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June 2010

In this issue:

  • Annual Meeting Summary
  • Student Concert DVDs from Conference
  • New Piano Books 4-7 Published
  • 2009 CD Donation Gift—Final Offer!
  • CDs from Conference Guest Artists
  • New Products: Posters, Mystery Novel
  • Group Cello Benefit Concert

Annual Meeting Summary

Board Chair Teri Einfeldt opened the SAA’s 2010 Annual General Meeting, welcoming and thanking everyone who came.

Marilyn Kesler talked about this summer’s institutes. With 67 institutes planned, there are 10 more than in 2009 and 4 more than the average number over the past six years! 32 states are to hold one or more institutes, and the eight to be held in Canada will take place in six different provinces. In addition to the North American Summer Institutes, Festivals, which are the Latin American equivalent of Institutes, were held in Mexico, Peru, El Salvador and Costa Rica. A few of the additional sites where teacher training was held included Argentina, Brazil and Paraguay.

John Kendall teaching a young violin student

John Kendall

Image by Arthur Montzka

Marilyn also announced the establishment of a new fund, the John and Catherine Kendall Teacher Training Fund. The Board is very pleased to be able to honor the Kendalls through this special endeavor. Further details are to be announced in the fall.

Marilyn O’Boyle treated the group with some encouraging statistics about SAA’s growth and accomplishments. The average membership during the previous year (June, 2009 to May, 2010) was 7,500. 84% of the membership is in the US; 9% in Canada and 1% each in Argentina and Brazil. 47 additional countries are also represented within the membership.

Betsy Stuen-Walker, Board Secretary, thanked outgoing Board members: Carol Ourada and Ruth Engle Larner are finishing three-year terms in July. As part of her Board service, Carol has chaired the Audit and the CLC Award Committees. Ruth has served as Chair of the Development Steering Committee. Both will be greatly missed. [Read more from Carol and Ruth in the late summer edition of the ASJ.]

Mark George, Chair-Elect and Chair of the Nominating Committee, introduced and welcomed four new Board members will begin service this August.

Dan Browning

Dan Browning is the founder and President of DB Consulting, Inc., where he provides business services to corporate clients and consulting services to nonprofits. He and his wife Kirsten (a Suzuki violin instructor and the Director of the Atlanta Suzuki Institute) live in the Atlanta area.

Sarah Bylander Montzka

Sarah Bylander Montzka

Image by Sarah Bylander Montzka

Sarah Bylander Montzka teaches viola and musicianship at the Music Institute of Chicago, where she founded and directs the annual Violapalooza! workshop, now in its seventh year. Sarah is also the Associate Director of the Colorado Suzuki Institute.

Patricia Purcell

Patricia Purcell teaches in a unique Suzuki in the Schools program in the Hurst-Euless-Bedford School District. As a member of the North Texas Suzuki Association, she has organized teacher development workshops and assisted in establishing teacher training at the DFW WOW Suzuki Institute.

MaryLou Roberts

MaryLou Roberts teaches Suzuki Guitar in Michigan and is coordinator of the Ann Arbor Suzuki Institute. Since becoming a Teacher Trainer in 2006, MaryLou has conducted courses in South America, Australia, United States and Ireland.

Certificate of Achievement Level 1

Sue Baer gave an overview of the SAA’s new program, the Certificate of Achievement, Level I, which was launched during the Virtual Leadership Retreat one year ago. This Certificate is available by application to teachers who have met the criteria for experience and membership, completed the required courses (Units through 4, plus SPA or Practicum) and whose essay and video material are approved. Beautiful certificates were presented to these recipients:

First Certificate of Achievement recipients

Violin recipients:

Charles D. Krigbaum, TX
Meg Lanfear, IL
Beth Novak, IL
Daina Volodka Staggs, IL

Cello recipients:

Blake Brasch, IL
Sally Gross, IL

Piano recipients:

Malgosia Lis, CT
Sheryl Loyd, CA
J.B. Taylor, KY

Webmaster Jenny Ferenc described some highlights of the SAA website, including:

Suzuki Association of Ontario

Ellen Berry presented the official certificate of affiliation to SAA’s newest Chapter Affiliate, Suzuki Association of Ontario. Vicki Blechta, Chair, accepted the affiliation certificate. SAO is the 10th Affiliate and our first Canadian affiliate. Ellen stated:

“The SAA is pleased to award Chapter Affiliate status to the Suzuki Association of Ontario, which celebrated its 20th anniversary in 2008. The SAO is the largest organization of Suzuki teachers in Canada, and represents the entire province covering 415,000 square miles, which is about the combined area of Texas and California. Its first Chair was Linda Judiesch, followed by David Gerry, Dorothy Jones, Gail Lange, Susan Gibbon, Elayne Ras, and its current Chair, Vicki Blechta. The SAO is a vibrant organization, committed to promoting and supporting the Suzuki Method of learning by nurturing excellence in education.”

Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) Logo

Carol Ourada gave an update on the Suzuki Principles in Action course (SPA). It has now been given 3 times and 60 people have participated so far. More sessions are being scheduled for the fall months. SPA is a course designed to help teachers incorporate Suzuki’s principles effectively in their teaching. If you would like SAA to set up a course in your local area during the 2010-2011 academic year, please contact Pam Brasch:

To end the meeting on a fun, interactive note, the board involved the membership in an informal survey. Several board members acted as baseball pitcher, batter and catcher. The batters went through many contortions trying to hit the ball out into the audience, but failed every time. Fortunately, our catcher had an excellent arm, and on catching each pitch, was able to throw the ball to various audience members. The lucky member who caught the ball was awarded with a “Team Suzuki” ball cap, and was asked to read a trivia question aloud to the audience. Those who could answer “yes” to the question stood for congratulatory applause.

These were the questions:

  • Who has given to the SAA Annual Fund drive?
  • Who has been to an International Suzuki Conference?
  • Who does social networking (Twitter, Facebook, etc)?
  • Who has visited the SAA website?
  • Who has volunteered with the SAA (board members, committee members, etc)?
  • Who has met Dr. Suzuki?
  • Who has heard the Suzuki tour group perform?
  • Who has taken SAA training beyond Book 1?
  • Who was a Suzuki kid?
  • Who has children who are/were Suzuki kids?
  • Who is here for their first SAA Conference experience?
Baseball game at the 2010 Annual General Meeting. Sue Baer and Mark George.

Sue Baer and Mark George win one for Team Suzuki

“It was a fun activity which gave the board a chance to show some humor and maybe a little acting ability. Seeing the numbers of members who could respond with a “yes” to so many of our questions was quite exciting, and we saw many engaged, smiling faces among the membership as the meeting drew to a close.”
–Ruth Engle Larner, Baseball game organizer

Student Concert DVDs from Conference

The 2010 student concerts at the conference were video recorded. We expect to have them available for sale online at the end of July. Pre-orders will be shipped as soon as the DVDs are finished.

The 2008 Conference DVDs are still available too!

New Piano Books 4-7 Published

Piano Book 1, Revised

Mary Craig Powell, Chair of the ISA Piano Committee, gave a special presentation on the new Suzuki Piano Books 4-7 at the Conference. E.L. Lancaster, Vice-President of Alfred Music Publishers, also on the Committee, was present with her, because the remaining volumes of the New International Edition of Suzuki Piano School were unveiled at the Conference!

The new volumes are splendid collections of piano repertoire from all eras representing works by composers of many nations. Of course, many original pieces remain; some have been shifted to another volume, but I am sure you will all be excited to purchase all of the new books. Look for introductory offers in your local music store!

The book/CD combo for Books 4-7 is not available until August, but Conference participants got to hear the first draft of the new recordings, which have been performed by Seizo Azuma, concert artist in Japan.

See Piano Books 4-7 New Repertoire List

2009 CD Donation Gift—Final Offer!

We’re at 83% of our Annual Fund goal of $40,000. Help us reach our support goal by the end of July with a donation of $75 or more to receive a copy of Celebrating Excellence 2009. (July 31 is the end of our fiscal year.) This is your final chance!

Celebrating Excellence 2009 CD cover

Celebrating Excellence 2009 is a special gift available to this year’s Annual Fund donors at the $75 level or beyond. It features musicians who began their careers as Suzuki students. We are grateful to these talented performers for sharing their artistry with Suzuki supporters and friends and for their statements of support for Suzuki Method!

You may submit your donation online or by check or credit card with the pledge form. Many thanks in advance for your generosity!

  1. Meditation from “Thais” (5:12) – Jules Massenet
    Scott Conklin, violin; Alan Huckleberry, piano

  2. String Trio No. 2: I. Allegro (7:22) – Bohuslav Martinu
    The Albers Trio: Laura Albers, violin; Julie Albers, cello; Becca Albers, viola

  3. Vals Op. 8, No. 4 (4:40) – Agustin Barrios-Mangore
    Connie Sheu, guitar

  4. Sonata for Solo Cello, Op. 25, No. 3: IV. Lebhafte Viertel, V. Mässig schnell (2:51) – Paul Hindemith
    Wendy Warner, cello

  5. Humoresque (3:02) – Antonin Dvořák
    Emily Yaffe, viola; Michael Yaffe, piano

  6. String Quartet, No. 3, Op. 67: I. Vivace (10:44) – Johannes Brahms
    The Cavani Quartet: Annie Fullard, violin; Mari Sato, violin; Kirsten Docter, viola; Merry Peckham, cello

