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August 2010

In this issue:

  • 2010 Conference Student DVD is here!
  • November is Parent Education Month
  • ECC Grant: We’re at 24!
  • Upcoming SPA courses & how to host
  • Studio Memberships
  • First Impressions of New Piano Books
  • 2011 Scholarships & Latin America Festivals
  • What is a Chapter Affiliate?
  • Early Childhood Research

2010 Conference Student DVD is here!

The 2010 Conference Student DVD is now available online. It includes the SYOA 1 & 2, Flute Performing Ensemble, and Piano Concerto performances.

If you pre-ordered a DVD at the conference, it should be on the way to you. If you didn’t pre-order, order your copy online!

The 2010 Minijournal is now on sale online, featuring:

  • Pedagogical Admonitions by John Kendall
  • Let Us Adopt Methods for Developing the Abilities of Every Child by Dr. Shinichi Suzuki
  • Suggestions for Families Attending an Institute for the First Time by Alice Joy Lewis
  • To 2010 Institute Families from Institute Directors
  • Recital Quiz by Julie Gorka

We also have a new book by Dr. Masaaki Honda, The Vehicle of Music, which relates how he and Dr. Suzuki met and some of the struggles they overcame to introduce the method to the rest of the world.

ECC Grant: We’re at 24!

Every Child Can!

We are still in the running to win a Pepsi Refresh grant of $50,000 to be used for 1,000 partial Every Child Can scholarships.

As of Monday afternoon we’re in 24th place. We need to get to 10th to win the grant.

If you live in the US—vote now!

November is Parent Education Month

Parents as Partners

SAA will be hosting a special online parent education program in November. More details to pass on to your studio parents will be available in next month’s newsletter.

Upcoming SPA courses & how to host

Upcoming SPA Courses
Sep 10-11, Stevens Point, WI
Sep 11-12, Houston, TX [FULL]
Oct 23-24, Hartford, CT

Suzuki Principles in Action (SPA) is a course designed to help teachers incorporate Suzuki’s principles effectively in their teaching. The course focuses on how to teach, not what to teach, and to allow for the sharing of ideas among all instrument areas. It is based on Dr. Suzuki’s belief that knowledge is an important first step, but “knowledge plus 10,000 times” is what produces ability. This important principle, which teachers frequently explain to their students, applies equally to the art of teaching.

The inspiration for SPA came from a need, identified by both Trainers and Teacher Workshop Participants, to deal with the challenges of implementing the knowledge gained from Unit courses into the reality of day-to-day studio teaching.

Topics include:

  • Setting standards of excellence for students at all levels
  • Identifying the appropriate time to move ahead in the repertoire
  • Incorporating regular, productive review work in daily teaching and practicing
  • Incorporating ear training and learning by ear in daily teaching
  • Focusing attention on tone development
  • Giving productive, balanced, frequent feedback to students
  • Communicating effectively and working productively with parents
  • Structuring lessons to facilitate successful progress

More about SPA, including how to host a course in your area.

Studio Memberships

Want your studio parents to receive the American Suzuki Journal?

Studio Memberships are a great way for families to support the SAA and receive the ASJ. Teacher members of the SAA may collect 10 or more Associate memberships from families in their studio for only $30 USD per family. Just send SAA a typed list with each family’s address, email, phone, and instrument.

Right now there are 18 studios with 450 families who are members of the SAA through the studio membership program.

2011 Scholarships & Latin America Festivals

Now is a great time to start working on your Scholarship Application for next year. 2011 scholarships are for short-term, long-term, or apprenticeship teacher training between May 1, 2011 and May 31, 2012 and must be postmarked by February 5, 2011.

Scholarships for Latin Americans attending Festivals are also available prior to each Festival.

First Impressions of New Piano Books

Piano Book 1, Revised

By Gail Lange, Piano Teacher Trainer (Ontario)

First impressions of the New International Editions of the Suzuki piano repertoire are all positive. It is obvious that the ISA Piano Committee, chaired by Mary Craig Powell, set Suzuki Piano on a new path. Twelve new pieces have been added to Volumes 4 to 7.

