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2014 Conference: May 22-26, Minneapolis

2014 Latin American Suzuki Ensemble

We all know that for students and teachers in Latin America, a trip to the SAA 16th Conference would be a life-changing experience. But since we are being asked to help financially, how do we benefit? What’s in it for us? Why should we make a donation?

When I was first invited to travel to the Suzuki Festivals in Latin America I admit to being a bit reticent (and my mother was downright worried). After all, the only information we had to go on was from the press, and frankly it wasn’t all that pretty. However, having worked now for six years as a Teacher Trainer for recorder players in Brazil, Colombia, Mexico and Peru, I consider these wonderful folks to be family—Suzuki family. And where I come from we go out of our way to help family, especially those in need.  

Deserving students I know well from Huancavalica, the most financially challenged region in all of Peru, have passed their auditions with flying colors and are hoping to attend the Conference. My hope is that by donating to the cost of their travel, many families in the North American Suzuki community will have the deep privilege of connecting with these serious, hard-working students; and some will even be making music alongside them! In doing so they will help to realize Dr. Suzuki’s vision of developing understanding, tolerance, and world peace through the joy of music. So let’s pitch in and help them by donating to the cause! 

-Mary Halverson Waldo, Columbia, SC

When speaking to prospective donors about the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble and Suzuki Americas 2014, people often ask me why they should make a donation to bring students from Latin America to the SAA Conference in Minneapolis. They ask if they should instead donate to bring a Suzuki student from the U.S. or Canada to the Conference. Better yet, if a Suzuki parent, they tell me that perhaps they should pay for their own children to attend the Conference instead.

Suzuki students in North America are fortunate to have access to world-class teaching. We have build training programs such as summer institutes, masters degrees in Suzuki pedagogy, and studio-based teacher training that have produced a large body of teachers and teacher trainers who are making a difference in the lives of children from Florida to Alaska. This is not yet the case in Latin America.

We want to share with the Latin American students and their families our vision of what can be accomplished when parents, students, and teachers work together towards excellence in both skill and character development. Bringing these students to Minneapolis will allow them to experience firsthand the result of our vision-guided work. Furthermore, they will take this experience back to their countries and help their peers, parents, and teachers to reach higher levels of engagement and personal growth.

The American and Canadian students will also benefit from this project by participating in an ensemble at the conference alongside their peers from Latin America. This will be a unique experience for all participants, where spoken language barriers will disappear and music will take place as the unifying language.

I am passionate about this project, and I count on your support

-Rolando Freitag, Violin Teacher, SAA Board of Directors

Meet LASE Students

We’re pleased to introduce you to just a few of the students you will be supporting when you support the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble. We expect more than forty remarkable students from Mexico to Argentina to attend the 2014 Conference.

Carlos Alberto Avendaño García

Carlos Alberto Avendano Garcia, 12, Violin; Bogota, Colombia
“I’m sure I will get to know many people at the conference, make many new friends, and most importantly learn a lot from other musicians and teachers. The experience will be unforgettable, and I give thanks to God for this opportunity. Also, a big than you to the conference organizers. Best wishes for great music!”

Giulio Aguilar Herreras

Guilio Aguilar Herreras, 17, Guitar; Lima, Peru
“Thanks to Suzuki, I have not only learned to play guitar well, but I have also grown as an individual, being able to interact and work with others. Additionally, I have been given the opportunity to participate in diverse concerts and travel throughout Peru to give recitals. These experiences have shaped me as a musician and have prepared me for the opportunity to participate in the 2014 Latin American Suzuki Ensemble in Minneapolis, for which I am very much looking forward!”

Manuela Iparraguirre

Manuela Iparraguirre, 18, Guitar; Buenos Aires, Argentina
“I had the opportunity to participate in different festivals held in my country and in the meetings of Latin Americas Suzuki Students in Peru in 2010 and Minneapolis in 2008. I appreciate the opportunity to participate in the festival again; I think it will be an unforgettable experience.”

