Suzuki Association Chapter Wise
June 2019
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SAA News

Great Chapter Sessions at Leadership Retreat!

At the Leadership Retreat at Deer Creek Lodge in Ohio over Memorial Day, there were three Chapter-focused sessions. In the first, Affiliated Chapters and prospective Chapters shared a success of the last year. Next we discussed questions from individual Chapters, and lastly was an information session for anyone wanting to know “Why Chapters.”

We heard about how groups of teachers can start to build a community on their way to Affiliation, the steps of Affiliation, Board meetings exclusively conducted over Zoom, helpful monthly teacher enrichment meetings, the positive impact of multi-instrument recitals, the power of personal phone calls, easing future transitions by creating documents of today’s standard procedures, and so much more!

If you would like to participate in supporting Affiliated Chapters, or facilitating Chapter-based sessions at the next conference, write .

North Texas Suzuki Association

North Texas Suzuki Association

Suzuki Alumni Project Recital, March 17, 2018

“We had the amazing opportunity of working with the Suzuki Alumni Project in 2018. Catherine Black and Ayane Kozasa, two Dallas area Suzuki Alumni, presented a wonderful recital of viola music on March 17, 2018 in the beautiful sanctuary at Resurrection Lutheran Church in Plano, TX.”

Suzuki Association of Massachusetts

Suzuki Association of Massachusetts

In a personalized letter from outgoing president, Emily Rideout expressed personal gratitude for the community and big picture view of what is offered to all through the Chapter.

“After being in the midst of our organization since 2011…Something made me pick up an old directory. As I flipped through your names, I was blown away by what we actually are – a community not just of teachers, but of early childhood experts, pedagogy instructors, orchestra members, and fiddle players; school directors, arts administrators, event planners, community organizers, and contractors; writers, improvisers, composers, publishers, business-people; experts in technology, or methods like Feldenkrais and Alexander Technique, and volunteers. This list leapt from the directory before my eyes, with many of your faces coming to mind.
I can’t comprehend the depth of knowledge, skill, creative energy and heart that reside in this community… What’s special is what it can mean, if we engage with our group. It’s so easy to move through our days, weeks and years without connecting outside our own studios. But if we can find even small ways to be involved, the potential returns are incredible.”

Solution Finders

Accomplishing New Goals in Indiana

Suzuki Association of Indiana

Suzuki Association of Indiana

“One of the goals of the SAI for 2017-18 was to provide a workshop for teacher and parent enrichment. Much of the summer and fall was devoted to the planning and advertising of the workshop, ‘Inspiring Ideas for Successful Practicing.’ Ed Sprunger led the workshop on October 27, 2018 which included presentations from his two books and a master class where workshop participants could watch him interact with students. This was our first major state-wide event and those that attended felt it was well worth the time and expense.”

Decisions to Stick Together in Washington

Suzuki Association of Washington State

Suzuki Association of Washington State (SAWS)

The festival has been held on the campus of Central Washington University in Ellensburg, WA since the beginning of the organization, but we will be loosing our auditorium next year as CWU seeks to update its facilities. There was talk of splitting the festival into two separate events, one on the west side of the state near Seattle, and one closer to the Idaho border and the eastern portion of WA. This idea was fairly quickly shut down due to the overwhelming fact that we would miss seeing each other every year! The festival is sometimes the only opportunity for teachers in different parts of the state to catch up with each other, and no one wanted to give up that community time together. We’ve opted to try and find a different location in Ellensburg, or perhaps a different portion of CWU to use for next year. We’ve got some good leads.

Leadership Links

Meeting with Productivity and Purpose

Recitals, group classes, retreats, concerts, festivals, board meetings, teacher dinners, conferences, retreats, workshops, play-ins—oh my!

We are a community rich in gatherings. “The Art of Gathering” by long-time facilitator Priya Parker interviewed 100 group leaders of all kinds and learned key lessons on how to avoid the dull routine of emotionless meetings and instead create transformative gatherings.

One surprising element to artful gathering—knowing the change you are seeking, or the deeper purpose of the gathering. Priya encourages us to look beyond the initial “what” of the meeting and to define the “why.” For example, a wedding seems to be for the purpose of celebrating the union and commitment of two people to each other, but if a couple looks deeper at what results they want from their celebrations, the answers may be more subtle and diverse. Perhaps they want to create a close network of support into their future by having a unique shared experience with loved ones. Perhaps they want to have their love and joy witnessed by the furthest reaches of their communities. You can quickly see how what you want to accomplish with your gathering then helps to determine the where, who, and how.

In our Affiliated Chapter gatherings, we are fulfilling our chapter goals of Connect, Educate, Support, Celebrate, and Respect. If we try to fulfill every goal every meeting, some of the potential impact is lost. It is most sustainable and powerful to focus on simple, actionable outcomes for our gatherings, know our purpose, and then make choices based on our goals.

Once we have decided on our desired goals or main purpose of our meetings, we as board members can lean on “Robert’s Rules” to navigate meetings productively and fairly. This resource was brought up in a session at the Leadership Retreat. Many Chapters were aware of and used this guide to run meetings, others hadn’t heard of them. You can find a quick guide here, or the full list here.

You can read more here, and here, or watch Priya speak here and here.

❦ Connect: Build community among all students, parents, and teachers.

❦ Educate: Provide resources and/or support to teachers and parents, incoming and current, concerning Suzuki teaching and philosophy.

❦ Support: Financially benefit teachers and students for further enrichment (i.e. scholarship programs for conferences, institutes, workshops).

❦ Celebrate: Arrange Concerts, Graduation, Celebration, Cross Instrument Recitals, Honors Recitals, etc. to rejoice in music together.

❦ Respect: Support the Suzuki name/brand/legacy by requiring SAA membership for teachers as well as broadening membership and providing grassroots feedback to the SAA.

What is an affiliated Chapter? Want to create your own Chapter?

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Suzuki Association of the Americas
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