Suzuki Music Association of California holds graduations every year at about this time. Grad pieces (violin/viola) are Twinkle, then Gossec’s Gavotte, then the last piece in every book after that.

In order to graduate, a student and their teacher must be a member of the association, and the teacher has to certify that the student has learned every piece up to and including the graduation piece. Teachers are asked to only have their students apply for graduation when the student is about halfway through the following book. Then the student has to make a recording of the graduation piece at a certain tempo, and send it in.

Different teachers (assigned by the association) listen to each tape and record some brief feedback to return to the student at the graduation concert. Students play their piece (at the lower levels) with everyone else graduating at that level that year. Students at the upper levels usually play solos, sometimes not of their graduation piece that they recorded but of something similar at the same technical level.

Students also receive a certificate and pin to commemorate their achievement. Teachers are asked to listen to the feedback comments with each of their students and to work on anything with that student that is suggested.

Sara said: Feb 23, 2011
 Violin
191 posts

thanks, RaineJen—so, does the association pay for the certificates and pins? Who does the work of making the certificates and is that a paid or volunteer project?

Do the teachers listening to the tapes volunteer, or get paid for their time?

I really like the idea of all the students playing the lower level pieces along with them!

Thanks for sharing!

“What is man’s ultimate direction in life? It is to look for love, truth, virtue, and beauty.” Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Jennifer Visick said: Feb 26, 2011
Jennifer VisickForum Moderator
Suzuki Association Member
Viola, Suzuki in the Schools, Violin
998 posts

There is a graduation fee which helps pay for the concert hall rental, the listener’s time, the pins & certificates, and etc. However, if the graduation does not pay for itself through all the graduation fees collected, the association does sponsor it (although we do try to make it self-supporting as much as possible).

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