Maria Jose Damia

Maria Jose Damia, 12, Violin; Cordoba, Argentina
“The best part about being a musician for me is that you become a little bit different that your ordinary 12 year old kid.”

Oriana Victoria Occhiuzzi

Oriana Victoria Occhiuzzi, 15, Piano; Liniers, Argentina
“I am honored to have been called to participate in the Latin American Suzuki Ensemble. I wish to learn from everyone, building friendships with other musicians and bringing the music of my country Argentina to North America.”

Suzuki Americas 2014

Excitement is building as the time for Suzuki Americas 2014 draws near. Suzuki students from Latin America and across the United States and Canada will join together at the SAA Conference in Minneapolis this May for this historic event. Students will experience “24 Hours of Suzuki Fun” starting Sunday, May 25, and culminating in a gala concert at noon on Monday, May 26.

Our “24 Hours of Suzuki Fun” includes activities which will bring our community to life with singing, dancing, and making music, led by Conference Clinicians Susan Reed and Jeremy Dittus, along with other energetic and engaging Suzuki teachers. We will play folk music from the cultures of Canada, the United States, and Spanish- and Portuguese-speaking Latin America, as well as Suzuki repertoire, as we make connections and friendships and share our cultures with one another.

Suzuki Americas 2014 is open to Suzuki students everywhere to attend, either in person in Minneapolis, or to enjoy from home through video streaming. We’re encouraging teachers who won’t be in Minneapolis to organize events in their studio for students to play along with the streaming video.

To participate in person at the Hilton Minneapolis, prior registration and fee of $40/student, or family rate of $75 for two or more siblings, is required (waived for students involved in other Conference sessions and activities). More information and registration will be available soon at

This is the first official gathering of Suzuki students in our region. We hope you join in on the fun!

Conference Registration

Conference registration is here once again! Join your colleagues May 22-26, 2014 in Minneapolis and experience “Powered by Community!” You are an essential part of our Suzuki community, and your presence at the conference enriches the experience for all of us.  Don’t miss the chance to expand and share your vision for the future, and bring home tools to enhance your teaching, while making new friends and reconnecting with long-time acquaintances.

Plan to arrive on Thursday, May 22. Check-in begins at 4:00 pm. Conference sessions will begin at 5:00 pm, followed by a 7:30 pm keynote address by Dr. Robert Cutietta. Dr. Cutietta is dean of the Thornton School of Music at the University of Southern California.  An internationally recognized authority on the theory and practice of music education, specializing in learning theories and the psychology of music, he is the author of Raising Musical Kids: A Parent’s Guide.

Sessions, concerts and events (close to two hundred separate sessions and events!) will continue throughout the weekend, culminating in the Suzuki Americas Concert on Monday morning. Conference events will conclude at noon on Monday, May 26.

Hotel Discount

The conference is being held at the
Hilton Minneapolis hotel in downtown Minneapolis, MN.

Special discounted hotel rates are available from May 20-27. Register early to reserve your preferred accommodations. Hotel reservations with Suzuki discount closes on May 1.

  • 1 King Bed, $103/night
  • 2 Double Beds, $103/night
  • Triple or Quad, $123/night
  • 1 King Bed Junior Suite, $153/night

*Children 18 & under may stay with parent/adult chaperone at no additional charge.

We are pleased to offer free WiFi in all Hilton rooms booked through this page.

Or call the Hilton at 1-888-933-5363 to make hotel reservations. Reference the Suzuki conference (code SBC) to get special SAA rates.

Exhibitor Information

The deadline for conference exhibitor and advertising contracts is February 25th. Download the Exhibitor Brochure or check the SAA Website for more information.

Conference Sponsorships are still available. Please contact at for further information.

View the conference section of the SAA website to view conference events, clinician bios, and other updated information.


SAA Ballot for Board of Directors

The election of new SAA Board meetings takes place between March 1 and April 1, 2014. The presentation of the slate and the balloting process will again take place online on the SAA website. Paper ballots will be mailed to those who do not have email access or at your request. After careful consideration, the Nominating Committee presented the following slate, which was approved by the full Board: Wendy Azrak, MI; Holly Blackwelder Carpenter, WA; Carey Beth Hockett, CA; and Susan McDonald, MO.

