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Newsletter April 2022FacebookTwitter

Dear SAA community,

As we wrap up the end of this school year and prepare for the summer, we hope you all are keeping sane! As a community of learners and educators, we know the end of the year often comes with a lot to do. Between concerts, recitals, and preparing for our next calendar year — this season often finds many of us running low on steam. We hope that amongst your busy schedules, this time also offers a moment to reflect and reset. We at the SAA office are reflecting on our own organizational systems, practices, and how to prioritize all that we aim to accomplish, including (but not limited to) membership benefits, communication, teacher development, institutes, our offerings for youth, and how we can be most supportive to our members. We are exhausted and exhilarated, alongside you!

We hope you enjoy the resources we’ve offered below and are thrilled at all that is happening in our organization. We hope to see you at ALL of the events outlined below, but want to highlight our community gathering on Thursday, April 28th, and We are Suzuki, taking place May 26—28th. More soon, so stay tuned!

The SAA Team

El Sistema USA Symposium Discount Code
El Sistema 2022 Symposium Save the Date

In partnership with El Sistema USA, we are pleased to offer members of the SAA $60 tickets (discounted from $105) to attend their annual Symposium!

Discount Code: SAAMEMBER

Symposium Dates: Thursday, April 28th to Saturday, April 30th

SAA speakers include Angelica Cortez, Winifred Crock, Christine Goodner, Connie McCullough, Laurie Scott, and Edmund Sprunger! Topics range from equity-centered practices and student inclusion in the classroom to supporting music learning for students in early childhood on Zoom.

To access your discounted tickets, use the code below. Please keep in mind that this offer is only for members of the SAA. We hope to see you there!

Note: High School students can register for College Conversations on Saturday, April 30th, for free on the ESUSA event website. Students can select a daypass for Saturday, April 30th, and use the code HIGHSCHOOL2022 for free registration.

Community Gatherings

We invite you to participate in our next Community Gathering Thursday, April 28th!

Scheduling note: We are now hosting Community Gatherings on the fourth Thursday of each month. We previously announced these sessions would take place twice a month. We hope to increase participation and answer questions more thoroughly by moving to once a month.

View notes from the March 24th Gathering here

Register here for the Zoom meeting

Submit your question, comment, or story:

English submission form

Formulario de traducción al español

Formulário de inscrição em português

Formulaire de soumission en français

From the Top
From the Top Logo Side Bluetext

From the Top hopes to connect with young musicians and teachers from the SAA! Here’s a message from their team:

NPR’s From the Top is looking for talented classical musicians who identify as disabled or neurodiverse, ages 14-21, to audition for a special episode featuring students with disabilities. Along with recording for the radio show, participants will join their fellow musicians in workshops exploring life as an artist, content creation, and the power of community engagement. From the Top believes in the unique voice of each musician and places a special focus on telling their stories. We are excited about this opportunity to increase the visibility of Disabled performers and spread stories of Disability in action.

If you have a student who identifies as Disabled between the ages of 14 and 21, please encourage them to consider applying for this fellowship! You can learn more about From the Top’s Learning and Media Lab Fellowship on their website: To apply for this specific opportunity, please email . (If you are younger than 14 or are a student between the ages 21-24, please contact .)

We Are Suzuki—A Celebration!

Save the dates for a virtual gathering in May! Further information about the schedule, speakers, and how to participate will be announced in early May.

May 26—May 28, 2022

All events will be “pay what you can!” A wide variety of sessions will be available, including some for all members, and some for Teacher Trainers. We plan to include SPA facilitation training, evaluation training, training on equity, diversity, inclusion and belonging practices in the classroom, “best practices” for online teaching and learning, and more! Stay tuned for more info, and we hope to see you there!

Suzuki Brass of the Americas Recital!

Congratulations to all involved in Suzuki Brass of the Americas! The second annual Suzuki Brass of the Americas recital was held virtually on Sunday, April 10, 2022. Teachers, students, and families from five countries gathered on Zoom to perform for each other, make new friends, and celebrate our rapidly-growing Suzuki Brass family. Over 50 trumpet, French horn, and trombone students from studios in Brazil, Canada, Colombia, Mexico, and the United States were present during three recitals throughout the day.