  7. Alborada del gracioso (7:03) – Maurice Ravel
    Yale Work, piano

  8. Round of the Goblins, Op. 25 (5:05) – Antonio Bazzini
    Rachel Barton Pine, violin; Patrick Sinozich, piano

  9. Allegrement (5:35) – Marcel Tournier
    Emily Levin, harp

  10. Variations on Paisiello’s “Salve tu Domine” (7:12) – W. A. Mozart
    Orion Weiss, piano

  11. The Graceful Ghost Rag (5:31) – William Bolcom
    Gabe Bolkosky, violin; Blair McMillen, piano

See more about Celebrating Excellence 2009

CDs from Conference Guest Artists

Bad Boyz of Double Bass: Live

We have a few CDs from the Claremont Trio and the Bad Boyz of Bass still available:

Bad Boyz of Double Bass: Live

Claremont Trio: Mendelssohn Trios Op. 49 & 66

Claremont Trio: Shostakovich & Arensky Trios

Jonathan Cohler & Claremont Trio: Beethoven, Brahms, Dohnányi

They can be purchased from our online store CD section. Hurry, we have 5 or less of each title!

New Products

4 Mini Poster Collection of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

4 Mini Poster Collection of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki

Four 8.5″ x 11″ posters of Dr. Shinichi Suzuki featuring his quotes. Photography by Art Montzka. $14

“If love is deep, much can be accomplished.”
“Beautiful tone, beautiful heart.”
“Tone has a living soul.”
“The words ‘Music will save the world’ are held deep in my heart.”

The Stolen Goldin Violin

By Elizabeth Caulfield Felt, Andy Felt, Craig Felt, and Tom Felt. 131 pages. $7

This is the mystery that everyone will be talking about! A novel for young people that takes place at the American Suzuki Institute on the campus of the University of Wisconsin – Stevens Point.

Group Cello Benefit Concert

Cello benefit concert for Latin America

Cello benefit concert for Latin America

Image by Megan Titensor

by Megan Titensor

On April 10, many students gathered to play together to benefit the Latin American Suzuki Scholarship Fund. Students played repertoire from Suzuki Books 1-6 in reverse order, beginning with the most advanced students, and adding on younger and younger students. The advanced and intermediate students were able to play harmony parts to the early Suzuki pieces, including a finale of Twinkle, Twinkle Little Star.

Students and audience members learned a lot about the pillars of the Suzuki philosophy as well as more information about the Latin American Suzuki Scholarship Fund. They learned about the Central and Latin American countries that have current membership in the SAA, and also heard many heart-warming stories of instrument donations to these countries in need.

Audience members contributed to a suggested donation for admission. Nearly $400 was raised in a single concert!

About the Latin American Scholarship Fund:

This fund serves to offer scholarships to students and teachers in Central and South American countries to further develop their study within the Suzuki method. These funds go far beyond benefiting individuals. Many thriving Suzuki communities have been created by enthusiastic festival participants.

Festivals are held in many different Latin American countries where students and teachers come together for intense study. Teacher training courses are offered along with a variety of student classes.

Many of these countries have 50% of the population living in poverty, with half of those living in extreme poverty. Through this scholarship fund, these events are made viable and accessible to all; otherwise they become the privilege of the elite. Dr. Suzuki clearly stated, “All children can learn.”

With your help we have come one step closer to the realization of Dr. Suzuki’s dream: a better, safer, and more peaceful world through music.

150 new members joined the SAA in May. Welcome!

We had a record 7,867 members at the end of May, and we’re on track to have even more at the end of this month.

Events: July & August

There are so many Suzuki events in July and August that there just isn’t space to list them all here.

Below is a list of cities—if you see one near you, check out the complete list of July Events and August Events online.


Eureka Springs, AR
Claremont, CA
Oakland, CA
Santa Clara, CA
Santa Rosa, CA
Stanford, CA
Westminster, CO
West Hartford, CT
Honolulu, HI
Chicago, IL
Deerfield, IL
Indianapolis, IN
Kenner, LA
Brookline, MA
Newtonville, MA
Ypsilanti, MI
Minneapolis, MN
St. Louis, MO
Missoula, MT
Greenville, NC
Lisbon, NH
Albuquerque, NM
Las Vegas, NV
Ithaca, NY
Bay Village, OH
Columbus, OH
Westerville, OH
Eugene, OR
Hershey, PA
Philadelphia, PA
Pittsburgh, PA
Greenville, SC
Austin, TX
Salt Lake City, UT
Alexandria, VA
Rochester, VT
College Place, WA
Stevens Point, WI


Calgary, AB
Edmonton, AB
Langley, BC
New Denver, BC
Brandon, MB
Hamilton, ON
Waterloo, ON
Montréal, QC


Buenos Aires, Argentina
Bogotá, Colombia
Caguas, Puerto Rico

All upcoming events

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