All Active level individual members are eligible to vote. We encourage you to participate in the process.

Suzuki Principles in Action: Last Course for Spring 2014

Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) is a two day, cross-instrumental course designed to help teachers incorporate Suzuki’s principles effectively in their teaching. The course focuses on how to teach, not what to teach, allowing the sharing of ideas among all instrument areas. SPA is based on Dr. Suzuki’s belief that knowledge is an important first step, but “knowledge plus 10,000 times” is what produces ability. Read more

Final SPA Course for Spring 2014 will be held March 28-29 in Indianapolis, IN.
Sign up by March 7th!

(SPA course offerings will resume in Fall 2014.)

Want to Host a SPA Course?

The SAA is now accepting requests to host a Suzuki Principles in Action course in your area for Fall 2014.

Email if your school, program or you and local colleagues are interested.


New! Suzuki Violin Book 1 Editions Now Available on iBooks

Suzuki ibooks Spanish

Spanish, French, and German editions have now joined the English edition of Suzuki Violin School, Vol. 1 on iBooks. These editions all feature audio embedded with the music, making both sheet-music and audio available in one purchase! Click below to view each new language edition:

News from Here and There

In Memorium

During this past month, we have lost three of our Trainers Emeriti: Eleanor Allen, violin, KS (featured in this issue); Charlene Wilson, cello, OR; and Bette Dyer, violin, TX. Their Suzuki wisdom, commitment and many accomplishments will live on in our memories!

View the SAA Memorial page for more information on the passing of these three beloved Suzuki teachers.

Dee Martz Memorial

To Suzuki Friends of Dee Martz,

A memorial service for Dee has been set for May 27th  at 11:00am in Steven’s Point, WI. The service will be held at UWSP in Michelsen Hall. Those attending the SAA Conference in Minneapolis may elect to stay in an extra day and drive to Steven’s Point for the service.

For more information on Dee’s passing, please view In Memoriam: Dee Martz.


Upcoming Events

SAA Calendar
May 1: ASJ 42.4 Submission Deadline

Houston Area Suzuki Piano Association

Houston, TX Feb 25 – Mar 1
Piano 4

Triangle Music School

Durham, NC Feb 28
Teacher In-service and Advanced Master Classes

Triangle Music School

Durham, NC Mar 1
Student and Parent Suzuki Piano Workshop

The Music House

Chicago, IL Mar 2
Every Child Can!

ASTA International Workshops

Louisville, KY Mar 5
Every Child Can!

Studio of MaryLou Roberts

Ann Arbor, MI Mar 8 – 12
Guitar 6

Tone Academy of Music

New York, NY Mar 9
Every Child Can!

Suzuki Music Institute of Dallas

Dallas, TX Mar 12 – 16
Violin 3

Studio of Rita Hauck

Ft. Worth, TX Mar 13 – 17
Piano 4

Centro Escolar Cedros

Ciudad de México, DF, Mexico Mar 13 – 22
Cello 1
Flute 1
Guitar 1
Piano 2
Violin 1
Violin 4

Royal Conservatory of Music

Toronto, ON Mar 14 – Apr 26
Violin 1

Suzuki Strings of Augusta

Augusta, GA Mar 21 – 22
A Workshop for Strings: Cello, Recorder, Viola, Violin

Studio of Katherine Monsour Barley

Carnegie, PA Mar 21 – Jun 6
Piano 1

Instituto Suzuki Vive la Música

Ciudad de México, DF, Mexico Mar 24 – 28
Piano 4
Teaching Strategies: Piano

Indianapolis Suzuki Academy

Indianapolis, IN Mar 28 – 29
Suzuki Principles in Action

Suzuki Association of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT Mar 29
Every Child Can!

Pakachoag Community Music School of Greater Worcester

Auburn, MA Apr 4 – May 2
Violin 3

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Suzuki Association of the Americas
PO Box 17310, Boulder CO 80308
Phone: 1-888-378-9854