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Short Score - Your Key to the Suzuki Community
Newsletter August 2022FacebookTwitter

Dear SAA Community:

We know many of you have had a busy few months! Congratulations to all who have been involved with, attended, or cheered on the Institutes and Festivals taking place around our region. We know there were tremendous efforts made to support young people and teachers in coming together to make music in person and online!

As our new fiscal year begins, we want to make sure you have a few basics for reaching our team and understanding our staff’s roles. We’ve heard from several members that you hope to better understand our team! As you may be aware, we are excited to welcome four new Directors to the Board of the SAA! We want to send them a warm welcome, and thank them for offering their time, energy, and talents to the SAA. Read more below.

Finally, while our community gatherings will continue (see dates & links below), I would also like to invite any interested members of the SAA to have a 15-minute virtual coffee chat with me. As part of my listening tour of the organization, I want to hear from all of you a bit more directly. You can sign up for a meeting time with me at the link below. As part of the listening tour, there will also be opportunities for members to offer feedback via surveys, for anyone who are more comfortable writing to us. We’ll be sending out membership surveys in the coming weeks. I look forward to the year ahead with all of you!


Angelica Cortez
Executive Director
Suzuki Association of the Americas

News & Insights from the SAA

Our lines are open!

Please feel free to reach out to us—we’re here to help. You can expect to hear from us within 48 hours. We thank you for your patience in our response, and look forward to hearing from you!

Get in touch with us!


Phone: 303-444-0948 or toll free 1-888-378-9854

Mailing: PO Box 17310 Boulder, CO 80308-0310

Office: 2425 Canyon Blvd. #110 Boulder, CO 80302

Virtual Coffee with Angelica Cortez, Executive Director of the SAA

Members are invited to a 15-minute virtual coffee with Angelica! You can sign up for a time to chat over the phone or over Zoom at this link. The link will remain active, and we will continue to update it with availability as we are able. Members should sign up for one time (please do not sign up for multiple times). If you have already had time to connect with our Executive Director in a 1:1 setting, we kindly ask that you leave space for others to do so as well! Please come prepared to answer these three questions: (1) what would you like our organization to keep doing, (2) what would you like the organization to stop doing, and (3) what would you like the organization to start doing?

Who makes up the SAA Staff?

You can learn about our team at this link on the SAA website.

Angelica Cortez, Executive Director: Angelica started with the SAA on January 31, 2022! Read more here. Angelica is responsible for the vision and future of the organization, as determined by (and with) the Board of Directors. It is her responsibility to make sure the SAA upholds the vision and philosophy of Dr. Suzuki, and that the organization remains sustainable for the future. Her direct responsibilities include strategic planning, finances, fundraising, communications, publications, marketing, membership recruitment, retention, and satisfaction, teacher development and pedagogy, and participation on the Board of Directors (ex oficio). As stated at the last community gathering, her three top priorities include (1) assessing, analyzing & improving systems and operations of the organization, (2) documenting, improving & updating our core content and programming, and (3) member satisfaction.

Laura Yasuda, Director of Operations and Membership: Laura joined the SAA in 2014. She oversees day-to-day operations of the SAA, including core areas of office management, the American Suzuki Journal (ASJ), partnerships, finances, human resources and management of contractors. Laura oversees the print, layout, and creative design of several communications and publications such as our monthly ShortScore Newsletter and the ASJ. She manages and maintains relationships with our advertisers, chapters, and key partners. Laura also supports financial processes alongside our bookkeeper, and manages and maintains human resource documents and policies. She also manages our contractors, including our bookkeeper, journal editor, website, and tech support.

Beth Stanley, Program and Membership Manager: Beth joined the SAA in 2005. Beth’s primary responsibilities include coordinating course registration, scholarships, and auditions. She is a direct line of communication to our members, answering any questions coming into the inbox, as well as all phone calls that come into our main line. She is here to support our members!

Christie Felsing, Teacher Development Consultant: Christie joined the SAA in 1992. In her part-time role supporting the SAA, Christie facilitates and supports applications to the Teacher Development program, implements of courses and course evaluations, and provides guidance to Teacher Trainers as needed. Christie is working closely with the Executive Director to provide more information and transparency to our teacher development and teacher training programs.

Additional team members: The SAA team also includes contractors that support finances, editing, and website support. We also rely on individuals who support our audition reviews and Teacher Trainer application evaluations. We understand that transparency in these processes is important. We will continue to work toward more transparency in all of our processes. With this in mind, we anticipate openings in our Suzuki Editor position, as well as further opportunities for offering input in Teacher Training development. Stay tuned for more information!

