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April 2012
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107 new members joined the SAA in March. Welcome!

The Sound of Success: Suzuki Method for Guitar

Thanks to the work of the SAA Guitar Committee and producer Laura Wong Burnett, we are able to present a new, informative introduction to Suzuki Guitar. Whether you are a parent or a classical guitarist interested in teaching, the information is now available in the video
The Sound of Success: Suzuki Method for Guitar.

The Sound of Success: Suzuki Method for GuitarFor more, see The Suzuki Guitar Experience, an overview of the Suzuki philosophy and a history of the development of the Suzuki Method for classical guitar.

And don’t forget to check the Suzuki Guitar page, your one-stop place for Suzuki Guitar news and upcoming events.


Conference Special Events Preview

Register by May 10

The final deadline to register for the conference is May 10.

Hilton hotel rooms at the special SAA conference rate must be booked by May 3.

Sessions & Speakers

View the preliminary schedule of sessions and other events.

Read up on all the conference speakers and clinicians.

Kaleidoscope Concert

Kaleidoscope Concert

The Kaleidoscope Concert on Friday night, May 25, will showcase student performers from all Suzuki instrument areas who have achieved a high level of development at a young age.

In addition to outstanding musical performances, the program will feature guest host Bill McGlaughlin and interviews with the students.

Read more about the Kaleidoscope Concert

Piano Concerto

Gavin George

As winner of the Piano Concerto competition, Gavin George, age 9, will perform Beethoven’s Concerto No. 3 in c minor, Op. 37, 1st Movement. Gavin will perform on Saturday, May 26, accompanied by an orchestra of SAA-registered teachers, conducted by Marilyn Kesler, SAA Board of Directors Chair-Elect.

Mary Craig Powell, Gavin’s teacher, praised his “consistently mature and sensitive” performances and “unusual technical ability.” In 2010 Gavin was named a Gold Medal winner in the competition sponsored by The American Association for Development of the Gifted and Talented and subsequently performed Mendelssohn’s Venetian Gondola Song, Op. 30, No. 6 in the “Passion of Music 2010” Festival at Carnegie Hall.

International Ensembles Concert

Buffalo Suzuki Strings, Concorde Strings Performing Ensemble, and Harpeth Suzuki Strings will perform in the International Ensembles Concert on Saturday night, May 26.

Read more about the International Ensembles & Piano Concerto Concert

Suzuki in the Schools Performance

Parker Schools Suzuki Strings, a Suzuki in the Schools program from the Houston Independent School District will give a performance on Friday evening, May 25, as part of the conference opening ceremonies.

Read more about Parker Schools Suzuki Strings


A big thank you to our sponsors for the Conference:

Roberson & Sons Violin Shop
Diamond Sponsor

Platinum Plus Sponsor

Alfred Music Publishing
Gold Sponsor

D’Addario Strings
Gold Sponsor

Gold Sponsor

The Potter Violin Company
Gold Sponsor

Silver Sponsor

Lyon & Healy
Silver Sponsor

Antonio Strad Violin
Silver Sponsor


Institute Scholarships for Students & Teachers

Many Summer Institutes and local Suzuki organizations offer scholarships for students and teachers to attend a Suzuki Summer Institute or other training program.

See a list of available scholarships—some applications are due very soon!

If your organization offers a Suzuki scholarship not listed, please contact to get it posted.



A Star for My Mother

by Susan Baer

Star Icon

With Mother’s Day approaching, we can’t help but be reminded of how much of who we are must be credited to our mothers. It was our mothers who planted the seeds that sprouted and grew into a vision of Suzuki music education for the world. And who among us isn’t happy about that?

Continue reading A Star for My Mother


Next ASJ Sneak Peak

Watch for the Spring 2012 American Suzuki Journal, coming to your mailbox soon!

Inside, read exclusive interviews with Suzuki grads and Conference 2012 Special Guests, guitarist Connie Sheu and violinist Nick Kendall of the trio Time for Three.

Here’s a sneak peak at our conversations!