The first Suzuki Brass teacher, Ann-Marie Sundberg, attended all three recitals, and the SAA performers were surprised with a special video of Suzuki trumpet students from Sweden! New SAA Executive Director Angelica Cortez also made a special appearance. SAA brass teachers provided narration throughout the recital in English, Spanish, and Portuguese, and showed images of the five countries represented. SAA teachers who collaborated to make the event successful were Joshua Agar (Canada), Pedro Azevedo (Brazil), Juan Carlos Valencia Castillo (Columbia), Natalie DeJong (Canada), Brenda Luchsinger (USA), James Markey (USA), Larry Powell (USA), Zaira Ruiz (Mexico), Fred Sienkiewicz (USA), and Kyra Sovronsky (USA). We are proud of all of the student performers, and we are looking forward to our next celebration of their accomplishments!

The American Suzuki Journal

The August issue of the American Suzuki Journal will celebrate the 50th anniversary of the SAA, honoring our history and recognizing our future. The SAA wants to hear from you, our members, about what you’re most proud of and where you see the future of our organization. If you would like to be published in the special issue of the ASJ, please send up to 200 words to no later than May 1, responding to the following prompts:

  • What accomplishments, events, or moments in the past 50 years have made you proud to be an SAA member?

  • Fifty years from now, where would you like to see the SAA?

If you have high-quality photos from the last 50 years that you would like to see in print, please send them to . All people pictured will need to sign a photo release form.

!Viva Maestro!

We hope SAA members enjoyed the film on opening weekend, April 8—10! We enjoyed reading this review written by Laurie Niles, an SAA attendee, and we are grateful to The School for Strings for sharing this photo of students, parents, and faculty enjoying the film in Greenwich Village, NYC.

We hope to continue to offer more opportunities like this in the future, and encourage you to consider seeing the film if it’s in a theater near you, as well as for its digital release in May!

Viva Maestro attendees from School For Strings
Notes from the Board

The SAA board is currently meeting monthly, working alongside Angelica Cortez with a focus on fundraising efforts and streamlining processes and procedures. The board had the opportunity to meet with the International Suzuki Association to discuss our board’s structure, transparency, and communication. Our conversation was quite collegial and informative. A joint statement of confidence will be coming soon.

Andrea Raza

The Board is pleased to announce the appointment of Andrea Raza Álvaro of Ecuador to the Board of Directors! A Suzuki voice, piano, and early childhood education teacher, Ms. Álvaro is a communications specialist who brings a wealth of leadership experience and connection to the needs of our Latin American membership. Welcome, Andrea!

We wanted to share that some members of the SAA are contributing to the Ukrainian Suzuki Association at this link. We are discussing the ways in which we can also be supportive as individuals and as an organization.

Finally, we look forward to sharing more information soon regarding the upcoming Board elections, and an honorary Board member appointment! Information will be shared in May. Stay tuned!

News from Canada

The History and Philosophy of Tonalization by Fumiyo Kuramochi

Fumiyo Kuramochi

On March 27, we were honored to have Ms. Fumiyo Kuramochi give an outstanding Zoom presentation on the “History and Philosophy of Tonalization” to 125 teachers from 14 countries within four of the ISA regions.

Fumiyo’s eloquent and moving talk, organized by the Suzuki Association of Ontario and Suzuki Music/Musique Canada, also included photos and thoughts on her own personal experiences studying and learning from Dr. Suzuki. Teachers, including those who had studied directly with Dr. Suzuki, learned with an appreciation of previously unknown details.

During these past two COVID years, our Suzuki students have experienced many challenges, not least the loss of opportunity to live and play in the ’surround sound energy’ of a live group and individual lessons. Suzuki teachers worldwide have worked hard to develop new ways to bring Dr. Suzuki’s words “Beautiful tone, beautiful heart” to life amid faulty connections and inconsistent sound quality. This event, therefore, was a fitting occasion to have Fumiyo Kurimochi remind us of Dr. Suzuki’s conviction that tone development and working on sound together is key to character development in the whole person.

The comments below were echoed by many people who joined the event from around the globe:

“This was so wonderful to reconnect with the spirit of Dr. Suzuki through the voice and heart of Fumiyo. It is so seldom we have this opportunity these days. It reminded me of the times we could spend with him. Thank you for a special time.”
— Carol Dallinger, Evansville, Indiana

“A profoundly moving presentation shared with us by Fumiyo. A moment to remind us of the essential in our work.”
— Chantal Darietto-Latil, Marseille, France

In preparing for this unique event, our Canadian team felt strongly that Fumiyo’s wisdom should be shared with as many colleagues in our global Suzuki community as possible. We also realized that because of the pandemic, many of our recently trained colleagues may not yet have had the experience of hearing the inspiring tone of Suzuki group classes and festivals in person.

