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Newsletter November 2020FacebookTwitter
Happy Thanksgiving

Piano Play-In

Piano Play in

Our first ever Virtual Piano Play-In was an exciting way to celebrate Dr. Suzuki’s birthday! Over 70 piano students and teachers registered for this event. Our leader was Parker Van Ostrand from Sacramento, CA. He is 17 years old and a student of Suzuki teacher Linda Nakagawa. Parker did an amazing job of starting all of the pieces, and hearing him perform them all was a wonderful treat. Our program included pieces from all seven books of the Suzuki Piano School. Below is one photo from the gallery.

—Submitted by Joan Krzywicki and Birgitte Chapman,
Virtual Piano Play-In Co-Chairs

Strings Play-In

Violin Play in

Thank you to all who played and encouraged your students to participate in this year’s GPSA Strings Play-In. Special thanks to the teachers who volunteered to lead some pieces, Cate Howard, Ray Mallari, and Lionel Thomas. We are grateful for all of your help in making this year’s event a success! Attached is one photo from the gallery.

—Submitted by Julienne Ikegami, Strings Play-In Chair


SAA Teacher Trainers Working for Excellence in Suzuki Education!

During the Pandemic, SAA Teacher Trainers are meeting frequently with the help of Zoom! Discussions range from new and possible new programs, program revisions, online teaching and training, and sharing of ideas and possibilities for now and the future. The goals, as always, are to support Suzuki education and ensure the best possible outcomes for Suzuki children and families. The following are project and instrument reports from recent weeks.

Suzuki Early Childhood Education Updates

We are excited to share an update on the SECE Curriculum Revision. We have begun working with Dr. Beverly Roberson Jackson and feel that her work as an Early Childhood specialist along with her expertise in curriculum and policy changes for infants, toddlers, and families make her very valuable to our revision work. She has expressed to us her interest in working on curricula with an emphasis on equity and ability inclusion.

We are pleased to introduce her to you now.

–Sharon Jones & Lynn McCall, Co-Chairs; SAA SECE Curriculum Revision Committee

Beverly Robertson Jackson 2

Beverly Roberson Jackson, Ed. D.

Dr. Jackson currently serves on the Board of the DC Early Learning Collaborative and is an Adjunct Professor at the Georgetown School of Medicine. She formerly directed the District of Columbia Head Start State Collaboration Office and Healthy Kids DC.

Earlier in her career, Dr. Jackson was the Director of Public Policy at ZERO TO THREE, the National Center for Infants, Toddlers and Families. She worked with staff and members of Congress, staff of the Executive branch of government and other advocates to translate state-of-the-art research on the needs of infants, toddlers and their families into public policy.

In the early 1990’s Ms. Jackson was Senior Policy Analyst at the National Black Child Development Institute where she developed and maintained a national advocacy network on national legislation in child care, child welfare and access to health services. Dr. Jackson is a former Lead teacher and Assistant teacher in Head Start and child care programs.

Honors and Awards:
National Head Start Fellowship ~2005-2006
National Governor’s Association/ZERO TO THREE Fellowship ~ 2001-2006
Columbia University, Teacher’s College Fellowship 1973-1977

Every Child Can! Update

The newly enhanced Every Child Can! Course is nearing completion and is now available for teaching online! Since August 1st, there have been 35 ECC courses taught with 381 participants. Fall courses included feedback and suggestions from facilitators for further improvements. To find out when future courses have been scheduled, see the SAA website under Events.

Additions and revisions to ECC! include the following areas:

SECE (including a video)
Suzuki Triangle
Group Classes (will eventually include a video)
Music Literacy
Tone (will eventually include a video)
Aspirational Code of Ethics

Several DEI trainers were consulted about the language used in the course and the activities that apply to this important subject. Another video is planned which will include short teaching segments to demonstrate the Suzuki Principles discussed in the class.

Read More…

Teaching Strategies

Teaching Strategies is a practical teaching masterclass which has been taught in Latin America for many years. It will now be offered in various formats in North America beginning in January. Formats will include a stand-alone course and also unit courses with Strategies included (integrated into the unit).

