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Newsletter June 2021FacebookTwitter

Greetings from the International Suzuki Association.

The ISA is pleased to offer new online publications and an expanding video archive to our Suzuki colleagues around the globe. Here are some of the current and up-coming offerings on the ISA website. Just go to and look for the tab Publications and Video to access all the offerings on the ISA website.

Current publications and video:

Suzuki Chronology Cover

The new Suzuki Chronology: A comprehensive illustrated history of the life of Dr. Suzuki and the development of the Suzuki Method in Japan and its expansion around the world.

The December 2020 ISA Journal: with news from Suzuki programs around the world focusing on the pandemic year and activities from all five Regional Associations.

Tej Cover 3fer

The Talent Education Journal: Soon to be the complete series of English translations of the TERI Journal from 1979-1989 with articles by Dr. Suzuki, teachers and parents of TERI —a wealth of articles for teachers and families.

Suzuki and John Kendall in Japan

The John Kendall Teaching Videos: An amazing video series produced by this founder of the Suzuki Method in the Americas covering a vast array of technical development specifically for the violin, but also brilliant teaching principles for any string instrument.

Coming soon:

The July 2021 ISA Journal with articles and news from the regional Suzuki Associations spanning the world and currently more than 70 different countries.

The complete Suzuki/Starr video archive: Videos recorded by William Starr in 1968-1969 with Dr. Suzuki speaking about the Suzuki Method, parents’ role in the Suzuki Method, demonstrations on Tonalizations, shifting, and teaching points for the Suzuki Violin School from beginners through Book 4. There is additional footage of the Japanese teachers of that era in private lessons, group class and concert performances.

The Sony Suzuki Video Series: Seven discs recorded in the 1970s by the Sony Corporation with Dr. Suzuki expounding on the the Method itself and teaching live in group classes and individual lesson.

We invite all teachers to enjoy and utilize this growing wealth of pedagogical recourses and to share these publications and videos especially with participants in teacher-training.

Importantly!—If you know other resources that the ISA can make available to our world-wide Suzuki audience, please be in touch with the our office. Email the office directly:


Annual Meeting

Save the date!

Annual Membership Meeting
Suzuki Association of the Americas, Inc.
July 25, 8 PM EDT

— News, presentations, and updates —
Presented on Zoom by the SAA Board

All members are encouraged to attend!

American Suzuki Journal

The August issue of the American Suzuki Journal will feature short (250 words or fewer) remembrances to honor members who passed away in the past two years and have not yet been recognized in our pages. Submissions can come from a family member, Suzuki colleague, or student. Please send submissions to by no later than July 14.

Additionally, the deadline for the November issue of the American Suzuki Journal is one month away! This issue will be dedicated to first-time authors who have never submitted to the ASJ before. We know our Suzuki community has a wealth of knowledge and perspectives that we only scratch the surface of in the ASJ. We hope to increase representation in our pages by inviting first-time authors to write who are diverse in terms of instrumentation, geography, race, ethnicity, gender, ability, age, and more.

The deadline for submissions is August 1. Manuscript guidelines can be found here:

We look forward to reading your work!

A Year like no other for Suzuki Piano!

by Gail Lange

[en français]

One year ago, Suzuki piano teachers, like all Suzuki teachers were faced with new challenges: how to continue to give piano lessons when Suzuki families could not come to the studio. How would teachers give a lesson without being able to touch the student? How would the teacher demonstrate a captivating tone without being able to sit beside the student at the piano with a parent close by?

Suzuki teachers and Teacher Trainers had to face this challenge quickly. Buoyed by the positive features and the accessibility of meeting with teachers online, and as a result of the SOS Seminars sponsored by SAA in the summer of 2020, the SAA Teacher Trainers began having monthly Zoom sessions starting at the end of August of 2020.

The Piano Trainer Zoom sessions collected all the trainers from all the Americas, first to get them acquainted with each other and then to discuss pertinent issues. These sessions were organized by Caroline Fraser, Gail Gebhart and Gail Lange; their goal was to involve every trainer on the screen in some capacity throughout the sessions.

Initially the “hot” topic was understanding the technology needed to organize online sessions, whether it be a lesson with a young child or a teacher training course. A second issue that merited considerable attention was the proposed addition to teacher training requirements: Teaching Strategies, based on the recognition that what will benefit the teacher most is feedback on their teaching in a “normal” studio lesson. Participants on screen at the session were able to view some lessons from a Teaching Strategies course ; then some of those teachers participated in the session with us.

Other topics included Suzuki piano and group lessons: a unique experience. Yes, no other method or system can benefit from the group experience like Suzuki pianists—online or in person. Believe it or not, the most talked about component of Suzuki piano was also investigated thoroughly: four trainers per session reviewed their approach to each Twinkle Variation; one variation per session but 4 times! We respect diversity!

Suzuki Piano Trainers will renew their sessions in September. The organizers have opened the gates so that any trainer may propose and organize a presentation with other colleagues.


On Being an Adult Suzuki Student

by Andrea Macdonald (AB, Canada)

Lire en français

Reprinted with permission from the Canadian Suzuki e-Newsletter

True musical joy could never have been possible for me without the Suzuki method.

I have always been musical. Growing up, I sang in choirs, in musical theatre, and in pop bands. I joined a Balinese gamelan where we learned entire concerts by heart. I memorized very quickly and retained very well. My ear was my superpower. I was the first person “off book” in choir and my friends delighted in my ability to name any popular song in the first note or two. But, I could not read music.

