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May 2009


May 27-31, 2010, marks the SAA’s 14th Biennial Conference in Minneapolis, MN at the Hilton Hotel and Convention Center. Be sure to save the dates for this special event! The theme for 2010 is TEAMWORK. Ensembles and chamber music at many levels will be featured throughout the weekend. SAA members and former Suzuki students who are now young artist-teacher professionals will present sessions and masterclasses. We aim to “feature our own” and celebrate the many successes of the Method!

A New Look for 2010

2010 begins a new decade…a new time…and also a new, fresh and creative look for the Conference. Collaboration among colleagues and students within instrument areas, and cross-instrumentally as well, will give a boost to the Conference and broaden our vision as an association.

Expanded Chamber Music Opportunities

The chamber music component of the Conference is being greatly expanded! We will be offering chamber music masterclasses for both preformed and non-preformed chamber ensembles at the beginning, intermediate and advanced levels. Non-preformed groups will receive their music in advance and meet during the weekend for coachings with a SAA member before performing in a chamber masterclass setting. “Side-by-side” sessions of multiple coaches working with a student group will also take place.

Visit the Conference website for more including details on how to audition for all the student participation opportunities: Chamber Music, Masterclasses, SYOA, Ensembles Concert, and Piano Concerto.

Virtual Leadership Retreat a Great Success

Thank you to all who took part in the SAA’s first Virtual Leadership Retreat. The total number of registrants reached 276—100 more than have attended in-person SAA leadership retreats. Participants included teachers from Canada, US, South America and a few from Europe as well.

It was a great experiment—unique in many ways—and a great first step toward experiencing what SAA can accomplish through the web. For many it was a first introduction to new ways to provide and receive information and inspiration. As many have noted, virtual presentations cannot replace the live, interactive experience of a wonderful Suzuki conference or Teacher Training workshop, but it can provide inspiration between “live” opportunities or in times when some teachers are finding travel, time, and resources limited.

Read more about the VLR

Board Election Results

Congratulations to the SAA’s newly elected Board members: Sue Baer, Ellen Berry and Marilyn O’Boyle. Their three-year terms will begin August 1, 2009. Chair-Elect Teri Einfeldt will assume the role of Board Chair in August and Betsy Stuen-Walker will fill the role of Board Secretary. The Board has named Dr. Mark George as Chair-Elect. Many thanks to the Board members whose terms are completing in July: Christie Felsing (Secretary), Lamar Blum, Diane Schroeder (Chair), and Beth Titterington. Each provided valuable and dedicated service to the Association as Board members. Their thoughts as their terms draw to a close are posted online and will be printed in the next ASJ. (If you participated in the VLR, you may have heard their presentations!)

Watch video from Outgoing Board Members

Certificate of Achievement

The SAA recently launched its Certificate of Achievement, Level 1, and applications have started to come in! The Suzuki Association of the Americas is committed to excellence in teaching and to establishing standards within the framework of the Suzuki philosophy. This Certificate provides the recognition that teachers who are working toward this standard want and deserve. A certificate will be issued to successful applicants with a Certificate of Achievement, Level 1 logo.

The application is designed so that the applicant will be able to demonstrate commitment to excellence as a teacher. The process was developed within the framework of the Suzuki philosophy and was designed to encourage self‐evaluation and professional growth. While the SAA Certificate of Achievement Program is not a certification, it provides a viable measure of achievement and commitment beyond the basic registration of units. By engaging in this process you will not only grow as a teacher, but contribute to the growth and professionalism of Suzuki education in the Americas.

Read requirements and download the Certificate application

The Promise…The Challenge: A Suzuki Teacher’s Pledge

The Promise...The Challenge: A Suzuki Teacher's Pledge. New video online now!

At the SAA’s April 4 Annual Meeting, a brand new Teacher Development video was unveiled. We are proud to present this new short film, “The Promise…The Challenge: A Suzuki Teacher’s Pledge.” It gets to the heart of Dr. Suzuki’s vision for excellence in education for every child. Its message helps us understand the essential importance of ongoing Teacher Development and life-long learning.

Watch A Suzuki Teacher’s Pledge online

140 new members have joined the SAA in the last month. Welcome!

Summer Institutes

2009 Summer Institutes begin next weekend!

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