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January 2012
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38 new members joined the SAA in December. Welcome!

Parents as Partners Online

Register your studio parents by Friday, January 27 to make sure you and they don’t miss a minute!

Conference Registration & Highlights

Every two years you have the opportunity to attend an SAA Conference. If you let it slip by, you will have to wait two more years for such a privilege. In the meantime, you will have taught two years of lessons without the vision, inspiration, knowledge, and connections you would have experienced at the conference.

How many times have you had a parent ask, “What did my child miss at group lesson?” A paragraph of instruction could not remotely explain the on-site learning the child would have absorbed if he/she had attended the group. It takes “being there!”

Now is the time to make every effort to attend the 15th Biennial SAA Conference, May 24-28, 2012, in Minneapolis!

Register now!

In addition to a full schedule of sessions, here are some highlights of 2012, 40 and Forward:

Friday Focus on Bach

Keynote concert violinist Kate Lansdale will explore the music of Johann Sebastian Bach in a lecture/performance followed by breakout sessions of Bach master classes and Bach in the Suzuki repertoire. Renowned concert cellist Julie Albers will perform selections from the Unaccompanied Bach Cello Suites.


Captivating soloist and teacher Brian Lewis will speak to us about audience and community engagement. Quoting Brian, “Performance should be fused with music education, and I try to show how music study is relevant to other disciplines.” He’ll reinforce this skill as he instructs the violin and chamber master classes and performs at the Clinicians’ Concert.

Time for Three Stronger

The groundbreaking, category-shattering trio Time for Three will continue the outreach theme on stage Sunday evening as part of their performance for the Benefit Concert. We’ll learn more about their first music video, “Stronger,” which is bringing a positive anti-bullying message to thousands of viewers.

Clinicians and Special Guests bring years of experience, in-depth musical knowledge, passion, performance, honors and esteemed position, and the joy of sharing themselves with us. Our 2012 lineup is sure to educate, inspire, and challenge.


Wise and wonderful Bill Starr will present a keynote, “SAA is 40! Visiting the Past—Vitalizing the Future.” Judy Bossuat-Gallic, Sanford Reuning, and a “Kendall Remembered” panel will prompt us to revisit the ideas and principles that have shaped our teaching.


Kaleidoscope Concert

On Friday evening the Kaleidoscope Concert will celebrate our 40th anniversary at Minneapolis Orchestra Hall, featuring Suzuki student soloists from each of our Suzuki instruments. Bill McGlaughlin, host of the popular public radio programs St. Paul Sunday and Exploring Music, will be Master of Ceremonies for the concert with interviews and special guests.

The much-loved Clinicians’ Concert will feature Brian Lewis, Connie Sheu, Renata Pereira, Ann Schein, Nicholas Walker, and Julie Albers!

The Saturday evening International Ensembles Concert has three finely tuned performing groups from New York, Canada, and Tennessee—Buffalo Suzuki Strings, Concorde Strings Performing Ensemble, and Harpeth Suzuki Strings.

A traditional favorite, the Suzuki Youth Orchestras of the Americas will be featured Sunday afternoon. Also joining that concert will be the Flute Performing Ensemble.

With Marilyn Kesler on the podium, the Blue Lake Orchestra will accompany the Piano Concerto in concert.

All the way from Texas, Parker Elementary Performing Strings will perform a concert highlighting the result of talent education in a public school setting and diverse community.

On Sunday evening, Time for Three takes over the stage, our hearts, and pulse!

So Much More!

As a dedicated Suzuki music teacher, you deserve this incredible experience. Reward yourself.

Register for the Conference


A Star for Victor

Star Icon

by Susan Baer

Some years ago, following a performance of which the details have long faded, someone from the audience approached me and, among other things, said, “You’re so gifted.” Responding dutifully according to my performance etiquette training, I graciously thanked the woman. But I remember thinking, “Gifted! What do you mean gifted? This was no gift. I practiced hours and hours for years and years in order to be able to do this. A gift is something that’s given to you, and if this is a gift, it sure isn’t free!”

It was several days later that I had the revelation. It didn’t come to me like a bolt of lightning; it welled up slowly. What if the gift isn’t something you get? Rather, what if the gift is something you give? What if I worked all of those years in order to be able to give the gift of music? Yes, that’s it! That’s why I sacrificed spending time with my friends, riding my bike, and reading my precious books! My former indignant attitude shamed me.

Continue reading A Star for Victor

Host a SPA Course this Spring

Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) Logo

January 31 is the deadline to set up a
Suzuki Principles in Action course in your area for spring 2012.

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

Scholarship Applications Due February 5

Teacher training scholarship applications must be postmarked by February 5.

Scholarships provide tuition assistance for pedagogy study at approved Summer Institutes, workshops, or through other SAA-approved Teacher Development programs between May 1, 2012 and May 31, 2013.

Don’t miss out!


Call for Submissions: 40th Anniversary ASJ

American Suzuki Journal 39.4

American Suzuki Journal 39.4

Image by Andrea Yun

In celebration of its fortieth anniversary, the SAA would like to collect untold stories about the Suzuki experience and the growth and impact of the Suzuki method in the Americas that fill gaps in our story and contribute to a richer and fuller understanding of our history.