Catching Up With Connie Sheu

Interview by Andrea Cannon

The Suzuki Guitar community already knows and loves you as the little girl in Book 1, whose photo we have seen for many years. What can you say about starting guitar at a young age and about studying the Suzuki Method with Frank Longay?

Connie Sheu

Little did I know that those photos of me would be in a book that I now use to teach my own students! I remember very clearly when Frank asked if he could take a few pictures of me for a new “project” of his. He gave me an oatmeal raisin cookie as a prize for sitting through the photo session. That was when I knew guitar could be a very lucrative profession!

Usually Suzuki teachers avoid the issue of competitions, at least in the beginning. Do you have thoughts for us as to if or when teachers might consider this for their students?

Any artist needs to be able to deal with the idea of competing with others in a balanced way. Shielding kids from this reality only makes any competition to be a bigger deal than it needs to be when they do one for the first time.

When did you know you wanted to make music your profession?

After college, I ended up taking a year off to sort myself out. I practiced very intensely for the first time in my life. I got into Juilliard for my master’s degree, and that’s when the real work began.… I didn’t know how to make guitar my “work” and I didn’t think through my interpretation of a piece—I just played however I felt, which wouldn’t cut it in the professional world.

Nick Kendall, Time for Three

Interviewed by Libby Felts

You have said that when you three met at Curtis, you were the only ones among your contemporaries who were improvising. Why do think that is?

Nick Kendall

For Ranaan, Zach and myself, we live in different parts of the country, and as kids, besides practicing and playing and loving classical music, we all had normal kid lives—we all had friends who were not classical musicians, and we listened to pop music. Me, coming from Washington, DC, a lot of urban hip hop, R&B, a lot of funk music and rock and roll—those experiences obviously fed into who I was as a musician.

There is a very playful quality to your music. Is that something that you still strive for?

It’s the old bow on the head, the Witch’s Dance. It’s the fact that through the Suzuki Method and through the philosophy Suzuki had, it’s okay to have fun while playing—in fact, it’s a must, it’s encouraged, is the sole reason why Time for Three plays, it’s the sole reason why we’re able to communicate with such a broad audience.

Can you share your favorite Suzuki memory?

There’s so many thousands of them. One of the most exciting moments was when Ronda Cole allowed me to dress up as a gypsy in a group recital, and I played Zigeunerweisen dressed as a gypsy.


Upcoming Events

See all upcoming events

SAA Calendar
May 1: Newsletter Submission Deadline
May 3: Hilton Minneapolis Room Registration Deadline
May 10: Conference Registration Closes
May 26: SAA Annual General Meeting

Piano Training with Rita Hauck

Cincinnati, OH
Every Child Can!, Rita Hauck, Apr 20
Piano Book 1, Rita Hauck, Apr 20 – 27

Studio of Catherine Walker

Montréal, QC
Every Child Can!, Catherine Walker, Apr 20

Suzuki Association of Utah

Salt Lake City, UT
15th Annual Utah Suzuki Convention, Apr 21
Every Child Can!, Cleo Ann Brimhall, Apr 28

Suzuki Academy of Kalamazoo

Kalamaoo, MI
Every Child Can!, Grace Field, Apr 21

Studio of Karen- Michele Kimmett

Kingston, ON
Every Child Can!, Karen-Michele Kimmett, Apr 21

University of Massachusetts Music Dept.

Amherst, MA
Every Child Can!, Jeffrey Cox, Apr 28


Pasadena Conservatory of Music

Pasadena, CA
Every Child Can!, Joseph Pecoraro, May 12
Guitar Book 1, Joseph Pecoraro, May 13 – 20

Suzuki Association of California, San Diego

San Diego, CA
Piano Book 4, Fay Adams, May 18 – 22

SAA Conference

Minneapolis, MN
Every Child Can!, May 24
15th SAA Conference, May 24 – 28

Studio of Mary Halverson Waldo, Excelsior, MN

Excelsior, MN
Recorder Book 6, Mary Halverson Waldo, May 28 – Jun 1

Fairbanks Suzuki Institute

Fairbanks, AK
Students: Cello, Flute, Viola, Violin, May 29 – Jun 3
Violin Book 3, Kimberly Meier-Sims, May 29 – Jun 3

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