An update regarding the SAA Communications Team
We want to note that the SAA Communications team, which started prior to Angelica Cortez’s arrival to help with the transition is no longer our primary channel of communication. It was originally created as a connection point between full-time staff, the board, and part-time consultants. While communications remain a key priority for the SAA staff and team, we are streamlining communication processes to the full-time staff. We thank the part-time consultants and board for their communication teamwork during the many weeks of transition!

Follow us on social media!

Please feel free to follow us on social media. At the moment, we are using Instagram as a means of connecting with you on Social Media! This is primarily due to an access issue on our Facebook page.

Instagram: @suzukiamericas

LinkedIn: Follow us!

Facebook: Coming Soon!


American Suzuki Journal Call for Submissions!

The American Suzuki Journal is seeking articles for our November publication! The issue’s theme centers around the Suzuki Practice.

  • What does it mean to be a Suzuki practitioner? A Suzuki Teacher? Suzuki Parent? Or a Suzuki Student?
  • We are interested in exploring how a practice—a living and constantly changing way of doing things—incorporates and intertwines with the core principles of the Suzuki Method.
  • How do you, as a Suzuki teacher, student, or parent, balance these principles with other philosophies and with your own creativity?

These are HUGE ideas, and we’d love to talk more about them if you’re interested in writing. Please reach out to with thoughts, questions, or just to say hello!

Guidelines can be found here and the submission form can be found at the link below:

Community Notes & Highlights

Come to our Community Gatherings! Community Gatherings are a time for members to gather with Executive Director, Angelica Cortez to ask questions, hear about recent news, updates, and to connect with one another. Register at the links below to attend, and a Zoom link will be sent to the email address you provide.

If you have questions or concerns you would like to have our Executive Director speak about, please submit them at this link.

Save the Date & Register for the Community Gatherings at the links below!


The International Research on Talent Education ( research team is pleased to announce our new publication in the respected journal Music Education Research. The paper "The parent role in Suzuki music lessons: experiences and perspectives shared by novice Suzuki parents” is now available online.

Suzuki parents told researchers about their experiences, expectations, and needs when starting instrumental lessons with their young child. Four themes emerged: (1) the importance of the initial parent education families received upon starting lessons with their child, (2) the ways that parents supported their child outside of lessons, (3) the challenges parents faced in the ‘home teacher’ role, and (4) the strong partnership parents established with the teacher.

Parent education is essential to the success of children and families in our studios, and we hope this research will help teachers in our community support parents and to set families up for success. Particular thanks to Dr. Kate Einarson and Dr. Eun Cho, who spent years shepherding this project to its conclusion so we could share it with you all! Please feel free to email with any questions.

News from the Board of Directors

The Board hosted the Annual General Meeting (AGM) on July 26, 2022 via Zoom. Members can access the recording at this link. The AGM began with a report from Executive Director Angelica Cortez outlining priorities for the next year, which include: (1) assessing, analyzing, and improving systems and operations; (2) documenting, improving, and updating core content and programming; and (3) member satisfaction.

The Board report which followed, identified current Board priorities as: (1) supporting the membership and administration of the SAA; (2) expanding connectivity with music and musicians throughout the Americas through fundraising; and (3) increasing communication and access. The Board noted fundraising milestones, and also welcomed to service Dr. Kay Collier McLaughlin, as SAA representative to the ISA, and four new Board members, whose terms begin August 1, 2022– US Senator Kirk Cullimore, April Losey, Nancy Modell, and Lynne Oliverius. Learn more about our new board members below, and read the announcement on our website.

The Latin American Country Associations and Suzuki Music/Musique Canada also provided reports of the incredible work happening across several countries. The Board thanks all SAA members who tuned into the AGM via Zoom, or who watched the recorded meeting.


Meet our new Directors!