Teaching Strategies’ participants receive helpful suggestions on their teaching from a teacher trainer, and at the same time, learn from peers in the class. Applying practical strategies into lessons and learning ways to be more effective are two primary goals of the course, all of which should result in increased student motivation and parent involvement. Watch for future promotion and opportunities to enroll!

Updates from Suzuki in the Schools

Winter Online Learning Labs

The first SAA Suzuki in the Schools Learning Lab was held on November 15th. Several dozen Suzuki teachers joined the online session to discuss “Best Practices of Online Teaching.” The focus of this first lab was group instruction and as a result a number of private teachers joined us as well. Future dates through the winter have been scheduled. We hope to share information and ideas with each other as well as build community. Please mark your calendars and join us.

Read More…

From the Cello and Bass Teacher Trainers

The Cello and Bass Teacher Trainers meet monthly to discuss some of the important issues facing the SAA in the past months. The past topics include how we as trainers can help to support Institutes in this time of uncertainty, as well as discussing the pros and cons of the move to online training. The implementation of the upcoming Teacher Strategies course has also been discussed. We look forward to sharing ideas of how DEI topics can be included in our training courses. The cellists are also in the middle of revising the syllabus and will be giving feedback to that specific committee at our next meeting.

The lower strings are known for their collaboration, and these meetings are no different in that every voice is listened to, and although we sometimes disagree, we do agree to disagree and that is good too. Another silver lining of Zoom is how we can meet regardless of where we live.

Gathering of Violin and Viola Trainers

The violin and viola trainers met at the end of August to discuss online training in general. There were two similar meetings in order to accommodate everyone. Each meeting included a three-member panel and a moderator. Panelists spoke briefly about the summer courses they had taught online, how they presented them, and what they learned. In addition, ideas were discussed centering on navigating the challenges of teaching Book 1 training online and the increased importance of the role of the parent.

Panelists included Judy Bossuat-Gallic, Ed Kreitman, Charles Krigbaum, Ed Sprunger, Laurie Scott, and Ann Montzka-Smelser. Moderators included Linda Fiore and James Hutchins.

Notes from the SAA Guitar Trainers…

The SAA Guitar committee met on November 4 with William Kossler, Joseph Pecorarro, Andrea Cannon, Seth Himmelhoch, David Madsen and MaryLou Roberts in attendance. The purpose was to discuss and share ideas specific to guitar teaching in the Teaching Strategies course. It was good to share ideas, such as how we first guide teachers to diagnose the one point that will be the most helpful. Then, as students progress, the teacher guides the students to discover and diagnose for themselves. The guitar also needs more attention given to string crossings, use of the fingernail to produce the full range of tone, as well as when and how to employ choice, and using concepts like disassociation. Teaching Strategies will definitely help teacher success after Book 1, and concerns were discussed on how to make it affordable during this time.

What have the Piano Trainers been doing?

Since March, Piano Team coordinators have convened almost weekly; yes, we have assignments: topics to explore, but we thoroughly enjoy our discussions on every topic.

Our first major project was devising appropriate S.O.S. online seminars for the summer months: June-August. By July, we turned our attention to preparing to bring all piano trainers together on Zoom.

Our priorities:

  • Involve as many trainers as possible in discussing the reality of the pandemic as it relates to teacher training

  • Seek suggestions from trainers on topics for discussion

For each session, we invite one trainer to be the Chair and welcomes participants, another to be co-host, another, as timer. We invite 4-5 teachers to present on the topics selected for the session.

To date we have had four sessions with excellent attendance at each. We have met trainers we have never seen before and others whom we seldom see. The atmosphere is positive and collegial.

Read More…

Attention, all Suzuki Teachers!

Would you like practical solutions to teaching challenges?

Add sparkle to your teaching skills?

Reuben in a Teaching Strategies course with Caroline Fraser

Add Teaching Strategies to your course plans for the coming spring or summer!

