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April 2011
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118 new members joined the SAA in March. Welcome!

In this issue:

  • Student Writing Contest: Deadline Friday
  • Leadership Registration Due April 30
  • How You Can Help in Japan
  • A Magical, Musical Experience: Suzuki Philosophy in Puebla, Mexico
  • Making the Most of Summer Institutes
  • Ask the Experts #23: Redefining Parent Goals
  • SAA Galaxy of Stars
  • Upcoming Events

Student Writing Contest

Parents and teachers: This Friday, April 15th, is the deadline for your students to enter the Suzuki Student Writing Contest!

More details available here:
Suzuki Student Writing Contest

Leadership Retreat

Registration closes April 30, 2011. Mail, fax or call in your registration. Don’t miss this special event!

Download Retreat Registration Form

SAA’s 9th Biennial Leadership Retreat, “Creating the Future Together 2011,” will take place in Thursday, May 26 through Sunday, May 29 at the American Airlines Training and Conference Center near the DFW Airport in Fort Worth, Texas.

This year’s theme will feature Communications as well as other leadership topics of interest to Suzuki teachers. Teacher Trainers, Institute Directors, Conference Team, Chapter leaders and all others interested in leadership development are welcome to attend.

More about the 2011 Leadership Retreat


How You Can Help in Japan

In the wake of the earthquake and tsunami, conditions continue to change in Japan from day to day. Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto (TERI) (the Suzuki Association in Japan) was able to determine that all Suzuki teachers were safe and that most Suzuki families were safe, as well. (Communications lines were down, making it impossible to reach a few families in the northeast coastal area.) We are relieved that members of the Suzuki family are doing OK amid so much destruction.

We are aware that Suzuki students throughout the world desire to express their concern and support for the victims of the earthquake, the tsunami, and the nuclear crisis. We encourage teachers and students to act in a way that they think is appropriate. Some studios and programs are planning practice-a-thons, playins, or other events; others are considering ways to pay tribute to Japan in their spring concerts.

If your decision is to make donations, we encourage you to send funds through a reliable relief organization. You might want to consult the American Institute of Philanthropy to learn about relief agencies helping with this tragedy in Japan.

If you wish, you can donate directly to the Talent Education Research Institute in Matsumoto as well.

We anticipate needs to continue throughout the summer and into the fall. In the coming months, the SAA plans to work with the International Suzuki Association in considering a region-wide or international musical tribute to Japan, the birthplace of the Suzuki method. We will keep you apprised of those plans as they develop.

Triangle Area Suzuki Japan Relief Benefit Concert in Durham, NC

Greetings from Raleigh, NC. My name is Wilinda Atchley and I am a Suzuki violin teacher in Raleigh, NC. I know many of you and hope you will take a moment to read this invitation.

This event is titled Triangle Area Suzuki Japan Relief Benefit Concert. The date for the concert is May 21, 2011 at 4pm. Our host for this event is Duke University in Durham, NC. They have given us a space that seats 1,200 (many thanks to Duke’s Office of the Vice Provost for the Arts!). We hope to fill the stage with students, teachers, alumni and professionals.

How you can support the NC Japan Benefit Concert


A Magical, Musical Experience: Suzuki Philosophy in Puebla, Mexico

By Leslie Mizrahi

Leslie Mizrahi and Caroline Fraser with proud and happy students

Leslie Mizrahi and Caroline Fraser with proud and happy students

It has become the custom in Mexico that wherever a Suzuki philosophy course is taught, piano students travel to participate in demonstration lessons, sometimes within the same city and at other times to a different state. Etna Diemecke has brought students from her city, Guanajuato, all the way to Xalapa, Guadalajara, and Mexico City, sometimes driving up to 11 hours to attend the course.

In the Mexican Suzuki Association, we have made it a point that one of us members of the board of directors should attend each Suzuki course given in the country, to assure that both the teacher trainer and the trainees have the best possible conditions. We also try to have students attend whenever possible, for it is an excellent experience for them and a great opportunity for the trainees to observe the teaching process.

Continue reading A Magical, Musical Experience

En español: Una Experiencia Musical Mágica


Making the Most of Summer Institutes

Summer Institutes are just around the corner—time to get ready!

Here are a few articles to help you make the most of your time at an Institute this summer:


Ask the Experts #23: Redefining Parent Goals

Ask the Experts

By Sarah Bylander Montzka

Patience. Generosity. Empathy. Determination. Joyfulness. Problem-solving skills. Kindness. Dependability. Creativity. Attentiveness. Flexibility. Resourcefulness. A lifelong love of learning…

These are just some of the character qualities that can be shaped through study of a musical instrument. Dr. Suzuki emphasized developing “good citizens” and encouraging “a noble heart through music”—and that’s what inspired me to become a teacher. To this day I believe that music can change the world.

Which is why I want to tear my hair out when I hear a parent sigh “So, exactly when will we be done with this piece?”

Read more on Redefining Parent Goals


SAA Galaxy of Stars

Have you visited the SAA Galaxy of Stars recently? It has brightened, well, astronomically! The members of SAA have embraced this opportunity to honor friends, mentors, teachers, parents, children, programs and organizations. Over 170 stars have been dedicated. We’ve had to expand our virtual universe!

The members of the SAA have always filled us with a sense of awe. In a world where competition, self-promotion, and the acquisition of material possessions seems to prevail, we thrive in a community that shares knowledge, that celebrates the accomplishments of others, and that honors those who have enriched our lives.

Our SAA Galaxy of Stars is proof of the generosity of spirit that exists within the organization, the same spirit that we hope to imprint in the hearts of our students. The tributes that have been written are filled with love and deep appreciation. The reaction from those honored has been of overwhelming gratitude and a reciprocal sense of appreciation. What a world!

Here are some of the beautiful things written about your colleagues and their loved ones:

  • To a parent: Thanks, Mom, for your many wise words over the years and for steering my life on a path filled with beauty, sharing, and learning. I love you.

  • To a friend and mentor: I recognize your influence every day that I am teaching. I am forever grateful for your faith in me and the difference you have made in my life.

  • To a beautiful, unique, talented, compassionate and extraordinary daughter that I love beyond words! I thank my Lucky Stars each and every day for ALL that you are.

  • In memory of a beloved mentor: Thank you for touching the lives of so many people. Your star will shine forever.

  • To current and former students: For all I have learned from teaching you, I am forever grateful.

  • To colleagues: Thanks to y’all for years of friendship, growth and support! My Suzuki journey would not have been the same without you.

If you haven’t visited the SAA Galaxy of Stars recently, grab a cup of something steamy and settle down to warm your heart and uplift your soul. Then honor someone you cherish with a star. There is still time to make your heart sing and make someone else’s heart soar.

—Your Board of Directors Development Committee

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