We invite members to submit for publication a story that enlightens, inspires, or informs readers and at the same time, helps in some way to document Suzuki history in your part of the Suzuki community.

Is there a narrative, story, anecdote or memory you didn’t take the time to share and wish you had? Something recent or any time in the past? Featuring individuals or groups of people? About you, a teacher, a parent, your parent, one of your students, a colleague or a mentor? Funny, sad, or embarrassing? An event you were proud to be a part of?

Please contact us with a brief abstract and a few words about yourself if you would like to share your story! Email or write to us at the SAA office. First-time authors are encouraged to submit!

The following stories are similar to what we’re looking for for our 40th anniversary issue. They describe the Suzuki legacy in a specific place or time; they share how the Suzuki movement has positively impacted these communities near and far. They inspire us all to solve a problem or tackle a challenge, to reach out to others, to take that next step we’ve been thinking about.

Read on:

Call for Submissions: ASJ Grace Notes Column

As a valued member of the Suzuki Association of the Americas and the Suzuki community, you are invited by the editors of the American Suzuki Journal to submit material for the new ASJ column for teachers, “Grace Notes.”

Grace Notes features a variety of tips for Suzuki teachers, including the subjects of teaching, playing, Suzuki philosophy, parent education, and more—the kind of advice you find yourself sharing often with other teachers but doesn’t necessarily warrant a full-length article—or something you can imagine pinning to a bulletin board in your studio.

For examples of recent columns, please follow the links below to download PDFs, or see page 24 of ASJ v39#4 and page 28 of ASJ v40#1.

To submit a tip or tips for inclusion in Grace Notes, please email with Grace Notes in the subject line.

We hope to hear from you soon!


Upcoming Events

See all upcoming events

SAA Calendar
Jan 30: Parents as Partners Online Begins
Feb 1: Newsletter Submission Deadline
Feb 5: Scholarship Application Deadline
Feb 25: Conference Exhibit Booth Registration Deadline
Mar 1: ASJ 40.3 Submission Deadline
Mar 31: 2012 Conference Early Bird Registration Ends

Temple University Music Preparatory Division

Philadelphia, PA
Piano Book 1, Joan Krzywicki, Jan 18 – Mar 1

Michigan Music Conference

Grand Rapids, MI
Every Child Can!, Wendy Azrak, Jan 19

Western Springs School of Talent Education

Western Springs, IL
Suzuki Principles in Action, Nancy Lokken, Feb 25 – 26
Violin Book 3, Edward Kreitman, Feb 7 – Apr 30
Violin Book 7, Nancy Jackson, Jan 19 – Mar 22

Suzuki Association of Wisconsin

Madison, WI
Every Child Can!, Pat D’Ercole, Jan 20

Sarasota Suzuki Workshop

Sarasota, FL
Every Child Can!, Martha Shackford, Jan 21

Suzuki Association of Georgia

Atlanta, GA
Child Development for the Suzuki Teacher, Edmund Sprunger, Jan 21 – 22

DePaul Community Music Division

Chicago, IL
Cello Book 2, Tanya Carey, Jan 22 – Feb 19

Royal Conservatory of Music

Toronto, ON
Cello Book 1, Susan Gagnon, Jan 22 – May 13
Cello Book 5, Susan Gagnon, Feb 12 – Apr 15

Suzuki School of Newton

Newtonville, MA
Every Child Can!, Sachiko Isihara, Jan 29
Cello Book 2, Nancy Hair, Feb 6 – Apr 2
Piano Book 1, Sachiko Isihara, Feb 9 – May 10
Violin Book 1, Carol Sykes, Jan 30 – May 21
Violin Book 2, Carol Sykes, Jan 30 – May 21

Studio of Denise Willey

Pleasant Grove, UT
Viola Book 2, Denise Willey, Feb 1 – Mar 31

Suzuki Association of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT
SAU Piano Winter Workshop, Feb 3 – 7

Studio of James Hutchins

Silver Spring, MD
Every Child Can!, James Hutchins, Feb 4

USC Suzuki Strings Program

Columbia, SC
Every Child Can!, Mary Halverson Waldo, Feb 4

Suzuki Fest Costa Rica

Heredia, Costa Rica
Filosofía, Caroline Fraser, Feb 5 – 11
Cello Book 3, Barbara Balatero, Feb 5 – 11
Students: Cello, Viola, Violin, Feb 6 – 11
Violin Book 3, Ann Montzka-Smelser, Feb 5 – 11

Studio of Beth Cantrell

Greenwood, VA
Cello Book 7, Beth Cantrell, Feb 6 – Mar 5

Pakachoag Community Music School of Greater Worcester

Auburn, MA
Violin Book 1, Amy Matherly, Feb 11 – Apr 7

Greater Austin Suzuki Association

Austin, TX
Viola Book 9, William Preucil, Feb 16 – 20
Developing Artistry in Violin Books 1-6, Doris Preucil, Feb 16 – 20

Suzuki Strings Yukon

Whitehorse, YT
Every Child Can!, Joanne Melvin, Feb 17

Middle Tennessee Suzuki Association

Nashville, TN
The 26th Annual Advanced Violin Technique, Creating Talented Learners: Overview of Books 1-4, Ronda Cole, Feb 19 – 23

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