Kirk Cullimore

Kirk Cullimore
Kirk Cullimore graduated from Utah Valley University in 1997 with an A.A. in Music. He completed his undergraduate degree at Brigham Young University in 2000 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music. He taught and played music professionally for six years including teaching private lessons, leading youth ensemble groups at local music schools, and started his own music studio. Kirk went on to receive a Juris Doctorate from the University of Oklahoma College of Law in 2008. Following law school, he practices in the areas of general business and contract law, Native American law, fair housing and property rights. Kirk served on the executive board of the Utah Apartment Association and served as its government affairs chair for several years. Kirk was elected to the Utah State Senate in 2018. In the state senate, Kirk chaired the Infrastructure and General Government Sub-appropriation committee from 2019-2020. In 2020, Kirk was elected as the Senate Majority Assistant Whip by his senate colleagues and continues to serve in that leadership position as well as on several legislative committees and commissions. Kirk continues to dedicate time to music and education as the Chairman of the Board for the Intermountain Suzuki String Institute, on the Canyons School Board Joint Educators Evaluation Committee, as the former Brookwood Elementary School Community Council Co-Chair, as a member of the UVU Arts Resources Council, and enjoys serving on the UVU Alumni Board. Kirk was recently appointed and confirmed to the board of the Salt Lake Regional Medical Center hospital. Kirk is married to Heather Cullimore; they have 6 children that are all actively involved in music, sports and academics.

April Losey

April Losey
I am deeply committed to developing the Suzuki community throughout the Americas. In my roles as Suzuki institute director, founding member of the institute leadership team, teacher trainer, teacher, and—most importantly—parent to a 4-year-old Suzuki cellist, I believe that I am well-positioned to serve as an advocate for the many perspectives that allow Suzuki education to thrive. My experience as a professional orchestral musician and a college instructor provides opportunities for me to engage with colleagues beyond the Suzuki community. My background in public relations informs my ability to contribute to the board on the impact that decisions will have on different communities, which is vital for supporting inclusivity and accessibility within the organization. Having grown up as a Suzuki student in rural Canada and currently living outside of Los Angeles, I have experienced Suzuki education in both rural and suburban contexts. As a member of the SAA board, I will work diligently to represent all of the Americas, bringing my experience to the endeavor of sharing and promoting the Suzuki philosophy through community-building and engagement. I am excited about the opportunity to contribute to the strategic vision and organizational leadership of the SAA as we strive toward developing an ever more vibrant and equitable Suzuki community throughout the Americas.

Nancy Modell

Nancy Modell
Nancy Modell, a graduate of Ithaca College School of Music in both piano performance and education, studied the Suzuki approach with Sanford Reuning, Carole Bigler, and Valery Lloyd-Watts. Nancy pioneered the Suzuki Piano method in Israel in the 1980s where she taught students and trained local piano teachers in Jerusalem. Since 1992 she has been teaching in Springfield, NJ, inspiring students to reach their potential through innovative learning opportunities, including original composition, music events, and musical field trips. Nancy studies ways to employ the Taubman Approach to enhance Suzuki Piano Pedagogy. She has explored ways to introduce composition to students of all levels and has presented her approach at various teachers’ forums, including the SAA, the 1era Convención Suzuki de las Américas, The Taubman Festival, NJMEA, and NAfME. She has trained piano teachers at institutes, college courses, and privately, and frequently teaches ECC!. She is the Piano Coordinator and Teacher Enrichment Advisor for the New Jersey Suzuki Workshop, Chair of both the Piano Teachers Forum of NJ’s Composer Showcase and the Music Educators Association of NJ’s Composer Corner, and a past President of the MEA-NJ.