Watch for more information in the next ShortScore!

Committee of Latin American Country Associations

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The Committee of Associations of Latin American Countries is pleased to inform you that it has reactivated its Facebook page “El Método Suzuki en Latinoamérica” (The Suzuki Method in Latin America), a platform on which activities of interest and relevant information for the entire Suzuki community of Latin America will be shared. You are invited to follow it and know its publications, as well as to share and learn about the activities of each country by accessing this link: If you want to share information, contact us through the following email:

Likewise, we share with you that the “Associação Musical Suzuki do Brasil” (AMSBrasil)—Suzuki Musical Association of Brazil, in partnership with teacher trainer Danete Warren Schuh, is organizing a workshop in English with simultaneous translation into Portuguese for SECE teachers. The activity aims to talk about teaching strategies for classes using the Zoom platform. In addition, this workshop will bring together the SECE teacher community in Brazil, and will offer the possibility of exchanging experiences, enriching their teaching process, and improving the work of online SECE classes. There will be 3 meetings between November 28th to December 12th, 2020. For more information, contact AMSBrasil at the following email:

The “Asociación Nacional Suzuki de Guatemala” (ANSUGUA)—National Suzuki Association of Guatemala, in the fight for the dissemination of the Suzuki Methodology and the improvement of Music Education in that country, has developed a series of courses for teachers and group classes for students between the months of September—November. Currently, it is carrying out an Online Violin Enrichment Course with the Argentine Teacher Trainer Fernando Piñero. Teachers from Guatemala, USA, Costa Rica and El Salvador has participated.

La Nov Newsletter Pic1

Finally, the Committee reports that the “Asociación Mexicana del Método Suzuki” (AMMS)—Mexican Association of the Suzuki Method is completing its first 15 years of foundation. To celebrate the date, different events were planned, such as the “AMMS Practice 2020” from October 1st to 31st, 2020, which consisted of experiencing 30 days of uninterrupted practice. 265 students between the ages of 4 and 19 participated, coming from: Mexico, Chile, Peru, Cuba, USA and Brazil. In addition, 31 Suzuki teachers from different parts of the Mexican Republic shared short educational videos with different topics of interest. The event was developed by the International Events Committee. We thank Mildred Martínez (Monterrey, Mexico), violin teacher, for providing the systematization of this event.

La Nov Newsletter Pic2



American Suzuki Journal – Call for Submissions

We want to hear from you!

As a part of the wider SAA learning community, the American Suzuki Journal relies on volunteer article submissions. We invite you to engage in your learning community by sharing your experiences and knowledge in articles and interviews for ASJ!

This year has been a time of great reflection and learning for most of us. We hope to soon be able to gather safely and in more just and healthy environments, but until then, we will all find ways to connect and support one another from a distance. Support your colleagues by sharing what you have learned! We welcome submissions on all Suzuki-related topics, but articles about how you navigate current events in your studio are especially welcome. Have you shifted your focus more toward character development in 2020? Found a way to teach advanced technique through Zoom? Authentically connected with teachers or families with different backgrounds from your own? And of course, we can all appreciate uplifting stories of generosity and community building through music.

Let us share, listen, and help one another through this!

Please see for article guidelines.
Submit articles and questions to .

—Libby Felts, editor


Communications Updates:

If you are not receiving messages from the SAA, remember that you can always update your email and web settings under your SAA Account. You also may wish to add the domain to your email providers whitelist and add the email address to your contacts. If your mailbox is full or your email provider has overly aggressive SPAM settings, messages might not be delivered because of your email provider. All messages sent by the SAA are DKIM verified and signed and sent through Amazon AWS.


OPSA Suzuki group class outside

OPSA Suzuki group class outside

Submitted by: Meg Lanfear
With a pandemic broiling, masked, outdoor group class is where we’ve found our groove in Oak Park, IL. The kids love seeing each other and we can still play together. Once violins were put away, we even had a fun round of music theory games involving squirting water on the garage. It was a blast and the smiles and energy from the kids was entirely worth it.

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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