“To make music is to serve the strings and allow a beautiful tone, a beautiful resonance, to sound forth so as to allow your heart — the living force of music — to sing through your tone.”
— Shinichi Suzuki

We offer our immense gratitude to Fumiyo Kuramochi for reminding us once again of how Dr. Suzuki’s message continues to resonate in the world today. A message that is as timely and needed as when Suzuki sensei began his research almost a century ago.

On behalf of Suzuki Association of Ontario and Suzuki Music/Musique Canada: Rebecca Ashworth, Paule Barsalou, Debbie Hammond, Karen-Michele Kimmett, Joanne Martin, Rob Richardson, and Geneviève Schirm-Joyce

L’histoire et la philosophie de la tonalisation par Fumiyo Kuramochi

Fumiyo Kuramochi

Le dimanche 27 mars , nous avons eu l’honneur d’accueillir Mme Fumiyo Kuramochi qui a donné une présentation Zoom exceptionnelle sur “l’histoire et la philosophie de la tonalité” à 125 professeurs de 14 pays de quatre régions de l’ ISA.

La conférence éloquente et émouvante de Fumiyo, organisée par la Suzuki Association of Ontario et Suzuki Music/Musique Canada, comprenait également des photos et des réflexions sur ses propres expériences personnelles d’étude et d’apprentissage auprès de Dr Suzuki sensei. Les professeurs, y compris ceux qui avaient étudié directement avec le Dr Suzuki, ont appris avec satisfaction des détails inconnus jusqu’à présent.

Au cours des deux dernières années du COVID, nos élèves Suzuki ont dû faire face à de nombreux défis, notamment la perte de l’opportunité de vivre et de jouer dans l’énergie du ’surround sound’ d’un groupe en direct et de leçons individuelles. Les professeurs Suzuki du monde entier ont bien travaillé pour développer de nouvelles façons de donner vie aux mots du Dr Suzuki “Beautiful tone, beautiful heart” au milieu de connexions défectueuses et d’un son de qualité inégale. Cet événement était donc l’occasion idéale pour que Fumiyo Kuramochi nous rappelle la conviction du Dr Suzuki selon laquelle le développement du timbre et le travail sur le son sont essentiels au développement du caractère de la personne dans son ensemble.

Les commentaires ci-dessous ont été repris par de nombreuses personnes du monde entier qui ont participé à l’événement :

“C’était tellement merveilleux de renouer avec l’esprit du Dr Suzuki à travers la voix et le cœur de Fumiyo. Il est si rare que nous ayons cette opportunité de nos jours. Cela m’a rappelé les moments que nous pouvions passer avec lui. Merci pour ce moment spécial.”
— Carol Dallinger, Evansville, Indiana

“Très touchant tout ce merveilleux album sur le Tonalization partagé par Fumiyo. Un moment de rappel important sur l’essentiel de notre travail.”
— Chantal Darietto-Latil, Marseille, France

En préparant cet événement unique, notre équipe canadienne était convaincue que la sagesse de Fumiyo devait être partagée avec le plus grand nombre possible de collègues de notre communauté Suzuki mondiale. Nous avons également réalisé qu’en raison de la pandémie, beaucoup de nos collègues récemment formés n’ont peut-être pas encore eu l’occasion d’entendre en personne le son inspirant des cours collectifs et des festivals Suzuki.

“Faire de la musique, c’est servir les cordes et permettre à un beau ton, une belle résonance, de résonner afin de permettre à votre cœur — la force vivante de la musique — de chanter à travers votre son.”
— Shinichi Suzuki

Nous offrons notre immense gratitude à Fumiyo Kuramochi pour nous avoir rappelé une fois de plus à quel point le message du Dr Suzuki continue de résonner de manière aussi opportune et nécessaire dans le monde d’aujourd’hui que lorsque Suzuki sensei a commencé ses recherches il y a presque un siècle.

Au nom de la Suzuki Association of Ontario et de Suzuki Music/Musique Canada: Rebecca Ashworth, Paule Barsalou, Debbie Hammond, Karen-Michele Kimmett, Joanne Martin Rob Richardson and Geneviève Schirm-Joyce

If you are interested in becoming a Premier Business Member please contact Terrence McKenzie.

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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.

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