Lynne Oliverius

Lynne Oliverius
Lynne has a deep commitment to the Suzuki method as is evidenced in her 40 years of joyfully raising up musicians of all ages. She currently maintains a studio of 35 students, directs two orchestras at the local Waldorf School and performs with her group Encore Strings as well as in area orchestras. Experienced as a non-profit development director and grant writer, Lynne has guided organizations in their quest to build stronger connections with community, advance awareness and create funding streams. She has led boards through transitional times as well as times of stability and managed growth and been the “feet on the ground” person in the area of development, ready with ideas and the will to see them implemented while working in concert with others to complete the task. Lynne served as the development director for these organizations on the central coast of California—Civic Ballet, Canzona Vocal Ensemble and the Youth Arts Foundation. In Illinois she founded and directed development in her three Suzuki music schools (300 students per week and 8 staff) and the youth symphony as well as procuring grants for several elementary schools. Her grant writing has secured funding for arts organizations through the following successful grants—Fender Music Foundation, PRG Corporation-Los Angeles, Lutheran Women’s Missionary League, Central Coast Wine Classic, Windward Winery, Central Coast Funds for Children, Loews, Wal-Mart, Rotary Club, Knights of Columbus, Midwest Fine Arts Grants, Target, Illinois Power, matching grants and servant grants. She was the director of the Sylvan Learning Center, Peru, Il and secured grants for the reading and testing programs. Board appointments have included president of Symphony of the Vines, leading them from steering committee to complete 501c3, CASA vice president (court appointed special advocates), United Way, Carnegie Library Board and Canzona Ensemble. She chaired the vendor booths and displays at the 1992 SAA National Conference recruiting, contracting and organizing the participants. Lynne has been involved with the Suzuki movement since its inception here in the United States. The Talent Education tour group from Japan came to Pekin, Illinois in 1976 when she was in high school and several performers and chaperones stayed in the family home. She attended workshops with Bill Starr and John Kendall and was the first teacher trained in a 4 year program at Western Illinois University under Dr. Tanya Carey and Almita Vamos. Lynne served as assistant to Dr. Carey and traveled to Germany for the International Conference to work with Dr. Suzuki and Vaclav Adamira. In the initial Suzuki organizational years she wrote articles for the SAA journals and documents on business practices for the teacher trainer packets. She was a workshop clinician and a speaker at SAA conferences and named a Shar Distinguished Young Teacher and Business and Professional Women’s Organization Young Careerist. Her education includes a Masters of Arts Leadership 2008 from the University of Illinois, Springfield, IL, and a Bachelor of Arts Liberal Arts and Sciences, Music Education Business 1981 from Western Illinois University, Macomb, IL. Lynne has honored the rich history of the Suzuki Association of the Americas from its beginning in the United States and is so proud to have been an active participant. She anticipates a time of renewed energy and unique creative growth as we strive to send our message of good hearts and kind people throughout the world. Music and our instruments are the vehicles we use to convey this message and we have so much to share with others.

SAA Board Representative for the International Suzuki Association

Kay Collier McLaughlin

Kay Collier McLaughlin

Kay Collier McLaughlin, PhD is an author, motivational speaker and leadership consultant whose passion for building bridges to save the world was born in her life as a Suzuki Talent Education Parent and Teacher….and her formative teen years with the Central Kentucky Youth Orchestra. It was as Chairperson of the 1967 20th anniversary of that Youth Orchestra, that Kay Collier Slone (as she was known at that time), Music Reviewer for The Lexington Leader and pre-school music teacher and her committee scheduled a workshop with returning conductors entitled “ What About Suzuki?”. Dr. Marvin Rabin, Founder and Director of both the Greater Boston Youth Symphony and Wisconsin Youth Symphony, modeled after his years as conductor of the CKYSO, led the session, and invited Collier Slone to bring her two young children to the University of Wisconsin the following summer (1968) to be in a demonstration group for Dr. Shinichi Suzuki who was presenting four workshops across the United States that summer to introduce the Suzuki method to American string teachers. Attending as parent, music reviewer and pre-school music teacher with a secondary background in violin (University of Kentucky 1961) Collier Slone, whose major instruments were French Horn and Piano, asked the pedagogue to send a Japanese teacher to Kentucky to help start a program in Lexington. Suzuki Sensei’s response that she must begin the program herself led her to the founding of the Lexington Talent Education Association and the beginning of a career as a teacher, Teacher Trainer, parent educator and board member. At the UW Suzuki workshops in both 1968 and 1969, Collier Slone met Margery Aber, whose violin classes were demonstration examples of already established Suzuki programs. When Aber founded the American Suzuki Institute, she called on Collier Slone to develop a program for parent education. Collier Slone was a participant in the discussions at those early ASJs which led to the birth of the Suzuki Association of the Americas, and the establishment of the first teacher training summer courses. She developed early 1A violin teacher training materials, which evolved into the book They’re Rarely Too Young and Never Too Old to ‘Twinkle’: teaching insights into the world of beginning Suzuki violin, widely used in teacher training and released in special requested edition by SHAR publishers in 2020. She has served as teacher and Teacher Trainer in workshops and institutes across the United States and in Australia, Germany, Canada, Japan and Canada. She was recipient of the Suzuki Chair Award at Stevens Point, served on the SAA Board and as a columnist for the American Suzuki Journal. She counts multiple trips to Japan to study with Suzuki Sensei as figural in both her development and her understanding of the philosophy and pedagogy. Her two daughters both gave graduation recitals at the completion of the 10 Suzuki books. Her older daughter, Diane Slone, graduated from the Talent Education Institute in Matsumoto, and currently heads a Suzuki Music School in Hong Kong. As years passed, Collier Slone recognized changes in the culture and world which concerned her. In particular, she noted the increasing stresses in families, and the world, and resultant behaviors. She returned to graduate school to pursue a Doctorate in Psychology to extend the resources she was able to offer students and families. Her doctoral thesis Psychological Insights Into an Alternative Form of Humanistic Education involved a longitudinal study of former Suzuki violin students who were reflecting on the impact of long term study using the Suzuki method from elementary through high school years. She was invited to present her research at the national Suzuki Conference in Chicago, and to present a demonstration session on the 1A course. Responsive programming to what she was seeing in the world led Collier Slone to over a decade of work in various systems needing her sub-specialties of group and organizational development, bereavement, and life transitions. During this period she authored five books and started her consulting firm TRANSFORMATIVE LEADERSHIP CONSULTING. Her work in transitions and her sixth book, Talking Together: getting past polarization through civil dialogue brought her current work to the attention of the SAA, and Dr. Collier McLaughin (name suce 2001) was invited to speak at the leadership retreat on “Building Bridges”;. Subsequently, she was asked to keynote the Minneapolis Conference, to lead the SAA board retreat, to work with institute directors, and was named an Honorary Member of the SAA board. Most recently, she served as Guest Editor of the Transition issue of the Journal (May 2022 “The Suzuki Philosophy and pedagogical approach have been foundational in all of my work, whether teaching a violin lesson, or working with individuals and groups on how to strengthen organizational behavior- how to build bridges of understanding rather than erect walls of division.