It wasn’t that I hadn’t tried. I’d taken piano and sight-singing lessons but these ended in frustration. When my husband, a professional musician, suggested I try a “one line” instrument I took up the recorder and fell in love with it. With only one stave to deal with, things improved somewhat. I joined a quartet and a large ensemble. My good ear served me well but I quickly hit a sight-reading wall. Despite help from my husband and years of faithful practice, I was frustrated and ashamed. It was emotionally difficult to practice and I felt stuck, always learning the notes and never getting a chance to work on the actual music.

Finally, at 52, I got some psycho-educational testing done and was diagnosed with ADHD and something called a “severe visual processing disorder”. I needed a different approach.

I didn’t think anyone would be willing to teach the Suzuki method to an adult but I found a wonderful teacher, Kathleen Schoen, in Alberta. We started lessons and I burned through Volume One on alto recorder in about two weeks, easily learning two to three songs per day. We added the soprano (recorder) book and I began working in both voices, on Volume Two.

MacDonald—Canadian Newsletter Summer 2021

Here I received my first shock: one of the pieces (Bourrée from the Water Music Suite by G.F. Handel) was something I had just played with my large consort. How on earth could this be only Volume Two? But unlike before, I was not frustrated. I did not feel defeated.

I teach seniors how to use technology such as iPads and iPhones. I spend quite a bit of time building good foundations before moving on to higher concepts. I was extremely impressed with the layout and careful scaffolding of the Suzuki method, which had a logical and gentle progression.

The Suzuki method changed everything for me. Instead of dragging myself to the practice room to endure frustration and tears while trying to stay focused, I was now practicing for over an hour a day. My self-esteem soared! I was no longer dreaming of a future where I might one day be able to work on music that I loved. I was already doing it!

I highly recommend the Suzuki method to any adult interested in learning music. I just wish there was a place for adult Suzuki students to chat. Like the kids, we need peers to accompany us on the journey.

Read the entire Canadian Newsletter | Lire l’Infolettre en français
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Blue Lake—At the Lake 2021

Blue Lake Suzuki Family Camp—An In-Person Success!

by Marilyn Kesler

Blue Lake Suzuki Family Institute takes place on the campus of Blue Lake Fine Arts Camp in western Michigan, close to Lake Michigan.  This summer was the 43rd year of the Suzuki Institute.  Because of the pandemic last year, all the camp programs were canceled.  For this very reason, Blue Lake advisors felt that reopening this summer’s programs was so important.  Classes were taught in rustic buildings and shelters in the woods.  Concerts and recitals took place in a variety of outdoor performance venues, including the historic 4,000 seat Stewart Shell near a small lake.  Families stayed in individual rustic cabins or were welcome to use designated campsites for tents, campers, or recreational vehicles.

Blue Lake—Playing Cellos Moment 2021

The Institute offered instruction in violin, viola, cello, bass, and piano.  Other activities included chamber music, orchestras, and fiddling.  An art barn, swimming pools, and organized outdoor sports were especially enjoyed by the families. 

This year, over three hundred children attended the two four-day sessions.  Many protocols were in place to make the institute safe from covid.  Covid tests were mandatory, masks were worn in all indoor facilities, and everyday each camper was asked to record their temperature.  No incident of illness was recorded.  All in all, the Blue Lake Suzuki Family Institute was very successful.

Idaho Institute Books 5-8 Overview TWC

Submitted by: Allen Lieb

These pictures were captured by Katy Seigfried—her observation buddies during my Violin Books 5-8 Overview course at the Idaho Suzuki Institute last week. So cute and evocative of what teachers were dealing with at home while taking online training!

Kids and Training 1
Kids and Training 2

The Music Library of Margery Aber to be Auctioned

by Pat D’Ercole

Music— Margery Aber

The music library of Margery V. Aber will be auctioned through the Silent Auction Pro app July 22 to 31, 2021. The library contains hundreds of titles and of various instrumentations from violin and piano solos to chamber music for all string combinations, and many string quartets. There is music for the young reader as well as the seasoned professional. Many selections have her autograph and/or her fingering.

The music is organized into packets by instrumentation. Auction participants will be able to peruse the packets by instrumentation. The title, composer, publisher and editor is listed for each piece, as well if it contains any notations from Miss Aber.

“We’re hoping that many of her former students and colleagues would like her copy of a piece that they learned or performed with her. We also think it will be a great way for young teachers to build their library with minimal cost. Others may find a selection that’s out of print,” said Pat D’Ercole who is preparing the sale. “We picked this week as it overlaps the American Suzuki Institute 50th Jubilee celebration. Marge was the founder of this, the first institute outside of Japan, so it only seemed appropriate to pair the two together.”

All are welcome to bid at the auction beginning July 22 and to attend the virtual ASI Jubilee celebration. Watch for more information on Facebook and spread the word! All proceeds will go to the American Suzuki Foundation.

Attention, Certificate of Achievement applicants!

The answer to a frequently asked question this month:

Yes! For your 2021 Certificate of Achievement application, submitting a video of a virtual lesson is acceptable. Be sure to follow all overall application instructions.

You can see details and application here.


Okto Carmonia Memorial Day Concert

Okto Carmonia Memorial Day Concert

Submitted by: Carlos López
My small youth orchestra, Okto Carmonia, and me as the Conductor, perform the Memorial Day Concert on May 22nd at the Bartholomew County Public Library Plaza. It was the first time that I get the privilege to conduct the USA National Anthem. Here is the link to the recording.

Have a great picture to share? We are looking for photos of students performing in their community. Did you invite the neighborhood to a book recital? Or the general public to a group concert? Have you played in an assisted living facility, street fair, or mall? Submit your own picture today!

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