The choice of repertoire is one of the most outstanding aspects of the new editions. Volume 5 now includes new dimensions for the young pianist with the addition of the Chopin a minor Waltz and the Schumann From Foreign Lands and People.

Volume 6 is my favourite! Within this volume students will experience excellent examples of repertoire from the Baroque era to contemporary representing many composers, and many countries. Consider the beautiful Grieg Nocturne, the Spanish Dance by Granados and Punch by Villa Lobos. Canadian teachers will be particularly pleased with the Book 6 choices if they have students who wish to take the Grade 9 exam.

Volume 7 also displays much variety including a Prelude and Fugue, the Mozart Sonata, K.331 and Bartok’s Roumanian Folk Dances.

The repertoire will serve to develop the young pianist technically and musically.

Teacher trainers who attended the International Conference in Boston last fall were treated to a preview of each piece, and could hear each one performed by the artist chosen to make the recordings: Seizo Azuma. I trust that many trainers did like I did these past two months: daily practice of the new repertoire so as to appreciate the value and the sequence of the repertoire for our students.

Again, my commendations to the ISA Piano Committee for their magnificent achievement.

Do check with your music dealer that he is stocking the piano volumes and CD combination, a convenient and economical way to embrace Suzuki Piano from 2010 onwards.

What is a Chapter Affiliate?

A Chapter Affiliate is a local Suzuki Association that has met the requirements of the SAA to not only be endorsed by the SAA, but also to receive their support, benefits, and international recognition. Chapter Affiliates are extremely important to the SAA because they allow the philosophies and goals of the organization to be implemented at the local level, and likewise, the Chapter Affiliate receives the benefits of recognition and promotion at the national level. In essence, Chapter Affiliates are one of the most important and effective keys to weaving your local Suzuki community into the whole national and international Suzuki movement.

Chapter Affiliates are not only beneficial for the international community, but most importantly, they are valuable to you. Chapter affiliation benefits you and your area in the following ways:

  • Helps you connect more closely with the teachers in your area.
  • Offers education and support for both teachers and parents.
  • Offers scholarships and other benefits for students and teachers.
  • Keeps you updated through websites and newsletters posting local events and other information.
  • Directly associated with the SAA and is given support and resources by the SAA.

How do you become a Chapter Affiliate?

Early Childhood Research

Some of the good news is out with regard to David Gerry’s PhD thesis. You may remember from discussions during Suzuki ECE training or from the last two SAA conferences in Minneapolis that David undertook a project to examine whether or not Suzuki ECE plays a significant role in the development of babies in the very early years. Indeed he has been working steadily on this for a few years.

He has been working with Dr. Laurel Trainor. Laurel Trainor (Psychology, Neuroscience & Behaviour, McMaster) is the founding director of the McMaster Institute for Music and the Mind. She has done groundbreaking research on musical development in children and infants.

The stated purpose for one part of the project was:

“To test whether 6 months of participation in an early childhood Suzuki music program affects infants’ knowledge of Western tonality”.

Conclusions include:

“The results indicate that active musical participation accelerates musical acquisition compared to passive listening. Infants can engage in meaningful musical training when appropriate pedagogical approaches are used. Other aspects of the larger project suggest possible social and cognitive benefits of the Suzuki program as well, indicating the potential usefulness of the approach for special populations and infants at risk.”

The above was presented to the 2010 International Conference on Infant Studies, March 10-14, 2010, Baltimore, Maryland, USA.

You can read more online.

Dorothy and Sharon are very excited about this research! They feel that there will be a significant impact for all of us teaching Suzuki ECE. Thank you David Gerry.

You might be able to use this information to get some media attention for your local Suzuki ECE program. Why not take this opportunity to contact the media about your program.

168 new members joined the SAA in July. Welcome!

Events: September


Pasadena, CA
Redlands, CA
Westport, CT
Newtonville, MA
West Barnstable, MA
Brooklyn, NY
Cincinnati, OH
Houston, TX
Stevens Point, WI
Laramie, WY


Guelph, ON

Other Countries

Buenos Aires, Argentina

Events: October

Hartford, CT
Newtonville, MA
Milwaukie, OR
Philadelphia, PA

All upcoming events

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