Noticias de América Latina (News from Latin America)

El tercer Encuentro Mexicano Suzuki se realiza en este momento en la ciudad de Oaxaca, México, comenzando con cursos de capacitación para maestros con SECE con Wan Tsai Chen y FIlosofía,con Aubrey Faith-Slkaer y siguiendo con cursos de enriquecimiento en violín con Allen Lieb, guitarra con Diana Chagali, cello con Patricia Pasmanter.

El día de hoy comienza el Encuentro de profesores Suzuki y la gran inauguración, para mañana continuar con clases maestras de todos los instrumentos, con recitales y conciertos, una gran fiesta Oaxaqueña y una "Calenda" tocando mientras caminamos por el centro de la ciudad, tocando por las calles, para culminar con el concierto de:

Orquesta de Alumnos Suzuki México OSUM
Orquesta de Guitarras Suzuki México OGSUM
Orquesta de Maestros Suzuki México OMSUM

Además de los conciertos de clausura de los alumnos y la presentación del coro del 3er Encuentro Mexicano Suzuki con los 200 alumnos participantes.

Esperen el próximo Newsletter para la reseña.

The 3rd Mexican Suzuki Encounter is taking place right now in Oaxaca City, Mexico, starting with Teacher Training courses with SECE with Wan Tsai Chen and FIlosophy with Aubrey Faith-Slkaer and continuing with enrichment courses in violin with Allen Lieb, guitar with Diana Chagali, cello with Patricia Pasmanter! The event began the Suzuki Teachers Meeting and the grand opening, and will continue with master classes of all instruments, with recitals and concerts, a big Oaxacan party, and a Calenda playing while walking through the center of the city, playing in the streets! All of this will culminate with the concert of: Suzuki Mexico Alumni Orchestra OSUM, Suzuki Mexico Guitars Orchestra OGSUM, and Suzuki Mexico Teachers Orchestra OMSUM! In addition to the closing concerts of the students and the presentation of the choir of the 3rd Mexican Suzuki Encounter with the 200 participating students.

Stay tuned for the review and photos in the next newsletter!

News from the International Suzuki Association

Announcing the New Publication of Suzuki Voice School Volume 1

Alfred Music and The International Suzuki Voice committee are pleased to present Suzuki Voice School Volume One.

This publication is the cooperative effort of the International Suzuki Voice Committee together with Dr. Päivi Kukkamäki, who have worked on Volume One preparation and proofreading since 2004. It sees the culmination of many years of dedication and support from teachers across the world.

“Singing together in many languages is a unique experience and allows so much more than music to foster—it crosses cultural divides and brings us together through singing.”

Read the full press release.


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The Suzuki Association of the Americas is a nonprofit organization of teachers, parents, and educators dedicated to the advancement of the Suzuki Method in the Americas.

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Suzuki Association of the Americas
PO Box 17310, Boulder CO 80308